Friday, April 20, 2012

That's Not Why

I'm going to make this brief because I had thought that we had already gone past this. Apparently not. Remember last summer when some lunatic in Norway went on a rampage and shot and killed 77 people? He was a most prolific lunatic indeed. Now he's in a Norwegian court (whatever that means) and this is the crap that he's pulling. Behold!

In case you can't read that (and have forgotten how to click to make the pretty pictures bigger) the caption on the left reads: Killer Breivik trained on video games for massacre. Anders Behring Breivik, who admits killing 77 people in Norway last summer, tells a court he used a video game to train for the shooting spree on the island of Utoya. (Wasn't Utoya Michael Jackson's sister? No, wait. That was LaToya. Honest mistake. Never mind.) And the asinine caption on the right reads "Anders Behring Breivik posted details of the murderous intentions online before last year's Norway massacre. Andrew Keen questions whether the internet, social media and video games encourage his actions." Aaaaarrrrggghhhh!

Do people really think that playing video games can lead them to kill 77 people? Really? Why would that be? Because there's killing in video games? And since there's killing in video games then that would influence someone to kill in real life? Well, in order for that to be true, wouldn't one have to look at the overall influence of video games as a whole in order to determine their effect (if any) on human behaviors? It wouldn't just be the violent stuff that influences people, right? It would be the non-violent stuff as well, wouldn't it? I don't see how you could argue a theory about video game violence encouraging violent behaviors without seeing if the video game influence encouraged other behaviors as well.

Seriously, if video games were that influential over people wouldn't the majority of people on Facebook be farmers right now? Do you know how many times Farmville has been installed? Over 110 million times. Over 63 million people dink around with that ridiculously annoying game every month. 32 million people waste time with that game every single day. Where are ALL THE FARMERS?!

Let me explain something that, if you're reading this blog, you probably already know. Sometimes, the most likely explanation for something is also the easiest explanation. I guess people don't like easy very much because those explanations almost never come up. In the case of this nutjob in Norway, I'll explain to you exactly what happened. And I'm going to try not to get all technical so that I'm easily understood. Stop me if I go too fast or there's something confusing about this. Ready? Here goes...Some people are just freaking crazy.

That's it! That's all there is. Simple enough? You'd think that it would be. But I guess that the news outlets wouldn't get enough ratings if they reported the news like: "Today in Norway, a man killed 77 innocent people. Some folks are just freaking crazy. Now we go to Bob with the weather. Bob..." I'm sorry that sometimes crazy people get in the way of not crazy people. But it happens. And it certainly isn't going to do any good to blame video games for the aforementioned craziness, all right? Video games didn't make that guy kill all of those people. He just did. And I'm sorry that it happened, but not so sorry that I'm going to start feeding into BS theories that have absolutely no basis in fact. Now for the weather...

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