Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Monkey monkey

'Grand Theft Auto' Makers Fight Lawsuit

A 14 year old and a 16 year old are old enough to put together the logical sequence of "I fire a gun/guns shoot bullets/bullets could poke holes in things/some things are people/I could shoot people" along with the concept of "video games/television/movies are not like life." They are old enough to understand consequences.

What they may lack is sufficient impulse control or the foresight necessary to think "Hey, shooting at cars is the same as shooting at people."

I'm not buying a "The video game made me do it" defense. A 16 year old boy is old enough to get a driver's license, hold a part time job -- in some states, old enough to get married! Whatever was going wrong in that young man's mind when he opened a locked room, removed guns from it, and went to the highway to start firing, it happened long before he played a video game. Somewhere along the way he didn't learn something, or wasn't taught something -- about gun safety, about personal responsibility, about the value of human life, about compassion for other people, about making choices consciously. He was, apparently, taught how to throw blame for his actions on something or someone else, though.

(And don't even go on about it being the gun's fault. I'm no fan of guns, but in my neck of the US, kids have been caught dropping cinder blocks off overpasses onto cars below.)

Why can one group of people play violent video games and then eat pizza, while another group plays the same game and then goes shooting? Is it really the game's fault?

If it is proved in a court of law that it IS the video game's fault these two young men killed and injured people, what does that mean overall? Will the "Grand Auto" defense go down alongside the "Twinkie Defense" as incredible dodges of personal accountability?

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