The Ignorance Of Media Outlets

English

While my heart goes out to the people affected of the bombing of Oslo and the horrible shooting at Utoya, I’m at the same time upset because of the coverage surrounding the man behind these attacks. Actually, I’m not just upset, I’m furious.This isn’t just because the media outlets were quick to propose that the attacks were linked to Islamic terrorists. Jumping the gun like that is just pure ignorance and stupidity, and hopefully people will learn that terrorism isn’t something that only springs from Islamic parts of the world. However, the reason I’m writing this is the fact that media outlets have linked the shooter to Modern Warfare 2. Why is this necessary information? Danish media describes the game as “a game where you can choose to shoot civilians”, which is accurate, but completely unimportant in this case. I’d even say it’s downright frivolous.

It may be seen as a rather small detail, but to people, who have no idea about games and especially Modern Warfare 2, this only fuels their hatred towards video games and their so-called contribution to violence. By mentioning the game to thousands of readers, whether they did it on purpose or simply felt the need to give out as many details about the shooter as possible, the media takes an unnecessary stance towards video games, which may prove completely ridiculous. Once again ignorance reigns, but it’s the games industry that takes the blow.

Now I may be joining the masses drawing conclusions too fast, seeing as the connection to Modern Warfare 2 hasn’t been fully followed up on (yet) by international media outlets, but it’s important to stop the crusade against video games, before it even starts. In no way whatsoever can Modern Warfare 2 be held accountable for even the slightest part of the nightmare that Norway or any other country go through at a time like this. That a deranged man likes to play a FPS in his sparetime shouldn’t even be mentioned, when more pressing concerns (like the deaths of 84 kids) should be the center of our attention.

4 thoughts on “The Ignorance Of Media Outlets

  1. I agree that Modern Warfare 2 is hardly to blame for these tragic events and that a “crusade” (?) against video games would be anything but desirable.

    It does however seem as if you – knowingly – are manning your defenses before an attack has even been declared by your enemy. Is this necessarily wise?

    1. You could argue it’s not wise, but the fact is that once video games have been mentioned in connection with violence, people will jump on it without giving it some thought. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll probably see it again, which is why I’m “manning my defenses”. It may not be a full-blown attack by the media, as I said it might not even be deliberate that they mention MW2, but we might as well voice our concern before it becomes somewhat of a scapegoat.

  2. How then, would you propose the media outlets goes around stirring up trouble as they write? I suppose you’re not ignorant enough to believe, that journalists chop out news from their chivalrous hearts, as the good samatarians they are.

    As you’ve said, mentioning videogames in relation to a violent incident will make certain members of society go bullocks which may be the exact purpose of mentioning it at all.
    If that was indeed the purpose, then I’d say whoever mentioned it is a very clever one. After all, he or she did only mention it knowing that it may trigger a chain reaction, luring whatever foolish “experts” to relate this to school-shooting incidents, where investigators are prone to find a shooting game in the culprits room. Maybe a World of Warcraft account also, but we won’t mention that ever, will we.

    So, you have a lot of shooting incidents, this one more violent than your typical teenage weirdo going bananas, and the only point in common is a violent videogame. (Another one is, that they are all filthy males, but mentioning that is just out of our minds, right?)

    Whoever mentioned MW2 had a duty to do so, in order to get away from writing about global warming or whatever dead-beaten horse we’ve all read about centuries ago, and yadayadayada.

    But, even if we all have different opinions on this matter, there is no denying the fact, that a violent videogame is a common denominator.
    This means someone, deliberately or not, made a connection using videogames. You don’t like the idea, and that’s fine. It seems to me, however, that your view on this matter is too narrow.
    Now, I realize you have a passion for games and subsequently are sensitive to what can be viewed as anti-game thought, but only denying whatever “theories” people can come up with and get frustrated and denounce the crazy idea of MW2 having the slightest part in that incident, without a proper view of the situation, is no more different than a kid whining about the parents turning off the TV.
    Why should they not mention MW2? Relevant of not, it’s a fact. If I remember correctly, a lot of other things were also mentioned, one being that the culprit is an active participant of extreme rightwing idealism, a fact that the media seems a lot more interested in writing about.
    I don’t follow up on scandinavian newspapers, so maybe it’s a big deal in Norway and Denmark, but in the rest of the world, people aren’t really hearing about MW2s participation in this, which leads me to believe, that at this point games are not going to become scapegoats. At least not outside Scandinavia.

    So, before you jump the gun on a little gaming-naming, you should assess the situation first.

    Besides, why is Modern Warfare 2 not involved in this? You seem to think otherwise, but the fact is, you can shoot and kill civilians in it.
    Spending time mourning over the deaths of young people may be good for some people, but in case there is the slightest chance of MW2 having a sideeffect besides being dangerously boring, is it not in everyone’s interest in getting to the bottom of it, in order to avoid more fools going out and repeating Utoya? Hence the mention of the game? If there is a chance, then we should all consider it however foolish it may seem, should we not?

    It seems to me, that you are quite occupied by media outlets “attacking” the gaming industry, but the fact is that censoring and whatever is loosening up as time qoes by, regardless of whatever little wave may hit the ship, as can be seen if you check up on game violence and censoring through the ages.
    A newspaper mentioning a game in relation to a violent incident isn’t going to amount to much, if at all. Making a fuss about it won’t help anyone either besides giving fuel to the fire that is doomed to die out anyway.

    If you insist on being pro-free expression in games, then I suggest you put som solid arguments on the table, instead of just making the opposite claim that “MW2 is not involved” without backing it up with anything more than an attitude.

    1. Mentioning video games in relation to the incidents in Norway (or other places for that matter) may not amount to much for people not working with video games on a daily basis, but when you do, you naturally become defensive against the allegations surrounding violence in video games. The problem is that most journalists have little or no knowledge about video games and therefore have no problem writing about them as if they’re the cause of violence. Instead video games are seen as somewhat taboo which easily transforms into a scapegoat that no one questions, since they’re not capable of doing so. Hence the the common denominator, which is often used an argument without reason. I’m sure that people, if they bothered, could find several things that these cases have in common (say, political motives or religious beliefs), but that doesn’t mean that they’re instantly the root of evil.

      There’s a reason that PEGI and other rating systems exist, and there’s a reason that games (like Modern Warfare 2) carry an age rating of 18+. You’d think that common, sane people would be able to play games or even watch violence movies without feeling the need to go out and shoot someone. There’s always the exception, which I won’t argue against, but the majority sees it’s for what it is: innocent entertainment and nothing more.

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