Overreaction to Gamers

Over the last few years, gaming has steadily increased in popularity and gaining more and more media attention. Unfortunately it would seem as if the news keeps revolving around negative publicity towards gaming. We often hear stories about violence born from gaming, but one has to wonder how much of that has a real correlation to gaming. For instance in both the Columbine and Sandy Hook incidents, both shooters were profiled as people that play violent video games. In cases like this, the media often do a deep study into the background of these criminals, and use any small detail they can to manipulate their audience. Now, I’m not stating that there is no possibility of a correlation, but I am stating that the media’s focus on this unfairly gives gamers a negative stigma.

Take a look at Colleen Lachowicz’s campaign to become a Maine State senator. During her campaign, the rival Republican party started a smear tactic based on her history as a World of Warcraft player. Their idea was to use her comments and chat history in game to declare her unfit for office. Thankfully this campaign did not end up affecting her ability to win the State Senate position. Do you think this style of smear campaign has any real bearing on real life politics?

Take a look at their smear site:

http://www.colleensworld.com/

 

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5 thoughts on “Overreaction to Gamers”

  1. As a gamer, I have long been aggravated by the media’s view of gaming and the surrounding negative stigma. However, I think that these stigmas are only targeted during events like a school shooting. The truth is our world is a scary place where bad things happen, and people are just looking for an explanation for it. The media thrives on this natural human trait, and throws us as many scapegoats as they can muster.

    I think this will change as our generation becomes the new politicians and journalists- we will be the generation that was raised with gaming, and soon enough we will also be the old people complaining about some new form of media. I think the core problem is that the older generation is always in control, so once we age a bit we will have our turn and the stigmas around gaming will likely disappear.

  2. Unfortunately, smear campaigns are part of the political process in this country and there is not much that we can do about it. The fact that a politician plays a video game and that it is held against them is in my opinion ridiculous. But again, nothing in politics would surprise me.

    1. This is a good point- politics in the states have proven to be grounds for heavy mudslinging and pathetic attempts to smear candidates using the prejudices spread by the media and held by voters. Smear campaigns have even been used to suggest homosexuality in other candidates in hopes of winning the votes of bigoted people. This just goes to show there is no credibility in a smear campaign– it’s just more political strategy without meaning.

  3. There are so many negative outlooks in relation to gaming, such as obesity, violence, and other negative health affects like arthritis. Media is more advanced now that anything you post or browse could be monitored or used against you, which is always something to consider when playing with it. I believe that violent videogames is what you make of it. I’m very “wishy washy” on the subject, so to speak, because I can neither confirm or deny my beliefs on whether or not videogames cause people to become violent. There are so many different research conclusions on the subject, but for the most part, I think it revolves around a person’s mentality and decisions. What you do with a game and how you respond to it is important. If you are going to choose to follow the path of an unrealistic game that you in your mind feel is truly real, there may be some problems that follow, just like violent behavior. There are positive things that can come from videogames that people are not utilizing enough.

    1. The truth is as you say, people’s actions revolve largely around their mentality and decisions. Although people may be affected by video games- they may also be affected by movies, books, music, or art work. People have criticized Alice Cooper, Stanley Kubrick, and 50 Cent for promoting bad lifestyles and ideas. But would these same people criticize Salvitore Dali for drawing melting clocks and promoting the use of recreational hallucinogens? I’m mostly joking, but also serious in the sense that you can criticize any media form if you manipulate perspective.

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