Games Are Not To Blame For Norway Massacre
This is the face of evil. This is a pathological killer who loathes Muslims; a conspirator, racist and ultra-extremist, whose hateful beliefs were the reason for his horrid attacks on the Utoya Island. This is the man who massacred 69 children, the youngest being 13, in cold blood. This man is Anders Behring Breivik.
Who taught Breivik to be hateful towards another group of people? How did he plan this terrible act without anyone taking notice? These are really tough questions to answer, as they involve the psyche of the individual. These questions won’t have easy and to-the-point answers, either. There’s no scapegoat, or easy target, when trying to explain what pushed Breivik to these acts.
However, the mainstream media has found the perfect scapegoat — yet again. The easy target to explain all of this seems to be the videogame entertainment industry. Breivik’s gaming habits has been mentioned in the press numerous times, where the Norwegian prosecutor also called attention to it during the trial procedures. I believe that one cannot dig their way through the immediate past of another, where if certain agenda is found, all current actions are explained. Instead, one would need to sift through memories, the childhood, the upbringing, and so on, to point where one can look into the mere direction of the effects and problem caused. One might never find the truth as to why someone acts the way they do, as all the aforementioned criteria will only help suggest a psychological problem. Simply because a certain stigma would be the easiest route, the very same route that is now taken by mainstream media, it’s questionable as to what the motive is. Would it be to actually solve the actual problem, or to rather blame something such as games for a serious psychological problem? In blaming games, or any other form of media, it can be seen as taking the ‘easy route’. Whenever the easy route has been chosen, no one continues to ask pertinent questions. There’s no “Why? How? When?”, to name a few, which could lead investigators to the deep, dark secret which caused the problem. One cannot simply blame videogames, and the mainstream media cannot sweep the truth under the rug. People need to take responsibility and realise that they screwed children up, during that child’s upbringing.
Breivik, himself, told the court that his World of Warcraft sessions were a somewhat akin to a “martyrdom gift” and a “sabbatical year,” and that he played it to unwind after a difficult day of planning his atrocities and writing his manifesto. Later, Breivik then mentioned using Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to prepare for his island massacre, where he even called it “a simple war simulator”. The mainstream media latched onto these statements and ran with it. The reporting of his comments are now widespread — all over newspapers, TV, and online news. The press seems to have already made up its mind about the role games have in such acts, as they claim that all the atrocities that Breivik perpetrated stemmed from games. The Telegraph explains in great detail how Call of Duty and World of Warcraft influenced Breivik . Forbes decided to run with the headline: “Norway Suspect Used Call Of Duty To Train For Massacre”. Both publications write in detail on how Breivik used Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft to plan his attack. These publications never stopped to ask real questions, such as: how Breivik got access to such extraordinary automatic weapons with ammunition. Or, how he accumulated the materials to build his bomb. Alongside that, how come no-one asked: where did you learn to make the bomb, and use the weapons? Call of Duty and World of Warcraft does not teach one how to do this. How the media can spew out blatant lies, I really don’t know.
With that in mind, I have found — from my following — that Breivik only ever mentioned that he used games as a way of relaxation. Not to mention, he also started planning the attacks before he even started playing the aforementioned games. It’s almost as if the media never read the court proceedings.
Trying to stay level-headed during the discussion is tough. I feel the need to say: screw the mainstream media; screw them for twisting the truth in an attempt to sell a few extra copies of their publication. It’s utterly unfair that media are exploiting the trauma people are dealing with, whereby they glorify the “supposed” effect of violent videogames on society. It simply boils down to media twisting the truth to make money out of horrible events. It’s actually questionable as to whether their actions are on equal footing to what’s happening? The simplistic reasoning used to explain the massacre will surely only traumatise the loved ones, leaving them with little to no closure, whereby they believe that videogames are evil, where instead Breivik had horrible experiences in his life, leaving him to be the demon he is today.
I, as a gamer, am trying to defend my hobby from the wrath of the evil-mainstream-media. I will let my actions speak by supporting various charities and events which support the community. The events which media seem to overlook, because it portrays videogames in a positive light. The media only seems to portray gaming as the reason behind blood thirsty attacks, whereby gamers are a bunch of anti-social psychopaths ready to go postal at any moment.
For those of you who remember the Columbine shootings, I leave you with a wise message, from a very unlikely source: Marilyn Manson. Manson was interviewed in a documentary called Bowling For Columbine, where he had a few very interesting things to say on how the media reports on the entertainment industry.
In the video it was noted that America dropped more bombs in Kosovo on the day of the Columbine shooting than ever before in that entire war. However, it went unnoticed as Marilyn Manson was too busy being blamed, alongside other media. The clip ends off with Manson being asked what would he say to the kids at Columbine, if they were in front of him. His words were as follows, “I wouldn’t say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no-one did.”
Even though the Breivik massacre and the Columbine shootings are two different incidents, which aren’t related, I feel that what Manson has to say is still important, and very relevant — as he can speak and reply to the issue, whereas videogames cannot.
While the rest of the world beats, the already dead horse that is, videogame entertainment, there will be a minority of people who will ask the correct questions. There will always be a few who try and find out what caused someone to take the lives of 69 innocent people. These people will be asking the: Why, How, and When. These people won’t blame the obvious. Until the majority of people start acting appropriately, and ask pertinent questions, the Columbine and Utoya Island shootings will, unfortunately, keep on occurring. However, to be honest, the human race is notorious for not learning from past mistakes. We are doomed to repeat our actions until someone uncovers the truth.