ONTD Political

December 21st: day of Cease Fire for video games, in memory of Newtown

12:55 am - 12/18/2012
In the wake of Friday's tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., GamerFitNation founder Antwand Pearman is calling for a one-day "ceasefire" among those who play online shooting games.

Pearman wants gamers to "just put your controller down and show your love" on Friday, as part of the Day of Ceasefire For Online Shooters.

At this point, there has been no reported link between violent video games and Friday's shooting, which left 20 children and six adults dead. Pearman also says on his Facebook page that "we are not blaming video games." Instead, "I'm asking for a demonstration of peace — the one thing that money can't buy," Pearman said in a video message (below) about the effort. "I'm not asking for funds. If anything, I ask [that] you donate to the families of the victims when that becomes available. What I'm asking for is a ceasefire."

In the video, the game enthusiast talks about his own childhood, growing up around gun violence, and how he wants the world to know that gamers have hearts, too.

"One day, since 26 people lost their lives. One day is enough," he said.

As of press time, Pearman's Facebook event had garnered 465 supporters.

The topic of whether video-game violence played any role in Friday's shooting came up on this weekend's Meet the Press. Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said that while the shooter's mental health was likely a major factor, "we haven't even started talking about the corrosive influence of a violent-oriented world — TV, video games, shoot to kill video games."

New York Times columnist David Brooks was skeptical. "I had thought video games have played a role, too, but this has been studied," Brooks said. "There have been hundreds, unfortunately, of these shooters over the decades and very few of them had any contact with violent video games and generally tend to be older."

Brooks said that he views these situations as less of a sociological problem, which could be blamed on violence in video games, and instead as a psychological issue.

The debate also made its way to Twitter. User @kenold took Ridge's side, saying that the country doesn't need a ban on guns or to arm teachers, but instead needs "a ban on violent video games and treat them like any other [hazards] for our kids."

Samuel Schauf agreed, writing that "Yes gun control is an issue. But we are more exposed to these ideas as a society. Guns & extremist ideas are common in video games & movies."

Data, however, suggests otherwise, according to the Washington Post, which said there were few direct links between gun-related murders and video-game consumption.

"I play hella violent video games, live with a mental illness, and have never touched a gun. I have no desire to whatsoever," Twitter user TV's Brent wrote today.

Mirroring those thoughts, Matt Sour said in a tweet last week that "violent video games are once again going to take the blame for this shooting, rather than focusing on the real problem. Gun laws."

source: PC Magazine
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kaelstra 18th-Dec-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
I will not be participating in a FPS blackout, because it won't do jack shit, for starters, and secondly, because it's not the source of the damn problem.

The issue isn't that these games exist, it's more that kids still get their hands on them one way or another despite ratings systems and stores IDing people for hard-rated games, and that their parents let them play (or they go to a friend's house who's parents let them play, etc). Essentially, in my opinion, if a person thinks these games are too dangerous for kids to play, then stop letting kids get to them--don't just remove them altogether.

I am so damn tired of this "violent games = violent kids!" thing coming up. No. It doesn't.

sesmo 18th-Dec-2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Did you read past the title?
world_dancer 18th-Dec-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
I don't think this is such a great idea, just because it seems like admitting video games are at fault when gamers have spent years and years trying to convince people that games do not create homicidal maniacs.
kaelstra 18th-Dec-2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this.

There have been so many studies proving there's no connection, and yet here we are again, saying there is.
layweed 18th-Dec-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'm in two minds about this thing. On one hand, it doesn't hurt. But on the other, it's going to end up giving people ammunition (no pun intended) when it comes to like, "VIDEO GAMES RUINS LIVES AND LEADS TO VIOLENCE AND SOCIAL ISSUES". It also smacks of slacktivism (though I do like that he said to donate money to the families of the victims, at least).

But yeah. Chuck Todd already made a comment the other night about video games and how parents better make sure their kids "don't have problems", whatever that means. And Jack Thompson is already back with the blaming and shit.


kaelstra 18th-Dec-2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Precisely this. Saying there's no connection between violent games and school shootings and then undermining it by calling for a blackout of those games just sets it up in people's minds that there is a connection, and it's ridiculous and I'm tired of it.
ohloverx 18th-Dec-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
I don't know about everyone else, but this sounds like slacktivism at its finest. Going one day without playing violent video games to demonstrate peace and reverence for Newtown just seems...disingenuous, I guess? It does nothing for the victims or their families, and it does nothing to address the issues that need the focus, whilst unintentionally making it sound like video games are part of the problem.

I mean, I don't necessarily think a person HAS to do something large and time-consuming to really be helpful, but even signing an online petition which takes all of two seconds would be better than this (and could actually create dialogue and change).
darth_eldritch 18th-Dec-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
This. All of this.
darth_eldritch 18th-Dec-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
I hold the children, the parents, the teachers, the families, the loved ones, those who were called to action, all of those who have been affected by this in my thoughts.

But I will not participate in this blackout. It does nothing, helps no one, and carries the message that video games creates violence.
ragnor144 18th-Dec-2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I can't claim a moral high ground here since I let my 10 year old play GTA 4 (she loves to use cheats to spawn helicopters and crash them where ever and shoot some pigeons - I watch how she plays) but is there a point besides trying to make yourself feel better by doing nothing? You might as well swear off the computer for a day since there are reports that the shooter destroyed his computer before the rampage. It would has as much connection and effect.
ohloverx 18th-Dec-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
"Make yourself feel better by doing nothing" is a great way to put it because that is basically all this is.
wrestlingdog 18th-Dec-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
I appreciate people feeling the need to do something, but it makes me uncomfortable when video games become the boogeyman- because they've been blamed so many times before. I do think that these games sometimes go wayyy overboard as far as the level of gorn, but still... Even at the service I went to on Sunday, the priest- in an otherwise wonderful sermon about the tragedy- tried to argue that violent video games were to blame somehow.
layweed 18th-Dec-2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Tbh, I think a lot of it is just..they probably don't have any first hand experience with it, or what it's like to grow up playing video games. So all they see is graphic violence on a monitor/tv and somehow believe that it changes people so drastically that they'll want to go out and commit the same actions?

Idk. Maybe not so much the second part, but I definitely believe a lot of it is just no firsthand experience.
mary_pickforded 18th-Dec-2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
This is stupid.
angelofdeath275 18th-Dec-2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Nice intention but reeks of slactivism

Honestly people should focus on online gamer culture and how -ist it is than the ok video game = murderous asshole
lickety_split 18th-Dec-2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
Right?? How about a day of silence on XBox LIVE in honor of those that have to listen to all of that bullshit on all the other days??

Edited at 2012-12-18 06:45 pm (UTC)
lickety_split 18th-Dec-2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I think I'll play Mass Effect that day instead.
darth_eldritch 18th-Dec-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I was thinking the same! LOL
tabaqui 18th-Dec-2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Jeez, the bitter carping on this post. How about, just maybe, he hopes that people will put down their controllers and think a little about their families, their loved ones, what they really *think* about all this ugly mess.

Maybe instead take the day to enjoy their off-line life, or to sign a few petitions, or read up on gun control and decide where they stand on the issue.

jettakd 18th-Dec-2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
This is how I took it? He outright says that they don't cause violence. But it's still better to sometimes put the games away, especially to spend time with your loved ones after a tragic event happens.
oddityangel 18th-Dec-2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
Obviously I don't think video games are to blame for this tragedy (I don't think there is one singular 'cause'), but even as someone who enjoys video games it bothers me somewhat that people are unwilling to even consider that they may influence our attitudes towards violence. We (general we) are often willing to accept that media can have a negative impact on how we view race, gender, etc...but not violence? I suppose people are just tired of it being trotted out as a convenient scapegoat when the focus should be on real elephant in the room, lax gun laws.
tabaqui 18th-Dec-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I don't think all violence would end if we banned all violent video games, but to think that there is *no* connection whatsoever, and yet accuse tv, movies, magazines and even video games for influencing other aspects of our lives seems...deliberately disingenuous.
fragbert 18th-Dec-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I know it's sloppy, but I wanted to get it posted before next week. :)
tabaqui 18th-Dec-2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
Why am i not seeing *any* embedded images today?
*pokes LJ*
zinnia_rose 19th-Dec-2012 03:44 am (UTC)
I don't think video games are to blame for the shooting. BUT I do think they are part of a serious cultural problem regarding violence. When you shoot someone in a video they just disappear. There might be some CGI blood spatter, but after that, they vanish. There is all kinds of consequence-free violence (murder, physical assault, even rape) in video games and while I do not believe that people who play violent video games are necessarily more likely to commit real acts of violence, I do believe that there is some element of desensitization at play (no pun intended). I feel the same way about torture porn movies like Saw. Why is violence so entertaining? Why can someone make a movie that consists of little more than graphic gore and have it be so incredibly popular? What does that say about us as a society?

Edited at 2012-12-19 03:45 am (UTC)
ohloverx 19th-Dec-2012 04:01 am (UTC)
Or, instead of blaming video games and entertainment, why not place the impetus on parents to teach their children the difference between fantasy and reality? Why should a video game be responsible for teaching people consequences? Why aren't we teaching people proper coping mechanisms so they don't look at movies, music, video games, or any media as blueprints? Why should music or movies be censored (which I'm not saying you're suggesting, I'm just bringing up arguments that have been brought up for decades), instead of parents having a better hold on what their kids are interested in and what they bring in to the household?

It just seems that it is easier for people to blame music, movies and video games than it is to look at the real issues. Entertainment has been the red herring for years, and I think gamers are just tired of gaming being used as a scapegoat for the violence in our culture.
blackjedii 19th-Dec-2012 03:48 am (UTC)
I just read one news piece from an online English website that said Dynasty Warriors was to blame.

It's all Lu Bu's fault.

layweed 19th-Dec-2012 03:51 am (UTC)
lol what
eyetosky 19th-Dec-2012 05:10 am (UTC)
So... Wait, they acknowledge up front that games had nothing to do with it, but then call for a pious asceticism towards games for a day because games... Are related... Somehow?

Very well, I declare that December 22nd we all abstain from combing our hair and change our Facebook profile pictures to our favorite cartoon reptiles, to acknowledge the plight of exotic pet pythons released in the Everglades. Because... Reasons.
ohloverx 19th-Dec-2012 05:18 am (UTC)
Haha! I was just thinking of those chain things that go around about changing your profile picture to cartoon characters or putting your bra strap color in your status. And it is always amusing how at least half of them say NOT to tell people what it is for! Like, how do we talk about whatever issue we're supposedly supporting then?
deleriumd 19th-Dec-2012 05:24 am (UTC)
This aggravates me for so many reasons.
deleriumd 19th-Dec-2012 05:24 am (UTC)
This aggravates me for so many reasons.
thewhowhatwhats 19th-Dec-2012 06:19 am (UTC)
Some people are so averse to discussing how gun violence in entertainment plays into gun culture as a whole.
astridmyrna 19th-Dec-2012 07:07 am (UTC)
It's a bit difficult to discuss gun violence in entertainment when only one part of entertainment is used as a public scapegoat.
angry_chick 19th-Dec-2012 07:08 am (UTC)
Yay slacktivism.

Firstly, I remember when people were blaming Final Fantasy VII for Columbine. Are we really surprised that gamers are likely going to view this with scorn? Whether you're a gamer or not, having something that you enjoy REPEATEDLY being blamed even when studies are found that there isn't a problem with it is going to make you eventually shut down to criticism of it. You know the topic is going to go in the same direction. This doesn't do anything but give some degree of credence to that argument, whether rightly or wrongly, directly or indirectly.

Added to this, do people really think that gamers, especially the CoD types, are going to really bother with something like this? From the behavior I've seen from these guys online, they don't even give a shit that stuff like this happened - they sit back and make jokes about it. The very people that need to adhere to this and that this should address aren't going to because they don't fucking care.

Also, what do we propose some of these gamers do in the meantime? Sit on Reddit and 4chan?

Edited at 2012-12-19 07:56 am (UTC)
thatdamnninja 19th-Dec-2012 12:05 pm (UTC)

All of that ^ *waves hand*
astridmyrna 19th-Dec-2012 07:09 am (UTC)
Honestly I think it'd be better to shun all forms of media that day.
thatdamnninja 19th-Dec-2012 12:04 pm (UTC)

redstar826 19th-Dec-2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
*shrug* I don't have strong feelings about this either way. I doubt it will do any great good, but I also doubt that it will be harmful. So, to each their own.
maclyn 19th-Dec-2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, look at that, never mind the ad slogan for the gun he used being 'Consider your man card reissued' and why men having personal or mental crises feel like the answer is asserting power with violence.
kishmet 19th-Dec-2012 03:15 pm (UTC)

Well I do think FPS games in particular are pretty much an extension of US pop culture's glorification of guns and 'manly' violence. I mean compare the games made in the US to mainstream games localized from Japan and it's obvious that the US's weird gun fetish is at play in many of ours

BUT the same is true with US vs. foreign films so it's propagation of the culture rather than a direct cause. It's great to talk about that as a problem but way too easy for people to latch onto it as the primary/one of the primary issues when it's not. It's a gun- and violence-obsessed culture that gives easy access to deadly weapons that are basically shown as props for a hero fantasy in many, many forms of media. Idk but I'm going back to Portal now
angelofdeath275 19th-Dec-2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
I mean compare the games made in the US to mainstream games localized from Japan and it's obvious that the US's weird gun fetish is at play in many of ours

god yes and its one of the reason i dont like how us games are dominating the market, and because those games can attract certain types of people i dont like

and yes to the rest of your comment

Edited at 2012-12-19 05:12 pm (UTC)
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