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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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