So after watching 42 minutes of Katie Couric’s fear mongering and clichéd piece of investigative journalism meant to provide real answers to the real questions, we get another media outlet avoiding the real questions and blaming the video game entertainment industry. Trying to stay level-headed during these types of discussions is tough. I feel the need to say: fuck the mainstream media; fuck them for twisting the truth in an attempt to get a few extra viewers on their show. It’s utterly unfair that the media are exploiting the trauma these people are dealing with, whereby they glorify the “supposed” effect of violent video games on society. And it seems Katie Couric has found the perfect scapegoat — yet again.
The TV show uses every played out trite in the video editing trick book. The ominous, spooky and pensive background music, flash edits of games pausing at the most violent moment, oddly framed shots of gameplay. And last but not least. The all-time classic: footage of a gamer holding a controller in his hand, while mashing the buttons in a dark lit room. In blaming games, or any other form of media, it can be seen as taking the ‘easy route’ out. Whenever the media decides to take the ‘easy route’, no one is left to ask the proper questions. The “Why? How? and When?” You cannot simply blame video games, and then just leave it at that. People need to take responsibility and realise that these people were already screwed up, before they started playing games.
I believe that no one can dig their way through someone else’s immediate past and cherry pick the facts on what set them off. Instead, we would need to sift through their childhood, upbringing, and parents before we can make any snap judgements. And even then one might never find the truth and why someone acted the way they did. As all the aforementioned criteria will only help suggest a root cause of the problem and not why it happened in the first place. People like Katie Couric need something to blame for all this violence in society, and since she dislike video games it’s just a wonderful coincidence for her. Pin the blame on games, without any real research to back it up. And when she sleeps at night she can feel happier that “justice is done.”
Everything in Katie Couric video was meticulously edited and crafted to turn it into a scare piece. It’s pure, polished propaganda. It would have made Goebbels of Nazi Germany proud. It is both disappointing and shameful at the same time. Shameful because these news stations will constantly remind us that they are the bringers of journalism and truth. And disappointing because they will always steer the narrative towards their own opinion, rather than presenting the honest fact and core issues. If someone got angry enough to shoot his mom and dad over them taking away a game, where really is all that anger coming from? It’s certainly not the game that is causing that. The game could be a method of venting his anger, but it is still not the root cause.
As a gamer myself I decided to stand up and defend my hobby from people like Katie Couric. I will let my actions speak by supporting various charities and events which are run by the gaming community. The events which media seem to overlook, because it portrays the video games industry in a positive light. While the rest of the world beats an already dead horse that is the video game entertainment industry, there will be a minority of people who will ask the correct questions. These people will be asking the: Why, How, and When. 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.
[Editorial Note:] This was a article I originally wrote for eGamer regarding the Norway Massacre, which I modified for this story. As it was touching on the same subject matter.