With the unfortunate events of last week still fresh in everyone’s minds, the talk has inevitably turned to politics and finger pointing. This is unfortunate because the focus should still be on the lives tragically lost and the brave men and women that sacrificed so much to shield, rescue, and comfort children that should never have had to experience something so horrible. Today, Business Insider ( is only getting a “no-follow” link so our fans can put this ignorant media jackass in his place) posted an alarming and judgmental article linking gunman Adam Lanza to the popular Call of Duty video games. It probably was not the first article to desperately try and make this connection, and it most certainly will not be the last. When I was asked to write an article for #GetSome Elite Gaming in response, I was eager to come to the defense of a franchise I have enjoyed for many years and is a continual source of relaxation and social networking. However, no argument can restore life, no rebuttal can soothe the soul, and no words written on a blog will rebuild a hurting community. Our thoughts, prayers, and focus now and in the weeks to come should remain on Newtown, Connecticut.
While author Geoffrey Ingersoll does make a point in the Business Insider article that Lanza is not the only person to play Call of Duty and that he personally “doubts” that it makes people turn violent, he still attempts to make a connection between the gunman and the game. This article is clearly targeted toward readers with little to no experience with the game, and highlights the most violent and potentially controversial aspects of the game, even adding screenshots of enemies in the middle of brutal death animations.
Humans are a violent species, and as much as we try on a personal, community, or political level to change this, it has been a defining trait for countless millennia and it will be a defining trait for millennia to come. During this time, art has commonly examined our savagery, and in doing this, has frequently come under fire. While TV, movies, and video games are the 21st century scapegoat, comics, music, theater, and even books have all been targeted as corrupting youth and inciting violence. In addition to being mediums for art, these mediums are also commonly used to teach, train, and educate. Video games could have some impact or no impact at all on personality and behavior, but it is irresponsible to target one game or franchise and then make assumptions about 40 million other gamers.
The personas, language, and lifestyle displayed on the #GetSome Elite Gaming site, like the Call of Duty games themselves, are a fantasy. It is a form of entertainment, and nobody in their right mind would ever think that it is anything more than dramatization, art, and fiction. If an individual cannot distinguish between fiction and reality and truly is not in their “right mind”, this is not the fault of video games or anything else other than that persons own mental instability. Among the people I play Call of Duty with, there are Teachers, Doctors, Business Men, White Collar Workers, and Blue Collar Workers. We are Mothers, Fathers, Community Members, and Entrepreneurs. Like the rest of the Call of Duty community, we come from all walks of life, span all ages (although this is a rated M for mature game), and all have our own distinct personalities. What we have in common is our love for a video game, and the insinuation that we are somehow more violent, irresponsible, or “familiar” with walking around shooting people is illogical, fearful, and demeaning.
Fans of Call of Duty are just as shocked and heartbroken as everyone else in the aftermath of this tragedy, and we should concentrate on working towards real change in school and workplace safety and mental healthcare instead of snidely pointing fingers out of panic.
If you would like to make a donation to the ‘Sandy Hook School Support Fund please do so below. We are all in this together.
Please feel free to contact Geoffrey Ingersoll and let him know how you feel on Twitter @GPIngersoll or via email: geoffrey dot ingersoll at hotmail dot com