By DaMaJaDiZ 1 Comments
While splitting my lunch hour between catching up on GB threads and Twitter links today, I ran across an interesting article about video game violence, and the various defensive actions used in aid of video games that are scapegoated for real world atrocities. Pretty standard stuff for this day and age, right?
The industry has long been haunted by the lazy, causal link between video games and mass murder. The defenders of the industry are acutely aware that as long as video games dominate conversations of national violence, there is no reflection on the culpability of state and corporate sponsored real violence. Instead, virtual violence became a diversionary tactic to avoid such a discussion — the perfect parent-scaring, ratings-grabbing scapegoat. But this has produced a grievous lack of introspection within the industry. Industry defenders wholesale reject any connections between games and gun violence, cutting off internal industry criticism, while, simultaneously, the developers they defend flood the market with the very image the industry is trying to condemn: the white male shooter. White men with guns are everywhere in video games, across all platforms and genres. This industry standard of dismissing its own complicity in gun-violence combines with a similar media standard of privileging white male violence – creating a dangerous, racist double standard the video game industry must confront.
Now, I've cherry picked a couple of paragraphs for the sake of brevity (I've got traffic to wedge myself into), but the full article is linked below.
I suggest reading it in its entirety.
There are several interesting points that I myself hadn't gotten a clear view on during and after the Vice Presidential meetings.
One of which being why so many from the industry automatically shrank away from getting involved in the conversation once it was a put on the table for real discussion instead of the usual finger pointing. What was it that presented such a threat that so many ran and hid behind closed doors, and seemly refused to even acknowledge? In any case, the article presents a fairly compelling answer to that question.
One that understandably, a lot of people aren't going to like.
Certainly internal industry criticism and defense is key in renegotiating the industry’s public image, but Greenberg, newsmedia and the nation at large continue to obscure the white male shooter. Author David Sirota discusses this in a Salon piece, asking “Is it time to profile white men?” Sirota reasons that “because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to [profiling white men] because as opposed to people of color … white men … are the one group that our political system avoids demographically profiling or analytically aggregating in any real way.” Sirota’s piece continues by saying conversations on gun violence should be afforded the proper complexity by including mental health and media violence as factors, but these topics arise only to obscure the privileged status of white male violence: “The demographic at the center of it all is white guys…the one group that gets to avoid being [profiled], which means we are defaulting to a … conversation [that] treats perpetrators as deranged individuals, rather than typical and thus stereotype-justifying representations of an entire demographic.” White male violence, and only white male violence, must be explained via external reasons, never internal.
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