|Is it a bird? A plane? No it's acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King|
|Posted: 07.04.2008 12:57 by Jamie Davey||Comments: 1|
Mr King has recently spoken out against the bandwagon of politicians looking for an easy ride against "pop-cult" like videogames.
In his Entertainment Weekly column he blasts critics for making tenuous links to a "nutball" like Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui and games like Counter-Strike. He says those politicians should fight against the ease of obtaining guns instead.
"What really makes me insane is how eager politicians are to use the pop culture - not just videogames but TV, movies, even Harry Potter - as a whipping boy," King wrote.
"It's easy for them, even sort of fun, because the pop-cult always hollers nice and loud. Also, it allows legislators to ignore the elephants in the living room."
Democrat Senator and Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is one such vocal politician in the United States. Recently minor 'celebrity' lawyer Jack Thompson was stripped of his license to practise law - while not a heavy voice it was certainly loud enough to grab headlines on occasion and fuel parental paranoia.
"Elephant One is the ever-deepening divide between the haves and have-nots in this country, a situation guys like Fiddy and Snoop have been indirectly rapping about for years. Elephant Two is America's almost pathological love of guns," continued King.
"It was too easy for critics to claim - falsely, it turned out - that Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech killer) was a fan of Counter-Strike; I just wish to God that legislators were as eager to point out that this nutball had no problem obtaining a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Cho used it in a rampage that resulted in the murder of 32 people. If he'd been stuck with nothing but a plastic videogame gun, he wouldn't even have been able to kill himself."
Videogames offer an entertainment and an outlet for generally whatever mood a gamer finds them self in. When the gas station sniper killings were taking place in America GTA3 was accused of offering a simulation to perform such hideous murders - not taking into account the spontaneous reload rate, lack of natural body sway, clueless AI unable to comprehend a staircase or the ability to hide one's rifle with the tap of a button.
"Parents need to have the guts to forbid material they find objectionable... And then explain why it's being forbidden. They also need to monitor their children's lives in the pop culture - which means a lot more than seeing what games they're renting down the street."
Mr King's words echo some of the points raised by Dr Tanya Byron; parents are the ones who need educating more it seems than the kids themselves.
The fact that guns are so readily available in the US, to keep our pesky British King out, will inevitably lead to tragic and horrific killings - how many more innocent students from elementary schools, high schools, colleges or universities will it take for US policy makers to actually take action?
"Videogames, like movies, have a ratings system, and ones with the big M or A on the box mean ''Not for you, baby brother.''
Click to read Stephen Kings article on Entertainment Weekly.