Don’t Give Credit Where Credit Isn’t Due

April 6th, 2010 at 7:00 am · 14 Comments

“He did it!”  Any time something goes wrong, people love to put the blame on something else.  You smashed your mom’s favorite vase?  Your brother did it.  You made a mistake at work?  It was the new guy’s fault.  You were caught breaking into CIA headquarters to try to find the whereabouts of Area 51? The raccoon pressured you into it.  So when it comes to serious situations like in the middle of a conflict, you would think reporters would steer clear of the “blame game” since there’s usually no proof to back up these types of claims right?  Wrong.

Fox News reported the findings of an investigative organization known as WikiLeaks, who got a hold of a classified military video of US armed forces opening fire on civilians, taking the lives of more than twenty-five Iraqis.  The video is footage taken from two of the Apache helicopters that participated in the gunfire in New Baghdad on July 12, 2007.

The video is not for the faint of heart, it is graphic and disturbing.  This type of news is something everyone should be aware of, but the main reason this incident is being covered here is because of the statements made on Monday by the journalist who leaked the video to Washington.  According to Fox News, Julian Assange states, The behavior of the pilots is like theyre playing a video game. Its like they want to get high-scores in that computer game.

As small as these comments are, they do strike a chord with gamers.  Video games are constantly being blamed for the some of the violence that happens around the world.  There are many people out there who believe that children are taking the games they play too seriously and are growing up with warped mindsets and aggressive attitudes.

Statements like Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards followed by “Nice!” uttered by the soldiers while flying overheard doesn’t help either; this type of speech is quite cold and upsetting.  With games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare 2, which aim for realistic combat simulation, the comparison may be understandable.  But to foolishly put a declaration like that out there is really not justified.  If there is a connection between virtual violence and the disheartening event that occurred here, it will never be determined.

What can be seen here is society’s constant criticism on games being too violent, and believing people will blindly reenact what they play.  With comments like Assange’s, there exists the assumption that video games are somehow the cause of the behaviors similar to those of these soldiers.  There seems to be a fear of this ‘epidemic’ continuing to happen.

Come on, give us gamers some credit.  The vast majority of us know the difference between fiction and reality, and many other factors must be taken in account to comprehend why these people acted in the manner that they did.  I never hear anyone talking about going to capture wild animals after playing a few hours of Pokemon, so let’s try to hold off on certain comments from now on.  What happened was tragic, but let’s not try to start something irrelevant from it.

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    Categories: Editorial · Featured Content · News

    14 responses so far ↓

    • jaxboxchick says:

      Crappy audio on the SG Pink show last week? Blame the new girl!

    • Yeah well, tell that to my Fathers friend who didnt buy his children a PS2 just cause he didnt want his children to get violent. :/

      Though yes, I thank God that Im blessed with parents who know that I know the difference b/w using plasmids on splicers and on actual living breathing humans.

      Well written ;)

      • Esmeralda says:

        I think it can all depend on what type of games you buy your kids that need to be appropriate for their age. We need smarter parents out there ;) Thanks!

    • Barelytrying says:

      Look on the bright side, if the digital economy bill is passed we wont need to worry about this kinda footage beeing released! Oh wait thats a bad thing right?

    • Crisis says:

      This was very well written, I commend you.

      As for what Julian Assange said, I believe hes right, as a matter of fact. Those soldiers were trigger-happy teenagers just looking for an excuse to shoot something, and knowing the fact that these are the type of people who are representing my country, I am ashamed.

      What the soldiers said were almost the exact same words my friends and I said when playing MW2, and it truly scares me that this is the military frontier.

      I personally havent heard blame put on gamers, just that Julian Assange quote, where if you dont agree with him, you shouldnt be playing video games. If you cant realize the strict difference between a video game and reality, you shouldnt have the privilege of playing video games, nevertheless being in the US military.

      Heres the link to the source of WikiLeaks info.

      • Esmeralda says:

        Thank you, I greatly appreciate the comment :)

        I have a (very small) military background, so I just want to put out there that these soldiers make up a SIGNIFICANTLY SMALL portion of our great armed forces. These people do not represent those that take pride in the uniform and stay true to their morals, so always remember that what is reported is usually the negative.

        That being said, the way these soldiers acted was not commendable at all. Yes, they were trigger happy; I watched all 18mins of the massacre and felt disgusted. These are individuals who were too engrossed in the moment and were not thinking of the consequences of their actions. I make no excuses for them, only that I hope direct action is taken now that the video is public record.

        However, I still dont like how the connection is made back to video games based off how these soldiers talked to each other and acted. Even though you yourself say you talk like that with your friends while playing MW2, that isnt much support for that quote made by Assange. I play shooters a lot, and I never talk like that. I hang with guys all the time, they dont either with the exception of one. I do agree people without the proper brain power to remember its just a game shouldnt be allowed to play, nor join the military, but in this case I cant really justify the connection.

        Thanks for reading my entire reply if you did, and for just being awesome in reading my article :)

        • Crisis says:

          No problem, I think youre a great writer. ;)
          I think your dislike is only because it relates relates the situation to gaming, and this, obviously, is a gaming blog. The meaning would have remained the same if Assange replaced the word game with paintball. Assange didnt directly say video games are bad, he was saying that if you act as if reality (Iraq) is a video game, thats a no-no. And this is what we all agree on.
          Like I said, I would and have said the same things as those soldiers said, but only when Im playing a video game. Theres nothing wrong with that; youre only getting into the heat of the moment, or the euphoria and excitement of video games, or whatever else youd like to call it.

          for tl;drers: We all know (I hope at least most of us) on this site that there is a fine line between reality and simulation. Assange was simply stating that the soldiers didnt and he hadnt mentioned anything about how games were bad. I think youre reading too much into his quote.
          And as for the people who DO take games into such negativity, theyre ridiculous.

    • Crisis says:
      whoops, I forgot it. xD

      • Esmeralda says:

        Ill respond here since I cant respond to your response (lol). I did read into it a lot, but only because that type of talk has become somewhat common. A number of gruesome violent acts have been linked back to video games by ignorant people stating so (Not calling Assange one), so I guess I perked up when I read it. But as long as we all agree what happened was wrong and we as gamers here know how to handle reality, were good :)

    • McNally 3000 says:

      It is a little known fact that Micheal Vick is a huge pokemon fan.

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