If the Magnavox Odyssey had come out in the mid-40s, would Hitler have been a fan of Table Tennis? Perhaps he would have been inspired by cartridge nine's Dogfight to assemble the fearsome Luftwaffe.
One thing is certain: the role of video games in unconscionable, politically motivated violence is undeniable and fits quite conveniently as an explanation for most scenarios, such as Anders Behring Breivik, pictured above.
Anders, on trial for the massacre of 77 people - 69 of which were students gunned down by Breivik personally - recently testified on his video game habits. And newsrooms around the world sprung into action.
Long have M-rated titles been the catch-all for society's ills. Mainstream media outlets have been telling the public for years that the Call of Duty's, Grand Theft Auto's and Mortal Kombat's of the world are corrupting our easily influenced youths.
Recent headlines relating to Breivik's case mount a startling, disturbing new rallying cry:
London Evening Standard: Anders Breivik: Online games helped me plan killings
The Star Online/Reuters: Breivik used computer war games to plan attack
Rock, Paper Shotgun's John Walker takes the bull by the horns - the hard facts of Breivik's transcripted testimony presented without anti-vidya bias:
"The Times report then explains how Breivik named all his guns, citing El Cid for having done the same for his favourite sword, but oddly doesn’t then condemn the learning of history. Instead, astonishingly, it just reports the names for all the weapons, and doesn’t even mention the possible concern that he was in possession of them. They also don’t mention the enormous detail written in the manifesto about how these guns were legally and illegally acquired, and the enormous amount of time he spent at shooting ranges, practising firing them. Factors that, you would imagine a journalist reporting on how he had trained for his attacks, would think relevant to bring up. But no, instead, only Modern Warfare and World Of Warcraft are mentioned."
As more sensational headlines surface, we slip further and further away from the real issues of importance. Like how someone like Breivik was able to plot and execute a plan like the Utoya massacre with legally/illegally obtained weapons.
But for the mainstream media, that angle is small potatoes compared to what Breivik's Paladin spec says about his mental stability.
Now there's ratings.
SOURCE: Rock, Paper Shotgun