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Those who blame video games should try them

On February 11, 2020

BY BENJAMIN BLAZEVIC / VN COLUMNIST

We need to stop blaming video games for violence when the problem is personal responsibility.

I’m 22 years old and I’ve been playing video games for more than a decade.

Saying that I play “a lot” of video games is an understatement.

While it’s well documented that there is no direct link between video games and violence, it’s not uncommon to read an article that tries to connect the two.

Recently, Fortnite was banned from varsity esports programs in Kentucky by the state’s athletic association.  

According to The Washington Post, Fortnite was banned because “of concerns about how it portrays gun violence.”

After reading the article, I thought about some of the closest friends I’ve met through gaming.

I met some through the most violent video games I’ve played.

I met one of my best friends on a game called Halo.

Halo is a mature-rated game that includes blood and gore.

(Fortnite is rated T for teen and does not include blood or gore.)

Not once do I remember us discussing how the violence in Halo ever influenced us to hurt others.

Not once can I recall us hurting someone else because of the violence we witnessed.

I’ve played the game for hours on end because I enjoyed playing it – together, with others.

We laugh at the ridiculous, over-the-top action of the game.

We were just friends having a good time on one of our favorite games.

The esports teams in Kentucky now have one less game to play because people wrongfully believe that these players aren’t just having fun.

Those students are losing an opportunity to bond with others over a shared interest on their esports team.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t understand that simulated violence is nothing like real violence.

Even as a kid, I understood that real-life violence is much more serious than attacking AI’s in a simulated world.

At worst, someone may get angry at the game.

However, if we’re going to hold that against video games then you might as well remove sports in general.

People get angry for a bunch of different reasons all the time.

It’s unfair to hold video games accountable because some people couldn’t control themselves.

When someone gets angry enough to attack someone else over a basketball game, you don’t see many articles claiming that basketball causes violence.

Violence isn’t the main attraction for people who like video games.

People are just trying to enjoy a fun form of entertainment either alone or with some friends.

We should not allow people to limit others because of an ignorant belief – or the actions of certain individuals.

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