Video games have been trending on Twitter for the past couple days. Some of them violent, some of them not. I’m certainly not an aficionado, and my home is trailing far behind when it comes to consoles (we play PS2 still). However, I do acknowledge them as a vital cultural force. I played them growing up, still play them from time to time. I like them.
That said, I find the timing of the hype problematic. Especially since the most popular games, aside from Minecraft, simulate gun violence. After a horrific shooting, why are so many of us talking about the release of violent video games? Why are we more comfortable with this than addressing the reality of homophobic violence? Is it a distraction or is it coping?
I’m not trying to rev up the whole “video games are the root of all violence” engine. I don’t think that’s true at all. I just think it’s really bizarre and insensitive that companies are promoting brutal violent video games immediately after a tragedy. Specifically, a tragedy that targeted gay men — who aren’t really welcomed or acknowledged in the gamer community.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Linked is an article from the Verge, the only one I could find. Apparently there is a precedent, but the most devastating mass shooting in our nation’s history wasn’t enough to put off promotion for a few days.