The International Red Cross is a leftist outfit that does some good work while taking absolutely kooky positions on politics. So when the charity organization wants an international investigation into the question of whether six hundred million online gamers are “war criminals,” one’s eyebrows are likely to jump a few feet. And then when one finds out who is leading the investigation, the International Red Cross, one’s likely to respond, “Oh, those mother*******.”
World of Warcraft, Call of Duty 4, and Assassin’s Creed are huge online gaming experiences that suck in numerous teenagers into a life of massive Cheetos eating and Sunny D consumption. No one knows the psychic scars that may be left from moving pixel characters blowing up other moving pixel characters.
But relax, gamers. Although the Red Cross doesn’t want to bring you
stoners gamers into The Hague for questioning, yet, they’ve gotten in touch with gaming companies/virtual war simulators to make sure that your make-believe violence isn’t quite so…violent. So if in the future, your gun turns into a carrot-spewing pink bunny rabbit while you’re playing Gears of War 3, you’ll know why.
But who knows? Maybe if the Red Cross people get their way, the make-believe violence won’t be quite so “make-believe” in the future.
Just like online porn probably leads to a decline in sexual assaults, online war gaming may help lead to a decline in real violence. If for no other reason than getting off the couch is really, really tiring.
Yet the social engineers at places like Iowa State University argue that video games actually lead to increasing violence. Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! on video game violence goes over the pros and cons:
The most glaring flaw in claims that violent virtual reality war games lead to an increase in actual reality violence is that so many people play violent video games. If six hundred million people play these games, then the odds are pretty good if you find a young adult who has shot someone, he’s played violent video games.
Drawing the conclusion that this means the video game caused the violence would be like saying smoking cigarettes causes people to smoke crack: a lot of crack users have smoked cigarettes, but there are a lot of cigarette smokers that don’t smoke crack. They call such an error in statistics as “sampling on the dependent variable,” in this case, crack users. In the violent video games’ case, the dependent variable population would be those young adults who commit violent crimes.
But let’s get beyond the statistics mumbo-jumbo and cut to the chase. Online games are not only fun, they train our next generation of military warriors to blast stone age peoples back to the paleolithic era by pressing sequences of buttons rather than hunting them down with hunting knives just to make it fair. And that’s something all of us should be able to get behind.