Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Video games blamed again for kid violence


A few months ago, I wrote an article about video games being good and discussed briefly how video games are the perfect scapegoat for people who are too lazy or too lame to face their responsibility. In the past few days, another event happened where video games were blamed but not just any video game! Minecraft was blamed and described as a zombie-slaying game by the lame dad. If you don't know Minecraft, let's say this description is as honest as saying Super Mario Bros is game about murdering turtles.

The story

A 9 year old kid went to school with an unloaded gun, a magazine with 6 bullets, a sledge hammer, and a steak knife. Luckily, nothing happened. Luckily? Well, I personally think this gives little credit to 9 yo kids. Of course, children are not mature or responsible enough to handle deadly tools or weapons on a daily basis, but I do feel the story gives children less credit than they deserve. In 2013, a lot of parents think their kids are helpless idiots who need a ride to the school 1 km away but things were different during my infancy and even more different during my parents infancy. So alright! kids shouldn't have weapons and I'm now drifting away from the subject, but still...

So, what was the father's excuse for his son picking up a firearm and bullets in the house as well as a sledgehammer? Video games! Oh riiiiiight! the cause is not him being a bad parent. Or he cannot admit that the cause is unknown to him. Nope! It has to be video games, of course.

If you don't know Minecraft, I will describe it in a second, but first I'll propose you the 1st video I watched about the game, and it also happens to be the tutorial video that was featured on the official website of the game, though it was recorded by an enthusiastic player rather than the game's creator.

Minecraft is an open world where you pick resources (wood, stone...) from nature and use them to build tools so you can create your very own place with a farm plot unless you want to build a castle, a glass house, or you want to live in a mine, etc. It does have some monsters coming out at night but these are essentially an excuse to keep you on edge while most of the game is truly about gathering resources, building, or exploring open landscapes and caves. In fact, you can hardly turn Minecraft into a combat game.

If you look around the internet, you'll find out that Minecraft is even used for teaching kids in 1st grade. Minecraft was also picked up by the American Museum of Natural History in New York as a support for science education. It was also selected by the Smithsonian for the temporary exhibition "The art of video games" that ran in September 2012.


Blaming video games will continue. And this father is a bad parent. Maybe not because his kid once did something dangerous (with or without realizing it), but simply because he is a hypocrite blaming innocents when all the evidence points to him failing at securing dangerous tools and weapons from his child.

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