Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 24, 2007, No relationship between violent video games and US varsity shooting

I REFER to the article, 'Could violent video games have sparked US shooting?' (Online forum, April 19)

I am rather amused about Mr Bernard Ee Kuo Wei's concern about how violence is perceived in the world today.

His main concern is about the 'the perpetuation of violence in our society'. Consequently, he goes on to blame the proliferation of violent video games that is 'military-like' in nature and the lack of parental guidance.

I believe that Mr Ee should take a step back and consider how insignificant violent video games are in relation to the violence that is happening worldwide. We have countries like the US declaring war on Afghanistan and Iraq in the hopeful bid to root out 'terrorism'. As a result, we have newspapers and news stations splashing pictures of carnage and giving 'live' feeds of violence that is not animation but real.

If Mr Ee is calling for censorship of video games, he should also call for censorship of newspapers and televised coverage of violence. In fact, he should throw in censorship of violent movies, violent cartoons, et cetera.

As we all can see, calling for censorship on such material is not feasible. This is because it's a vicious cycle that won't end. If we want to restrict access and apply levies on violent video games, then we have to apply levies across newspapers, movies and cartoons as well because violence is being perpetuated in those mediums as well.

This is where parental guidance comes in. Mr Ee is right to point out that parental guidance is lacking in today's society.

With societal structures and processes becoming increasingly complex, parents play an even more important role in educating their children about events and affairs affecting us. There is an increasing need for children to understand that they are growing up in an increasingly violent world. At the end of the day, it boils down to the morals and ethics of an individual, whether he or she supports violence in the resolution of problems.

The shooting in Virginia occurred because of loose laws on gun control and a depressed individual. There was nothing to suggest that the killer played violent video games.

Under external and internal pressure, the killer cracked and went on a rampage. Hence, that is why education about the use of violence is crucial. We cannot avoid staying in an increasingly violent world but we can tell our children that violence is not the only resolution to problems.

Sing Keng Loon

Sydney, Australia

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