As the apparent links between the horrendous Norway massacre and videogames continue to pour in, we look at why the reports are understandable – even if they’re not justifiable.
On July 22, Norway experienced a great tragedy: a bomb and a shooting killed dozens of innocent people. A man named Anders Breivik confessed to committing this horrible crime.
Breivik was on a crusade against non-Europeans: he’s a political and religious zealot who felt that the only way to get his message across was through murder.
Immediately after he was named as a suspect, the videogame references started pouring in. And many were tenuous links at best.
Some pointed out the coincidence that Anders shares the name of a Dragon Age 2 character who also happened to be, essentially, a terrorist bomber. Others mentioned that Brievik was an avid gamer. Then it became known that he actually used Modern Warfare 2 as shooting practice.
There must be something
To all of which I say: it doesn’t matter, but I understand.
I understand the need to point a finger at something that makes marginally more sense than killing people to prove a point.
I understand that it’s hard to grasp the fact that there is evil in the world; that sometimes people go off and act in a way that any rational person can’t possibly justify.
“There must be something that led to this,” we say, and then ah! He played videogames! There it is.
A few years ago it would have been rock and roll, or television. We look for a way to explain the unexplainable, the horrible.
But nobody should be using this horrible incident as a chance to say “See? I told you videogames are bad.” Nor is there a need to justify this man’s actions.
Instead, we should be showing compassion to everyone involved in the situation; trying, perhaps, to understand the real reasons why it happened, not jumping to be first to place blame.