As I sit here and write this, I’ve absorbed two full days of non-stop E3 madness. I’ve seen EA announce more Star Wars games, Microsoft confirm the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, hell even Playstation has gotten me excited for Virtual Reality with Batman Arkham VR. However, I’m supposed to not be excited for these things. No, I’m supposed to actually hate them according to a popular website.
Here’s the thing, the day before E3, a horrific tragedy happened in Orlando. This mass shooting shocked and appalled everyone with a soul and a conscience. We expressed outrage and condolences and everything we’re expected to do in a situation like this. But, as far as this popular website that I refuse to mention or link to is concerned, that’s not enough.
Here’s what has me upset. The hour after EA had their wonderfully fun E3 conference and showcase, this website put up a post slamming not only EA but gamers for celebrating games and violent video games the day after such a tragedy happened. They started to generate false controversy where there was none. All in the name of the all mighty click bait. Click bait, if you don’t know, is a particularly trashy written title to an article meant only to generate clicks therefore traffic. While we here at DHTG like to write eye catching titles, we hope you never consider any of ours click bait. Just saying.
I found the article via Facebook as I follow them. I like their games section but am not so keen on other sections. You take the good with the bad. When I saw the headline for the post, I knew it was click bait, so I immediately read the Facebook comments. Not surprisingly 99% of commentators tore into the website for their horrible way of the site’s attempt at stirring the pot. Too many people mirrored each other, decrying for the author’s head. It had become the virtual equivalent of a lynch mob.
Sadly, I needed to read this post. I couldn’t get two paragraphs in before I felt my blood pressure rise. This site, a site paid for by gamers and sponsors like EA, by doing this began to restart the age old debate about violent video games and violence but not only that tore into everyone for not canceling a multimillion dollar expo at literally the last second. For selling violent video games filled with guns and ammo, oh and then of course there was even the science fictional blasters and light sabers.
Every psychologist and psychiatrist will tell you that when a tragedy like what happened in Orlando happens, we’re not to let it ruin our lives. We’re to embrace the good in life and for millions of gamers, that’s E3. So no, I will not feel like a low life for being excited for EA’s use of violent gun violence in Battlefield 1 to take my mind of the real life horrors we face. No I will no hang my head in shame for cheering over more Star Wars games. In fact, shame on you for turning on your people.
See, we’re not evil for liking violent video games. It doesn’t make us monsters or killers. Sure we may talk some serious trash online when a twelve year old beats us at Call of Duty but again that is not cause for alarm. What’s the worse that happens playing a few rounds of Overwatch? Rage quit. You know my bad, vicious, dirty thing I do because of the Division? I eat M&Ms. The most violence I’ve ever seen out of any gamer is a thrown controller, not a gun battle at the OK Corral. It’s not what this website made us out to be.
Not only are we not psychopathic killers or sociopaths, we tend to be pretty empathetic. We usually care for our fellow man enough to go the extra mile, donate that extra gallon of water, give that last $10 in the bank. We donate games to troops overseas, we have gaming marathons for charity like Child’s Play. I’ve seen where gamers have gathered up food and supplies for homeless.
In light of that let us have our expo, our E3, even though something horrific happened. Maybe the problem is you. Maybe the change needs to start with how you perceive your core group of consumers.