In a deceptively “bloggish” looking post from Fox News yesterday the mainstream public was made aware of the decision for EA and DICE’s upcoming title Battlefield 4 to forgo using real world gun licensing for rifles such as the AK-47 and MP5 (among many, many others). This practice of licensing real world guns to enhance realism in missions saving the world from terrorists, demons, or just plain old evil and corruption overall (as with any hollywood film of similar nature) has been an industry staple for well over half of gaming’s legitimized existence.
In their report (found here), Fox News somehow manages to make it sound as if Battlefield 4’s removal of real life gun licenses is somehow a political conspiracy against anti- pro-gun lobbyist groups such as the NRA. Unsurprisingly, EA Games has stated that this has nothing to do with the decision, much like choosing whether or not to use NFL licenses has nothing to do with a strike or ban on football debate, but rather is a business decision in an overarching economic fiscal planning as EA’s many investors will surely demand.
I for one would like to know what kind of country this is turning into when gunmakers and game developers are under fire more than the individuals harvesting hate when there isn’t any causing negative environments in which kids are killing kids instead of acting like the other 99.999% of “normal” people in society and playing video games to escape reality, not interpret it.
A recent response from the gaming community including a female gaming commentator, who normally is a great speaker, in this case ended up blurting out knee-jerk reactions to certain media outlets that turned on gaming and could have been better spoken through hard hitting evidence such as the FBI’s statistics proving once and for all that violent crimes decrease during major video game events such as PlayStation 2’s release as well as open-world crime shooter Grand Theft Auto III. Perhaps her passion got the best of her, and we all know how that can feel, after all this is not the first time gamers have had to defend their favorite Art Medium from being stripped of its First Amendment Rights (shouts out to ECA for fighting to keep games 1st Amendment Free Speech).
If gaming causes violence without any statistical representation of any kind then I guess it’s not so far fetched for us to believe FBI data provided on their website and reported by past gaming sites that correlate a decrease in violence with open-world crime game series GTA’s non-yearly release as well as major industry events like PlayStation 2’s release. If one would like to put this argument for the test once and for all we do have two open-world crime shooters releasing this year (Saints Row IV and Grand Theft Auto V) as well as two new gaming platforms (Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4) signifying the major industry event of Sony and Microsoft entering the next generation.
At the end of the day this kind of correlation can neither be proven nor denied at such basic parameters, and would need to include many many more factors before games should even be applied to the conversation at all. But if videogames are going to be considered then the argument for and counter-argument against their respective final-blow conclusion as blame holders will be over before it starts.
The statistics speak for themselves at this time and defend what is obviously an inanimate object and art medium of expression protected by the constitution just as much as any major film of equal production value and nature. Instead of taking a media offensive against video games the law enforcement and government agencies need to get their nose out of our 1st Amendment Protected Free Speech media and concentrate on learning why psychological situations are leading to needless killings. Stop the killer, don’t punish the billions of non-killers living amongst them.YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | RSS