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Let’s Talk: Moscow Airport Attack

January 30, 2011

So there was this incident in an airport in Moscow (the Domodedovo airport; nice name) where these suicide bombers ran in and blew themselves up, killing 35 and injuring many more.

I really couldn’t care less about the suicide bombing, actually – this kind of thing happens all the time, and while I do offer my heartfelt condolences to the victims and their relatives, I’m not in a position to legalize any legislation. Crank up the security, don’t piss off anyone; we should be fine.

What I can’t stand is when the media blames video games for it. As with many such events of this magnitude, an underdog has to be found. It works even better if the entity being blamed is mysterious and misunderstood. Many parents today still misunderstand video games, and the countless media reports about cases like these aren’t helping in the slightest. Video games are not that different from movies or book; they are simply a means of conveying information. No one is as fool to claim that COD MW2 caused the attacks – the suicide bombers were motivated by extremist jihadi views, not a computer game – but some people are drawing parallels between the level and the bombing.

To each his own, I suppose – but the practice of blaming video games for horrific events is getting more and more widespread. People need to understand that video games are just another medium of expression. The interactivity of the medium doesn’t change things in the slightest. Just because the suicide bomber’s attack was similar to a level in COD:MW2 doesn’t make the game responsible for the bombings. It’s a coincidence. Let’s leave it at that. I highly doubt the public outcry would be as large if the medium in question was a movie that had a similar scene. The video game genre is a fledgling one and the last thing we want to do is to stifle it with blanket moral judgements that are just plain stupid.

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