SMU Prof Thought We Had Stopped Blaming Video Games After a Mass Shooting. Was He Wrong?

Last week, only a few days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, I had a long sit-down with Gary Brubaker, director of SMU Guildhall, where wanna-be video-game-makers go to get their master's degrees. Because when the lieutenant governor of Texas and the U.S. House minority leader and the president once again go scapegoating games as the cause of mass murders — again — it makes sense to seek the other side of the story from someone who knows better than most how wrong, wrong, wrong that is. I'd planned on writing up our interview as a column. But Brubaker actually made a good case for sidelining the piece. Said the longtime maker of games, "blame the game" is a longtime National Rifle Association talking point that dates back decades, to Columbine in 1999, and was most recently a headline following the shooting in Santa Fe, Tex., that left 10 dead. Said Oliver North last year, when he was still president of the NRA, "The disease in this case isn't the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence." That was basically the same trope hauled out last week, with President Donald Trump and other Republicans finger-pointing the "gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace."   Continue reading...

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