Is there a link between Elliot Rodger, World of Warcraft, and the Santa Barbara shooting? Glenn Beck seems to think so.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the finger pointing for the Isla Vista shooting started within 24 hours of the horrific mass shooting. First it was Elliot Rodger’s guns that were said to be problem, and politicians started talking about new gun control laws even though California’s laws regarding guns and mental illness probably would have covered the situation if the police had bothered to watch the killer’s YouTube videos in advance. Then Elliot Rodger’s asperger’s syndrome was also blamed, even though the man was not taking his prescribed medications.
So now we come to the video games. Glenn Beck believes that all parents should be more concerned with the type of entertainment they’re interacting with, and he claims that gaming specifically can become a problem because brains are being rewired:
“Please listen to me. You’ve got to get the video games out of your child’s hands. Please. I’m having a hard enough time trying to do it in my own home. … Enough. No more. Because they cannot handle it. This is not the same as Pac-Man. It is not the same. These are virtual worlds where they live. They live in these worlds; talk to them.”
To be fair to Beck, Rodger himself mentioned how video games had become a major part of his life in a tome-like manifesto that recorded his thoughts. When Elliot felt that life was beating him down, he claims he retreated into the world of gaming for solace:
“This loss of a social life coupled with the advent of puberty caused me to die a little inside. It was too much for me to handle, and I stopped caring about my life and my future. I even stopped caring what people thought of me. I hid myself away in the online World of Warcraft, a place where I felt comfortable and secure.”
The idea that video game violence causes violent actions in real life has been a political hot potato for many years. If you go back and look at the Columbine high school massacre, you will find news articles talking about how the video game Doom supposedly played a role in the mass shootings. Various studies have been conducted over the years, with some saying there’s no connection between behavioral issues and video games, while others claim that increased aggression and violent behavior can be linked to gaming. Of course, this is also World of Warcraft that was specifically mentioned, and it’s hardly an example of video games violence since all the action tends to be fairly cartoony and unrealistic.
Do you think it is fair to connect the actions of Elliot Rodger to video games?