I think looking for any one answer is at best lazy thinking. It's not the media attention that drives people to do things like walk into a kindergarten and start shooting. It's not violent video games or movies and television, either. I think the real responsibility here lies with us. Far too often we simply don't see the people around us. We don't notice when people are struggling and we seem to be entirely unwilling to do what's necessary to help people who are struggling with mental illness. And then we're completely shocked when bad things happen while we were all asleep at the switch. If we want to stop these things, we need to build supportive communities who care for each other and look out for each other. Otherwise we're just going to keep on seeing history repeat itself.
I put a heavy burden of blame on the media not just for sensationalizing shit that shouldn't then shifting blame for it - but for all kinds of general fuckupedness in society. Controlling people's perception of reality is kind of a huge deal and there needs to be some damn consequences for abusing that power.
I think that even if playing violent video games makes children suggestible to violence (I don't think it does), it's the parents' fault for letting their kids play M rated games.
I agree that most of these people do this stuff for attention, attention they know they will get. They figure that if they're gonna go they should go in a way that makes people renember them. My friend put it this way: you die twice; once in body and again when your name is forgotten. I say we don't even need to know the shooter's name or at least face, just the names of the victims. It's the same mentality that people like the Westboro Baptist Church have: as long as people see them/their message no matter what light, they've accomplished their task.
The funny thing is, parents really have to go out of their way to let their kids play M-rated games.
I used to work at Toys R Us and covered lot of shifts in the game area (being pretty much the only general cashier that knew games well), and we had a policy that nobody could buy M-rated games without either ID or looking old enough, and I got a lot of parents griping at me about how I didn't let Little Johnny buy Grand Theft Auto 2 & 3. And not all of them relented after I explained why ("Do you really want Johnny playing a game where you steal things, shoot at cops, and have sex with hookers in cars?".)
So it's annoying to hear about cries for more regulation, because the regulation (or rather, the private sector equivalent thereof) is already freakin' there, and they just don't use it. They just apparently think no adult games should be made at all so they don't have to actually think about what they're buying.
Video games are a red herring for a lot of reasons.
But the one reason that really gets me is that it's really fucking irritating that people act like all video games are Halo or Call of Duty when those are, seriously, about 10% of the gaming industry, tops.
I'm an adventure gamer, a turn-based strategy gamer, a puzzle gamer, and a turn-based RPG gamer. Oftentimes I haven't even heard of the games the media says are supposedly typical of the "violent hobby", or I have only a vague idea of what they might be about. Hell, the only reason I know Halo even exists is because I like Red vs. Blue.
I mean, nobody can tell me with a straight face that Monkey Island or Grim Fandango are "murder simulators", and while games like Planescape and Fallout could be called violent, they're not the type of violence that convince you it's OK to go shoot up the local school.
Was the red headed psycho a psycho BEFORE he committed the massacre at Batman, or just after? Was Adam Lanza a psycho before he shot 20 children or only after? I just wanna figure out what you guys think a psycho is and how we're supposed to spot one ahead of time. Since giving everyone guns has already made sure any psychos out there already have enough fire power to take on a small army, and there isn't much we can do about their firepower. **Hint- instead of saying "do nothing" how about making it sound complex enough so I can't tell you're telling me we should do nothing?
Actually, CNN once interviewed an FBI forensic psychologist after another school shooting some time ago. He went right out and said that mainstream media needs to stop covering these shootings in the kind of fetishistic detail as they currently are or there will be many more school shootings. "Keep it boring and keep it local, as much as possible" he said. It made sense.
I'll try to find the vid and post it.
My opinion: Copy cat killers, who pattern themselves after famous serial killers presicely because of the fame the source of their inspiration attained is not a new thing. In fact this practice became fairly common back when serial killers only just began to spread in the media's lexicon and people were treating these losers as some kind of mythical bogeyman. It's not too hard to imagine current school shooting psychos are merely an extension of the same thing: Sad losers suddenly presented with an opportunity to become relevant to every man, woman and child in America.
I played also that game, Carmaggedon, in which you used your own car to smash the opponents or ran over people and animals, I know, sick as fuck...
I watched a lot of Tarantino movies, gore movies and have a vast collection of true crime cases...
And...I know better than going around shooting people. Nobody is to blame for my shit, if I have any to complain about
People has been killing each other since the beginning of the times, US citizens have had guns since the building of this country, yet all those spree shooting are really recent (the first school shooter who set that "trend" was a 16 year old girl, Brenda Spencer, who in 1979 gunned down two adults and injured eight students). The fact that those acts gives notoriety to the perpetrators makes a lot of unhappy teens and young adults "to go down with fame shooting it out at the world". The media has to inform, but does not help with this, those criminals have copycats later.
Something fails in the society, and is not the games, gun ownership or movies. I was talking about this before with a friend and we agreed in one thing: In this society in which you are forced to hide your anger and being extremely polite in order to survive or stay out of trouble (lawsuits...), some individuals seem to "explode" when they can not take their frustrations anymore, also, the people does not seem to look for help until is too late. As a result you have all that silent building up anger. Some individuals explode, most do not, but the ones that explode, do it badly.