Glenn Beck, the host of The Blaze, has thrown out some ridiculous accusations about video games and technology in general on his show; Call of Duty causing suicides, video games causing violence, and the most absurd…Watch Dogs teaching people how to hack into people’s personal lives. Now we hear a lot of exaggerated claims in news and media but what I can’t stand is the lack of research behind these claims. Why do people blame video games more than any other entertainment medium?
Beck states “4 teenagers who regularly played [Call of Duty] went to kill themselves.” He then goes on to mention the massacre in Norway where the shooter said “he was trained to kill by Call of Duty and other video games.” Beck then insinuates that we should be worried more about violent video games more than the gun issue in the United States. If you really think that holding a controller is the same as holding a gun, then holding a book or a TV remote should be included in that irrational claim. These are forms of entertainment not a training program for murderers.
“Ah-hah, now I know how to hack in real life”
Beck then begins to talk about Watch Dogs and what it “teaches” people to do; “They are teaching you to hack” Beck says “and then become the ultimate voyeur in other peoples lives.” For those who don’t know, to “hack” in Watch Dogs you press a single button or solve simple puzzles. He goes on to say “This game is teaching to hack into whatever is docked in your bedroom.” If Beck would take the time to research, he would know the point of the game is to show how vulnerable we become when we belittle our privacy and turns it into a relatable narrative that we can understand. This is what people tend to overlook when it comes to video games; they are one of the most powerful storytelling mediums. How can you teach someone to value you their privacy? You show them what its like to be in a world with no privacy in a fictional world.
Beck sums up his description of Watch Dogs with “What is wrong with us?” What’s wrong with “us” is that you are blaming all the problems in the world on a game, it is just a game. If you really believe that video games make killers and hackers or whatever else. Then video games are not the problem, you are.
Here is Glenn Beck’s rant in full.