Video games are not responsible for the mass killing in Tucson, Ariz. a week ago. But the suspect's deranged ramblings in an online game's forums put them in the spotlight. Gamers have, justifiably, long mistrusted their portrayal in these stories.
The blame script is exceedingly familiar to the community by now, and it's propagated by opportunists and a mainstream media with an often facile view of tragedy. The simple fact is Jared Lee Loughner's rantings on the Earth Empires forums provides a deeper look at a rancid mind well past its expiration date. That's why games are in the news, not because this was some digitally practiced rampage come to life. Earth Empires is a real-time strategy game, not a shooter.
But let's also not pretend that games have been made into a scapegoat on the level of conservative Americans, Sarah Palin, gun rights advocates, opponents of healthcare reform or others who have been insinuated as encouraging this kind of violence or at least tolerating it.
The shooting of a member of Congress cannot be divorced from political themes. The phony debates that we're hearing are the prices we also pay for a society free to have them in public. This one, at least, is not our battle. For once.
The week in Kotaku's original coverage:
2010 In Review
Somber Sasquatches, Awful Nudity And Other Great Video Game Moments of 2010
Air Jordan, Granite Bears, and My Favorite Gaming Moments of 2010
Painful Laughter, Killing Castro And My Other Favorite Gaming Moments of 2010
Shooting Dogfaces, A Singsong Voice And My Other Favorite Gaming Moments Of 2010
Show Tunes, Shit Hogs, And My Other Favorite Gaming Moments Of 2010
From Muskets To Jokers, These Were My Favorite Gaming Moments Of 2010
An Unforgettable Plane Ride And The Rest Of My 10 Favorite Video Game Moments Of 2010
Read The Arizona Shooter Suspect's Online Ramblings
The Big List Of Japan's 3DS Games
Meet The Least Imaginative Video Games In The World
Accused Tucson Shooter Asked Fellow Gamers If They Had 'Aggression 24/7'
Reviews, Previews, Hands-On and Impressions
iGame of the Day
Getting A Casual Flick From Your Phone
The Terrorist Zombie Is Not The Ultimate Enemy Of Our Times
After A Tough Day Of Farmville, Relax With Some Pokerville
A Touching Rendition Of Secret Of Mana
Mushihime-sama: Bug Panic Doesn't Need Bug Spray
The Xbox 360 Is Scarce Right Now, Due To 'Viral' Kinect Effect
This Dog Is One Fierce Son Of An Xbox
Japan's Top Arcade Fighter Moves On From His Main Man
Think Indiana Jones, Only With Puzzles And Giant Hats
Blade Runner Fans, The Past Just Became The Present
Are The 3DS' Launch Games Up To Snuff?
Nintendo Sending The DS Off Not With A Whimper, But A Bark
A Gamer's View of CES From Robotic Pitchman to 3D Bikinis
Fear And Fraternity Make for An Uneasy Alliance
This Resident Evil Figure Is Dressed For Battle
Okamiden Masters the Art of Breaking Wind
It's Official: Verizon Gets the iPhone, Now With MiFi
Microsoft's Answer to Portable Gaming is Windows Phone 7
Beauty Is In The Ear Of The Beholder With Turtle Beach's New Line-up
iTunes Chart Toppers: Another Game From the Makers of Farmville Hits
Boy Band Makes O-Face For New Nintendo Hardware
Medal Of Honor Toys Bring Deathmatch To Your Living Room Floor
Why The Razer Onza Might Be The Better Xbox 360 Gamepad
Is Gamer A Dirty Word?
Have You Ever Stopped Gaming?
A Video Game Pirate Trades Sails For Steam
Was Modern Warfare 2 An Act Of Sabotage?
Minecraft, FarmVille, What's The Difference?
How Do You Balance A New Baby And Gaming?
A Week In Comments
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