On Monday, esports consultant and personality Rod “Slasher” Breslau made an appearance on The Daily Briefing on FOX News. In the wake of President Donald Trump and Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy accusing games of glorifying and promoting violence, Breslau defended gaming as a harmless and normal pastime.
Crime or hobby?
Of course, this 30-year-old criticism of games was reinstigated following the weekend’s horrifying mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
For his part, Breslau attested to playing first-person shooter games for decades. He says he’s never had any type of intention to perform real violence. He claims that same sentiment applies to all gamers:
“Video games are an international, worldwide phenomenon played in every single country in the world… but these [mass shootings] only happen here in America… We do not see or have that violence anywhere else in the world even though everyone else is still playing these games.”
Blaming video games for real-life violence isn’t a new tactic. Ever since the late 1990s, there have been multiple attempts to explain violent acts by linking the perpetrators with histories of playing violent video games. However, scientific studies on this topic are largely inconclusive. Breslau cited the same hollow critique being levied at metal music and Marilyn Manson decades ago.
“All forms of entertainment, whether it’s video games, or movies, or music do not directly influence someone to have violent acts,” he said. “And to perpetuate that stereotype is hurting the entire discussion and is moving away from the real issues that are going on here, most namely guns and the access to the gun issue.”
Breslau isn’t the only one to speak out on this topic. Esports personalities like Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist have also voiced their opinions on Twitter. They emphasized that devoting so much attention to video games will only lead to overlooking deeper mental and social health issues. According to them, this is nothing more than lazy blame-shifting.
Image courtesy of The Daily Briefing.