CBC To Demonize Gaming This Friday
By Eli Green
March 5, 2009 - 15:15
This Friday at 9 p.m., the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's investigative news program, “CBC News: The Fifth Estate” will be airing an episode entitled “Top Gun”, on what the episode's promos are calling “the dark side of video gaming”.
It is likely that the dark side the promos refer to is one of the addiction, violence and the loss of moral compass or grasp on reality that come from playing video games. What? You mean you didn't know? We've heard it all before, about all forms of media. Books lead us away from reality, twisting our minds about what's real or not. Movies and television do the same, but worse, making us violent, hyper-sexualized and warping our concepts of what's right and wrong. And, of course, video games do all of that and even worse, because we interact with them, and with other people, in our homes and over the Internet. And don't even get me started on how much damage the Internet has done to us!
In fact, it's not just video games that were originally blamed for Crisp's disappearance back in October, but the online community of gamers as well, most specifically the members of his Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare “ clan” . In an interview with the media a week after his disappearance, Crisps father said, “I'm worried he has met someone online through this game. It could be organized crime or someone involved in Internet
Unfortunately, the damage to the reputation of the gaming community has been done, and the airing of this episode of “The Fifth Estate” will probably make things worse. We'll have to wait and watch before we come to our own conclusions on the episode and what it says about gaming and addiction. Most importantly though, we'll be keeping a particularly close eye on what is said about the role parents are or are not playing in the lives of child gamers. In the case of Brandon Crisp, not much is known about his parent's involvement in his gaming, aside from word of them being worried about him often playing games into the late hours of the night, and his father's multiple attempts to confiscate his games. The culmination of this was the night Brandon left home. His father called his bluff and even helped him pack his knapsack, expecting the boy to retur n home “ later that day with his tail between his legs” . Steve Crisp's assumption that his son would simply return home, apologize and life would go on, an assumption based on his own recollection of a time he ran away from home as a child, was one that, sadly, did not come to pass. Was that the best way to handle things? We don't know, and we can't say. The case of Brandon Crisp was a tragic one, and one that we can only hope will never happen again, but are video games really to blame?
most cases, parents go straight to blaming whatever form of media
their child was attached to at the time, should the child do anything
improper or “out of the norm”. And
it appears that this will be
the case with this week's episode, if past media coverage of
We'll have more on this after we've watched the episode and analyzed it for ourselves.
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