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Killing Time in WoW

Killing Time In WoW

I’ve written before how shocked I can be when we get a quest that says “go kill (whatever)”. It is pretty straight up with few euphemisms.

When I first began playing WoW, I was fairly sensitive to the violence. This is because of all the trumpeting from the News Media on how violence in gaming is effecting our youth. Would I feel more violent? According to the news, it surely would.

I think I could kill in real life.

Could you? For me, all the qualifiers kick in: to protect myself, to defend my family, to stop a mad man. Like the rabid dog in To Kill a Mockingbird.

I don’t know. I don’t own a gun and have no knowledge of “means to kill”, no idea about explosives or planning or poisons. Still, I can imagine myself as a soldier.

Once upon a time, the lines were very clear on who was the enemy. Cowboys vs Indians. We write now about the American Indian as victim but he surely wanted to kill you, dismember you and kill your wife and babies.

Music was supposed to make us violent too. Remember Tipper Gore? She had the backing of Congress and questioned rock and rollers like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Frank Zappa. It was a debacle.

There was a line of questioning on one of Dee Snider’s songs; it was written by him about his guitarist who had throat surgery and how scared he was. Tipper’s questions were based on what she saw in the lyrics. Dee explained the lyrics and concluded with, “Tipper, I’m sorry you have such a dirty mind.” It embarrassed the hell out of her and it should have!

We all think of killing. I enjoyed the movie 9 to 5, with Jane Fonda, Lilly Tomlin and Dolly Parton. In it, they have a very funny fantasy sequence in which they imagine killing their boss, Dabney Coleman. Dolly is a cowgirl in one. Lilly is a Disney Princess who poisons her boss. We laugh at it, I think, because we all have fantasies but know we’d never carry them out.

There is a lot about changing our gun laws in the US of A. It will be part of our coming elections. It seems that the biggest mystery in our culture is why are our teenage boys loading up with guns and killing people? This is very real. I think that besides the strident panic of the parents and news that we now know that it’s not the World of Warcraft and Frank Zappa songs. It even seems terribly naïve now though the witch hunts by the media then were real, irresponsible and hurtful.

I’m reading a brilliant article in The New Yorker about this subject. It goes into the psychology of rioting and applies it to these teenage shooters. It’s smart. One of the interesting points is that many of the shooters are looking back and admiring the Columbine Shooters. I look forward to finishing the article.

I would like to ask a question. It is a question to which I have not the answer. What is the role of the News Media in the violence in America and specifically as concerns the teenage shooters?

I remember Columbine. My impressions were like yours, shock and horror. But the shooters, they were cool. I remember them as cool. I could only do this because I was told that they were cool by the delivery of the message. I remember the long coats (called dusters). The awe and amazement of the reporters at the planning.

How can the News Media be accountable for itself? There is no one to call them on their actions.

I think that it began with Watergate. The writers talked about “taking down the President”. The reporters were glorified by … the media (duh). And this started Open Season on all politicians. Our politicians are spending more time today covering their butts than they are leading our nation.

Was the Watergate scandal appropriate news gathering and delivery? Does anyone ask this question? I worry about Investigative Reporting (how old is this term) because it feels like it is dirty with any glory going to the reporter. Something is wrong. Is Geraldo Rivera a reporter? When did reporting the news become grandstanding like 60 Minutes? Something is ugly. We have no forum to question agendas or motives of, with or by the News Media.

The majority of the teenage shooters model themselves after the Columbine Shooters. Could it be, just maybe, in how they were depicted by the News Media? That is my fundamental question.

People are talking about mental illness. People are talking about gun control. These are important things. But really, who made the Columbine Shooters cool?

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