Shoot to Kill, Shoot to Thrill

What makes Ledonne think that a video game is the best way to try and deconstruct the tortured minds that led to Columbine? Gaming is essentially escapist entertainment and while there are plenty of violent games out there to help you get off, if that’s what gets you off, no one has ever confused a Sony console with a social laboratory.

With all due respect, I think this is the wrong medium for this sort of soul searching.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting that the game should be banned, not from Slamdance, not from the store shelves. Where I come from, freedom of expression is an unalienable right, which means tolerating pretty much everything.

But there is also the matter of self-restraint and good taste, and I lament their passing from American society. —Tony LongShoot to Kill, Shoot to Thrill (Wired)

Some interesting thoughts, but the argument does not hold together for me. Long notes that he is not himself a gamer. He comes down in support of artistic freedom, but does ally himself with “hand-wringing moralists” and calls for “[s]elf-restraint and a little good grooming.”

He lumps Super Columbine (a free indie game) with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and concludes:

If we were the kind of society we like to believe we are, there would be no need to ban a tasteless video game from an independent movie festival. These things wouldn’t exist because you wouldn’t buy them, so there would be no market for them.

Is it splitting hairs to note that the Columbine game is free? While I credit Long for admitting that he is not a gamer, can you really judge a game based on what you read about it?