Play World of Warcraft, Become A Mass Murderer
Or so some of the press would have us believe. I don’t know how much it’s being reported in the US but in Europe the media are having a field day reporting that Anders Brievik, currently on trial for the murder for 77 people in Norway last year, played World of Warcraft 16 hours a day for one year solid. It’s the old “video games are evil” debate all over again except this time the Internet is being thrown into the mix too.
Now I can’t say for certain that computer games don’t impact our mental state but I do find it rather depressing how the press leap all over them at every available opportunity, usually representing them with ill-informed facts. Case in point, the article by The Telegraph linked to above describes WoW as a “a virtual world where 10.3 million players attempt to achieve the position of ‘Justicar’”. Justiwah? Since when did a PvP Achievement title the main focus of the game?
I find it quite sad that the media are trying to drag World of Wacraft down and connect it with the shocking acts that Brievik committed, all in the name of selling papers. The fact he played Call of Duty is also being scrutinised to a lesser degree, although funnily enough few people seem to be mentioning that he was a Freemason even though that could easily be misinterpreted as forming part of his delusions as well, probably because a lot of people in positions in influence and power are Freemasons themselves. Funny how some facts get highlighted over others, isn’t it?
Brievik himself even downplays WoW and said at his trial that it was nothing more than a hobby, a non-violent fantasy video game that had nothing to do with the attacks. He equated it with playing golf and seems adamant that it didn’t drive him to kill people – he came up with that notion all on his own. Why the UK newspaper are latching on to it so much, I have no idea. I guess it’s just a far more juicy story than simply stating that Brievik is insane.
And he’s clearly nuts. He’s already been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia by the court psychiatrists after all so it’s not just my personal assumption either. WoW, CoD, Freemasonry or whatever didn’t drive Brievik to kill people, he did so out of the deluded believe that he’s fighting a holy war against Muslims. Ironically, if anything, the media and the way they’ve been portraying terrorism and the Islamic faith for the past 10 years are more to blame than anyone else. If we want to hold someone other that Brievik accountable for his actions then perhaps we should be looking at CNN, Fox News, The Express et al for driving upon is an irrational state of fear against Muslims and immigrants.
I take a small comfort in the fact that all of this media coverage is probably bumping up WoWs dwindling subscriptions.