Dan Brown: Video Games Lead To Violence
from the another-example-of-poor-research dept
You’ll of course remember Dan Brown as the author of The Da Vinci Code, a book based on a poorly researched work of non-fiction largely built on the fraudelant claims of anti-semite Pierre Plantard. I mention this only to remind anyone who forgot that you couldn’t ride a bus, a train, or sneak past the office water cooler in the early part of the millenium without someone breathlessly rushing up to tell you how amazing the book was and how terrific a researcher Dan Brown had proved himself to be. Dan Brown’s book and the book off which it was based have since been judged to be the sort of drivel normally reserved for terrifyingly hysterical conspiracy theory websites. History, it seems, does indeed tend to repeat itself.
I’m speaking of an article to which Dementia alerts us. The entire thing is bizarre, honestly, from a report that Dan Brown may now be joining the punching bag of conspiracy theorists, the Freemasons, to his assertion that Freemasonry is not itself a religion. That last one seems to stretch the definition of religion entirely, considering the group has lodges (churches), rituals (sacred rites), and requires the belief in a supernatural deity (God), which all sound like religion to me. All that said, the article took an even stranger turn mid-prose, when Brown suddenly began railing against video games.
“I think video games are very dangerous,” he said. “The quantity of hours that people play these first person shooter games. It becomes a reality of some sort, and that’s a part of it. It really comes down to educating schools and parents. To say ‘you know what, you can;t play that, sorry, I’m just not going to let you do it’.”
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: an exhaustive look at the research into the question of violence and its relation to video games should probably be labeled inconclusive, with a nod to a ton of research that says there is simply no link. I can’t say for certain that Brown is simply shooting from the hip, here, without really researching what he’s putting out for public consumption, but I will say that he’s demonstrated the ability to do so with his books.
If you think about his quote above, he’s basically saying video games are dangerous because of the quantity of hours people play shooting games, which are violent, and suggests that people are getting lost in those games, embarking from reality. In other words, the games are dangerous because they fictitiously propel people into a world which doesn’t actually exist, and gamers come out of that world changed into believing something or acting in a way they had not previously. Are you seeing the problem? One might have said that The Da Vinci Code, which wasn’t lacking in violence, by the way, is dangerous for the exact same reason. People read that book and came out of it believing in a reality that didn’t exist. So perhaps Brown wants to explain why it should be different for his own books?