There may be, I suspect, an expectation that I might write a piece today about how videogames have been misused by the mainstream media in relation to the very public trial of a mass murderer.

It would be very easy to do. To go over established facts, to point out inconsistencies, to draw attention to a media latching on to familiar narratives. These are surprisingly easy and popular things to do, and several other sites and outlets that have cultivated an image as defenders of videogames have already done so to great success.

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I will not be doing that today.

The reason is simple: this is not a videogame issue. There are bigger things at stake here. Whether videogames are being misrepresented or not is inconsequential in the face of what this man is on trial for. If people get upset about how ‘their’ medium is being used by some as an easy scapegoat, that’s okay, that’s fine. They’ll get over it.

This is not an issue about videogames at all. It is about the trial of a mass murderer, a trial that virtually no-one who is part of this ‘debate’ is at. I am not at it. And I will not use it as an opportunity to play into favoured narratives about videogames and violence, even favoured narratives of defending them and rebutting ignorance.

I cannot possibly imagine that I can speculate on how this man did or did not use videogames. The very idea that I might is abhorrent. He killed 77 people. We can forget about our old cultural battles for now, surely. This is not an issue about videogames.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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