About Me

My photo

My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Violence, Video Games, Ignorance, Blame Game

It seems that lately, there has been continuing discussion around Video Games  and their contribution to violence in society.  Even Glen Beck has stated that video games are a gateway to violence.  This is a subject that I am VERY passionate about, so I thought that I would share an article that I posted previously on Nerdzy.com.

As a Husband, Father, and Gamer, I cannot justify blaming a video game on future violence.  Instead, I blame those surrounding the individual for not stepping in and being part of their life.  If they were active with the individual's life, they would have seen warning signs...and got the person the help that they need.

Too many times, we allow inanimate objects, such as video games, movies, etc... to become babysitters as we go about our daily lives.  We need to be more involved with our friends and loved ones.  Together, we can stop the violence if we just know what is going on in the lives of the ones we love.

Maybe I am biased because I am a gamer, and write for both Nerdzy.com and Infendo.com, and am co-host on Infendo Radio.  However, gaming has been a part of my life since I was very little, and I have many friends in the same scenario, none of which felt the need to shoot someone in real life.

Hit the jump below to read my article originally posted on Nerdzy.com

I know this is not an upbeat story, but I feel that too many times video games, anime, comic books, music, cosplay etc… get a bad wrap.
In Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture Japan, a 14 year old boy was arrested  on February 19, 2012 at approximately 5:40 PM for stabbing his mother.
Why did he stab his mother?
According to “Japan Today” the boy bought a video game without his Mother’s permission.  The Mother was clearly upset that the Young boy had bought the game without her knowledge, so she took it from him.  The Student lost his temper and stabbed his mom in retaliation.  Luckily the Mother was okay and Paramedics were able to treat her wounds.
The young boy, who’s name was withheld due to his age, was arrested on charges of attempted murder.  There is no word on whether he has been released or what game the quarrel started over.  I had a brief conversation with a friend about this sort of happening recently.
  Are video games to blame for this violence? 
I have to believe that they are not the cause of violence, nor do they stoke the flame.  It seems that too many times violence of this nature is blamed on Video Games, Loud Music, Anime, etc…  For many, these video games, Music and Anime become an escape.  It is the one place they can go and be free of bullying from their peers, or abuse from those that claim to love them.  A place to meet people likethem, without judgement or pain. 
To be honest, I was bullied as a kid in school and my home life was not happy and cheerful, in fact it was pretty horrible at times.  My escape from the pain was Comic Books, Music, and Video Games.  I would immerse myself in the World’s of Final FantasyDragon Warrior,  andHyrule.  In the background my stereo would wear out the cassettes that I played over and over.  My Room became a fortress from outside harm.

During those lonely times, not once did I feel the need to fight off the urge to mimic my characters and act out against my Bullies.  Video Games, Music and Anime did not teach me that.  In fact, they taught me the opposite.  They Taught me to be myself, to follow my Life’s path and I would become what I am supposed to be.  I suffered through the hard times, and made sure that I shared some happy times and created some good memories.  I battled through the mental obstacles and became the Man I am today.  I am a Father, a Husband, and I am Me.  I would not say that I am the “perfect” Husband or Father, but I do my best to give my Family what I did not have.
I did not have a computer when growing up, so I did not have the opportunity to meet people like myself on forums such as Infendo.com, or Nerdzy.com.  I had to go to local game stores that were similar to Nintendosforsale.com to find others like me.  Even then most kids my age did not feel comfortable sharing their stories.
Today, I still enjoy losing myself in games such as Final FantasyKingdom Hearts, and Many others.  In fact, over the last year, I have meat some really great people in a Kingdom Hearts group.  Within that group I found some people that have a similar background as myself.  Some are experiencing the pain and bullying now, and others have been through the pain and hurt.  After one conversation in particular, I created a page called “the Zone” where people that are misunderstood and bullied can hang out and share their stories and get support.  Many times we just discuss various topics of interest but other times posts can get serious. 
During the serious times, we all band together to help each other out.  It is never easy to learn that someone is suffering from depression, abuse, or even suicidal tendencies.  But gaming, comics, and anime has brought us together to help each other out. 
Very recently a member inspired me to write this article after he shared the story about the young boy that stabbed his mother.  







He later shared a s story about his life that was very open, honest, and demonstrated more bravery than anyone I know.  We may not hear from him again on the page, but if he is reading this I want to say” thank you” for being our friend.  I hope that by being a friend , we have helped to put a smile on his face a few times and maybe help him through a few rough patches.  The zone is an open group for anybody that would like to join and hang out with people just like themselves.
If you know anyone that is showing warning signs of any sort of depression, abuse etc.., I urge you to reach out to them and just be a friend.  show them that they have someone they can go to and talk to.
Video Games, Music, and Movies didn’t cause our problems…they were our escape from the pain.
Do you have a go-to-game that you lose yourself in when things aren’t going well for you?  What is it about the game that makes you feel free?