Multilingual Business Communication

March 14, 2009

Blame Game

Filed under: crisis communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:52 am

It’s shocking: the reports of shootings and killings that have been flooding the media lately. Wednesday, Tim counter-strike-freelancing11Kretschmer took the lives of 16 people, including his own, at his former school. In their search of what went on in the mind of the 17-year old German boy, police found violent videogames, such as the game “counterstrike” on his computer.

The discussion about the effects of violent videogames is yet again reopenend.

In a reaction to this blame game the European Parliament has announced the possible establishment of a European Code of Conduct to prevent children from accessing violent games.
Videogames receive a PEGI-label, images to point out a sexual or violent content, giving parents guidance in preventing their children from playing games, not suited to their age. According to the European Parliament sales to minors should be prohibited, based on this label.
The European Commission should also research the development of a “red button”, a system to control access to online games.

To my opinion none of these measures can be called effective. These will certainly not prevent any shootings from happening. What a 17-year old, or any other person for that matter decides to do, can’t be that easily controlled…This may even have nothing to do with games as KU Leuven researchers state not yet to have found any link.

The book “Grand theft childhood” reinforces my conviction that games, even the more violent ones, can have so many benefits on people of all ages. For instance: Gamers are known to have better reflexes. Games offer an escape out of everyday life and a virtual way of coping with stress.
Gaming can even help you get a job!

Don’t let the opponents and the recent reports fool you. It’s too easy to go and blame it all on games.

Game on!

(Valérie Debrauwere)



  1. Jack Thompson, an American lawyer, is known among gamers as the most outspoken opponent of sexuality and violence in video games. He has sent hundreds of letters, has made dozens of media appearances and has even taken legal action, all attempting to restrain video games with a graphic content. He has especially turned against the game Grand Theft Auto which eventually led to a ban of the game being sold in Australia. However, he is severely mocked at in gaming communities and is the centre of parodies.

    Comment by Wouter Deconinck — March 16, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  2. Research has actually already proved that violent games only affect people who already have an unstable personality. In an experiment, researchers measured the anger level of youngsters before and after playing Quake II, a shooter with action and violence. It turned out that only unstable people are more angry after playing the game. So I agree with Valérie: don’t blame violence on games. Maybe it is more important to wonder where Tim Kretschmer got his gun…

    Comment by Hannelore Blomme — April 4, 2009 @ 11:25 am

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