Sunday, December 06, 2009

Logical Conclusions…

I was sitting at the computer yesterday while Sunny was watching one of those 'true crime' shows. Then I heard this:

"We suspected Billy of committing the murder, but we became especially interested in him when it came to his attention that he and a group of his friends were heavily into Dungeons and Dragons, as there have been cases where people allow the role playing to spill over into real life which results in real violence."

I'm sorry, but did I go to bed and wake up in the mid seventies? Are we still blaming Dungeons and Dragons for turning kids into Satanists and murderers? Did these kids listen to rock and roll music as well? If so, we'd better arrest them right now.

I'd just like to step out for a minute and see if we can use some basic common sense and actual reason will show how ridiculous this idea is.

Dungeons and Dragons is a game you play by using your imagination to take part in an adventure in a fantasy setting. One player writes an overall plot, the other players design and role play as characters in that plot.

Now, by that FBI Agent's reasoning, JRR Tolkien must have been the biggest murderer of all time. He basically laid the foundation for every piece of fantasy fiction ever. What's more, all the actors from the Lord of the Rings movies must also be potential serial killers, because weren't they just doing what the kids were doing? Pretending to be fantasy heroes and villains? Of course, while the kids only had graph paper and dice rolls to simulate the violence, the LotR actors had full costumes, a massive budget, a cast of thousands and the latest in special effects technology.

Now here's the thing, some idiot is bound to point out that the kid from the 'true crime' show actually turned out to have committed the murder, so that makes my argument completely moot.

Well, no, actually.

Millions of people worldwide play Dungeons and Dragons, and the percentage of them who actually kill people make up less than one thousandth of one percent of the group. It's something only the media can do, they take an obvious statistical anomaly and claim that it's proof that the whole thing's bad.

A kid listens to a CD, kills someone and then claims the music influenced him to do it. People call that 'proof', talk about the 'obvious' link… but never ask why a CD that definitely turns kids into souless killers sold twenty million copies but only 'made' one kid go on the rampage.

I could say more, but as this is about my fifteen millionth post on this subject, I'll leave it right here.

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