Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Christian thing to do: use the Virginia Tech tragedy for some free press

Yesterday I received this press release:

Hi Charles,

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, it is now more important than ever to take a serious look at what violent video games are teaching America's youth. One company, Digital Praise Inc., has been trying to change the content of computer and video games for a few years now, and as more and more of these horrific events take hold, it becomes clearer as to why Digital Praise is working so hard to do what they do. As a leading manufacturer of Christian themed, family-friendly entertainment software, Digital Praise has created six popular game series that combat the ever-growing trend of violent video games.

Would you be interested in learning more about these games? I can also arrange an interview with the founders about their views on how violent video games influence and affect our kids.

This is disgusting on so many levels. First off, while the VT killer did play videogames in high school, like 99.9% of teenage boys, there is no indication that he was a serious gamer, and only nut jobs like anti-game activist and crafter of unconstitutional anti-video game legislation are suggesting otherwise. So this doesn't have any real basis in anything. And I also think it's foolish for a game publisher to be trashing the video game industry; like it or not you are a part of that industry and if some forms of free expression start being censored there is no guarantee that this won't come around to bit you sooner or later.

But mainly, it's just really, really disgusting that a game company is trying to use a terrible tragedy to sell its games. It is reprehensible, and the people involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Although I am often amazed at the capacity of some Christians to not feel shame at grotesque behavior.

One last point: Christian preacher Jim Jones killed a lot more people than any video game fanatic I can think of. So what's more dangerous, Counter-strike or The Bible?

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