media exposure of gaming related crimes is nothing new to Chinese gamers. It goes like this:
” ______(insert a name) is a college/middle school student in_____( insert city name in China) who likes to play______( enter a popular MMO games) in Internet Cafes. ______(Insert date)____(insert name) went to play games in the Internet Cafe and ran out of money,s/he decide to go on to the streets and rob/kill someone for money so s/he could continue play games. _____(insert another name), a(n)_____(insert working title) at _____(insert company name) was robbed/killed by_____(insert the name you choose in the first blank)….”
Normally when I’m browsing a Chinese gaming site, I couldn’t care less when there is a news reporting gaming related crime. Not that I’m apathetic, it’s just that these news are all the same: same scenario, same reason and same outcome.
Given our perception of the propaganda-like media outlet we have in China, it is very easy for us to assume that the “news” were shaped to be the same or even created by the media to serve a purpose. That’s why they are all the same to us.
But then I begin to wonder: What if the crime were really the same and the media didn’t shape the information at all? No matter what the answer is, games (online games specifically) and are to blame, every time when there is a gaming related crime. Both the media and the crime suspects blame the games for being “very addictive”.
I think the media and the crime suspects shares the blame regarding game related crimes, thus here are some more questions I came up with.
1. If a teenager choose to rob/kill others for money so s/he can play his/her MMO:
Why is s/he out of money? Normally going to an Internet cafe costs 3RMB(0.5 USD)/Hr, it’s relatively cheap. Either the kid’s family is going through financial hardships (the media should cover that) or the kid spent his/her pocket money unwisely (parents should educate their kids on how to spent money)
why did s/he spent all his/her money on games?
please refer to the second half of the answer above. (get your education going moms and dads!)
Why did s/he choose to rob/kill someone instead of going home and call it a day?
You can say that gaming is addictive, but it is not THAT addictive. If gaming is very addictive to you, well, either you should change your attitudes towards gaming or games is just not for you.
2. If a teenager can easily rob/kill some one on the streets:
To the media: why don’t you focus more on the lack of police patrol on the streets instead of the games s/he is playing?
To the kid: Killing and Robbing is wrong. It might be easy given the poor safety standard in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t justify your behavior, oh no, being a kid who likes to play games doesn’t help.
All I’m saying is, It’s not the games’ fault and the demonizing of games and gamers are ridiculous. (I’m a gamer but all I do recently besides playing game is writing blog posts with grammar mistakes, being a gamer does not make me a bad person). Gaming related crimes are called such only because the people involved are gamers, nothing more than that. Instead of focusing on demonizing the games, both the media and the public should focus more on the social issues revealed by such crimes.