Columbine Shooting Related to Video Games? When Real Life Imitates Video Game Violence
John Leo Voices His Opinion
Memorialized Every Year
- Columbine anniversary: It was horribly, viscerally real The Washington Post
Twelve years after the tragic school shootings, many of the problems related to it still exist.
Even though John Leo makes a sound argument to call the Columbine shooting an acted-out video game, I will always consider the Colorado massacre to be real life. For the first time in my then nineteen years, I was paralyzed by something that I heard on the news, distraught with emotion about something that happened outside of my sphere of influence. Never before had I been concerned with matters outside of the Northwestern Suburbs of Minneapolis.
I had just left Rasmussen Business College to go home. I was awaiting news on the birth of my only cousin. I turned on the radio in my 1990 Metro, lit a cigarette, and then heard the news—“Again, we repeat, there has been a shooting at a high school. Reports are coming in saying as many as ten are dead.” Maybe I was paralyzed because I did not immediately know the shooting was in Colorado. Or maybe I was shocked because this was the opposite of the news I was waiting to hear about my cousin.
I cannot pinpoint the exact cause, but I sat in my car, across the street from Rasmussen, sobbing uncontrollably. To this day, when I think of, talk about or even write about the tragedy at Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999, I cannot help but cry. No news story before and only one story after has gripped my emotions so tightly. (September 11, 2001.)
Interestingly, the sniper shootings that occurred in the East in 2002 seem like a video game to me. Not necessarily that the snipers were living out their favorite video game, but my perception of a man and his son picking off innocent people while hiding in the trunk of their car – that seems like a video game to me.
I do not know what makes one shooting real and one fantasy. I do not know how one shooting erupts tears of sadness in me and the other just some faint-hearted sympathy, “That must be really difficult for the families.”
My best guess is that the sniper shooters were so random that my subconscious has a difficult time even considering the ordeal to be real. It is almost as if my brain understands that I could spend countless hours pondering the endless possibilities of potential random shootings, so my brain just avoids it all together by considering the sniper shootings a fiction novel or a fantasy video game or even a Hollywood movie.
I think that Mr. Leo makes good points to persuade his readers to agree that Columbine was an example of life imitating video. Unfortunately, I think that there are potential dangers in avoiding the real issues by focusing on the video games. People often times think of video games as something that can be turned off when we have had enough. The root of school violence is a much bigger issue than anything we can just turn off.
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