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Columbine Shooting Related to Video Games? When Real Life Imitates Video Game Violence

Updated on February 12, 2018

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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    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 4 years ago from California

      The terrible truth is that life on planet earth breeds terrible, hateful people who would murder us all, and how this can be stopped is anyone's guess. Video games simply provide negative fantasies and can't be banned in a free society. Thoughtful hub, thanks. Later!

    • broussardleslie profile image

      Leslie Broussard 7 years ago

      Aladin Sane:

      Thank you for commenting on my Hub.

      I think it's great that you believe your parents can take a "hands off" approach to parenting you, but it is in society's best interest that every teenager has at least one adult involved, guiding them.

      Welcome to Hub Pages, AladinSane. I wish you all the best,


    • profile image

      Aladin*Sane 7 years ago

      i have wrote a hub on my beliefs of Dylan and Eric, i think you could learn some more things.

      im 15 and know that parents don't need to be so lenient and rarely even need to check up on me so i don't blame the parents.

    • Jeffrey Neal profile image

      Jeffrey Neal 8 years ago from Tennessee

      Good hub, Leslie. I think you are right about the parent's responsibility. A major problem today is that parents are not involved enough with their children. Even with boys this age, my mother was asking me where are you going, with who, etc at every turn. It annoyed me and didn't keep me completely out of trouble, but I knew she cared what was going on and was going to be involved like it or not.

      Can't say that's the be all end all solution for our problem (also read your Chicago violence hub, another great hub), but it's a start. It certainly isn't the responsibility of TV and video games to teach as so many parents seem to rely on.

    • broussardleslie profile image

      Leslie Broussard 8 years ago

      I agree with you, Scott, those boys knew exactly what they were doing.

      I also think that the parents got off a bit too leniently...Those boys were not adults. Their parents should have been taken to task for what they allowed to happen in their homes. I do not know the legalities of how that would work, but I would venture to say that most Americans felt the parents were at least guilty of negligence.

      And again, you are my first comment ;) Thank you for all you do for me, Scott!

    • profile image

      Scott.Life 8 years ago

      Despite the motivations or reasons behind it, the killers of Colombine knew what they were doing was wrong and murder. While I acknowledge a desensitizing effect in modern Video games, and even movies in the end people are still responsible for their actions. Just as there is no excuse to explain why those boys parents allowed their sons to amass an arsenal of death there is no excuse for the crimes the boys committed.They knew it was wrong that's why they killed themselves in the end, to avoid justice.