About a week ago I watched a documentary on the Columbine shootings on Netflix. The documentary focused on specialists who went in and investigated, looking for clues as to what caused the tragedy. As I watched and listened to the investigation, I considered their findings. They interviewed several students who revealed that Columbine was considered a “jock school.” They determined that perhaps part of the cause was that the two students responsible for the shootings felt alienated and were ostracized by the “popular” crowd. However, the team spent a large amount of the documentary looking into one idea in particular- the shooters’ obsession with violence and video games. They made a direct correlation between the lists and plans found within the boys’ rooms to take guns to school and the video games they played regularly.
When we began discussing ideology, particularly the media section, I instantly thought about Columbine and the blame tied to video games by the investigators. They went as far playing the game to test it’s effects on players. The whole time they were doing so, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Isn’t there something more important they could be examining other than this stupid game?” There’s no question that the violence portrayed in video games wrongly influences the people playing them; however, how could anyone possibly think it’s okay to kill people in real life just because it was okay to do it in a video game? They completely neglected to investigate the students’ home lives or something that might actually have had an impact on why they did what they did. The idea that violent video games influenced childrens’ actions became a popular belief in society afterwards. It was publicized by the media especially, and many parents became concerned about their children playing the games. The Theory Toolbox defines ideology as “the making natural of cultural phenomena.” People tend to accept theories, such as these involving violent video games, without really considering what they are suggesting.