Cartoon on games
gets it all wrong
I am writing today because I am very upset with the cartoon printed in today’s edition (9/20) blaming video games for the recent Navy Yard shooting. My objections are not with the cartoons message itself, but with the gross factual inaccuracies of the cartoon. The cartoon depicts a video game store with numerous posters for violent shooting-type games; however, it is obvious the artist never heard of, much less played, many of these games mentioned, as there are numerous problems with these posters.
The first and most glaring error is a poster for the game “Thrill Kill.” “Thrill Kill” was a game developed in 1997 for a 1998 release that was then canceled. I say again, the game was never released. What does a game that doesn’t exist, and was canceled 15 years ago, have to do with anything?
Second, the game “Postal 2” is being advertised. “Postal 2” was released in 2003, 10 years ago. Again, what relevance does this have to today?
Third, the game “God of War” is advertised. “God of War” takes place during ancient mythological times, so there are no guns whatsoever. How is this game promoting gun violence?
Fourth, the games “Mortal Kombat” and “Thrill Kill,” (if it had been released, which again, it never was) are depicted in the posters as having people get shot. This is incorrect, as both are/were martial arts fighting games. “Mortal Kombat” was in fact based off of the old Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme kung-fu movies of the 1980s and 1990s. The only character in either game that has a gun is a policeman! Again, how does this promote gun violence?
While I think you can certainly make a reasonable argument about the influence of video games (as well as movies, rap music, etc.) in terms of gun violence, to do so in such a lazy, poorly researched way, is simply insulting to the thousands of people such as myself who have grown up with video games and are normal functioning members of society. This cartoon was simply a bad attempt to the stir the pot and grab some PR for both the paper and artist. The artist simply found a bunch of video game titles with violent names and used them. Never mind how old they are, or if they even have guns in them, or if they even were ever actually made. A simple 30-second Google search proves all of what am saying. That fact that this was not done is unacceptable.
Now maybe the cartoonist does not work for you, but if he does I certainly hope he is severely disciplined for this, as well as the editor who was asleep at the wheel. Your paper should also print a retraction as well. If he does not work for your paper, I certainly hope you will forward this along to him, and I certainly hope you will be more diligent in choosing cartoons in the future.
Mark Riccetti Jr.