Should We Blame Video Games for Massive Shooting Incident in US?

By Muhammad Bilal Syahrir

Should Video Games take The Blame for the Massive Shooting Incident in the US? We try to answer.

Gun Violence and Regulation in Indonesia

There are very few gun shooting incidents in Indonesia. This is due to the strict regulation that the government implements upon gun permission. Majority of gun shooting incidents in Indonesia is mainly because of terrorist actions. The guns are also mostly from the black market or handmade with materials unprofessionally.

What’s different is that Indonesia has a strict rule on gun ownership. Based on Indonesia’s Police Law Number 82, Year 2004, only people with high rank can obtain a gun. This include commissioner, minister, doctor, or businessman. But the procedure is also very strict in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, we rarely see a massive gun shooting incident, unlike in America where we see a lot of incidents involving guns that have been legalized by the governor. We also see that most shooters to be around 15-25 years old.

Game Rating System

Should Video Games be The Blame for the Massive Shooting Incident in the US

But back to the main question: should video games take the blame for the massive shooting in the US? First of all, we need to know that games have a regulation themselves regarding age restriction. If President Trump and Governor Bevin blames video games, then they also have to know that the gaming industry tries to restrict with game rating systems.

The US has ESRB, Europe has PEGI, and Japan has CERO. Indonesia also has a rating system called Indonesia Game Rating System (IGRS). It has the same age classification just like others.

The IGRS itself was first formulated by government and game industry practitioners in late 2015 and then continued by public testing in December 2015. The IGRS was finally launched (or maybe soft-launched) in December 2016. Since then, games that are distributed in Indonesia should be registered to IGRS.

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Based on the data we gathered, we conclude the answer to be yes and no. Video games can be a reason for the gun shooting incident in Florida, but the majority of the fault goes to the legalization of guns in the US.

No, because compared to Indonesia, there are no significant cases where a school became a location of a massacre using guns. This is due to the restriction of firearms in Indonesia itself. Whereas in the US itself, the rules are controlled by each state.

Yes, because let’s not deny it: all kids and adults who play violent games can get carried away, but not many. Violent games can be the cause, but if President Trump or Governor Bevin purely blames video games, they should reconsider.

Source: Kotaku, Arstechnica, Polygon, Vanityfair. Edited by Devi




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My main mission: Making Indonesian Game Industry big!