Lately there seems to be no dearth of people who want to rag on Miley Cyrus, or GTA V, or both. Well guess what, these juggernauts cannot be stopped, and the haters are helping their cause by continuing to talk about them.
Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop song is very catchy; that is something that has to be admitted objectively. And the video for it is very stupid. That also has to be admitted. In fact, I found this version of it very amusing because it highlights how thoroughly inane the imagery is. Basically it is Lady Gaga light, and nobody can out-Gaga Gaga. And yet, because of Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs and her latest videos, she has received all kinds of flak, which is exactly what she was aiming for. Her wrecking ball has demolished the competition on the Billboard charts.
The same people who peg Miley Cyrus as reprehensible, and the cause of all sluttiness also talk about GTA V as the source of all murder. OMG! A game with violence, nudity, torture, drug use, and with criminals as protagonists is selling like hot cakes. Won’t somebody please think of the children? And the key word here is children. If anybody who is underage is playing GTA V those kids do not need rescuing from video games. They need rescuing from whoever is letting them play GTA V. That ESRB Mature rating is there for a reason.
A lot of people these days claim that there is a link between violent games like GTA V, and criminal behavior, and then they make the illogical leap that this must mean that violence in video games results in mass murder in real life. Mark Twain once said that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. He was not wrong. A statistician with a political agenda can manipulate the data that has been gathered on the field by “controlling” for different factors, some of which are far-fetched where reality is concerned; but which yield the results that support their initial hypothesis.
In addition, let us suppose that there is in fact a link between violent games and actual shootings. There were $1 billion worth of copies of GTA V sold in the first three days since its release, making it not only the best launch of a video game, but the best launch of any type of media ever, and yet, society has not devolved into the movie The Purge.
Now to assume that a link between two things is the same as causality is BS (bunk science).Which is more likely, that playing GTA V causes people to commit acts of violence, or that people who are criminally inclined are more drawn to those games than to other types of games?
One incident that has garnered a lot of attention lately was the Washington Navy Yard shooting. The media has also zeroed in on the perpetrator’s love of FPS video games as a contributing factor.
Dr. Mario Vance is a researcher in psychology, who conducted a study on the factors that lead gamers to have elevated levels of anger and aggression (one of those factors is media scapegoating of video games as a trigger for criminal behavior). Here is what Dr. Vance had to say about that Mass shooting:
“Recently, several media sources focused on Aaron Alexis and his enthusiasm for Call of Duty as a cause for his brutal crimes. Because when wondering what could have made a naval reservist, someone trained by the military to engage in actions with the express intention of killing people, turn to violence, the obvious conclusion is video games, apparently.”
It bears mentioning at this point that Aaron Alexis had a history of violent incidents that should have prevented him to have access to that Navy base, or to purchase a firearm. Maybe those are things that the media should focus on more. When it comes down to it we do not need gun control, we need person control. Making sure that dangerous people do not have access to deadly weapons, and that mentally disturbed people like Alexis are identified by the authorities as such when they exhibit signs of mental instability, as he did in August.
Seriously, the man approached the police to tell them he was being stalked by people who were bombarding him with microwave vibrations, as well as following him to talk and laugh about him, and these red flags were simply dismissed.
Those people who really think Miley Cyrus and GTA V are reprehensible should simply stop talking about these subjects. There is no such thing as bad publicity. In fact, Max Clifford, the man behind the marketing campaign for the original GTA video game actually planted negative stories about it to generate buzz. After four sequels, he could not have been more successful at achieving his objective.
By Milton Ruiz