DOVER, NH - My name is Romona Miller. I am a 31 year old single mother of one - my son Rory, who is 14.
As a dedicated mother, the recent uptick in school shootings has me, quite obviously, on edge. Watching Rory go to school each day gives me as much pride as it does dread. And of course, I ask myself the questions that many people are asking right now. Will he be safe? How can he protect himself at school? What more should be done within schools?
But for me, none of that is truly the issue. For me, the question I have been asking is why. Why is this happening?
And for me, the answer is clear; video games.
I know I know, you don’t want to hear it. But please, hear me out. Seeing the direct influence that video games have had on my Steam-addicted child does, I believe, give me the right to have a heavily-weighted opinion on this.
Rory was gifted the turn-based strategy game Civilization VI by his father for Christmas of 2016, shortly after it was released. It started off as a casual way to pass time on an evening, and I thought it would be a great way for him to develop his knowledge and critical thinking. It’s not like he was fucking prostitutes and gang-banging with Mexicans on Grand Theft Auto, right?
Months passed and the influence grew and grew on my Rory. The first red flag that I got was when he requested that he be referred to as President Rory Miller, Leader of the Mongols. Definitely something you don’t expect to hear from your child before bed.
It was all downhill from there really. Before I knew it he had installed a flat-top strategy board on the dinner table that he would push military units around on. He would never listen to any of my instructions, instead trying to broker trade deals and open border agreements.
Arguments would never end well. He would always threaten to “wipe me off of the face of the map”, and then offer me a hand-written peace agreement hours later when he would try to apologize.
I wish I could say that things have got better, but they haven’t.
Nowadays he dresses in full military clothing, spends all night researching animal husbandry, and has vowed not to stop until he’s colonized Poland and nuked India. He’s turned the car into a Heavy Chariot and dresses the cat up as a cavalry unit. We also now have a scale model of the Colossus sitting at the end of the garden.
Video games are a terrible influence on the younger generation. Am I saying that the school shooter in Florida played video games and decided to go out and kill those poor souls because of that? No. But I have seen first hand the dangers of them.
It’s time that the video game industry takes a serious look at what they are producing, and asks themselves if turning the younger generation into school shooters, fascist leaders and Crash Bandicoots is really the way forward.
They are evil, and I will be the first to condemn these digital devils at any given opportunity.