Opinion: Violent video games are the real threat to America
by on April 1, 2018

With all the talk about violence in America, I am beginning to understand why politicians have such a strong stance against violence in video games. Bringing companies like Nintendo into the gun debate shows that politicians care about the people and want to find the truth rather than pass blame like everyone else. These violent games profoundly affect people and I have seen first hand how these games can turn a normal person into a danger to society.

Recently, my 17-year-old brother bought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. He played the game night and day, which was not only unusual for him but is also clearly abnormal behavior for a gamer. After a while, I began to notice changes in how he acted with his friends and my family. He was slowly becoming more like Link, the main character from Breath of the Wild. Soon after he got the game, we visited a ranch, and I caught him chasing the chickens while he was there. Another day, we went running; every minute or so, he kept slowing down, claiming he had to replenish his stamina wheel.

Nintendo’s ads claim the Switch is a delightfully fun console, but you never hear them talk about how violent some of their games are.

Eventually, he began dressing up like Link every day. He wore the blue champion shirt and equipped a sword, a bow, a bunch of arrows. He even had both square bombs and round bombs! I didn’t realize that the bombs were real until we took a day trip to the mall. The walkway in the mall was open to the outdoors and was decorated with trees. While I was looking away, he placed his square bomb near one of the trees. As I came back, he blew up the base of the tree. People began to run and scream as the trees toppled over, almost crushing innocent people. He was laughing, telling me that this is exactly what happened in the game when he did this in Gerudo Town.

I didn’t realize the bombs were real until we took a day trip to the mall. People began to run and scream. He was laughing…

You too could be like this if you play violent video games too much.

He began to run away from the scene as the police came, but they quickly caught him because, according to the police report, his “stamina meter was depleted.” Apparently he had forgotten to make stamina potions. The police questioned me until they determined that I was merely a witness rather than his accomplice. He was brought to a psychiatric facility where the doctors concluded that he couldn’t tell the difference between the game and real life. Apparently, this happens whenever someone binge plays a video game for at least a week.

Having gone through that terrible experience with my brother, I was elated after hearing the politicians’ claim that violence in America is tied to video games. Now my brother can get the help he needs while the politicians hold Nintendo accountable for releasing violent video games. The politicians clearly understand that talking about mental health issues and gun reform is a waste of time. With their focus on violent video games, politicians will finally be able to end the violence in America.

Ethan Pelletier