Stephen King defends video games

Written by Joe Martin

April 7, 2008 // 11:06 a.m.

Tags: #book #games #horror #novel #stephen-king #tech #violence #virginia #vtech

In a piece written for American magazine Entertainment Weekly, horror novelist Stephen King has slammed American politicians for avoiding the real issues around the violence and video games debate.

King, who has been one of the most popular horror novelists in the world for four decades and who has had his novels such as The Shining, Cujo and The Shawshank Redemption adapted for the screen, points out that the real issue isn't the games, but the criminals themselves. King rightly points out that in America, a 17-year old can see films like Hostel and Saw (or even Cujo, which is frankly terrifying) but would only be dangerous if they played Grand Theft Auto.

Using the magazine as a platform for a piece titled Video Game Lunacy, King says that the problem isn't that children are playing violent games, but that children are able to access weapons.

"It was too easy for critics to claim — falsely, it turned out — that Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech killer) was a fan of Counter-Strike; I just wish to God that legislators were as eager to point out that this nutball had no problem obtaining a 9mm semiautomatic handgun," writes King.

"Cho used it in a rampage that resulted in the murder of 32 people. If he'd been stuck with nothing but a plastic videogame gun, he wouldn't even have been able to kill himself."

The article as a whole is very much worth a read, so drop your thoughts in the forums and let us know what you think.

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