The Average Gamer

GamerFitNation Calls for a Ceasefire

Over at GamerFitNation, CEO Antwand Pearman is starting a movement. In response to the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the US, he’s calling for a temporary gaming ceasefire. Pearman asks that people don’t play online shooters for just one day in a gesture of support for the families of the victims.

“It’s not to say videogames are to blame,” he said in a video. “This is moreso to show people that we as gamers give a damn.”

“I’m asking for one day to put your controller down and show some love. We play fake wars while real wars continue. War is a very consistent thing. War is constant and daily. How about peace?”

There are people who disagree with the movement. I discussed it with a few people on Twitter this morning, after checking out the #OSCeasefire hashtag. Some people feel that it’s a waste of time because it won’t prevent another tragedy. Others feel that it’s an admission of guilt or an apology that links video games to real-world violence that will be spun by unscrupulous journalists and used against us.

Still others believe that it distracts from the issues of mental health and gun control. Perhaps it does but your average gamer is powerless to affect either of these in the US right now. This gives people a sense of solidarity and a chance to reflect on the virtual gun violence that, let’s face it, is extremely popular in video games. You could interpret the whole movement as just slacktivism, designed to make people feel better without having to put in any effort. I believe that anything which encourages people to think more about their hobby and the wider world is a good thing.

I see the movement as a more specific form of a two-minute silence. Not playing an online shooter is hardly agreeing that video games cause real-world violence and people who would wilfully misinterpret this will do so regardless of our actions. Hell, within a day we had people showing up on the Mass Effect Facebook page slinging blame without the slightest shred of evidence. Showing that people who enjoy games are capable of empathy can only be a good thing. It baffles me how anyone can be threatened by, or want to silence this.

You can find Pearman’s video here and more info about the ceasefire on the Facebook OSCeasefire event page.

Will you be taking part in #OSCeasefire? Or perhaps you think it’s a terrible idea that will cause more harm than good? Let’s talk in the comments.

Update: GamerFitNation have posted an official statement clarifying their position on videogames and real-world violence on Facebook. Because apparently “It’s not to say videogames are to blame” isn’t clear enough.

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: In Vigil for Newtown Victims, Video Gamers Will Put Down Their Weapons | Smart News

  2. Jim H

    20th Dec, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Why placate the idiots? As gamers we know most all of us are good and decent people. Even most of those whose online gaming goal it to make things hard on other players are likely actually good people by and large. So what to we have to prove and why do we need do anything other than the normal reactions about everybody has to these tragedies?

    Why do we need to prove anything to some group or individual who even entertains the idea that some perfectly OK normal good citizen type plays a game, reads a book, watches a film, hears a piece of music and loses his MFin’ mind and turns into a murderous nutter! If that’s what they think why bother reasoning with them? Most aren’t gamers and have no idea what constitutes gaming so that lot is incapable of understanding the conversation anyway.They’re assholes for looking down their noses and twisting tragedies like this to their own misinformed and misguided ends. No way do we owe them anything, symbolic, or not. To give them anything makes it appear they have a thread of credibility. They don’t have it nor do they deserve any.

    I’m all for something done spontaneously that goes viral and gamers all agree to something like an hour ceasefire in shooters and other online games in honor of those who perished or whatever is decided on to do. I’d even accept the same ‘no shooters’ thing for a day IF it was being done SOLELY to honor the victims and not to try to show some batch of morons our ‘humanity’ as gamers.

    • Debbie Timmins (Weefz)

      20th Dec, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I think the key thing is that you DON’T have to. This is how some people are choosing to show respect – by not taking pleasure in simulated violence for one day. By all means, do it your own way.

      As for the humanity thing – we’ve been protesting and using logic for years now. The Child’s Play charity was also set up to prove that gamers have hearts. It doesn’t hurt to have one more example to use as the counter-message to “waaah, waah, gamers are all monsters”

  3. Jim H

    20th Dec, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I get what the intent is Debbie. I don’t have any issue with showing good will and a little humanity. It’s just after a point I got fed up with all the idiots in the world and the way far too many people treat these fools like they have some substance and intelligence to their arguments. These people on the censorship side of things have an agenda and the propaganda they spout is almost always unsupported, lies and conjecture designed to further their cause. Kissing up to them will only make them feel emboldened. I’ve fought for free speech and a ton of other causes in a lifetime of political activism. I have seen what the organized idiots have done to the world and know what a world they want to create. They don’t deserve any apologies and/or explanations. They need to be treated like idiots, called out on it, and shown for the hollow cretins they are.

    I’m like a really old fart and spent my entire life as an un-normal person and I’ve been part of and parcel too all kinds of things ‘experts’ like to opine about. I also spent a decade working for a PAC. I used to write a political/social commentary column so I come by my ‘spit in their eye and knee ‘em in the groin, honestly.

    Lest I come off as too much of an insensitive jerk, I was once a victim of a violent home invasion robbery in which my best friend was murdered, his girlfriend was shot, and I was badly wounde.My left leg was almost severed at mid-thigh from gun shot wounds. I fought off the attackers with a weapon. Anyway, I know violence very up close and personal. I had to fight on several occasions to keep the ‘do gooders’ from trying to twist what happened to me to their own anti-gun ends. My point is, I don’t typically comment unless I have some basis of understanding from which to work.

    I do like your columns and your writing.

    • Debbie Timmins (Weefz)

      20th Dec, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Damn, home invasion sounds awful. Sorry that happened to you.

      I think it’s worth pointing out that Pearman’s video came the day after the shooting, before most of the media anti-videogame bandwagon was in full swing, at least in the UK. I honestly think that he just didn’t want to be celebrating violence. I know a few gamers in my own Twitter timeline that said they’d started playing Far Cry 3 after hearing about Sandy Hook and then had to stop because it felt wrong.

  4. Jack Nelsno

    20th Dec, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    “your average gamer is powerless to affect either of these in the US right now”

    Not true. People are free to demonstrate and do torchlight vigils any day of the week. This protest is just stupid and an admission to the idiots, who connect school shootings in the US with computer games…