Glenn Beck on Monday begged Americans to have a "real conversation" about the ramifications of video games on our nation's children, saying "we don't have any idea the damage that's being done, because this is the first generation" where many have grown up more comfortable in "virtual reality" than actual reality.
The plea came after 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, the son of an assistant director on “The Hunger Games,” murdered six people and wounded several more on Saturday, authorities said. Rodger seemingly wrote a lengthy manifesto and created a number of disturbing YouTube videos before the attack, describing how he filled a void in his life with video games, only to find that he would "never have a satisfying social life ever again."
"This loss of a social life coupled with the advent of puberty caused me to die a little inside," the manifesto read. "It was too much for me to handle, and I stopped caring about my life and my future. I even stopped caring what people thought of me. I hid myself away in the online World of Warcraft, a place where I felt comfortable and secure."
Beck said that Hollywood is trying to have it both ways by saying "you can't have anybody smoking on television or in movies because it affects people," but that continued exposure to horrific violence onscreen is "totally fine."
"Please listen to me," Beck begged his audience. "You've got to get the video games out of your child's hands. Please. I'm having a hard enough time trying to do it in my own home. ... Enough. No more. Because they cannot handle it. This is not the same as Pac-Man. It is not the same. These are virtual worlds where they live. They live in these worlds; talk to them."
"Brains are being rewired here," Beck's co-host Pat Gray added, "and nobody is paying attention."
Rodger, who described himself as a virgin, frequently expressed his frustration with women, writing in his manifesto that they “think like beasts” and “should not have the right to choose who to mate and breed with.” He also said that in his perfect society, he would quarantine all women in concentration camps and starve them to death.
"Where does that come from?" Beck asked, noting that the suspect's father, Peter Rodger, has an album online containing multiple nude, sexually suggestive photos of a woman taken across the world. "Maybe our kids can't tell the difference between art and pornography, art and objectification? Maybe they don't process it like that anymore."
Beck also noted that Rodger said he "[deserves]" to have a girlfriend, and warned that our children are being taught to value "fairness" above all else, and that they don't have to work for anything because they're "special."
Beck said those who are advocating gun control in the wake of the horrific attack are first failing to note that half of the known victims were stabbed, but also that the problem is so much larger than the weapon used.
"There's a new evil that has been introduced in our society, and I don't think any of us have any idea what it really is," Beck said. "I'm so worried about my kids falling into this -- this black hole of nothingness. That's what happened to this kid. He's given absolutely everything. He's not required to do anything. When he can't get what he wants, he starts blaming it on people because life isn't 'fair.' And he has this black hole of nothingness in him, where nothing matters, people aren't even real to him."
"Can we have a real conversation, please?" Beck concluded. "We're a society that's being turned upside down, and our children are in real danger of losing their souls, losing everything that's in them. Please. Let's have a real conversation. I know that's not what the media wants. But we must."
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