After the identity of the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown was misreported, the "Mass Effect" video game series found itself on the receiving end of public outrage.
With what transpired yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been much outrage and concern across the country. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been beaten and battered, in a social context, by outraged people through Facebook, Twitter, and all other forms of social media. Currently, the NRA has been silent at the moment and are probably trying to work on a response to the blame and political fire. Now, video games are being scapegoated. However, this is not necessarily surprising.
Usually when video games are used as a source of blame for the shootings, anti-video game advocate Jack Thompson would be leading the crusade. However, most don't take Thompson seriously. There are plenty of examples to be used in regards to Thompson. Jack Thompson blamed the VT Massacre of 2007 on video games.
When “Grand Theft Auto IV” came out, Thompson was on Glenn Beck talking about the game.
In the case of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, Thompson once again blamed video games. Thompson took to the Internet and sent an e-mail to this online media publication, dealing in video games, called Joystiq. News of the e-mail made its way onto the Twitter stream. The line that got attention is “Blood is on YOUR hands.” Apparently, Thompson was saying that the blood of the people killed at Sandy Hook were on the hands of those that work in the video game industry.
However, Thompson isn't the reason that people outraged (due to Sandy Hook) have decided to go after the video game called “Mass Effect.” So far, this outrage has been wrongly placed. Destructoid reports on the conclusions jumped to by CNN. Various news outlets were identifying the shooter as either “Ryan Lanza” or “Adam Lanza.” However, the killer was ultimately identified as Adam Lanza. Ryan Lanza is the brother of Adam.
This has been pointed out by the liberal-leaning news media site called Mother Jones. Due to the mix up, Ryan found himself as the unwitting target. On his Facebook, Ryan says “F**k you CNN it wasn't me.” Apparently, he is getting support with one person saying he should get a lawyer and sue the network.
MJ further points out that a law enforcement official got the names wrong by mistake as the Associated Press reported. That one mistake was more than enough to do plenty of damage. Also, he wasn't the only one getting accosted. Other people named “Ryan Lanza” suffered the same thing. The MJ article also pointed out a similar mistake made by Brian Ross of ABC News. This was back during the movie theater shooting back in Aurora, Colorado. When the name Jim Holmes was tossed up, Ross made the speculation and linked the Tea Party to the shooting.
Because of the confusion of names, Mass Effect became a target of anger. It is because Ryan Lanza had simply “liked” Mass Effect. Kotaku reports on the outrage that got directed toward Mass Effect due to the domino effect the name error.
The domino effect:- The law enforcement officer getting “Adam” and “Ryan” mixed up.
- News outlets mistakenly identifying the shooter as Ryan Lanza, while the identity of the shooter is eventually identified as his brother Adam.
- Focus was on Ryan's Facebook page. This Lanza “liked” Mass Effect.
- Public outrage was directed towards the Mass Effect series.
Bioware, the makers of Mass Effect, have yet to give a response to the growing outrage. People on Facebook took to saying things such as: “Good job, guys. You have blood on your hands that won't wash off.” “Yeah...Ryan Lanza “LIKED” your game. He just gunned down a kindergarten class.”
However, Mass Effect isn't simply left hanging. Fans of Mass Effect quickly took to Facebook and defended the game. Defense and support of the Mass Effect series was overwhelming for the most part. So far, comments in defense of the game are over 2,500 at the moment. One comment, in defense of the game, hopes that Bioware files some libel lawsuits. Due to a name error, the Mass Effect series got dragged into the national outrage.