I don’t often comment on such topics since it’s always rough to hear such news. I mean a shooter comes to a gathering involving a politician, goes on a shooting rampage, kills numerous people and just create pain and sorrow for the victims, their families, the community and the entire country. No one really wants to talk about tragedy because it sucks to do so. I heard it on the news and I definitely was saddened to hear about it. I will admit that this post is a bit unorganized but it’s just thoughts that come up as I write.
So why am I writing about this? It was later that night after the shooting happened that a friend messaged me saying, “The shooter was a LCN/SOLer”. To many of you guys, you might be wondering “What the heck that even means?” Well, it had to do with a game and gaming community that myself and some friends of mine that were (and for some, still are) a part of way back in my high school days. I found out that he went under an alias in an old team I was a part of, and at a point when I was playing the game, we were on the same team/alliance. It kind of left me in a bit of shock. To be honest, I do remember seeing his alias around on the forums on our alliance’s website around freshman year in college, but I can’t remember any posts that he made beyond the standard procedural posts that are required in the rules of our alliance. I went and messaged a few friends later that night that were also a part of that alliance to see if they knew anyone and they couldn’t really recall anything either.
However, this post isn’t to boast the fact that a few of us may or may not have been directly connected to him via a game. (I mean, who would want to be connected in any way to a murderer?) Like I said earlier, when this news was brought up to me, I was a little crestfallen for that gaming community. I’ve been spending the past week checking up on the forums, and I know that several other “retired” players have been checking and showing concern. Like a lot of gaming communities, a lot of relationships are built through gaming, even to the point of having real life friendships (I know this from experience). So to see a fellow player (regardless of whether they were a rival or an ally) post “I can’t believe that person I knew personally did this…” is just hard to really fathom.
It’s been good to see some of the new admin guys cooperate with the authorities and the community staying strong and starting to move on. But I definitely still have some concerns for those that were playing and in direct communication in those alliances thinking, “Why didn’t I see this earlier? Could I have done something to prevent this?” I don’t think you can really tell. The fact is that we all were behind monitors. You couldn’t actually see our reactions when we made those posts can’t really give tells or warning signs as to whether a person was simply kidding or actually insane. So there shouldn’t be any sense of having a burden on their shoulders for all this.
I’m not exactly sure why so many news organizations have been so focal on the community. While the attempt to make it seem as neutral towards the game can be seen, I know there’s thoughts going through the mind of people that have no connection to the game are probably thinking that this could be chalked up to gaming causing problems in society. Yes, gaming’s can simply be an escape to people to rant about problems. But that can be anything else too. Through that game, it’s built a lot of relationships and community between players. It was just unfortunate that one person in there would result indirectly in putting a gaming community in a bad light through his interactions in there. It’s ultimately unneeded attention. Rather than a community that’s been playing a game together, it’s getting light as a community that had that Arizona shooter in there.
Obviously, I’ve focused a lot on that gaming community, but when you think about it, it’s just like any other community. They’re people gathered together with a commonality shared between them: a text-based game. And just like the rest of the United States, I know their hearts are going out to all those who lost loved ones in the shooting.
My prayers go out to Congresswoman Gifford, as she continues to recover. Seeing her status improve is definitely a miracle (a shot through the brain is still a shot through the brain, regardless of the bullet not exploding in the skull). My prayers go out to the victim’s families as they struggle through this tragedy. My prayer is that they continue to receive healing and comfort through this time and find resolution through all this. For Jesus said, “Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt 5:4). My prayers go out to the Loughner family, as they struggle with this whole situation as well with uncertainty, fear, and mourning over what their son has done. To be in such a situation to try to still love your son despite what he’s done is unimaginably difficult and unexplainable beyond means.
While this event is over a week old now, its effect on society is unfortunately already done.
And sorry that this post is so jumbled. It’s still kinda sickening me every time I see it on CNN.com or another website. I can’t really wrap my mind around the whole situation, even though I wasn’t really connected beyond that game.