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Triforce Johnson holds tribute to Sandy Hook on 12/21

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 22, 2012, 1:20:36 PM PST

After Sandy Hook, This Guy Says He Got 50,000 People To Stop Playing Violent Video Games. But One Gamer Refused.

Mike Rougeau
Antwand Pearman is a father. As we spoke on the phone this afternoon, his kids chattered in the background. He kept apologizing, but I told him I didn't mind.

When Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. last week, Pearman, CEO of GamerFitNation, was understandably affected. "I know I would lose my mind if my child didn't come home," he told me. So he decided to do something about it: he called for all gamers to participate in an Online Shooter Ceasefire on Dec. 21, abstaining from violent games for a single day to show respect for the victims and their families.

The response blew him away.
Pearman said the result was better than anything he expected. Based on the data he received from clans and organizations that participated and what he could surmise from social media, he estimated that around 50,000 gamers participated in the #OSCeasefire. Even hacktivist group Anonymous got on board, promoting the movement through social media.

He compared it to the Christmas truce that took place on the Western front of the first world war during 1914. As the holiday approached, British, French and German troops stopped shooting at one another long enough to exchange gifts, sing carols and play football.

"I wanted gamers to come together to try to show that we care," he told me. "It shows that we can come together and do something positive on a grand scale."

But not everyone was on board. Isaiah-TriForce Johnson (yes, that's his real name), internet famous for being the first in line for three Nintendo hardware releases in a row, told me on Friday that he would be playing whatever games he wanted.

In fact, TriForce, who makes a point every year to give to engage with charities through his organization Empire Arcadia, held his own tribute on the night of Dec. 21. He and some friends live streamed a marathon session of games like Zelda II and Street Fighter X Tekken-games that feature storylines in which you save kids. To promote his point of view he created a simple image that he hoped would be impossible to misinterpret:

[Gamers save {kids} and {princesses}, we don't kill them.]

"I've been around gaming for a very, very long time and I've watched the media butcher video games and blame video games for a whole bunch of stuff that has nothing to really do with us, or the manufacturers, or the developers, the producers, the inventors - it has nothing to do with us," he told me.

"The reason I think that the online ceasefire is a bad idea is because, as I said before, the media will take anything that we say and they will manipulate it," he continued. "I think the media would take that and use it against him."

We're saying to those pundits and politicians who would use games as a scapegoat: we don't care what you say about us. We're going to show respect, and we're going to do it our way.
TriForce said as much to Pearman, but the two didn't see eye-to-eye. "TriForce voiced that to me as well, but I'm like, 'Listen, one: you can't be afraid, you know, to come out and speak against something in fear of what's going to happen,'" Pearman told me. "You can't let the media define who you are, you know? You define who you are."

Besides, he said on Saturday the media coverage of the Ceasefire had been positive so far. He even appeared on CNN with Piers Morgan, who later tweeted a quote from Pearman: "I don't see how videogames...contribute to violence, especially when most (games) emulate real life."

I'm more inclined to agree with Pearman; when you fly a flag half-mast, you're not blaming the flag. A moment of silence is not an accusation aimed at speaking. And screw whoever wants to twist the Ceasefire to their own agenda. We're saying to those pundits and politicians who would use games as a scapegoat: we don't care what you say about us. We're going to show respect, and we're going to do it our way.

"You and I both know Antwand means good," TriForce said. "But we are in a very tense position in the nation right now. We're really walking on egg shells, and anything we do or say will be used against us."

I say let them try.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 1:40:02 PM PST
shiftless says:
I don't know that I agree with Pearman here, or the Kotaku writer. Don't get me wrong, I totally support showing respect to the families and victims affected, rather than the shooter; the media should have been doing that from day one, and not just for this incident. But an "online shooter ceasefire" just seems like Pearman is acknowledging the accusations against violent video games. It seems to me that he's saying, "sure, video games ARE to blame. But we're willing to stop shooting at each other's pixels for a day to show respect." I don't think it's so much about how the media will interpret that; it already seems pretty clear. Am I totally off-base here?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012, 1:41:49 PM PST
Donkey Punch says:
I agree with you, dude.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 1:45:37 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013, 5:34:11 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 2:06:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2012, 2:09:09 PM PST
"I'm more inclined to agree with Pearman; when you fly a flag half-mast, you're not blaming the flag"

Ugh. Terrible analogy.

This was a well-intentioned idea, but they did it in a bad way. shiftless is absolutely correct about how it will be interpreted by the media. They should have called for gamers to stop ALL gaming for one day to show that we're not "playing around" when it comes to wanting a stop to violence. That's a much better idea. It's like a moment of silence that way.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012, 4:06:22 PM PST
Jacob Dyer says:
If they want to hold a ceasefire that's fine. I wouldn't hold it against anyone who plays though. It just seems kind of silly to me. Donate some money to a charity if you want to make a difference.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 5:45:10 PM PST
A cease fire in violent games? Are you kidding me? I mean I understand the point behind having a moment of silence but this makes it seem like violent games were at fault and I don't agree with that at all. Games weren't to blame for what that madman did and instead of asking gamers to not play the games they love why not encourage them to share their favorite past time with friends and family? To come together and cherish what they have, reflect on what those who were involved with this awful event lost, and help promote an overall positive image for games?

I spent last night blowing up people on Hawken and had a blast doing it. Violent games had nothing to do with the shooting at Sandy Hook and this is like saying violent games were at fault and we should feel bad for playing them. Sorry but I blame one person and one person alone for this shooting; Adam Lanza.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012, 6:21:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2012, 6:26:37 PM PST
K Archer says:
Yeah, calling for a ceasefire is just a bad idea; like others said it is pretty much saying "yeah, we're at fault so go have some fun tearing us apart, media".

The (news) media is so corrupt at this point that anything the "target blame group" (AKA us) does that is different than normal, no matter the intention (including donating to charity or defiantly saying that we are no more to blame than any other media form), they will use it against us. Just watch; if one of the major news outlets wants to, they'll run an article saying "gamers know they're at fault for shootings" and have this to back them up.

I spent my gaming last night having fun slicing apart bandits in Borderlands 2. A melee-focused Zer0 is a lot more...exciting...than my Cataclysm Maya, I've found; both are fun to play in their own ways too. Still like both Sirens better (I love elemental damage; give me a Maliwan SMG and I'm happy). Of course, I didn't know about this "ceasefire" until today, but if I did I might have jumped into Starhawk and shot some of my clanmates instead. But I would not agree to a ceasefire like this to submit to the media; no way in heck.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  8
Initial post:  Dec 22, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 22, 2012

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