There is no good way to pause and share support with those who lost life and loved ones during the Friday shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Everything, whether it’s a moment of silence or a promise of solidarity in the face of violence, is not enough. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, though. The health and fitness-centric Gamer Fit Nation and its CEO Antwand Pearman are trying to do something for the victims of the massacre with the Day of Cease Fire for Online Shooters event scheduled for Friday. It’s an unusual moment of silence, and a laudable one.
“We ask for gamers to show their support for the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy that took place in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday, December 14, 2012,” reads a statement from Pearman on Facebook, “We are simply making a statement that we as gamers are not going to sit back and ignore the lives that were lost. Instead we will embrace the families with our love and support.”
“So if you are an owner of a website I ask that you post to your readers that you will join us in our Day of Cease Fire for Online Shooters. I ask you all to please share and I thank you for reading. This starts Thursday night, Friday morning at 12am and will end Friday night, Saturday morning at 12am.”
Pearman’s request is a tall order just days before Christmas, a period when online gaming populations spike thanks to students and others going on vacation. It’s also the time of year when the newest online shooters like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4 see peak saturation. The statement that people stand together and refuse to engage in even an entertaining facsimile of violence in the face of real brutality should be all the more powerful as a result.
Video games have shared an ignoble link with school shootings in the past. The Columbine massacre in 1999 was marked by reports of the shooters’ playing early first-person shooters like Doom. The mainstream press has abstained from blaming games or game communities on the mindless actions of shooter Adam Lanza, though tabloids like Britain’s The Sun have made dubious claims that he was obsessed with Call of Duty.
Please do take Friday off from shooters to show your support, even if that’s all you can do.