I think it’s about time we finally put a stop to beating this poor, dead horse. Ever since the early 2000s, video games have been under heavy fire for being conducive to violent behavior. Since video games often have themes and modes of gameplay that revolve around gore and killing, people concern themselves with the effects it may have.
While this topic lost some importance over the years, recent school shootings have dug the issue back from the grave. Specifically speaking, after Parkland shooting this past Valentines Day.
President Trump has even pointed his finger at video games for being the cause. But supporters of video games have been saying it for years and years with backup from researchers: playing video games does not make you a violent person, nor does it influence you to commit the same deeds you would in them. Let’s talk real quick about why there’s no need to concern yourself with the role of video games and their rumored effects.
For starters, research has been done multiple times on this matter and they have all come to the same conclusion.
There is no evidence to support the claims that video games produce violent behavior.
“It’s hard to attribute video games to any kind of violence in society, …We’re not able to find any evidence to support this idea,” Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University said,
Many other researchers, psychologists, and sociologists have followed suit on this belief that any connection thought between these two factors is trivial and insignificant.
These claims on video games clearly have bias. 40 percent of American adults have played a video game at least once in their life. That’s a large number citizens to make group and make assumption on.
Psychologist Patrick Markey conducted research in response to President Trump meeting with victims’ parents of mass shootings and claiming that they play a vital role in these horrific events. However, his research revealed that 80 percent of mass shooters showed no interest in video games.
“It seems like something that should make us safer so it’s a totally understandable reaction,” Markey said. “The problem is just the science, the data, does not back up that they actually have an effect.”
Even with instances where shooters did play video games have now lost their ground to compare with average citizens. Once revealed that the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, played video games for up to 15 hours a day, suspicions arose. Members of the NRA and its supporters immediately came to flock to the blaming of video games; not anything actually related.
A survivor of the incident, Samuel Zeif, spoke up about his video game playing and their effects on him and his classmates.
“My friends and I have been playing video games our whole life and never … have we ever felt driven or provoked by those actions in those games to do something as horrible as this,” Zeif said.
It’s time we stop searching for irrelevant scapegoats to make this matter easier. This accusation has gone on for too long. Listen to the research and let video games do their thing; providing interactive entertainment, not violence inducing mind-control methods.