We publish the latest gaming and related news from the Industry and also captivating videos from our YouTube channel and partner websites for your daily enjoyment. Our mission is to be the number one media source for all things gaming…from reviews to game updates, strategies, cosplays and more. We bring excitement and enjoyment as well as innovation and inspiration to all fans while enhancing and fueling our community’s geeky passion! 💜
People try to blame the Florida high school shooting on violent video games and other forms of media by Christopher J. Ferguson, Professor of Psychology, Stetson University via The Conversation In the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Broward County, Florida high school, a familiar trope has reemerged: Often, when a young man is the shooter, people try to blame the […]
In January, after two students were killed and many others wounded by a 15-year-old shooter in Benton, Kentucky, the state’s governor criticized popular culture, telling reporters, “We can’t celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen.”
But, speaking as a researcher who has studied violent video games for almost 15 years, I can state that there is no evidence to support these claims that violent media and real-world violence are connected. As far back as 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that research did not find a clear connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior. Criminologists who study mass shootings specifically refer to those sorts of connections as a “myth.” And in 2017, the Media Psychology and Technology division of the American Psychological Association released a statement I helped craft, suggesting reporters and policymakers cease linking mass shootings to violent media, given the lack of evidence for a link.
A history of a moral panic
So why are so many policymakers inclined to blame violent video games for violence? There are two main reasons.
Particularly in the early 2000s, dubious evidence regarding violent video games was uncritically promoted. But over the years, confidence among scholars that violent video games influence aggression or violence has crumbled.
Reviewing all the scholarly literature
My own research has examined the degree to which violent video games can — or can’t — predict youth aggression and violence. In a 2015 meta-analysis, I examined 101 studies on the subject and found that violent video games had little impact on kids’ aggression, mood, helping behavior or grades.
With so little evidence, why are people like Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin still trying to blame violent video games for mass shootings by young men? Can groups like the National Rifle Association seriously blame imaginary guns for gun violence?
A key element of that problem is the willingness of professional guild organizations such as the APA to promote false beliefs about violent video games. (I’m a fellow of the APA.) These groups mainly exist to promote a profession among news media, the public and policymakers, influencing licensing and insurance laws. They also make it easier to get grants and newspaper headlines. Psychologists and psychology researchers like myself pay them yearly dues to increase the public profile of psychology. But there is a risk the general public may mistake promotional positions for objective science.
It’s bad enough that these statements misrepresent the actual scholarly research and misinform the public. But it’s worse when those falsehoods give advocacy groups like the NRA cover to shift blame for violence onto nonissues like video games. The resulting misunderstandings delay efforts to address mental illness and other issues that are actually related to gun violence.
We are Editors who write, edit and publish articles and YouTube videos that provide Industry news and reviews of video games and computer games. Our mission is to be the number one media source for all things gaming; from reviews to game updates, strategies, cosplays and more. We bring excitement and enjoyment as well as innovation and inspiration to all fans while enhancing and fueling our community’s gaming passion!
Leave a Reply