In light of all the school shootings over the past few years people have been attempting to find an explanation. The first thing people often point to is violent video games. People think that violence in video games raise the aggression level in kids. This theory seems reasonable, video games now a days certainly take the violence and gore to a different level. Unfortunately for these people, this theory fails when put to the test.
According to the above charts there would seem to be no apparent link to video games, and gun related murders. Its no coincidence that the country with the highest murder gun rate, is the country with the most people with access to guns, an issue I will address in a latter blog. Though for now , I just don’t see enough evidence to support the claim that violent video games lead to violent behavior. Not to say the above charts prove otherwise. The chart could be explained in so many different ways. The study done to make this chart has so many different variables, its hard to explain why the plot line is the way it is. Maybe it is because these countries don’t have access to guns. Maybe the time period just captures the natural down slope every trend takes. Or maybe, just maybe, its because the people who are playing video games, for the most part, are smart enough to separate reality from fiction. I play video games all the time, as do must people my age. I am not overly aggressive. Now there is an exception to every rule, but for the most part people my age are just as non aggressive as me. Sure, there are people in my generation who are overly aggressive. There are people from every generation that are overly aggressive. Some people are just angry,and there is nothing you can do about it.
The sheer amount of school shootings there has been is an issue. There is clearly something wrong, and there has to be something done to fix it. Video games aren’t the issue though. People look at the kids from Columbine, the kid from Virginia tech, and the Sandy Hook shooter, and they say there is one common correlation, they all played video games. There is so many things wrong with this statement I don’t even know where to begin. For one, I bet if you were to search their houses, you would also find a toaster in all of them, a bed, books, and a TV Simply saying someone owns something isn’t enough proof to say it it is a reason why they do what they do. Almost every kid plays video games. Yet none of them shoot up their schools. Chances are, these kids were just sick in the head. They weren’t normal people, they had issues. Crazy people will always be crazy, if one thing doesn’t set them off, something else will. We cant keep trying to find easy answers to why there is violence. Its really easy to blame video games, its much harder to say we have a epidemic on our hands and we are breeding sociopaths and narcissists. This generation has more health problems than any generation before. They have more and worse allergies, 1 in 12 kids has asthma, cases of Autism, down syndrome, and aspergers are through the roof. This generation is one big health crisis. Video Games certainly aren’t causing that. They are just another scapegoat because people don’t want to deal with a real and present crisis. I cant explain why this generation is getting sicker, both mentally and physically. Maybe if we spent more time researching that, instead of researching if violent video games lead to real violence over and over again. Take a look at all the government studies that have been done in this link. Twenty Five different studies, all with different results. After reading over all 25 of them, its safe to say, there is no obvious correlation with aggression and violent video games. The rule of the scientific Methods states for a hypothesis to be considered true, it must be repeatable. When the results are different every time, something is wrong with the hypothesis. The study show that some kids become for aggressive, while others don’t. Its a case by case basis, and chances are the kids who became more aggression, already had a anger problem.
Video games are just the latest scapegoat for why there are problems in society. In the 50’s, rock and roll music was what was going to ruin teens. People like Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley were the devil in disguise, pun intended. They were trying to corrupt the youth, and make them rebel. The teens of that time had different ideals than their parents, and just like with what we are doing with video games now, instead of finding a real issue, parent used a scapegoat. Turns out the real issue was actually quite simple. This was the first time the idea of teen even existed. Before the 50’s there was no such thing as a teen, by that age they were just workers trying to help their family make a living. After child labor was outlawed, and the economy was stabilized, kids didn’t have to work for their family, they could do whatever they wanted to do. They were working for money to spend on themselves now, not to put food on the table. It had nothing to do with the music, they just wanted to be free. Some good came out of this though. James Dean was able to star as “A Rebel without a Cause ” in what has to be the most over dramatic movie trailer and scene I have have seen. Looking back on this movie, its easy to see how ridiculous this movie, and the whole controversy of the teen rebellion was. Buddy Holly and Elvis weren’t evil, they weren’t corrupting the youth, teens just naturally don’t want to agree with their parents. They didn’t know that at the time, and it was a huge issue. Just as big of an issue as violent video games are now. Are we blaming the wrong thing again? Society certainly has a bad track record of being right when it comes to issues like this.
America has to wake up and find a real reason why things like Sandy Hook are happening, because as the evidence shows, violent video games aren’t a viable reason why. There simply isn’t any evidence supporting it, and if we continue to just use them as a scapegoat, we may miss the real reason. I for one vote for that these kids were just sociopaths to begin with and we missed it, and didn’t give them the proper help they needed.
- Jon Stewart Rips Senator For Attacking Video Games During Gun Hearing (kotaku.com)
- PAR The Cut: Parents are tired and work too hard, so we better remove violence from all video games (penny-arcade.com)