The ASA reports that violent video games do not cause teen violence:
The American Sociological Association (ASA) has published a report claiming that there is no link between violent video games and homicidal behaviour in children.
Following high profile school shootings in the US, most famously at Columbine High School, many reports have attempted to create a link between such events and violent video games such as the first person shooter Doom.
The ASA article focuses on why people are so ready to blame video games for violent attacks by troubled teens, pointing out that in the 10 years following Doom’s 1993 release, homicide arrest rates among juveniles fell by 77 per cent.
School shootings remain extremely rare; even during the 1990s, when fears of school violence were high, students had less than a seven in 10 million chance of being killed at school.
The ASA said that video games and other violent entertainment are being used as a “folk devil” and have no real impact on the behaviour of children.
I cannot say this surprises me. Those who blamed video games and such almost always relied on post hoc fallacies. Most students who shoot up schools played violent video games, but that in no way implies that the video games caused it. Similarly, most students who shoot up schools were breastfed as children; surely we can see the idiocy in saying that implies that breastfeeding causes school-shootings.
It appears they used video games as a scapegoat. School-shootings have decreased steadily for a long time. Still, they occasionally happen. Who do we blame beside the disturbed children? How about the neglectful parents, incompetent schools, and the bad example of our offensively violent governments?
What do you think?