Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

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Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Teen Violence

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.

Read entire article at itnews.com.au.

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?

By | March 19th, 2007 | SHOW COMMENTS (3)

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3 Responses

  1. New games rental says

    I’m absolutely disagree with this. There is direct link between violent video games and homicidal behaviour in children.

  2. Joseph Heekin says

    There’s no logical way to connect the few school shootings that have taken place to violent video games, of which millions are produced and played by gamers all over the world. If violence in the media did cause a significant effect on the behaviors of those who play them, we’d be seeing an epidemic of beatings, rapes, school shootings, and murder. Crime rates over the past few decades have shown that this is not the case–they have actually been falling. People who commit what would be considered serious acts of violence are likely predisposed to it because of other sources of violence, likely more real sources of violence such as domestic abuse, neglect, etc. I would agree that such media do have some effect on the physiology of the players; for example, after repeated exposure to such media, eventual desensitization to violence results. However, this desensitization is clearly not significant enough to require censorship of violent media.

  3. Brandon LeQuire says

    Most of my friends and myself have played video games since we were 5. We have played nothing but violent games since 12. I do not even have a single game thats rated less then T. Yet We have never got into a fight never done drugs and never decided to kill everyone in our class. The only way violent games can influence young kids is if a game like Saints Row or Gears of War gets in the hands of 8 year olds where the mind is still developing right from wrong. Also most of the violence that video games are being blamed on is where the person commiting the violence is haveing home troubles or was mentally unstable to begin with. It is the parents job to do 2 things look at the black letter on the back of the game and see if it says E, E+7, T, M, or Ao. and say yes or no.

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