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Is There A Link Between Violent Video Games And Mass Shootings?

Is There A Link Between Violent Video Games And Mass Shootings
El Pasoans grieve during the Hope Border Institute Prayer Vigil August, 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas a day after a mass shooting at a Walmart store killed 20 people and wounded 26 more.

Do video games trigger acts of violence? No connection was discovered in scientific research. But, after massive shootings in the US towns of El Paso and Ohio, the concept is back in the headlines.

An internet manifesto believed to be written by the gunman listed shortly the Call of Duty fighting match. Then-President Donald Trump weighed up charging Monday that “great and grisly video games” add to the glamorization of violence. Mr. Trump’s comments, when he called video games “in victory” and invites game industry managers to meet at the White House, were more reservation compared to his last brush on the topic in 2018.

The Entertainment Software Association, the largest trade group in video games, has reiterated its stance that there is no causative link between video games and violence.

“More than 165 million Americans are playing video games and trillions play video games globally,” said the group in a declaration.

“There are no longitudinal studies that demonstrate the relationship between violence and video games,” said University of Nevada’s teacher, Benjamin Burroughs.

Mr. Burroughs said some studies demonstrate a short-term growth of aggressive ideas and emotions following playing video games, but no boost to the degree of violence.

“There is a lot of gamers who get upset when they lose or feel that the game is’ cheating,’ but it doesn’t lead to violent results,” he said.

In 2006, tiny research of scientists from the University of Indiana discovered that adolescents who played violent video games had greater rates of mental excitement but less activity in the brain areas of the brain related to planning, controlling and direct thinking.

In his studies, Patrick Markey, a teacher of psychology at the University of Villanova, has discovered people committing serious abuse to play violent video games below the average man.

He explains in his 2017 book “Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong” that approximately 20% were interested in violent video games relative to 70% of the population. Mr. Markey’s and his colleagues ‘ other research showed that violence tends to dissipate when fresh violent movies or video games emerge, a chance that individuals are at home or at the theatre.

“The general story is that people who are playing video games right afterward maybe a little jerky, but they don’t essentially change who they are,” he said.

The theory remains, in part, that politicians on both sides of the aisle took this as a simple goal because there is no strong lobby such as the Association of the National Rifle.

In 2013, after shooting at Newton, Connecticut Elementary School at Sandy Hook, Vice President Joe Biden held three days of widespread discussions on avoidance of gun violence, including a conference with video gaming managers.

After the 2013 conferences, the White House called for studies on the effects of media and video games on armed aggression.

“Policymakers on both parties follow video games–this strange unifying force makes them look like they’re doing something,” says Markey.

Another reason is that video games can look disturbing to individuals who are not gamers, according to Mr. Markey.

“They look frightening, but the study does not support the connection,” he said with violent behavior.

About the author

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Scott Frank

Scott is the Editorial Director at Drew Reports News. prior to joining Drew Reports News, Scott had a hand in a number of online and print publications, including InternetNews.com as a chief copy editor and Government Technology Magazine as managing editor. He also did a stint in Sydney as group editor of RBI Australia's manufacturing group, which is when he also developed an affinity (a love, really) for cricket.

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