Do Violent Video Games Promote Violence?

by 人◕ ‿‿ ◕人 on June 20, 2015 - 5:39pm

On September 10th, 2013, Fox News uploaded a video entitled “Link between teen killers and violent video games?” where they seem to suggest a correlation between violent video games and violence. This raises the question; does playing violent video games promote violence? In this essay, I will attempt to discuss this issue .

One might assume that Fox News suggests that there exists correlation between these variables because the clip displays many pictures of the last decade’s shooting spree suspects and in big letters above it states “Were all Gamers”. However, this form of evidence is skewed insofar as the factor of playing video games is a fairly common one. Another error within this comparison is that being a “gamer” does not necessarily imply that one plays violent video games. For example, a gamer can play role playing games which do not involve violence. Indeed the suspects were gamers; however it does not mean they played violent video games. However, let us assume Fox News’ assumptions were correct, that being a gamer does involve playing violent video games, how come the rest of the gaming community are not made up of serial killers? Video games do not create violent, troubled, or murderous people but rather they have the possibility of triggering them. In a similar manner to how marijuana might reveal an underlying condition such as schizophrenia within a person who smokes frequently, video games have the potential of worsening the condition of people who are troubled long before they began gaming as it acts as a catalyst. Perhaps if violent video games had the ability to transform innocent people into murderers then all gamers would be killers; or at least we could expect a much higher frequency of them within the gaming community. According to studies conducted at the University of Oxford and Rochester, researchers found that “aggressive thoughts and actions don’t come from the violent content of a game” (Bennett). In retrospect, supposedly one of the Columbine shooters was very into the video game DOOM (Saldana). Although this game can be argued to involve violence, this game nor any other type of game has never, and will never instil a murderous rage within a normal person.

According to Takashi, more than 1.2 billion people are playing video games worldwide (Venturebeat). Therefore, out of 1.2 billion people Fox News managed to provide ten cases where a gamer was responsible for a massacre. Fox News is taking an extremely small sample size of the gaming community and in that making a serious claim about its population. This is a clear case of manipulation of their viewers as well as instilment of their political agenda.

Fox News could definitely call me a gamer. Over the years I have played many video games, indeed I have played violent ones one of which is Dota 2. This game does involve killing, not only computer generated enemies but people who control characters as well. I have been playing this game since its beta, which was open nearly two years ago. Within that time I have played close to 1500 hours and have killed thousands of virtual players. However, this game did not transform me into emotionless and bloodthirsty killer. By extension, this can be said about my entire friend group who I played Dota 2 with.

In the above essay, I have discussed the issues surrounding violent video games and acts of aggression and violence. Until further notice, no evidence whatsoever has come to light that suggests the positive correlation between violent video games and violence.

Bennett, Drake. "Violent Video Games Don't Make You Aggressive (but Tetris Might)." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.

Takashi, Dean. "More than 1.2 Billion People Are Playing games." VentureBeat. 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 June 2015.

Saldana, Adam. "The Columbine Doom Theory." Adams Blog. 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 June 2015.

Comments

Very interesting post. I enjoy video games quite abit as well and peronally I do not see any correlation with killing a computer animated character and killing an actual human being. As you said the sample size of 10 cases versus 1.2 billion gamers is pretty ridiculous and Fox should not consider that a correlation.There are way more factors to consider which have a stronger correlation with murderous behaviours other than video games some of which include upbringing, social class, mental state etc. Video games do not teach you how to actually kill a person. You are just pressing buttons with your fingers, not literally taking a gun and shooting it. I could start ranting about gun laws all day which is an issue extremely more sever than video games. Had the killer in question not been able to get their hands on these weapons in the first place and the murders probably would have never occurred, but that is a different story in it's own right.

The only part that struck me as odd was when you mention that all gamers don't necessarily play violent video games because the main correlation in question had to do with murderers and violent video games so I think that if they video game is not violent it shouldn't really be relevant to this scenario. Besides that job well done!

About the author