Video Games Causing Violence

By Mason Choffe

Scutti, Susan. “Do Video Games Lead to Violence?” CNN, Cable News Network, 26 July 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/07/25/health/video-games-and-violence/index.html.

Scutti published this article to CNN, in response to the shooting in Munich on July 22, 2016. In the shooting, an 18-year old man killed 9 people at a concert, and upon further investigation, it was revealed that he was a fan of first-person shooter video games. Obviously, this lead to discussion about a possible link between violent and mature video games making people become murderous or homicidal later in life. A study showed that over 90% of children in the United States play video games, with 85% containing violence. Despite the warnings that violent media would lead to aggressive thoughts and behaviour, studies by Prof. Whitney DeCamp showed that violent video games did not predict violent behaviour, and actually helped young males have a cathartic reaction to releasing their aggression, and kept males off the streets and out of trouble. 

Ferguson, Christopher J. “Video Games Don't Make Kids Violent.” Time, Time, 7 Dec. 2011, ideas.time.com/2011/12/07/video-games-dont-make-kids-violent/.

Ferguson's article was published to Time on December 7, 2011. This article talks about whether or not violent video games make kids violent. It asks the question of why people haven't been more concerned about the idea that all of these video games could lead to aggressive behaviour and school shootings like Columbine or Sandy Hook. The answer to that is, the fact that while sales of video games have increased dramatically, violence in youth has decreased more than it has in 40 years. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized that studies into seeing wether or not video games cause violence have been rejected in cases. Other studies, including Ferguson's own, showed that gamers were more frustrated by the fact that they weren't allowed to play the game for long, and were shown to be much more calm when they completed the game, and allowed them to relax. The article goes on to say that gaming should be enjoyed in moderation, and teaches children to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and lets their brains react differently to aggression.