As the United States of America is plagued by more and more mass shootings the politics of our country seek to find a culprit. The assumed culprit is the video game industry. More specifically the violent video games many adults, teenagers and even children play. Some examples of these games being blamed are the Call of Duty franchise, the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the Mortal Kombat franchise, and so many more. These games not only bring thousands, if not millions of people amusement but it also allows kids who might not fit in at school or other places chances to fit in and relate to other people while also giving them chances to make friends and stay connected to people all over the world.
These games all have age restrictions on them. Many people blame videogames for mass shootings, gun violence, and even gang violence. Many of those who condemn videogames for causing violence are the government of the United States however, there is evidence that refutes this ridiculous claim. Evidence can be found in the arguments of the political parties of the United States of America, experiments performed by professionals, and many news articles written by those who have investigated the topic very much.
In the article “Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions.” by Craig A Anderson, Anderson discusses many of the views on violence in videogames. Craig Anderson, who has his PhD in psychology from Stanford and a huge list of scholarly achievements, gives his views on both sides of the arguments through many of the myths people believe about video game violence. He uses facts to disprove or prove many of the myths. Some examples of myths are how a lot of experiments don’t properly prove anything, and how correlation does not prove causation meaning just because people who have shown aggressive actions play videogames this does not mean the actions where induced by the games. Overall, Anderson’s points are non-biased and very informative on the subject.
Many new sources have reported on the topic. One notable video called ‘Virtually No Evidence’ Linking Video Games with Mass Shootings, Researcher Says is a great example of how violence in videogames does not cause violence. The news clip found on YouTube shows an interview James Ivory, the Director of Research and Outreach in the department of communication at Virgina Tech. Ivory describes how there is almost no evidence that show how people who play videogames cause violence.
The interview also reaches stereotypes and an experiment Ivory helped conduct. They showed people mock news stories of crimes by both white and black teenagers. People liked the idea more when people where white and saying videogames had a role in the idea. The idea that videogames cause violence in people is apparently only affecting white people. This proves videogames don’t affect violence because people are racist and blaming white crimes on videogames. People much like our politics blame the easiest thing there is and, in this case, it is videogames.
In the CBS news clip, ‘Virtually No Evidence’ Linking Video Games with Mass Shootings, Researcher Says, the newscaster also brings up some of the politics points of view. For the republican side of things, they mention how Donald Trump, President of the United States, views the subject. He personally put a lot of the blame on violent videogames for the violent actions of the country. However, the interviewer and Ivory both mention how the republicans funded an experiment to try and prove that videogames cause violence. In other words, they wasted money because the results came out inconclusive meaning that their experiment didn’t prove that videogames cause violence.
On the other hand, the interview also spoke on what Hillary Clinton had to say about the subject. Hillary tweeted out, “People suffer from mental illness in every other country on earth; people play videogames in virtually every other country on earth.” Hillary brings up a great point and the interviewer backs her up. She mentions how Japan has an equally, if not more, of an abundant videogame culture but Japan has little to no mass shootings and violence. Japan pretty much started the idea of Esports and a lot of esports games are violent like Overwatch and Call of Duty. Overall, the things the republicans say and the things the democrats say differ from one another, they both blame different things for the cause of violence showing how out government will never get anything solved.
There are many experiments that have been done to combat the idea that video games cause violence. One example is “The Hitman Study” done by Christopher Ferguson and Stephanie Rueda. The experiment consisted of 103 young adults. They were then assigned randomly to groups after all being given a “frustration task” they were then placed to play either no videogame, a nonviolent videogame, a violent videogame where one plays as the good guy, or a violent videogame where one plays as a bad guy. Then they were given the same frustration task again and they monitored their reactions.
This experiment was designed to prove that videogames cause violence, but the results ended up concluding that it did not. However, the experiment did conclude that videogames might reduce stress and anxiety. The experiment helped prove that videogames exist for the better instead of for the worse. In the case of comparing this experiment to the real world, one might argue that this experiment does not apply to the real world only these 103 people, however this focus group has better results than most experiments. If this experiment was done on a bigger number of subjects the results would come out the same, videogames don’t cause aggression in people and instead help people by reducing stress and anxiety.
The article “Point: Video Games Should Be Celebrated and Improved Rather than Prohibited.” written by Micah Issitt and Katherine Walter brings up many reasons that videogames do not cause violence. At first the authors discuss a brief history of controversial videogames. One example is “Death Race” in which the authors describe, “a 1976 game in which players attempted to hit ‘gremlins’ with a car, causing the creatures to emit a cry. Though the game’s graphics were not detailed, some objected to game’s depictions of violence and called for its removal from stores.” One topic of conversation also brought up in the article is how videogames do not affect children teenagers or anyone who play them psychologically.
The two authors also mention how playing violent videogames leads to a healthy expression for players giving them relief of violent actions in a harmless environment. They believe videogames allow players to help themselves from rough times in a creative destruction type of way. The authors also touch on how videogames help people with logical problem solving and other real-world things. As well as online multiplayer becomes more prominent in violent videogames, the use of “social skills and relationship building” allows players to be less anti-social and helping them in the real world. Overall, the article argues that instead of laws being made to prevent violent videogames we should have laws made to protect violent videogames in order to protect them for the benefits they have to the people who play them.
The article “Do Violent Video Games Make Kids More Violent?” expresses many of the reasons that video games do not cause violence in kids or anyone else. The article is written by Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research or BCTR for short terminology. They explain how with the rise of games like Fortnite can be seen as violent and how its cartoon like violence is a plausible explanation for kids becoming violent but there is no scientific evidence between videogames and aggression in people. Fortnite was a game where 100 people would go onto and island and fight until one person is left alive. There is no real violence in the game, there is no blood, gore, or anything that would make it mature rated. They start by explain the dilemma on how the research on the idea that videogames cause violence is very mixed, it either proves or disproves the theory.