What if I told you that in 1976, the National Safety Council threw a fit over a little coin-operated game called “Death Race,” calling it “sick, sick sick”? And in the early ’90s, Democratic Senator Joe Liberman focused in on the game “Mortal Combat,” going as far to claim that the game teaches kids to “enjoy inflicting the most gruesome forms of cruelty”?
Since video games have existed, our society has been brainwashed into believing that video games are either ruining our generation, teaching kids to be lazy, or else. Multiple news outlets have found ways to circle young men and porn addictions into this facet as well, claiming women are losing an entire generation to both. And with violent crime becoming more and more apparent in the news (mostly thanks to social media), Republicans would rather cite video games, movies, or books as the root cause of white terrorism.
A 2014 study conducted between Villanova University and Rutgers University concluded there is absolutely no link between playing violent video games and aggressive behaviors. Moreover, Japan plays even more video games than the United States does. Yet, they have 96-times fewer gun homicides than the U.S.
Despite these studies, we believe that video games cause violence. But why? It’s a lazy narrative written by the media and politicians, but has no basis of fact.
It was told that the Sandy Hook shooter played video games. But what wasn’t told was that his favorite was the game “Dance Dance Revolution.” In fact, the Secret Service conducted a study which concluded that school shooters consume significantly less amounts of violent media and games than their peers.
Dr. Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University, says, “The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive. Literally. The numbers work out about the same.”
“The problem is, you could take that profile and collect 500,000 people that fit,” he adds. “There are a lot of angry jerks out there that don’t go on to commit mass shootings.”
Violent video games are still a plotted excuse by politicians in many situations. In one study, Dr. Ferguson and his colleagues studied 6,814 news accounts of mass shootings. They found that in coverage of mass shootings, video games were eight times more likely to be brought up if the shooter was white than if the shooter was black.
“We should think about when we are more comfortable looking for something else to blame,” he said, adding, “I haven’t heard any senators talk about video games when an immigrant commits a crime.”