Violence in Gaming

Jonathan Barrera

     Nowadays, you have probably played video games or heard of gaming in the media. Many people such as politicians and the media believe that gaming violence or aggressive thoughts and actions, and they also blame video games for many sensitive topics, such as shootings. Since the creation of video games, parents have been concerned for the health of their children. For example, in 1976 the National Safety Council was outraged at and fearful of the arcade game “Death Race” calling the game “morbid”,“gross”, and “sick, sick, sick.” When in reality the game was just pixels on a screen with no gore, blood, or even colors other than black and white.→

     As seen on the graph, as video game consumption in the U.S has increased, youth violence has dropped drastically over a couple of years. Adding to this, in other countries, people play a lot more video games than in the United States and they have even lower crimes and violence. For example, China is one of the if not the highest consumer of video games with their murder/homicide rate being 1 per 100,000 people which is lower compared to the U.S having 5 per 100,000 people. Even though China does have a population of 1.3 billion people, China’s total murder count is still lower than the Unites States’ murder count. Studies and analysis done by the Secret Service also show that school shooters actually consumed and spent less time playing video games than other teenage boys their age. Video games can still cause temporary increases in aggressive thoughts and behavior commonly known as rage, but the temporary acts of aggression are about the same as rage caused by sports or other real-life acts of aggression.

     Dr. Patrick Markey, professor of psychological and brain sciences, of Villanova University stated that, “Blaming video games for real-world violence really took off after the Columbine shooting, and it was an understandable mistake, because we all desperately wanted some reason why someone would commit such a horrific act of violence. But today we know video games actually aren’t what’s to blame. The fact is, it’s just easier to blame video games than to tackle societal problems that actually impact rates of violence. Things like educational and employment disparities, stigma against seeking mental health treatment, and, especially in the case of shootings, access to guns.” Many politicians still blame video games for acts of violence such as shootings. For example, current president of the United States, President Donald Trump, stated, “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young peoples’ thoughts.”When studies and research disprove this. Tax dollars funding research for finding a link between videogames and shootings/acts of violence should come to a halt because there is no real connection between the two. All this does is keep us from finding solutions to the acts of violence going on in the U.S and the rest of the world. What do you think?