Video Games and Violence: Off-Target Answers



Isaac Ortiz/Contributing Writer

After the tragedy in Aurora, Colo. and the devastation in Newtown, Conn., millions of Americans looked for answers.  Parents especially wanted to understand and find the answers as to why gun violence is so persistent in this country. But often people point a finger at the wrong things when they are desperate for answers.

Many people came to the conclusion that violent video games have made teens more aggressive and even desensitized them to the violence.

My question is: Why?

The violence in video games has nothing to do with the violence someone else committed.  I don’t think video games are to blame for the recent shootings. I understand the concept of empathy but to say one man’s doing was caused by a source of entertainment is very bold.

This perceived connection between violence and gaming has actually been disproven by a number of research studies.

The Washington Post studied the 10 largest game markets in the world and reported there was “no [evidence of] statistical correlation between video game consumption and gun-related killings.”

Of the 10 largest game markets, the U.S. has the most gun-related violence. The figures are incredible and lead me to believe that the games aren’t the problem. There are some other issues going on here, and the solution isn’t taking away little Timmy’s “Call of Duty”.

This is an argument based on a difference of perspective and values.

The video game industry, just like the movie industry is rated. If parents decide to let their children play a gory and violent game that is clearly labeled for adults only, then the parent shouldn’t complain. Instead of saying, “Violence is too much for children…Games are to blame,” parents should learn to protect their own kids.

Every day millions of people look for answers during times of tragedy. People often want the simple answer to their questions. The truth is the answer is never simple. It’s a combination of various factors: political, cultural, moral, and personal.