With high profile shootings by young adults seemingly on the rise, it would be easy
to target something as simple as the music they listen to, the movies they
watch or the games they play to take the blame.
However, recent studies have shown that video games don’t cause
violence, and to point the finger at them as a primary cause takes a far too
simplistic approach. Children are a key user demographic in the video game
industry, so debunking commonly held myths is crucial.
Myth 1: Studies show that video games
causes violence in young people.
False.Supporting the theory that video games don’t cause violence is the 2010 study
from Dr. Fergusson and Dr. Stephanie M. Rueda in which they sampled 103 young
adults and had them solve a frustration task after playing video games. One
group did not play a video game, one played a nonviolent video game, one played
as protagonists in a violent game, and one played villains in a violent game.
The results revealed the video games had no impact on aggressive behavior at
all, and that the group that played no video game at all was in fact the most
aggressive after the task, whereas the group that played the violent video
games were the least hostile and depressed.
Many researchers have found that exposure to violence in the home or community would
be more likely to predispose someone towards violent acts. Simply put, video
games don’t cause violence in their key user demographic.
Myth 2: Violence is on the increase and so
are video game sales. Video games are to blame.
False.While it’s true that computer and video game sales have
soared, violence is on the decline. Statistically, video games don’t cause
violence. According to FBI’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, video game sales
steadily climbed from just over $3 billion in 1996 to $7 billion in 2004. During this time, incidents of violent crime
decreased from 3 million to just under 2 million incidents — a 40 year low.
With their soaring popularity, if video games caused violence, the United
States would have seen a rise in crime rates.
Myth 3: The courts have
taken a position against video game companies with regards to youth violence.
False. Due to numerous recent studies, many courts have found against this theory with
regards to youth violence and video game use. During an appeal to show that
video games don’t cause violence in young adults, The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeals declared, “The state has not produced substantial evidence that…
video games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors.”
Myth 4: Video games desensitize kids to
False. Whereas video games don’t cause violence , they also do not “desensitize” gamers
to real life violent acts or cause a lack of empathy towards victims. Recent
studies have shown that exposure to violence on screen had little or no
influence on viewer’s reactions to real life violence. A similar study in
Applied Cognitive Psychology also found
little to no evidence for a desensitizing effect for video games.
In light of recent tragedies in the United States, perhaps it’s time that our
society took a harder look at preventing the actual causes of violence rather
than blaming the video game industry. The facts are difficult to deny: Video
games don’t cause violence. We do.
About Author: David lived in Boston for five years. After graduated, he moved back to his country and started his own business. Video games and Martial arts have been his passion since he was young.And he is more than welcome to make friends with fellow gamers,bloggers.