Violence is the by-product of many factors: social, economic, peer pressure, mistrust. Video games have become a popular past time for the last two decades. Since the advent of video games, there is a tug of war going on between those who favor video games and those who despise it.
Video games, according to some, are the root cause of violence in teenagers and adults. However, none of the claims were backed up by credible research. The recent mass shootings at El Paso and Dayton triggered a sentiment of anti-gaming culture in the government bodies. Following the shootings, President Donald Trump called for an end to glorifying the supposedly gruesome and violence triggering gaming culture.
While some of the high ranking government officials and those from the general populace are quick to point out the relation between video games and violence, experts, however, state there is no such link. Academics have shown various results while researching on the said issue. General opinion has formed including one compelling report from Oxford Internet Institute which found no relation between video games and violent behavior in teens.
“When it comes to actual serious criminal violence, there’s virtually no evidence that video games matter”
James Ivory in an interview with CBS. Ivory has researched the social and psychological influences of media, especially video games. It concludes that many factors influence violent crime, but video games aren’t one of them.
Ivory named several predictors of violent crime such as “poverty, substance abuse, and child abuse”.
Ivory reiterated that study after study shows media, including video games, has no link to violent crime. “I think it’s OK morally to have a problem with celebrating violence. It’s even OK to say maybe playing video games a lot does something to you, but it definitely doesn’t make you a mass shooter. There are other things that affect that,” he said.
All in all video games are blamed for countless mass shootings in the US, but no compelling evidence was ever found to back up the claims. Those claims, though harmful to the gaming industry’s reputation did nothing to reduce the number of gamers worldwide. The demand for games has increased and so has the number of gamers.
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