It is time to end the perception that video games, cause more violent behaviors in gamers. I might have a bias in this topic as I have been playing videos games, and violent video games for more than half my life now. If what the media says its true and that people who spend hours playing video games are more prone to violent acts, then I should be one of the most violent people you’ve ever met. Since I was 8 years old when I got my first gaming console, gaming has been my most go to hobby, there have been multiple times that I would buy a new violent game and stay in my room the whole weekend gaming up to 12 hours nonstop.
Though this is not healthy at all, this did not make want to buy a gun, cause a mass murder, or in anyway cause me to be more violent. As a person I always seek the most peaceful situation for every confrontation, as I believe that you get better results talking out problems then resorting to violence.
I have gathered up multiple cites of research to better explain my view on how violent video games has no correlation with long term aggressiveness and violence.
Just how I might have a bias on this topic; a meta analytic review on publication bias on violence and video games research by Dr. Christopher Ferguson. This meta analysis review indicated that a study that shows a link between violence and video games was more likely to get published, than a study that did not show a link, this would greatly influence how the populous would see violent video games.
Digging deeper into the literature that Dr. Christopher Ferguson reviewed showed that there is no real link between aggressive behavior and video games, but the link between aggressive thoughts and video games was stronger, but thoughts and actions are not the same thing. Imagine reading a sad book, after you are done with that book you will have thoughts of sadness, but that doesn’t now make you depressed in the long term, same thing with video games, and any sort of entertainment.
In 2007 Dr. Christopher Ferguson conducted his own study, that was comprised of 103 young adults, that were randomized to play no video games, a nonviolent video game where they played the “good guy” and a violent video game that played the “bad guy”. He then ran them through a frustration task, how each will react, and it showed that those with history of playing violent video games had fewer hostile feelings, then those that didn’t play video games. The study also showed that the more aggressive individuals tended to remain more depressed.
In the past decade there was has been a few tragedies, involving school shootings and mass murders. After such an incident people want to find a meaning of these horrible acts, and there is one thing has never failed to a scapegoat, video games. It is easy to correlate the rise of school shootings and other violent acts with the rise of gaming this decade. School shootings have been around for decades, the only different thing now is the media coverage on them. If a mass school shooting happened a 30 years ago it would most likely stay local not leaving state news. But if a mass school shooting happened today in 2018, it would reach across the united states and even other countries. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the conservative right, use video games as a scapegoat, instead of the actual problem which is the accessibility of getting a gun in the United states. Even though the U.S spends billions of dollars on video games every year and has the highest firearm rate in the developed world. There are other countries in which video games are way more popular and the firearm murder rate is significantly lower, this shows how violent video games that depict war, shootings, or bloody content and gore; don’t correlate to more violence and shootings, but it is the accessibility that a mentally disturbed or antisocial person can easily and legally acquire a gun.