Last updated on: 3/10/2014 | Author:

Footnotes & Sources

The background and pro and con arguments were written by staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):

  1. “Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry,” Entertainment Software Association website, Oct. 2014
  2. Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olsen, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do, Apr. 2008
  3. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence, Revised and Updated Edition, 2014
  4. Susan Villani, Cheryl Olson, and Michael Jellinek, “Media Literacy for Clinicians and Parents,” Child Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, July 2005
  5. Elizabeth Carll, “Violent Video Games: Rehearsing Aggression,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2007
  6. Michael Reagan, “US Military Recruits Children: ‘America’s Army’ Video Game Violates International Law,” Truthout website, July 23, 2008
  7. “Crime in the United States, 2008,” FBI website, Sep. 2009
  8. “Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry,” Entertainment Software Association website, May 2009
  9. Steven Malliet, “An Exploration of Adolescents’ Perceptions of Videogame Realism,” Learning Media and Technology, 2006
  10. Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, 2002
  11. “2008 CESA Game White Paper,” Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), 2008
  12. “Crime in the United States, 2005,” FBI website, Sep. 2006
  13. “White Paper on Crime 2006,” Japan’s Ministry of Justice website, 2006
  14. “Critics Zap Video Games: Senators Urge Government Action to Curb Video-game Violence,” Bnet website, Jan. 3, 1994
  15. John Harlow and Sarah Baxter, “Hillary Opens up Morality War on Violent Video Games,” Times Online, Mar. 27, 2005
  16. “Crime in the United States, 2008,” FBI website, Sep. 2009
  17. David Wilkerson, “‘Call Of Duty 2’ Grosses $550M In First Five Days,” Wall Street Journal website, Nov. 18, 2009
  18. Andrew Heining, “Modern Warfare 2 Airport Terror Attack Stirs Controversy,” Christian Science Monitor website, Oct. 29, 2009
  19. PricewaterhouseCoopers, Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2009-2013, July 2009
  20. Bob Orr and Pat Milton, “Newtown Shooter Motivated by Norway Massacre, Sources Say,”, Feb. 18, 2013
  21. Pete Williams, “Police: ‘Mere Speculation’ That Adam Lanza Was Motivated by Obsession with Other Mass Killers,”, Feb. 19, 2013
  22. US Supreme Court, Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association, June 27, 2011
  23. Tracy Dietz, “An Examination of Violence and Gender Role Portrayals in Video Games: Implications for Gender Socialization and Aggressive Behavior,” Sex Roles, 1998
  24. Bruce Bartholow, Brad Bushman, and Marc Sestir, “Chronic Violent Video Game Exposure and Desensitization to Violence: Behavioral and Event-related Brain Potential Data,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2006
  25. Mary Ellen O’Toole, “The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective,” FBI website, 1999
  26. Ingrid Moller and Barbara Krahe, “Exposure to Violent Video Games and Aggression in German Adolescents: A Longitudinal Analysis,” Aggressive Behavior, Oct. 2008
  27. Christopher Barlett, Omar Branch, Christopher Rodeheffer, and Richard Harris, “How Long Do the Short-Term Violent Video Game Effects Last?,” Aggressive Behavior, Feb. 2009
  28. Christopher Barlett, Richard Harris, and Callie Bruey, “The Effect of the Amount of Blood in a Violent Video Game on Aggression, Hostility, and Arousal,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Oct. 2007
  29. Jeanne B. Funk, “Exposure to Violent Video Games and Desensitization to Violence in Children and Adolescents,” Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, July 2005
  30. “Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media,” American Psychological Association website, Aug. 17, 2005
  31. Craig Anderson, Akira Sakamoto, Douglas Gentile, Nobuko Ihori, Akiko Shibuya, Shintaro Yukawa, Mayumi Naito, and Kumiko Kobayashi, “Longitudinal Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggression in Japan and the United States,” Pediatrics, Nov. 2008
  32. Jeanne Funk, Heidi Bechtoldt Baldacci, Tracie Pasold, and Jennifer Baumgardner, “Violence Exposure in Real-life, Video Games, Television, Movies, and the Internet: Is There Desensitization?,” Journal of Adolescence, 2004
  33. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit,” AAP website, July 26, 2000
  34. Dmitri Williams and Marko Skoric, “Internet Fantasy Violence: A Test of Aggression in an Online Game,” Communication Monographs, June 2005
  35. “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States,” United States Secret Service website, July 2004
  36. Cheryl Olson, Lawrence Kutner, and Dorothy Warner, “The Role of Violent Video Game Content in Adolescent Development: Boys’ Perspectives,” Journal of Adolescent Research, Jan. 2008
  37. Cheryl Olson, Lawrence Kutner, Dorothy Warner, Jason Almerigi, Lee Baer, Armand Nicholi, and Eugene Beresin, “Factors Correlated with Violent Video Game Use by Adolescent Boys and Girls,” Journal of Adolescent Health, July 2007
  38. Dorothy Salonius-Pasternak and Holly Gelfond, “The Next Level of Research on Electronic Play: Potential Benefits and Contextual Influences for Children and Adolescents,” Human Technology, Apr. 2005
  39. Jeffrey Goldstein, “Immortal Kombat: War Toys and Violent Video Games,” Why We Watch, 1998
  40. Christopher Ferguson, Stephanie Rueda, Amanda Cruz, Diana Ferguson, and Stacey Fritz, “Violent Video Games and Aggression: Causal Relationship or Byproduct of Family Violence and Intrinsic Violence Motivation?,” Criminal Justice and Behavior, Mar. 2008
  41. Raymond Boyle and Matthew Hibberd, “Review of Research on the Impact of Violent Computer Games on Young People,” Stirling Media Research Institute, Mar. 2005
  42. Amanda Lenhart, Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, Alexandra Macgill, Chris Evans, and Jessica Vitak, “Teens, Video Games and Civics,” Pew Internet & American Life Project website, Sep. 2008
  43. Karen Sternheimer, “Do Video Games Kill?,” Contexts, Feb. 2007
  44. General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission, “The Report of the Task Force on Violent Interactive Video Games,” Joint State Government Commission website, Dec. 2008
  45. Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel, “Chapter IV: Mental Health History of Seung Hui Cho,”, Aug. 2007
  46. Rachel Dinkes, Jana Kemp, Katrina Baum, and Thomas D. Snyder, “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008,” National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics,, Apr. 2009
  47. Phillip Kaufman, Xianglei Chen, Susan P. Choy, Sally A. Ruddy, Amanda K. Miller, Jill K. Fleury, Kathryn A. Chandler, Michael R. Rand, Patsy Klaus, and Michael G. Planty, “Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2000,” US Departments of Education and Justice, Oct. 2000
  48. “Video Games and the Economy,” Entertainment Software Association website, Nov. 2009
  49. BBC News, “Grand Theft Auto Comes under Fire,”, May 4, 2004
  50. Rebecca Leung, “Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?,”, Mar. 4, 2005
  51. Nicholas L. Carnagey, Craig A. Anderson, and Brad J. Bushman, “The Effect of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, May 2007
  52. Christopher R. Engelhardt, Bruce D. Bartholow, Geoffrey T. Kerr, and Brad J. Bushman, “This Is Your Brain on Violent Video Games: Neural Desensitization to Violence Predicts Increased Aggression following Violent Video Game Exposure,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Sep. 2011
  53. Mike Jaccarino, “‘Training Simulation:’ Mass Killers Often Share Obsession with Violent Video Games,”, Sep. 12, 2013
  54. Ingrid Möller and B. Krahé, “Exposure to Violent Video Games and Aggression in German Adolescents: A Longitudinal Analysis,” Aggressive Behavior, Jan.-Feb. 2009
  55. Christopher L. Groves and Craig A. Anderson, “Video Game Violence and Offline Aggression,” Mental Health in the Digital Age, 2015
  56. Laura St. John, “8 Ways Violent Games Are Bad for Your Kids,”, Nov. 7, 2013
  57. Benedict Carey, “Shooting in the Dark,” New York Times, Dec. 2, 2013
  58. Tiffany Kaiser, “Study: Violent Video Games Desensitize Players, Cause Heightened Aggression,”, May 26, 2011
  59. Douglas A. Gentile, Media Violence and Children: A Complete Guide for Parents and Professionals, 2014
  60. Craig A. Anderson and Wayne A. Warburton, “The Impact of Violent Video Games: An Overview,” Growing Up Fast and Furious, 2012
  61. Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman, “Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature,” Psychological Science, Sep. 2001
  62. Douglas A. Gentile et al., “Well-Child Visits in the Video Age: Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Guidelines for Children’s Media Use,” Pediatrics, Nov. 2004
  63. Douglas A. Gentile et al., “Mediators and Moderators of Long-term Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior,” JAMA Pediatrics, Mar. 2014
  64. Stephen Totilo, “The Doctor Who Said Video Games Cause Rape Explains What She Meant,”, Feb. 10, 2011 [Editor’s Note: Video game blog Kotaku challenged Dr. Lieberman’s assertion by noting that the US Department of Justice crime statistics show that reports of rape declined from 2.5 per 1000 people in 1973 to 0.3 per 1000 in 2009. Dr. Lieberman in turn pointed out that many rapes go unreported.]
  65. Yael Kidron and Steve Fleischman, “Research Matters / Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior,” Educational Leadership, Apr. 2006
  66. Craig A. Anderson et al., “Violent Video Game Effects on Aggression, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior in Eastern and Western Countries: A Meta-Analytic Review,” Psychological Bulletin, Mar. 2010
  67. American Academy of Pediatrics, “Media Violence,” Pediatrics, Nov. 1, 2009
  68. Victoria Simpson Beck, Stephanie Boys, et al., “Violence Against Women in Video Games: A Prequel or Sequel to Rape Myth Acceptance?,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Oct. 2012
  69. Mira Bajovic, “Violent Video Gaming and Moral Reasoning in Adolescents: Is There an Association?,” Educational Media International, Feb. 2014
  70. Amelia Rosch. “Australian Retailer Pulls ‘Grand Theft Auto’ for Promoting Violence Against Women,”, Dec. 3, 2014
  71. David A. Wolfe, Peter G. Jaffe, and Claire V. Crooks, Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Why Teens Experiment and Strategies to Keep Them Safe, 2008
  72. Nicholas L. Carnagey and Craig A. Anderson, “The Effects of Reward and Punishment in Violent Video Games on Aggressive Affect, Cognition, and Behavior,” Psychological Science, Mar. 2005
  73. Crystal J. Dittrick et al., “Do Children Who Bully Their Peers Also Play Violent Video Games? A Canadian National Study,” Journal of School Violence, May 2013
  74. Brad Bushman, Mario Gollwitzer, and Carlos Cruz, “There Is Broad Consensus: Media Researchers Agree That Violent Media Increase Aggression in Children, and Pediatricians and Parents Concur,” Psychology of Popular Media Culture, July 2015
  75. Jeff Grabmeier, “‘Broad Consensus’ That Violent Media Increase Child Aggression,”, Oct. 6, 2014
  76. Paul J. Lynch et al., “The Effects of Violent Video Game Habits on Adolescent Aggressive Attitudes and Behaviors,” Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Apr. 19-22, 2001
  77. Dave Grossman, “Conditioning Kids to Kill,” (accessed Sep. 16, 2015)
  78. Corey Mead, “Shall We Play a Game?: The Rise of the Military-Entertainment Complex,”, Sep. 19, 2013
  79. Brandon Keim, “What Science Knows About Video Games and Violence,”, Feb. 28, 2013
  80. Douglas A. Gentile, “The Multiple Dimensions of Video Game Effects,” Child Development Perspectives, June 2011
  81. United States Supreme Court, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, June 27, 2011
  82. National Center for Juvenile Justice, “Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report,”, Dec. 2014
  83. Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, “Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends,”, Dec. 9, 2014
  84. Patrick M. Markey, Charlotte N. Markey, and Juliana E. French, “Violent Video Games and Real-World Violence: Rhetoric Versus Data,” Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Oct. 2015
  85. Jodi L. Whitaker and Brad J. Bushman, “‘Boom, Headshot!’ Effect of Video Game Play and Controller Type on Firing Aim and Accuracy, Communication Research, Oct. 2014
  86. Katherine S. Newman, Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, 2008
  87. Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan, “A Guide to Mass Shootings in America,”, July 24, 2015
  88. C. Barlett et al., “How Long Do the Short-Term Violent Video Game Effects Last?,” Aggressive Behavior, May-June 2009
  89. Steve Levitt, “Who Runs the Internet? Full Transcript,”, Nov. 14, 2013
  90. Scott Cunningham, Benjamin Engelstätter, and Michael R. Ward, “Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime,”, Apr. 7, 2011
  91. Krista Lofgren, “2015 Video Game Statistics & Trends Who’s Playing What & Why?,”, Mar. 3, 2015
  92. Pew Research Center, “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015,”, Apr. 8, 2015
  93. Christopher J. Ferguson, “Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When,” Journal of Communication, Feb. 2015
  94. Kyle Hill, “The Most Objective Study Yet Finds No Link Between Video Games and Violence,”, Nov. 8, 2014
  95. Christopher J. Ferguson, “Video Games Don’t Make Kids Violent,” TIME, Dec. 7, 2011
  96. Andrew Przybylski, Scott Rigby and Richard Ryan, “A Motivational Model of Video Game Engagement,” Review of General Psychology, June 2010
  97. Max Fisher, “Ten-Country Comparison Suggests There’s Little or No Link between Video Games and Gun Murders,” Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2012
  98. Ronald Bailey, “Kill Pixels, Not People,”, Feb. 2015
  99. Sasha Emmons, “Is Media Violence Damaging to Kids?,”, Feb. 21, 2013
  100. PBS, “Understanding and Raising Boys,” (accessed Sep. 16, 2015)
  101. David Leonhardt, “Do Video Games Equal Less Crime?,” New York Times, May 24, 2010
  102. Morgan J. Tear and Mark Nielsen, “Failure to Demonstrate That Playing Violent Video Games Diminishes Prosocial Behavior,” PLOS One, July 3, 2013
  103. Christopher J. Ferguson and Adolfo Garza, “Call of (Civic) Duty: Action Games and Civic Behavior in a Large Sample of Youth,” Computers in Human Behavior, Mar. 2011
  104. Matthew Grizzard et al., “Being Bad in a Video Game Can Make Us More Morally Sensitive,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, July 2014
  105. Child Trends Data Bank, “Physical Fighting by Youth,”, Aug. 2014
  106. National Center for Education Statistics, “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013,”, June 2014
  107. Nicholas Lovell, “If Video Games Cause Violence, There Should Be a Correlation between Game Sales and Violent Crime, Right?,”, Aug. 6, 2010
  108. Fisher Price, “Fantasy And Reality: Does Your Child Know The Difference?,” (accessed Sep. 16, 2015)
  109. Orrin G. Hatch, “Children Violence and the Media,” Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Sep. 14, 1999
  110. Brad J. Bushman and Craig A. Anderson, “Comfortably Numb: Desensitizing Effects of Violent Media on Helping Others,” Psychological Science, 2009
  111. Dave Munger, “Violent Video Games and Desensitization,” Cognitive Daily, Apr. 24, 2008
  112. Chris LaVigne, “Why Video Game Research Is Flawed,” Maison Neuve, May 25, 2009
  113. California Science Center, “Moral Panics,” (accessed Sep. 16, 2015)
  114. Charles Krinsky, “The Moral Panic Concept,” The Ashgate Research Companion to Moral Panics, 2013
  115. Christopher Ferguson, “The Great Video Game Moral Panic,”, Feb. 6, 2014
  116. Andrew Przybylski, “Americans Skeptical of Link between Mass Shootings and Video Games,”, Oct. 17, 2013
  117. Rory McGloin, Kirstie M. Farrar, and Joshua Fishlock, “Triple Whammy! Violent Games and Violent Controllers: Investigating the Use of Realistic Gun Controllers on Perceptions of Realism, Immersion, and Outcome Aggression,” Journal of Communication, Apr. 2015
  118. Office of the Surgeon General, “Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General,”, 2001
  119. American Psychological Association, “Resolution on Violent Video Games,”, Aug. 2015
  120. American Psychological Association, “APA Review Confirms Link Between Playing Violent Video Games and Aggression,”, Aug. 13, 2015
  121. Brad J. Bushman, Hannah Rothstein, and Craig A. Anderson, “Much Ado About Something: Violent Video Game Effects and a School of Red Herring: Reply to Ferguson and Kilburn,” Psychological Bulletin, 2010
  122. Stephen Breyer, Dissenting opinion, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, June 27, 2011
  123. Christopher J. Ferguson et al., “Violent Video Games Don’t Increase Hostility in Teens, but They Do Stress Girls Out,” Psychiatric Quarterly, Apr. 2015
  124. Craig A. Anderson, Brad J. Bushman, and Ralph W. Groom, “Hot Years and Serious Deadly Assault: Empirical Tests of the Heat Hypothesis,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1997
  125. Paul Adachi and Teena Willoughby, “The Effect of Video Game Competition and Violence on Aggressive Behavior: Which Characteristic Has the Greatest Influence?,” Psychology of Violence, Aug. 2011
  126. Paul Adachi and Teena Willoughby, “Demolishing the Competition: The Longitudinal Link Between Competitive Video Games, Competitive Gambling, and Aggression,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, July 2013
  127. Guardian US interactive team, “Violence and Guns in Best-selling Video Games,”, Apr. 30, 2013
  128. Entertainment Software Rating Board, “ESRB Celebrates 20 Years of Rating Video Games and Apps,”, Sep. 16, 2014
  129. Entertainment Software Rating Board, “ESRB Ratings,” (accessed Sep. 18, 2015)
  130. Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, “Face-Stabbing and Cop-Killing: Inside 2015’s Most Controversial Video Game,”, Jan. 19, 2015
  131. Lois Beckett, “Republicans Say No to CDC Gun Violence Research,”, Apr. 21, 2014
  132. “Global Games Market Will Reach $102.9 Billion in 2017,”, May 15, 2014
  133. [Editor’s note: Total sales of video game hardware and software in 2014 were $13.1 billion; 1994 sales were $2.7 billion, or $4.3 billion in 2014 dollars. ((13.1 billion – 4.3 billion) / 4.3 billion)*100 = 204% increase. There were 1,857,670 million violent crimes in 1994, and 1,163,146 in 2013 (most recent numbers available). ((1,163,146 – 1,857,670) / 1,857,670)*100 = 37% decrease.]
  134. Ken Polsson, “Chronology of Video Game Systems,”, May 15, 2015
  135. Chris Morris, “Video Games Spring Back on Strong Console Sales,”, Jan. 15, 2015
  136. Ian Simpson, “Violent U.S. Crime Drops Again, Reaches 1970s Level: FBI,”, Nov. 10, 2014


“2008 CESA Game White Paper,” Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), 2008

“Policy Statement – Media Violence,” American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Oct. 2009

Craig Anderson, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescent, 2007

Christopher Barlett, Richard Harris, and Ross Baldassaro, “Longer You Play, the More Hostile You Feel: Examination of First Person Shooter Video Games and Aggression during Video Game Play,” Aggressive Behavior, 2007

Lillian Bensley and Juliet Van Eenwyk, “Video Games and Real-Life Aggression: Review of the Literature,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Mar. 2001

Sandra Calvert and Barbara Wilson, The Handbook of Children, Media, and Development, 2008

Nicholas Carnagey and Craig Anderson, “The Effects of Reward and Punishment in Violent Video Games on Aggressive Affect, Cognition, and Behavior,” Psychological Science, Mar. 2005

“Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry,” Entertainment Software Association website, May 2009

Christopher Ferguson, “Evidence for Publication Bias in Video Game Violence Effects Literature: A Meta-analytic Review,” Aggression and Violent Behavior, Feb. 2007

Douglas Gentile, David Walsh, Paul Ellison, Michelle Fox, and Jennifer Cameron, “Media Violence as a Risk Factor for Children: A Longitudinal Study,” American Psychological Society 16th Annual Convention, May 2004

Douglas Gentile, “Examining the Effects of Video Games from a Psychological Perspective: Focus on Violent Games and a New Synthesis,” National Institute on Media and the Family website, Nov. 2005

Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olsen, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do, Apr. 2008

Chris Kohler, “July 29, 1994: Videogame Makers Propose Ratings Board to Congress,” Wired website, July 29, 2009

Amanda Lenhart, Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, Alexandra Macgill, Chris Evans, and Jessica Vitak, “Teens, Video Games and Civics,” Pew Internet & American Life Project website, Sep. 2008

Cheryl Olson, “Media Violence Research and Youth Violence Data: Why Do They Conflict?,” Academic Psychiatry, 2004

Stephen Siwek, “Video Games in the 21st Century,” Entertainment Software Association website, 2007