Top Pro & Con Arguments
Simple statistics do not support the claim that violent video games cause mass shootings or other violence.
Katherine Newman, PhD, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, explained: “Millions of young people play video games full of fistfights, blazing guns, and body slams… Yet only a minuscule fraction of the consumers become violent.”
A report by the US Secret Service and US Department of Education examined 37 incidents of targeted school violence between 1974 and 2000. Of the 41 attackers studied, 27% had an interest in violent movies, 24% in violent books, and 37% exhibited interest in their own violent writings, while only 12% showed interest in violent video games. The report did not find a relationship between playing violent video games and school shootings.
Patrick M. Markey, PhD, Director of the Interpersonal Research Laboratory at Villanova University, stated, “90% of young males play video games. Finding that a young man who committed a violent crime also played a popular video game, such as Call of Duty, Halo, or Grand Theft Auto, is as pointless as pointing out that the criminal also wore socks.”
Further, gun violence is less prevalent in countries with high video game use. A study of the countries representing the 10 largest video game markets internationally found no correlation between playing video games and gun-related killings. Even though US gun violence is high, the nine other countries with the highest video game usage have some of the lowest violent crime rates (and eight of those countries spend more per capita on video games than the United States).Read More