TL;DR: VIDEO GAMES ARE FOR YOUR, FICTIONAL ENJOYMENT. THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO NOT MAKE YOU VIOLENT OR SERIAL KILLER MATERIAL.

Okay first and foremost: This is a purely opinion based topic and should not be taken as official, academic knowledge. Now that this is out of the way let’s dive right into this issue. Does playing a violent video games turn you into a psychopathic killer? No, no they do not. This backwards way of thinking is still being held to tightly by older generations and the uninformed. Nothing grinds our gears more than having to sit and hear that playing a violent video game means that you will turn into a murderer who loves nothing more than to drink of their victims blood; puts Dracula to shame.

The simple thinking is ludicrous. Throughout the years there have been scientific tests performed by top universities, many of them have been covered in press ranging from CNN, BBC and MSNBC. None of the ones that I have seen hav ever pointed to a trend in violence towards humans. Sure it is easy to blame something when a criminal is cornered. Often they turn to titles like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. It is an easy scapegoat for them to try to lessen the impact of their actions. The public then of course, laps this information up and runs with it. It would be like me walking into a public place and groping my best friend and then later blaming it on the anime Love Live: SunShine. It’s directing the blame onto a show that doesn’t deserve it.

Growing up the very first game I ever played with Jet Force Gemini on the Nintendo 64 platform. It was a graphic game that allowed me to mutilate my foes and even the peaceful teddy bear-like Tribals. Fast forward to now and here I am, still sane and undisturbed. It is un-factual to think that just playing a violent game can make someone a future killer. Being able to differentiate fiction from reality is something that doesn’t take rocket science to see that. Now if you may be mentally disturbed or prone to pleasure from violence then you might want to step back and potentially talk to someone about that. Of course I am biased being that I am a gamer and someone who takes direct offense to this sort of opinion. Now it is not an offense that will cause me to lash out. Instead I’ll just complain and rant about in a long winded post that could really use a TL;DR.

I just find it tiring and old to have to run down the same path and to have to read the same posts over and over again. Never have I ever had a situation where any of my colleagues or family members become outlandishly violent after playing a game like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. They know it is fake, fictional and non-impacting to their daily lives. They leave it all in the gaming world as it was intended by the developers.


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7 Comments »

  1. A few years ago I had a psychology lecture on this exact topic. Essentially media likes to use click bait ‘video games make you violent!’ and freak everyone out. The actual science behind is that that video games do not make anyone violent, rather for people who have a predisposition for violence it provides a socially acceptable outlet for their tendencies. Unfortunately, some individuals with this predisposition take it a step further, by continually engaging with the violent video games they become desensitised to violence, and the lines between real life violence and ‘fantasy’ violence blur. However, this is a really small number of people, but of course the media doesn’t report on the thousands of people that don’t go crazy with video games.

    Another aspect is that a lot of the research done of violence in video games is based on adolescents (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140197103000927) or children (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1046878107306670). Both these age groups are always at an influential stage in their life, so regardless of what type of media they consume, it’s going to effect them in some way. A lot of this is based off Bandura’s work – Social Learning Theory of Aggression, where children see someone doing something, get rewarded and so learn to do the same behaviour (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1978.tb01621.x/full) . But research for this has only been looking at the short term effects – a child MAY play a violent video game and hit another kid – and then they go ‘video games are bad!’, as it is a fairly new topic, no research has been done to say ‘a kid played 50 hours of Call of Duty a week, and 10 years down the track became a mass murderer’.

    Ultimately this is a really new topic of research, and people are still trying to piece things together. Unfortunately psychologists work slowly, as the best research is done with longitudinal studies. But the media wants to know what’s happening ASAP so they grasp at straws and don’t report the big picture.

    Anywho that’s just my two cents, interesting article as always Kausus!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i agree that the type of media you consume shouldn’t be blamed for violent behaviors but i also think that as younger generations are constantly bombarded with violent content, they just can’t differentiate between reality and fantasy. i know my youngest brother learned the hard way that dying actually hurt and wasn’t like a video game where it just happens. i guess what i’m saying is that it depends on the individual and how they consume the media. no it’s not an ‘if you play violent video games then you’ll become a serial killer’ but i do think that in some cases it does have an effect. esp when you’re young and your mental faculties haven’t developed. maybe you won’t turn into a serial killer but you may become more aggressive verbally or you might think you can do whatever you want (or try to imitate things that happen in video games, movies, what have you). media is really powerful and it affects us even when you think it doesn’t

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The whole blaming video games for making people violent is nothing more than people and the media needing a scape goat. It’s easy to focus the blame on something the masses or a specific group don’t understand don’t exactly understand especially if you’re the media because chances are people won’t really look into it. For example a few years ago CNN tried to paint anime and manga as child porn, ironically they took an L because they blurred out a cover that wasn’t even pornographic and claimed it was pornographic.

    People are going to find something to put the blame on because they don’t want to blame the individual even if it’s no one other than the individuals fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time I hear that argument it gets more silly by the minute. My gaming days are behind me, but I used to play a lot of violent videogames. It never turned me into a psychopath (well as far as I know that is, not sure if I have a split personality of course 😂). Seriously though, it’s the person itself that is to blame not the thing he or she might have been watching or playing. It’s all just way too convenient to blame it on something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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