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Scoot Blog: Violent Video Games Not To Blame for D.C. Shooting

In society’s instinctive quest to determine the motivation behind another senseless mass shooting, the information from friends that the suspected D.C. mass shooter, Aaron Alexis, was obsessed with violent video games seems to provide the perfect answer to the mystery.
Violent video games have become a convenient scapegoat for mass shootings and the ease with which young people kill today, but convenient answers often shroud the more complicated reality.  It has now been reported that Alexis would enter into marathon sessions of playing the video game Call of Duty and on one occasion played the game for 16 hours continuously.  He was so immersed in playing violent video games that friends say they would bring him food during the marathon sessions.

Is it fair to blame violent video games for actual violent behavior?  It has been the media and politicians, not the psychological community, who have been quick to conclude violent games inspire violent behavior.  And yet, a collection of respected studies and research that are motivated to search for real answers, rather than seek a certain politically-advantageous finding, indicate there is no direct connection between the content of violent video games and violent behavior in the real world.

But how can that be?  The media and politicians depict a simple theory:  video games are becoming more graphic and more violent and the news is laced with stories about horrific crimes, often committed by people who are known to play violent video games.  Many Americans are eager to accept that theory as fact and if that is fact, then the solution is to ban violent video games.

Politicians are always looking for something tangible they can do to solve a problem, which becomes part of the reason they present during a re-election campaign.  Introducing legislation designed to right a perceived wrong resonates with voters better than the search for the real, more complex solutions. And the media loves to define everything into a good vs. evil equation for the purpose of quickly attracting the attention of an audience, and to this end - the media is quick to jump on any train that rides the rails of hysteria. 

We should not let politicians and the media get away with brainwashing us – the audience – with self-serving conclusions that are actually a disservice to the public.  The acceptance of inaccurate solutions leaves the masses believing a problem has been solved – when in reality – the source of the problem has not been addressed.

When it was learned that the two teenage Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; the Norwegian mass shooter Andres Breivik; and Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes all played violent video games - the link between violence and violent video games seemed indisputable.

As the popularity of violent video games soars, studies have concluded there is no direct connection between video games and actual violence.  Of course, there will always be studies that contradict the general consensus and those rogue studies will always be promoted as “fact” by those pushing an agenda.

Past studies and a more recent study on the effects of violent video games on America’s youth find no conclusive correlation between video games and real-world violence, even among high-risk youth.

A recent study by Drs. Christopher Ferguson and Cheryl Olson concluded violent video games like, “Mortal Kombat,” “Halo” and “Grand Theft Auto” could not be blamed for inspiring violent behavior.  The study found that playing the games could have a calming effect on teens, especially teens dealing with attention deficit or aggressive problems.

In 2011, there was a strong political push to ban the sale of violent video games to younger teens in the state of California.  In the 2011 case of Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled violent video games could not be regulated by the government because that would be an infringement of freedom of speech.

Two of the reasons behind the High Court’s decision were the general lack of evidence through studies that violent video games actually led to violent behavior and the tendency of bias in the publishing of studies.  Any study that would conclude violent video games were responsible for negative behavior would stand a better chance of publication and media publicity than the countless studies that find no direct connection.

It is not unprecedented that research and studies are designed to find evidence that support a predetermined conclusion – rather than the truth.  In 1986, the Meese Commission report on pornography in America was released by President Reagan’s Attorney General Ed Meese.  The report initially found that “Playboy” and “Penthouse” were “pornographic” – a conclusion that was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.  It was widely believed that the Meese Commission’s report on pornography was designed to yield a conclusion that was a payback to the Religious Right for helping get President Reagan re-elected in 1984.

The debate about the role of violent video games in the mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard comes at a time when Grand Theft Auto V is being released to the public.  A review at theguardian.com website describes the world in the video game as having the visual power to drag you in and “it begs you to explore” and “GTA V is also a monstrous parody of modern life – our bubbling cesspit of celebrity fixation, political apathy and morose self-obsession.”

Admittedly, advanced technology has led to realistic human figures that are susceptible to maiming and death – but games are just that – games.  Blaming video games for the violent behavior in society is another example of society’s lack of respect for personal accountability.  Rather than a parent accepting the blame for a failure to “parent” – blaming the content of a video game removes parental guilt.

I do believe endless hours of playing violent video games does have a negative impact on behavior – not because of the content of the game, but because of hours lost in a fantasy world.
The continuous playing of video games is certainly the symptom of a problem.  But the video games should not be blamed for causing the problem.

And, in the case of the D.C. shooter, Aaron Alexis – it has also been mentioned by people who knew him that Alexis would also drink excessively.  Why are the politicians and the media not focusing on alcohol abuse as much as they are focusing on video games?  It’s because the condemnation of violent video games reflects America’s predisposition that violent video games are responsible for real-world violence. 

Think – don’t automatically accept what seems to be obvious, yet simple solutions to complicated problems.

09/17/2013 7:31PM
Scoot Blog: Violent Video Games Not To Blame for D.C. Shooting
Please Enter Your Comments Below
09/17/2013 8:12PM
Think? Who thinks anymore ... America elected the clown Obama ...
The majority of people are ignorant, or simply STUPID.
09/17/2013 8:14PM
Liberal blame guns and get excited about bit body counts so they can promote
their tyrant agenda .. Obama is a fuçking aye-Hole.
09/17/2013 8:17PM
People are cows they follow the herd ... thus, you get corrupt presidents like Obama ..
the country is in a real mess and the economy will collapse when the feds stop printing 85 billion a month to prop up Obama's FAILED polices.
09/17/2013 8:25PM
Relax Scoot ... no one is trying to keep you from playing violent video games
and having lots of anal sex. Obama supports you! Take heart!
09/17/2013 8:50PM
Obama: “It’s Bush’s fault.” ... and all the lap dog media clowns agree and
sing praises to their Lord and Savior Obama ... LOL ...
09/17/2013 9:02PM
Sad, really that Obama‘s mother was not a good liberal ... otherwise
she would have spread her legs for sex and then aborted the results ... the country is paying for her bad decision .... oh, no!!!! LOL .... hey, abortion is the Holy Grail to Liberals .. Obama supports killing children that survive abortions ... Obama ishuman debris ...
09/17/2013 9:06PM
Obama want people ignorant and poor and dependent on him ...
he sees himself as a King .. he is an arrogant PÙNK.
09/17/2013 9:13PM
The piece of crãp Obama has doubled the national debt in less than 5 years ..
gee, at some point being black is not enough.
09/18/2013 11:44AM
Obama illustrates the dangers of Affirmative Action when folks are promoted
on the basis of race rather than competence.
09/18/2013 12:03PM
AP--Report: Obama wanted IRS to target tea party groups...
Obama is dog SH!T ... GO TO HELL YOU B!TCH!
09/18/2013 12:04PM
Obama is a common thug and should be treated like one.
NO respect for this azzhole.
09/18/2013 12:20PM
Obama is the MOST corrupt president in modern history ... if he did not have black
skin he would be in jail.
09/18/2013 12:28PM
The Obama Feces Eaters ... many in the media ... will call you a racist no matter
what, if you do not worship Obama ... better to just ignore these AŠŠwipes.
09/18/2013 12:50PM
Funny stuff ... guess Scoot is no Rush Limbaugh even in his dreams ...
09/18/2013 1:22PM
If Obama could get away with it he would round up those who oppose him
and have them executed by a secret police. Obama is a thug, but he is limited by law at the moment.
09/18/2013 1:28PM
Obama would be happier as a third world tyrant ... he could rule without
opposition until some other thug knocked him off.
09/18/2013 1:41PM
What do you get when you cross an AŠŠ with Obama ? ...
you get an AŠŠ! LOL
09/18/2013 7:08PM
The piece of SH!T Obama your heroes in the media are celebrating the shooting
and using it to try to enforce their gun control agenda.
09/18/2013 7:12PM
Most of the lap-dog media has their heads up Obama’s nasty AŠŠ ..
eating his SH!T!
09/18/2013 7:44PM
Rome is burning and Obama is sucking his thumb ...
never has America had such an inept so-called leader.
09/18/2013 8:15PM
Basically if you support government dependence, Facebook®,
bütt sex,infanticide, and affirmative action for black people you are considered cool ... people want to be cool and lazy is easy so no not too hard to get 52% of Americans to elect an otherwise disaster like Obama. Obama is a celebrity not a serious, competent leader. This would be a good time to attack America with this clown in charge. America is broke financially, weak in will to defend itself, and lacks the character of greatness it once had. America is becoming a nation of “the lazy and don’t give a hoot.” We are just partying until we cannot print anymore borrowed money.
09/18/2013 8:17PM
The majority of Americans are not much better than human debris .. lazy and
willfully ignorant.
12/09/2013 8:50AM
england england england
05/23/2014 3:52AM
cool post :)
05/23/2014 10:26PM
u guys need to chilax a bit lol, play Bubble Shooter http://thebubbleshooter.net/ and have fun:P
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