Phew, my gamer children won’t become psychopathic mass murderers because they play video games

One of the crazier claims in the wake of mass murders by psychopathic criminals is that a particular book, film or video game caused them to act in such a manner.

There is no evidence to suggest this is the case anywhere in the world, in fact the evidence is contrary to those loony claims.

video-game-chart-with-trendline2

The search for meaning is a natural response to any tragedy, and the latest U.S. mass shooting is eliciting questions about, among other things, the potential role of violent video games. After all, with kids and increasingly teenagers spending so much time hammering away at simulated shooters, is it any wonder when they pick up actual guns? Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod lamented on Twitter, “In NFL post-game: an ad for shoot ‘em up video game. All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game?” 

But it turns out that the data just doesn’t support this connection. Looking at the world’s 10 largest video game markets yields no evident, statistical correlation between video game consumption and gun-related killings.

It’s true that Americans spend billions of dollars on video games every year and that the United States has the highest firearm murder rate in the developed world. But other countries where video games are popular have much lower firearm-related murder rates. In fact, countries where video game consumption is highest tend to be some of the safest countries in the world, likely a product of the fact that developed or rich countries, where consumers can afford expensive games, have on average much less violent crime.

 


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  • fozzie2

    Interesting that you choose to post and only link it to Axelrod’s twitter, rather the the much vaunted diatribe from Mr Le Pierre from the NRA – who laid the blame for the Newtown massacre fairly and squarely at the feat of the gaming and video industry ! A bit of honesty would be helpful here whale !

    My son is a gamer – as parents we keenly monitor what games he involves in and who he connects to online. The US has a toxic mix – poor mental health care and availability of gun that easy access to a personal arsenal – for some the graphic shoot em up games may fuel the beast, but I agree, they are not the no 1 problem.

      • fozzie2

        Josh read what I wrote – send you link not to me but to the NRA and Mr Pierre – it was he and his organisation that place the blame for the massacres at the door of the violent video games and movies – hell half the movies he sighted were over 10 years old !! Some in the US are in denial – their isssue run far deeper the gun ownership !! That thid if you dare. Yeah I know Jon Stewart is a comedaian – but it is comedy with a very real message

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-8-2013/scapegoat-hunter—gun-control

    • JC

      “Interesting that you choose to post and only link it to Axelrod’s
      twitter, rather the the much vaunted diatribe from Mr Le Pierre from
      the NRA – who laid the blame for the Newtown massacre fairly and
      squarely at the feat of the gaming and video industry !”

      The point about LePierre’s “diatribe” is that he was returning the same sort of rubbish fire from Obama and the media. The forces arrayed against up to 40% of gun owning Americans and the NRA are pushing ignorance, bullshit and outright lies and the 60% plus of Americans who support the 2nd Amendment expect the NRA to return “effective” fire.

      You cannot win a war of words with a demagog like Obama unless you are prepared to match him in BS.

      JC

      • fozzie2

        “The point about LePierre’s “diatribe” is that he was returning the same sort of rubbish fire from Obama and the media”

        The very reason that no serious conversation can be held with these people – America needs to sit down at the ‘kitchen table’ and begin a national dialogue to address their gun violence – but that is for them – but from tragedies comes enlightenment sometimes – Australia had it’s Port Arthur, Scotland Dunblain and in NZ Aromoana. With all rights come responsibilities and it is our responsibility to protect our most vulnerable – our children and those that are unable to protect themselves.

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