Mass Shootings Reignite Video Game Debate Despite Lack of Evidence

“The older generation has these kinds of complaints, and when the audience dies, the moral panic dies,” Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University, says

When violence strikes, the role of video games gets called into question.

Like clockwork, following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Donald Trump called on the nation to stop the glorification of violence, including “gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested video games “dehumanize individuals.” And Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said that while “we’ve always had guns, always had evil,” he now sees “a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.”

This has been going on for decades. In 2005,  then-senator Hillary Clinton implored lawmakers “to treat video games the way we treat tobacco, alcohol and pornography.”

But more than a dozen years of research have failed to find a link between video games and real-world violence, according to Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University who has authored several studies that look at how video games impact society.

“At this point, the evidence is pretty clear that for something we’re worried about, like mass shootings, no, there’s no relationship whatsoever between violent video games and those sort of outcomes,” Ferguson told…

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Sean Burch

Just a kid from the streets of Orange County, writing about tech