Video Games are not the Cause for Mass Shootings

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Video games, one of the greatest sales in the entire world, are currently found as a threat. It is usually characterized to be evil and a bad influence on people around the world, especially to minors. It makes children more “”violent and aggressive”” (Laczniak 70). President Trump stated, “”Video game violence & glorification must be stopped””it is creating monsters!””. There have been many comments are arguments over this situation. But is all that true? All these stereotypes and miss understandings have increased the amount of negative belief to video gaming. Now, video gaming has been accused of masses shooting. Both mass shooting and video gaming are two distant worlds, how did they somehow crashed together? Is video gaming really causing all these mass shooting? Or is this all just a misunderstanding?

Modern video gaming involves simulating a first-person virtual world in which the user controls everything within it. That involves become the character and role-playing with the story or main plot of the game. The much further the gamer goes through the game, the more skill they develop. Each video game involves a solving problem situation, most may be complex situations. Users might have to think hard to be able to pass the next level. Studies have demonstrated that gamers have developed skills that non-gamers haven’t, such as attention allocation, visual processing, and much more (Glynn 51). Brain scientist, Daphne Barelier, explained the positive effect in video gaming. One is to track up to six-to-seven objects attentions. Normally, anyone can have the ability to only track up to three or four objects. Secondly, is the ability of multitasking is much faster than a multimedia-tasker, or a person who can search up the web while listening to music. The gamer can develop a much quicker reaction to attention than a normal person “”driving and answering a phone call””. Lastly, a common phrase “”screen time makes your eyesight worse”” has been proven incorrectly with an ability that gamers have developed. Somehow video gaming involves resolving quite smaller details or objects in the context of clutter. The details are obviously much smaller than the real world. The vision can even improve to differentiate shades of grey. Statistics have also shown that video gamers are most likely to have a higher IQ score than other individuals.

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Usually, people will not consider theses development of skill but instead will figure an increase of aggression and misbehavior. The American Psychological Association made many tests to figure if this was true or not. Many of its studies show how users of violent video gaming do not increase aggression. A test of 6,567 8th graders, that played violent video games, had no significant negative effect on behavior. In 2005, a study of 213 participants also showed similar results. The American Psychological Association wrote, “”We found that video game violence was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior compare with a nonviolent behavior”” (Adachi & Willoughby 259). Joel D. Lieberman, Ph.D. also mentioned how being competitive can easily be misunderstood to serious aggression. Violent video gamers are actually much more competitive then aggressive. The game is purposely to be and have a competitive attraction to users. It concludes that most hypotheses have failed in the knowledge of aggression towards gamers. Which also leads into how gamers are less likely to engaged to a mass shooting. Basically violent video game became part of massive shooting because of a moral panic of the human society.

Moral panic is the “”tendency for societies to develop overblown fears of an innocuous scapegoat which is then blamed for a real social problem”” (Markey and Ferguson 25). Patrick Market mentioned how this happens when an older generation is fearful of something that a younger generation is adopting that they totally do not understand. It has occurred already in the past, the 1950s, panic about comic books, 1980s, panic about lyrics in rock music, and dungeon and dragons being related to satanic beliefs. Currently, the older generation, whom obviously don’t play video games, gain suspicion and disturbance about it, which have caused all the beliefs and misunderstandings.

These beliefs are currently involving gamers and mass shootings. The demographics of a gamer is usually a young male adolescent. Unfortunately, current school shooters demographic are similar. The main reason why politician and society can immediately blame violent video games for “”bad and violent influence””. In reality, only 20% of school shooters found a few interests in video gaming. There is a 70% of high schoolers that are video gamers and are the least likely to be involved in such a crime. Samuel Zeif, a survivor from Douglass High School Shooting, has been a gamer for his adolescence, along with his friends and classmates. He knew how his friend and he had never been “”provoked”” into doing such a thing. Comparing the real world with a game is impossible knowing how in a video game if something happens, you are able to restart. In reality, no one can have the restart button or the three heart chance to revive. You cannot compare the reality with something fictional. In a video game, life is endless and you are able to do anything you desire. The real world, you can only live once and your opinions depend on it.

Japan’s culture includes a lot of gaming. Not only do they manufacture some of the most popular games in the world, but they are also one of the biggest users in video gaming. They are currently the most spending country in video gaming, $120 per person. The U.S spends $74 per person. Now you might think Japan crime rate must be similar or high then the U.S because of violent video gaming influence, but it is honestly the lowest. In 2014, Japan only had six gun deaths, meanwhile, the U.S had 33,599. Why? Japan has an extreme gun control. To be able to purchase a gun, the person needs to go through different processes including a full class with a written exam, shooting range test, alongside with a series of mental health and drug test, a criminal record document, and an application with information of the special firearm with the police department. It is actually a process of 40 days, meanwhile, in the United States, anyone can come in and out immediately with the bare firearm. The range of firearm owners in Japan is 1 in every 175 households. In the United States, it is 1 out of 3 households. Also, the only firearms in Japan able to purchase are shotguns and air rifles. Handguns are actually outlawed and illegal. Even the Japanese policeman are not armed, instead, they are trained with materials arts and usually avoid any type of violence whenever it is unnecessary. Other popular gaming countries like South Korea and the Netherlands, which also involves a lot of gaming competitions, show similar results in Japan. There crime rates and gun deaths are not as high as in the United States. Actually, in Honduras and Venezuela, both countries banned violent video games, have one of the highest crime rates and gun deaths. Honduras has 60 gun deaths per 100,000 and Venezuela is estimated by 59.13.

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Video Games are not the Cause for Mass Shootings. (2019, Oct 29). Retrieved from