The argument over whether violent video games incite violence has popped up again after the recent mass shooting in Sutherland, Florida. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, weighed in on this issue, stating that he is concerned with the current state of things within the United States, especially the prominence of violent video games that children are allowed to play.
A multitude of media sources point towards video games as a source of violent tendencies for people who commit mass shootings. Both the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have created studies on this issue which proves to that violent video games cause increases in aggression and violent behavior.
A number of more recent studies on the nature of video games has proven otherwise, however. With some even going as far as to say that video games, specifically violent ones, can help decrease a person’s anger.
The two linked American Association studies above say that violent video games, “should not use human or other living targets or award points for killing, because this teaches children to associate pleasure and success with their ability to cause pain and suffering to others.”
Obviously, because as a child whenever I played pokemon, it always gave me an urge to go out and make animals fight each other for money. Whenever I play Overwatch or Fortnite, I ‘always’ get the urge to go out and attack people, I mean come on. No, take Monster Hunter: World for example. A game about hunting monsters, the game doesn’t teach somebody how to hunt animals. When a person plays a video game, that video game, whether it be Call of Duty or Papa’s Pizzeria, doesn’t make a person capable of doing what they were able to do in the game. Papa’s Pizzeria doesn’t make a person capable of cooking, nor does Call of Duty give people experience with weapons.
Video games are not the root cause of violence. Whenever a person plays a video game that portrays violence or violent acts, they don’t want to go out and commit said acts. In a study done at the University of New York, with over three-thousand participants, the University found that signs of aggression did not increase no matter how violent or realistic the video game was. Take Surgery Simulator, a game where you can play as a surgeon and perform surgeries. This game does not teach people or (hopefully), inspire people to become surgeons. So, how would a first-person-shooter, teach people to use military-grade weapons and inspire them to commit violent acts against other individuals? Exactly, it doesn’t. Video games are not the source of violence in society, far from it actually.