The lights are on
In the wake of violent tragedies such as those that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado, there is an instinctual need for answers. People want to know why events transpired, how they were allowed to happen, and what can be done to prevent future occurrences.
We fall back on the emotion of faith and security blanket of clinical research as if there is a solid line dividing them. We make the mistake of believing that our "experts" aren't susceptible to the same human impulses as the rest of us. One researcher has stepped forward to remind us.
Dr. Patrick Markey is an associate professor of psychology at Villanova University. He has served as an expert witness for the state of Pennsylvania for his work studying the existence of a relationship between violence in video games and the real world. In his work, Markey has found that aggressive thoughts do increase immediately following time playing violent games.
These findings have been artificially expanded by some to imply that violent games are a risk factor. Markey cautions against this impulse, especially since over the past fifteen years, mature game sales have increased while violent crime rates have dropped. Furthermore, the link between a perpetrator's terrible actions and history having played video games is a useless data point, since 97 percent of adolescents play.
Markey's purpose in writing is not strictly to absolve the video game industry of fault. In situations where data could be misappropriated or otherwise misinterpreted, it's critical for experts to put the science before the glory that comes with presenting it.
[Source: US News via Game Politics]
Image of Dr. Markey courtesy of Villanova University.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I think that number is a bit off... Maybe they meant 97% of adolescents have played a video game at some point. To say you "play video games" implies regularity.
When you include mobile games, because of smart phones, that number may be close.
people gonna do what people gonna do.
I just wrote a paper on violent video games, Interesting coincidence that this pops up.
First of all the adolescent crime rate such as gang fights has dropped a lot, but most of these monstrosities committed such as the massacre in new town are by fully grown mentally unstable adults. Some might argue that video games are what inspired these actions, when the truth is they should have been putinto a straight jacket years ago. Sometimes people just snap and there is really nothing we can do about that, there is violence in the world and it has made plenty people snap before and it will make many more go insane in the future. But violence in video games is different than violence In real life because it is not pointed directly at you. When playing video games you are wearing a mask, you arn't you any more. When somebody insults commander Shepard it is a whole lot different than if somebody insults the real you. Really when it comes down to it the only way we can help prevent more murders is to work with the sane people but when you get to the insane ones there is no way to understand what caused it. People just need to blame something in a time of tragedy because it is in our nature to try and fix problems, we practice fixing problems every day in our jobs, in our schools, and even in our video games. But if a problem we can't comprehend comes along many of us will still try to fix it the same way we fix everything else.
Definitely agree. Regardless of which side of the spectrum someone's on, the single most important thing is not to jump to conclusions.
Videogames is just another scapegoat..
If the infrastructure wasn't so terrible in the US, the tragedies might have been prevented.
You want everyone to take care of themselves, to create their OWN life. You want less restrictions on guns, even background checks.
Well what if someone is not strong enough to grab life by the balls? What if he needed that extra push or help from the non-existent government care? At least he can buy a shitload of guns and take out his anger and ineptitude on everyone else around him.