Politicians, Video Games Are Not the Problem

Updated on August 12, 2019
Jason Capp profile image

I have lived in Tokyo, Japan, with my family for many years. Every day is an adventure worth writing about.

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For more than 20 years now, politicians have found a scapegoat to blame for all of the violence, mass shootings, and school shootings that have been happening in the United States, and that scapegoat is video games.

Video games, like any form of entertainment, range from the most friendly of games to the darkest and goriest of games. It is because of these violent video games that this industry seems like an easy target to pin blame on for the terrible tragedies that frequent American schools and other venues.

Since the Heath High School tragedy in 1997, neglecting the root of the problem and shifting blame to video games has, unfortunately, become the norm. In the cases of both Heath High School and Columbine, for example, the attackers were constantly ridiculed, bullied, and beat up for simply being, but this is not the narrative that is often talked about. For Michael Carneal (Heath High School), Eric Harris (Columbine), and Dylan Klebold (Columbine), the main point of conversation became their extracurricular activity: playing video games.

This narrative continues to this day, despite the enormous amount of research done by scientists and psychologists around the world that disprove any connection between playing violent video games and actual violence.

The obvious problem here is that there needs to be a scapegoat, because many politicians are unable to actually point out the real problems due to lobbyist influence and peer pressure.

But this needs to stop. The world is more aware than ever that video games are not the problem, so it is time to move away from the scapegoat and focus on reality.

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Why Blame Video Games?

Many of these violent scenarios and deadly shootings are performed by young men, and a false stereotype that continues to this day is that video gaming is the hobby of boys and young men.

Since the 1970s, video game culture has grown tremendously and is evolving faster than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, the video game industry is worth well over $100 billion, and that revenue does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Culturally, it is important to note, boys and young men have been at the frontlines for a lot of nerd culture over the years. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, especially, nerd culture truly revolved around these young males, and they fed the industry in its early years.

When both the Heath High School and Columbine shootings happened in 1997 and 1999 respectively, two key factors were noted immediately. One was that the perpetrators were all male, and the other was that they all enjoyed video games.

Since video game culture was still in its toddler phase at this point, many people did not understand the entertainment medium and simply put two and two together, especially politicians and news networks. This began the process of blaming video games for such behavior and activity.

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Studies Show There Is No Correlation

Since the tragedies of the 1990s, there have been a lot of people out there trying to prove there is some kind of connection between playing violent video games and violent behavior, but for every one of these studies, the results were negative.

In a 2004 report from the Secret Service and the Department of Education, researchers found that very few of the attackers linked to 37 incidents of school violence were actually interested in violent things like horror books, video games, or personal writings.

In 2017, German researchers set out to prove a hypothesis that people who play video games have reduced empathy when compared to those who do not play video games. Using some brain-mapping technology, they found that playing video games does not negatively affect empathy.

In early 2019, UK scientists put to test the link between playing violent video games and violent behavior. They surveyed and tested over one-thousand participants all aged 14 and 15-years-old, and their results found that there is absolutely no connection between playing these types of games and violent behavior.

Another study in the UK this year sought to find connections between priming effects and behavior only to find that video game concepts do not ‘prime’ players into behaving in a particular manner and that increasing the realism of violent video games does not lead to an increase in player aggression.

Over the past 20 years, the results have been the same over and over again. There is no link between playing video games and increased violent behavior, so why are we continuing this dialog as if it is still a possibility?

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High Gun Violence Is Unique to the US

Another alarming reality about these massive acts of violence is that they are quite unique to the United States of America.

If we are to look at video game revenue by country and compare that to violent gun deaths, we can easily see in the graphic above that no other country on earth compares to America. South Korea and China lead the world in video game consumption, and yet, we see astronomically lower numbers than that of the United States when it comes to violent gun deaths.

In Japan, the country considered to be the great pioneer in video games, we see a country that has one of the lowest homicide rates in the world, and gun-related deaths per year can be counted on one hand.

How do we link video games and violent behavior when no other country on earth follows the same path of violence as the United States?

If video games, even violent ones, were the problem, then South Korea, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan would all be suffering the same way, but the reality is that they are not experiencing these regular mass shootings.

The reality is that this problem is American. There are 120 guns per 100 residents in the United States, which makes it the world leader by an insane margin. On top of that, 4% of the population owns 43% of the guns. There is a certain love for firearms that sets it aside as the gun-toting, skeet shooting, animal killing Wild West of the world stage, so it is no wonder that these very guns that are idolized by most of the country would be used by certain individuals for their evil endeavors.

Let's Have a Serious Discussion

It is a dark time in American history, and I think it is absolutely time for all of us to have a serious talk about what is happening in the country right now.

Instead of constantly pointing the finger at video games, let us move forward in real discussions about real issues. Around the world, there are positive examples of countries displaying vulnerability, reflection, and change that have led to powerful transformations.

America, we must do the same thing. We need to talk about mental illness. We need to sit down and discuss gun laws. We need to address white nationalism as a serious problem and threat. And we need to acknowledge that domestic terrorism is real, and our culture is to blame for its breeding. President John F. Kennedy once challenged us by saying;

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

Video games are not the problem, and it would be wise of us to move far away from ever having this discussion again. We must be real with ourselves and see the darkness that exists within. Let us stop shifting blame away from ourselves so we can look into the mirror and see that the problem lies within us.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jason Reid Capp

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      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 days ago from the short journey

        It is the wide variety of credentialed professionals in agreement that, at the very least, the connection between violent video games and societal aggression needs a closer look because previous studies failed in their methodology. Teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, and law enforcement professionals have taken the lead in providing guidelines on violent video gaming as well as calling for more accurate studies than those used by people claiming the games are not the problem. It is a good thing that some legislators are paying attention to their concerns.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        4 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        But my continued question that you keep neglecting is why are the professionals you deem okay valid but not the ones I listed? Once again, if you research this topic without bias, you will see that the mass majority of professionals who have researched the matter have found no connection. To continue arguing that some professionals question the majority of professionals because they do not like the results just continues to show bias. Why are these professionals in the minority more resonant to you than the ones in the majority? This is honestly what is most confusing to me about this exhausting debate.

        Now, the video games/gun comparison is a bit ridiculous. It is not even an apples and oranges comparison. It is more like an apple a bottle of soy sauce. Video games are an entertainment medium that serve as an expression of art from the creator(s) and something to be enjoyed by the viewer/player. At its core, video games are meant to entertain. Nothing more. Nothing less. Guns, however, are quite literally a killing machine. Their sole purpose is to strike in such a way that causes severe injury or death, so the concern about a lack of solid gun control (Especially Trump rolling back on Obama's regulation that made it harder for mentally ill people to purchase guns) makes a lot of sense.

        Video games, despite just simply being an entertainment medium, are still regulated and rated by the ESRB, which indicates to parents how light or severe a title may be and even includes brief description of the contents (e.g. killing, petty crime, sex/nudity, cartoon violence, etc). If children are playing these M-rated video games, no one is to blame but the negligent parents.

        With guns, though, there are not proper laws about how to store guns. In Japan, for example, gun owners are required to have two safes in separate locations in the home. One safe for the guns, and one safe for the bullets. It is a huge reason why gun death in Japan is virtually zero. In America, however, a little more than half of US gun owners admitted to not locking up at least one of their guns, leaving it to be easily found and used by much of anyone, including children.

        Good regulation does not mean taking guns away. It is just about making people more responsible and protecting those around them. I think the current regulation system for video games is already solid, and yet, we still want to find reason to blame them instead of the parents. In my opinion, the gun issue is very similar, and we need parents to be much more responsible and intentional in that instead of neglecting how to do a better job storing these tools of death.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 days ago from the short journey

        Yes, I've read the links I shared. In my first comment, the first comment on this post, I wrote "I agree that video games are not the problem, I believe that the claims you mention indicate they are a part of the problem. Video games are increasingly a part of the issue...Many things play into these tragedies. Each one of them is unique in some ways. Each is mind-boggling..."

        In my second comment I responded, "Few people say that video games are the cause of mass shootings. Many, including experts, do say it is a contributing factor in aggressive and violent behaviors. That said, I do believe other contributing causes are highly involved and I'm glad to see medications included in this discussion." Repeatedly I have agreed that video games are not the problem but that concerns of credentialed professionals are valid cause for looking at the connections between violent video gaming and aggressive violence.

        I agree that parents need to stand up against a culture that feeds violence to children's thinking because violence does breed violence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSeilMlTOAs

        https://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/resources/...

        https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124...

        https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124...

        To say that the games are not to blame but the people responding to them in a wrong way are to blame yet to say that guns are to blame not the people responding to them in a wrong way are is a biased response to the assertion by concerned professionals (who have been studying the issues surrounding the effects of violent video gaming for years) that more study is needed.

        What they've already learned about the side effects has caused them to lead in producing guidelines for parents, teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, and law enforcement professionals, as well as call for more accurate studies than those used by people claiming the games are not the problem.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        5 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        We are seriously just going in circles. Honestly, this is quite annoying. Did you even read all of the links you just shared? A couple of those were grossly biased, and then the others were not directly blaming video games but saying exactly what I just said; that they are a secondary or latter issue.

        Notice that much of these include requiring parents to actually parent. Is it the video game's fault when the parent just allows their child to play video games all day and all night? In the car? At the park? In the mall? Children without limits are going to make bonehead decisions, so parents absolutely must guide their kids wisely and well. I can agree that anything can be poisonous without moderation. Even drinking too much water can make you sick and possibly kill you. Too much media input can absolutely have effects, but that is not the problem of the media though, is it?

        Let me talk about my life again. My father did not let me play games for most of the week. They were limited to special times or rainy days, which allowed me to still enjoy quality time with friends, get good grades, exercise, and enjoy other hobbies. Parents absolutely need to teach their kids how to moderate consumption in regards to anything, so that is not an issue of video games. That is an issue of culture and parenting.

        Now, going back to psych meds and side-effects, this is an area that has not been studied well or deeply, and it is why I suggested we should shift research towards that direction. Many of the shooters from recent mass shootings have had mental disorders, and I wonder what these pills that doctors are just throwing out there like candy may be doing long-term. Video games have been studied over and over and over again, and the majority of research suggests that it is not video games causing the violent behavior. Is it the parenting, though? Being neglected at home? Being abused? Being ridiculed? Being controlled? There are so many more understandable factors than "video games are to blame!" That is all I have been saying.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 days ago from the short journey

        Honestly facing the trend that teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, law enforcement are alarmed by in their experiences is society's responsibility. They point out that previous studies do not appropriately take into consideration children's various cognitive and emotional development.

        Adding to the lists of links included in my previous comments, here are more links to bring the need to support the solidarity of credentialed professionals looking at proof-based scientific relationships linking video game violence and people's violent aggression.into focus:

        https://www.jstor.org/stable/25651584?seq=1#page_s...

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264088800...

        https://www.inverse.com/article/56302-gun-violence...

        https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Fac...

        https://www.jaacap.org/action/showFullTextImages?p...

        https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2000/eirv27n11-...

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        5 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        There you go again. That is absolutely not true. It is some professionals who think previous studies are insufficient. Majority of professionals worldwide are still testing (Again, I included two studies from this year in the article) and continuing to find that there is no real connection between playing video games and violent behavior. We can keep going in circles, but that is the reality.

        Unfortunately, as is the case with global warming studies, professionals in this field will never be fully solidified. If there is a bias going into the study at all, that bias will influence the results tremendously. That goes for both sides of the spectrum, too. I am just telling you that the majority of the studies from the past and present heavily agree that the two are not linked. There will always be those who disagree and will try their best to prove otherwise, but facts are facts. The majority agree, even as of 2019.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 days ago from the short journey

        It is observation of the culture of violence around us today that brought my attention to this issue. But again, the only thing that matters in the broad discussion of the issues is that professionals in all fields are justifiably concerned. They are making it clear that previous studies are not just insufficient but are defective and that we need to support the solidarity of credentialed professionals looking at proof-based scientific relationships linking video game violence and people's violent aggression.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        5 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        But my question after all of this is why are you so leaning towards the "it is connected" circle? Do you have any personal stories or testimony? My father introduced me to video games in 1985. He is also a major gamer, even to this day. My father is one of the most gentle men I know, and he would not harm the hair on any living creature. I have been gaming since 1985, and would you know what? I hate guns. Honestly, weapons of any kinds irk me. I am a pacifist through and through, and yet, I play violent video games frequently, including horror games. My son has been playing video games since he was four, and he is an incredible empath. He feels for everyone and recognizes emotional shift better than anyone in my family.

        These are my direct connections to video games and non-violence. Honestly, I have always seen playing video games as similar to listening to music or reading a book. It is soothing, and it can be a great way to escape the mundane ways of life and enter a fantasy world and pretend. Not only that, but I will boldly say that my gamer friends are the most compassionate, loving, caring, and understanding people in my life. Significantly more than any religious friends and even most of my family.

        I am always quite interested in why people feel the opposite of me. Did anything in particular happen to you regarding this?

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        5 days ago from the short journey

        I've not heard anyone say that even violent video gaming is the problem, only that its connections to the problem needs to be examined more closely. Increasingly, professionals are making it more and more clear that previous studies failed in their methodology, .

        They are calling for media and legislators to concede proof-based scientific relationships linking video game violence and people's violent aggression. The solidarity of credentialed professionals on this topic is speaking to the industry and to legislators.

        What either of us wants to be true is not the issue. No matter our position, seeking objective conclusions should be the goal. Devaluing and dismissing the growing body of reviewed and vetted studies, reports, and conclusions of professionals calling for a closer, more valid look at the data causing people to claim that video games are not the problem is to actually be a part of the problem.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        6 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        It is not a growing number of professionals. It is about the same as it has always been. Most professionals, again, find that this accusation is ridiculous, and the majority of studies find that there is no real connection.

        Compare it to global warming, shall we? The majority of scientists and the piles of substantial evidence show that we are contributing to it. However, there is a small group of professionals who think this is all hogwash and have their own reasons for why global warming is a lie.

        This is what is going on about this conversation regarding video games causing violent behavior. The mass majority of professionals and studies all show that there is no link, and the minority are still trying to press the agenda that they are connected.

        Something like playing video games is a secondary symptom, if that makes sense. There are immeasurable reasons for why people make irrationally violent and terrible decisions. Being betrayed, going bankrupt, being cheated on, having been abused as a child (sexually and/or physically), being high/drunk, and so many other ways. These are primary symptoms, and it is usually these plus something secondary (Like playing video games, watching horror movies, etc) that might cause poor behavior.

        It is why I specifically included the study by the Secret Service and the DoE in this article. Most of the attackers that they researched did not take part in violent or horrific media at all, and yet, they still went on to do terrible actions.

        Video games alone are not causing people to perform these terrible actions. Remember that roughly 67% of Americans play video games regularly, which is about 211 million people in the population. If video games were seriously a primary problem, things would be a lot worse.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        6 days ago from the short journey

        The growing number of professionals concerned about violent video gaming's effects on people far outnumber those who do not want a more accurate and in-depth look at the issues. I encourage you to read the posts I have linked and let them help you objectively think through the issues professionals around the world are examining, including their realization that previous studies on the topic have been sadly inadequate in a number of ways.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        6 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        How exactly am I changing my focus? I have wanted it to be about video games the whole time, and you keep giving me studies that I looked at before writing this article. None of that changes the fact that the mass majority of scientists, psychologists, and other professionals have found that there is no real connection between violent video games and violent behavior. The way you are cherry-picking is quite obvious, because I can only assume you are Google searching "studies about how video games cause violent behavior". Biased searching will find you biased results. It is one of the biggest problems about the internet and having a fair discussion about anything.

        The science needs to agree is one of the biggest problems here, and too many of the most recent major studies on this topic have found no real connection. Most of the ones you have shared with me are assumptions, observations, or results based on very small pools of people. There has been tons of research not only on the topic of video games and violent behavior, but since the 1950s, people have been trying to find ways to blame entertainment in general. Movies, television, and the theater were all points of blame well before video games were event a thing, and those studies back then found similar results to the majority today about video games.

        What I will continue to say here is that video games itself is not the problem. America has much bigger problems standing right before it, and yet, here we are having a meaningless debate over whether blaming video games is a waste of time or not. I have played video games my entire life, from age five until today with my son. Do I get mad from time to time? Of course. Some times games can be frustrating (e.g. Monopoly). But would I ever feel compelled to strike my son? Scream at my wife? Or hurl something at my daughter because of video game influence? Absolutely not. That kind of behavior spawns from poor upbringing, a lack of discipline, and an inability to control ones emotions. These are all areas I think are real concerns regarding America in its current state, and yet, here we are... trying to blame video games instead of ourselves for just doing a bad job at certain things.

        But you know. It is a lot easier to blame something unrelated to me than it is to blame the man in the mirror, amirite?

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        6 days ago from the short journey

        Comparing Japan and America has its uses in certain contexts but the two countries are so unequal in so many ways that comparisons quickly breakdown if one is willing to look at this issue from every angle. Another problem with this discussion is that you've changed what you say your want your focus to be too many times.

        Almost anyone can do the research to see that the rising concerns of professionals in all fields on the topic of violent video games are valid. Here are a few more reports to add to my list of resources to use for digging deeper (which is what is being called for by President Trump and legislators):

        https://www.dartmouth.edu/press-releases/childrens...

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnew...

        https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/protecting-chi...

        https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/do-viole...

        https://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/10/what-can-...

        If you will honestly read these posts as well as the ones I've included below, you will see that rather than digging my heals in about my belief that violence breeds violence (which most professionals in various fields agree with) I simply agreeing with politicians that we need to look more closely at the harm violent video gamin does to people and society.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        7 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        I see we continue to neglect the Japan discussion to enforce your way of thinking. I stand by my initial assessment that playing video games are not linked to violent behavior, because if it were the case, Japan would be one of the most violent countries in the world.

        Not only that, mass majority of scientists and psychologists around the world have proven there is no connection through numerous types of studies including various age groups. You cannot just outweigh all of those findings because you do not want to agree with them. That is not how science works.

        Again, if any of the studies proving otherwise were universally true, China, South Korea, and Japan would be experiencing horrible tragedies regularly. Obviously, though, the studies and random links you are providing are not universal, as they seemingly apply only to the United States.

        Clearly, if we look at this with logic, the problem is environmental. To blame video games when they are not a problem in countries that consume them more would be avoiding this fact. It is a cultural problem, and it is a growing concern considering Japan is recognized as one of the safest places in the world and America is becoming more and more dangerous. The safety index for the country has been steadily decreasing over the years, and the Japanese Foreign Ministry recently issued a safety advisory to all citizens planning to visit America calling the country a "gun society".

        I am going to continue using Japan as an example, so you might want to acknowledge it.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        7 days ago from the short journey

        To say that the problem is not unique to America is not the same as saying Norway struggles the same as America.

        Saying that no studies prove video games are linked to violent behavior is wrong. I've provided enough links for any who want to honestly explore that fact. Avoiding the truth that experts in all fields are calling for more studies because the proof is obvious is saying that you will not consider the possibility that the studies you use to support what you want to be true are faulty even though professionals throughout the world are telling us that they are woefully undependable.

        As shown in the links already provided I do not dismiss any professional who is exploring whether the indications that violent video gaming is as bad as indicators show it to be to pediatricians, psychologists, law enforcement leaders, legislators, teachers, and more.

        https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/20...

        https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/20...

        https://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-gam...

        https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/ande...

        https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138...

        https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/how-violence-in...

        https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stop-teaching-our...

        https://akademiai.com/doi/full/10.1556/2006.6.2017...

        https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/32...

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/19...

        https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.as...

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        7 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        You continue to use the same handful of links like they are gospel. How in the world do your few trump the hundreds that say otherwise? You say I am dismissing professionals, but that is exactly what you have done since the beginning. You are seeing the other side of the argument as wrong and only seeing the evidence you want to believe as right, so you are immediately dismissing anything contrary to what you already believe.

        And you once again completely neglected my question about the graphic and even my last one about Japan specifically. Norway is not among that graphic, so they were not within my question. However, Norway has only had a couple mass shootings in the past twenty years. Compare that to the US, which had 323 mass shootings in 2018 alone. To even attempt to say Norway struggles similarly to the US is just wildly inappropriate, and Norway's most recent shooting was said to be heavily influenced by the shootings in Christchurch and El Paso. No one in their right mind was trying to blame video games there.

        So explain to me why homicides in China, South Korea, and Japan are insanely low, despite the three Asian countries being among the highest in the world in regards to video game consumption? Please make any sense why video games are part of the problem when it is only America seriously trying to blame them?

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        7 days ago from the short journey

        The most recent public shooting in Norway is just the beginning of proof that the problem is not unique to the United States (as well as the graphs you noted). Since you are dismissing previous professionals (psychologists and pediatricians) I've linked here,

        https://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-gam...

        https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/ande...

        https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138...

        https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/how-violence-in...

        I offer the following from law enforcement professionals and other professionals working with them from across the world.

        First, this interesting discussion on whether the World Health Organization is correct in claiming that video gamers are mentally ill is useful in examining how we should take a balanced look at and think through all the issues surrounding video gaming:

        https://akademiai.com/doi/full/10.1556/2006.6.2017...

        And studies like this from Craig A. Anderson et al with its results and implications is the basis for concerns you disregard in spite of the obvious need to look more closely at the effects we already know about:

        https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/32...

        Andrew Scipione, New South Wales’ state police commissioner, speaking at a conference on violence in the media in Sydney covering the stories and the science behind violence in the media. Several sobering quotes from Elizabeth Handsley, professor of law at Flinders University, are included:

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/19...

        The following abstract on "Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment" is a good example of taking a balanced look at the issues of violent video gaming:

        https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.as...

        More law enforcement information on the topic comes from Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano in their revised and updated "Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill" outlines how "...this media is not just conditioning children to be violent and see killing as acceptable but teaching them the mechanics of killing as well...."

        https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stop-teaching-our.../

        Opportunities to look at conclusions from conferences like "Violence An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project" held in Verona, Italy this past July will aid professionals across the board. In considering the marginalization of the side effects violent video games have on people's hearts and minds they seek to understand all angles.

        Using the "no studies prove video games link to violent behavior" statement as you have is avoiding the truth that experts in all fields are calling for those studies because the proof is obvious. It is saying that your experience trumps all of the alarming indications and that you will not consider the possibility that the studies you use to support what you want to be true are faulty even though professionals throughout the world are telling us that they are woefully undependable.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        8 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        I am not going to bother responding to the first two links again, because you are just trusting in one man's opinion over hundreds of scientists around the world. I told you that I read study after study after study, and none of them could prove that video games link to actual violent behavior.

        As for the new links, the first one is just a bunch of statements with zero evidence. It claims "the science is clear" regarding the connection, but that is obviously not true. The fact that the first link sites zero studies or research just makes it even harder to trust.

        The second is more of the same. It is more policy statements, and then a random cluster of claims with no sites to actual research. It is just a lot of generic "studies have assessed" and "studies have found", but what studies are they even talking about? That same section refers to studies beginning in the 1950s, so I have no idea what decade they are even referring to.

        Lastly, once again, I want to revisit the Vox.com graphic, because you completely neglected that. I currently live in Japan, where virtually half of the country plays video games. Homicides have been gradually falling year-by-year, and 2018 was the lowest year since the post WW2 years. For comparison, after adjusting for population, there are 111 Americans killed in gun homicides for every 1 Japanese homicide (not only gun related).

        If video games were the problem, even a percent of the problem, then why is this unique to the United States?

        https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/11/...

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        8 days ago from the short journey

        Stating your unprofessional opinion, based on reports that support your view, you dismiss professional concerns based on an understanding that the reports you use are insufficient and faulty.

        The American Psychological Association Resolution on Violent Video games is indeed a crucial document for professionals to use in clearing up the myths about the safety of violent video games.

        https://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-gam...

        Refusing to seriously consider a well-written opinion, Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions by someone like

        Craig A. Anderson, PhD reflects a deep-seated bias. Dismissing his work and conclusions as if they are on the same level as yours is mind-boggling.

        https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/ande...

        That being the case I've done a little more work that you should be doing before claiming that video games are not the problem, and linked two articles for you below. I hope this look at virtual violence and its effects will be helpful to your understanding. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Seattle Children's Hospital Research Foundation are worth listening to on this topic with objective interest if you want to be part of seeking solutions to the violence.

        https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138...

        https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/how-violence-in...

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        8 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        I appreciate you sharing the links. However, the first one is an opinion piece with a lot of false statements. On top of that, it is a Science Brief piece, which is basically an opinions section for the APA, and they even claim at the bottom of the link, "The views expressed in Science Briefs are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions or policies of APA."

        The second link, which is actually of the APA itself, is solid. But if you read all of it, it is a policy and not the results of a study or research. Although it connects various points of research over the years, the second link does not make any official claims or statements.

        I would like to revisit the graphic that Vox.com shared that I have put in this article. Why is this uniquely an American problem? I know the graphic specifically refers to gun deaths, but I even researched further and looked up homicides in general for each of the ten countries listed. And wouldn't you know? America is still leaps and bounds ahead of the other nine countries, even considering homicides per 100,000 people.

        I am not denying that video games can instigate aggression in some people. That was never my point. My point in this article and this ongoing discussion is that video games are not to blame for violent behavior, because if they were, all of those other countries that play a ton of video games should have much higher homicide rates, much higher assault/battery rates, and much higher abuse rates. The reality is that none of that is true, and again, America faces a harsh reality that the number of homicides that happen in-country is unique to America when it comes to first-world countries.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        9 days ago from the short journey

        Even though it is an author's responsibility to address an issue they post about in a balanced manner below are a couple of articles from the APA that directly apply to concerns about how violent video games affect players.

        They explain why people who will not look at the issue fairly either create (or grab on to) headlines purporting that there is no evidence of a connection. These articles are the tip of the ice berg for anyone willing to impartially examine the topic because they want to get to the truth.

        The need to step outside our wishes and wants so we can dig past rhetoric and look at the issue in a realistic manner is why I say, again, we must examine our motives for our research and the motives our reactions are rooted in if we want to rise above the common responses keeping society on a futile gerbil wheel.

        https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/ande...

        https://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-gam...

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        9 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        Are you not doing the exact same thing? Clearly you are conservative by your responses (Or at least lean that way), so your quick defense of certain ideologies is quite biased.

        I did not write any of my responses or even this article based on anyone else's views but my own. I thankfully do not live in a context where Republicans or Democrats can influence me so easily, so I am able to see both sides in their reality from an outside perspective. That includes the politicians and the public who lean both ways.

        I was only upset at one point, and I already explained why. What other topics do you think I have been upset by? I tell you I do the work, and you tell me I need to do the work. What does that even mean? You tell me I am insulting, but then completely neglect that by projecting how upset I am getting about various topics. I am not "mad" at President Trump. I am annoyed that video games are being blamed for the umpteenth time, despite mass majority of the evidence being against that claim.

        I am still waiting for the major studies connecting video game play and violent behavior. I have asked for them, and you still have not provided. That was the start of this discussion, and that is where I want to focus.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        10 days ago from the short journey

        Finding it curious that you are upset by the topics covered in this discussion I went back through them to see the evolution. When I first saw that you used gladiator entertainment as an example of how violence did not breed more violence I should, perhaps, have dismissed the discussion as hopeless at that point, but I wanted to help you step back and think twice about the important issues related to violence of all kinds.

        While calling for discussion of other possible causes of violence you have become upset that the discussion became about other possible causes. Anger at President Trump seems to be a motivator, as well as a stereotypical hostility toward politicians, Christians, and others. If you could see the problems with that, and step back to consider how they undermine your case you would have more hope of your communication being more effective, which I hoped was your goal.

        An unwillingness to do the work of considering a need to think through issues from every possible angle before jumping on a bandwagon is reflected in accusing others of the very thing you are doing. Venting is cathartic, but not usually helpful in finding solutions. If we focus on concerns and have mature discussions, trying to look at why other people think they way they do about the issues, we can work together to find solutions.

        In a different discussion in a different venue I am conversing with a person who simply wants to fling their views out and walk away without considering all the angles of even what they are saying, much less other connecting dots to the issue. If, as a society, we encourage each other to reasonable thinking as opposed to knee-jerk responses rooted in our own experiences/feelings/mindset, we can work together toward solutions.

        I want to believe that is what you want to do. We must examine our motives for our research and the motives our reactions are rooted in if we want to rise above the common responses keeping society on a futile gerbil wheel.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        12 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Also, @RTalloni, let us quit this random, disconnected debate. This article is about how video games are not the problem, so I would appreciate that becoming the main focus once again.

        The blaming video games debate just needs to stop, though. It must be deleted. I only used four major studies in my article, but I went through nearly one-hundred while researching for this. Not a single study could directly connect video games and violent behavior, and I would really love to see a top-notch study that proves otherwise. And no, not some Christian study that observes five kids at VBS. Actual studies that over hundreds to thousands and finding common threads between them. The best I could find was heightened aggression, but like I said way earlier, that is a natural symptom of adolescents and puberty anyway.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        12 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        First off, where was the name calling??? Projecting such nonexistent behavior is just bizarre.

        Secondly, and I am not going to spend much time on it because this conversation is becoming more and more moot, but recognize that this issue has been ongoing for years and little-to-no actual solutions put on the table. What Trump and other politicians have said recently is the exact same rhetoric that has been used since the first round of shootings during Trump's presidency. It is just not going anywhere.

        Democrats will complain for a couple weeks, Republicans will defend for a couple weeks, and not a whole lot will actually change. Everything you are telling me to do (Which I have done tons of research on) is what I want these politicians to do. I am not the one capable of writing these bills, so of course I am writing to them, calling them, and even writing these types of articles to create better discussions than simple "Trump bad" or "Trump good" debates.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        12 days ago from the short journey

        In response to your first paragraph, President Trump spoke about far more than video games when he began discussing solutions. I understand that you are upset about the shootings, as most of us are, but dismissing the possibility that video games could be a part of the problem in at least some of the violent crime events is unwise when there are studies and professionals agreeing that they do have an adverse effect on people.

        Apparently you are not aware that politicians are talking about other possible contributing factors. Read what they are writing instead of taking sound bites out of context. Contact their offices and ask where you can read more about their records and positions. Or at least be willing to look at all reports and statistics from an objective angle instead of refusing to do so.

        Yes, I did write "they knew what they were doing and are still responsible for their decisions" and I stand by it in its context. You took the phrase out of context and twisted it, but I understand that you are emotionally charged over the issues involved in the discussion that's come out of this post. I will not hold it against you but I do hope you will reassess this when you are not in an emotional upheaval.

        I am truly sorry for what your wife and you face in the circumstances you are in. At no time did I bring her into this. I am sorry that those representing themselves as Christians have treated your wife badly, but I have not done what they have done. I know nothing of your wife's life. May they mercifully learn what God says to them about their responses to her. Your anguish is apparent so I offer a book by Chris Brauns, Unpacking Forgiveness, as a help.

        You speak of equality in criminal behavior and in justice. It might help have a friendly conversation with a criminal justice attorney or prosecutor for the purpose of understanding the legal system better. Here is a link to helpful lectures: https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/re... . And you might want to study out why there are people who say all criminals have mental illness before making a decision about justice.

        It is a sad thing to degrade this conversation by resorting to name calling, but that is an old tactic when someone is responding emotionally to a situation rather than taking a step back to connect dots in an objective manner. I sincerely hope you can take a deep breath and focus on the context of these comments.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        12 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        It may not tell the whole story, but the fact that so many politicians on both sides are heavily paid for by giant corporations and special interest groups tell a very clear story. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I cannot stand either side. I am not a liberal or a conservative, but more of a moderate. Whether you can see that or not, it is very clear that this particular topic of discussion (Who/What to point the finger at when it comes to mass shootings) is not moving anywhere, the problem is getting worse, and politicians on both sides just keep spitting out the same rhetoric. Democrats want to take guns away, and Republicans want to protect their guns and suck up to the NRA (An organization that contributed $900K to the 2018 election cycle, lobbied over $5 million, and spent over $9 million on outside spending for political ads and stuff). All of this reality sitting right in our face, and our president wants to blame video games for violent behavior despite the science being heavily against it.

        And look, I got upset, because your statement was ignorant and something very common among Christians and conservatives. You literally wrote, "... but they knew what they were doing and are still responsible for their decisions." I have numerous relatives with depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar, just to name a couple. My wife is bipolar, and she has done things that were completely out of her control. Did she really want to do those things? Our Christian friends sure think so, calling her demon-possessed and not trusting God enough. Others want to make an example of her instead of understanding her, which burns me up in ways you cannot even imagine.

        I am not saying this speaks for all of the shooters, but you have to understand that some of them were suffering tremendously and their actions were beyond them. If they really had a choice, they would not have done them. I can speak this truth based on my own family connections. These people DO NOT know what they are doing, and yet, they are being treated exactly the same as someone who calculates a horrendous crime. This is not to lesson the severity of the crime, but it needs to be a discussion on what is happening during these times, how to better spot these outbursts before they happen, and figure ways to make them pay for the crime without making it equal to someone not suffering from mental illness.

        This is not a simple discussion, so what irritates me is that everyone just has quick answers to everything, they want to defend their political party of choice and their views, and despite saying they want to see change, most politicians are content with where they are right now. American politics are constantly in a quagmire, and it really prevents any real movement from happening.

        But once again, and the point of the article, video games are not the problem. Everything we have been talking about are some of the contributing factors, so why are politicians not talking about those points and instead blaming things idiotically on video games?

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        13 days ago from the short journey

        To be fair, the voting statistics of Republican legislators do not tell the whole story of why they voted as they did. It is stereotypical rhetoric to use a statistic that does not support the truth of the why. I've always thought the quote "A picture paints a thousand words" interesting because I always wonder about the words' veracity. A snapshot does not tell the whole story. The voting record needs to be looked at fairly so people can have a useful understanding of it.

        Also, please read the comment that rubbed you the wrong way. Misrepresenting it as insinuating I was writing about all mentally ill people when my focus was specifically on shooters is unfair and unhelpful. It could help you to read a professional's book about the failure of modern psychology, https://www.amazon.com/PsychoBabble-Failure-Psycho... , if you want to understand some of what I know about mental illness in general.

        As for America not responding as you think we should I understand President Trump, with the help of Republican leaders, is forming a response. It will not please everyone, obviously, but it's likely it will be stronger than others have given in spite of Democratic opposition. To think that he or any other leader has the power to keep everyone safe all the time is not reality. The faction of the population who thinks leaders should or can do that is going to be disappointed. We'll see, but it may be a bit early to take the temperature of this president's response to mass shootings. One thing we do know is that it will not be reported fairly by news media. Thankfully, there are other avenues of getting the truth out thanks to technology.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        13 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        I was clearly not referring to Republicans generically, and I think you know that. Like my main focus on the article, I'm referring to politicians, of which many Republican leaders are not willing to participate in common sense gun laws, mostly because of peer pressure and lobbyists (Again, as I mentioned in the article). That is not unfair or stereotyping. It is fact. Look at the votes every time common sense gun laws are proposed, and you will see a very clear black-and-white vote flow.

        To be frank, though, your last comment regarding mental issues rubbed me the wrong way. Clearly you are not too familiar or you would better understand that a lot of the actions of mentally ill patients is truly uncontrollable. To say they "know" what they are doing and should be just as responsible as a sane person is incredibly ignorant of the matter and frankly irresponsible.

        One of my strongest points in the article, and it is something a few politicians have brought up over the years, is that we need to examine how other countries have worked through similar problems and learn from them. It is not so much that it has only ever been an American problem, but right now, the stubbornness, the scapegoating, the neglect, and the excessive love for guns is creating a more unique situation that does need some immediate response.

        The problem, as has been stated many times already, is that America is currently doing much of nothing about this. Trump, the president of the country, said we need to examine video games, and that was the whole point of my article. We are going in circles on an issues that has plagued the country for over 20 years.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        13 days ago from the short journey

        To say that Republicans are unwilling to participate in discussions about common sense gun laws is unfair and unhelpful stereotyping that only inflame rhetoric. Every Republican I know is willing to do that and more. The rub for liberals is that Republicans are unwilling to let proposed solutions to this issue create more problems. For instance, surprise bills sneakily tacked on to legislation is a problem legislators face everyday.

        I would say it's obvious that all the shooters had mental issues, but they knew what they were doing and are still responsible for their decisions. The possible ways they could have obtained the guns are multitudinous. Lying is a high probability. Any number of deceptions could have helped them get the guns they had. If it is true that any legally obtained a gun when they shouldn't have then the fact is, they didn't obtain it legally. Either they lied to get it or someone lied for them. Both should be dealt with by the severest penalties possible.

        We agree that solutions need to be looked at, but that some want to focus on one solution (gun laws, for instance) and others see a need to focus on a different solution (death penalty, for instance) is an important issue all by itself. When one or the other of these possible solutions is the main focus, people jump on a bandwagon, but then are sadly blindsided when they discover their bandwagon was a sinking ship.

        Take Australia, for instance. Everything in me hopes you are right and that such tragedies are ended there, but it's too early to take that temperature just yet. As we've seen even in Japan, a person with a determination to get a gun or use other means to commit an atrocity can find a way to do it. "The darkness that exists within" is a powerful phrase but the human heart is bent to argue with wisdom.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        13 days ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        I really appreciate your comment and adding to the discussion here, and there is a lot of great stuff you mentioned in the previous comment, whether I agree with it or not.

        When one looks at something like the intentional homicide rate by country, America is ahead of many, that's true, but the countries that it is ahead of are not ones to boast about. America currently sits at 89/230 in regards to this rate, sitting between the countries of Zambia and Sudan. To put that into perspective, America's intentional homicide rate is technically worse than a country that is still littered with medium to heavy crimes.

        I brought up Australia before specifically because they took immediate action for a horrific shooting that happened in their country. As you pointed out, cultural values and government trust played a huge role in the country banding together to help end such tragedies, so they were much more willing to have a vulnerable discussion and move forward in such a way that would genuinely instigate change.

        Now I did not say America does not have gun laws. I implied that they are not good enough, which is a huge difference. The common discussion that the left wants to have is literally labeled as "common sense gun laws", but many Republicans are unwilling to even participate.

        Personally, I am not an anti-gun person, but I do believe we need to have better and tighter laws. I also believe that discussions about mental health and medications needs to be done. As a person who is married to someone with Bipolar, I honestly would not trust her with a gun, whether she was on her medication or not. The possible outcomes are just too grand, and it is significantly safer just to keep her away from such an instrument. I honestly do not understand why this is not a more common mindset, because a huge amount of these mass shooters have been people with mental issues or were/are on medication for mental issues. How these people were easily able to access a gun is beyond me, and I think we can sensibly have a discussion about exactly this matter.

      • Vincent Ravencroft profile image

        Vincent Ravencroft 

        13 days ago

        Very well-crafted article, Jason! You hit the nail on the head for some of the biggest issues plaguing the country today. To be honest, I dream of a day when American politics isn't full of lobbyists and special interest groups backing puppets that just do their will, but have actual compassionate human beings enacting the will of the people, not the will of the few. This dark period in American history is punctuated by how downhill our political system has gone.

        Anyway, all that is to say that more people should be reading this article. It's a good wake up call.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        13 days ago from the short journey

        So I checked a few sites. The claim is not outrageous. Some reports are, though. In the searches I was reminded of how many quotes we have on statistics, one of which comes from Ron DeLegge, “99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story.”

        For instance, in comparing USA and Australia one needs to see that while the continental USA is only slightly larger than Australia, the populations do not come close to comparing, with Australia at about 23 million and the USA at about 303 million. Australians make 15% less money than Americans, are 27% more likely to be unemployed, and pay nearly 14% more in taxes each year if they do work. There's more, but the point is the it's true, statistics are used for support rather than illumination.

        Anyone can do the research but they need to be willing to honestly search out unbiased reports and consider discussions about the statistics from all sides of the issue. The following offers a useful discussion on the topic of gun ownership: https://www.timesofisrael.com/hundreds-of-thousand... . However, it is important to note that I found it due to many countries citing rising anti Semitism causing an increase in crime.

        I agree with you that violent crime is insanely high in the USA, as in other countries with a high crime rate. It does not have the highest crime rate of any country, though, and this discussion on how to make just comparisons is helpful to any who wish to explore the issues: https://inhomelandsecurity.com/crime-rates-mexico-... After looking at such a discussion we need to consider other factors, such as cultural values, a country's trust of its government, and more if we want to fairly assess issues.

        I disagree that America does not have gun laws. The laws are quite good, in fact, but that is not to say there is room for improvement, though if one only listens to media outlets they may not think the laws are even there. It is not as easy as liberals want people to believe for just anyone to legally buy a gun, but there are plenty of ways to get or make them in this country, or any other, making the laws a moot point for criminals. They could care less about the laws. That evil people can easily hide their motives and intent is not the fault of the government or the citizenry. It is just a fact that it happens and that fact is an important one to respond to.

        I agree that psych meds are a huge concern. I wish those who produce and pass them out so freely could be held accountable, but they are protected within their systems. To stereotype criminals as being "mental" provides these people a scapegoat so they can escape the toughest penalties for their crimes. Mentally ill people do not, for the most part, commit violent crimes because the majority do know they will be caught and convicted. The stereotypes of mentally ill people are a problem most people do not understand. Too many mentally ill actually people work in healthcare but they are not monitored from that perspective, though they should be.

        I wish it were not true that we need it, but the death penalty needs to be used as a deterrent to those who choose to commit violent crimes. I think it was the El Paso shooter who said he would give up if challenged because he wanted to live another day to do more harm. Will it be with his hate-filled diatribes encouraging others to violence or by another method? If we let him live he will continue harming others one way or another. That aside, he deserves to pay with his life for what he has done, but too many people refuse to see the death penalty as a deterrent to crime.

        In thinking back to your mention of "the darkness that exists within" I was reminded of some ancient wisdom: "Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil." In a culture that is unwilling to follow wisdom we see confusion about what to do with important issues. Blindness to the darkness withn is the consequence of arguing with wisdom.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        Please show me any research that proves violent crime in on the rise in "all countries". That is an outrageous claim.

        In countries like Japan, Australia, and Germany, for example, violent crimes and activity decreased tremendously since stronger laws were put in place. In Japan, the Yakuza are basically child's play compared to what they were before, and that is because of the new laws and increased law enforcement.

        Unfortunately, violent crime in the US is insanely high and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. We have blamed all of the scapegoats and it has solved nothing. You know what America has not done? It has not even tried stricter gun laws. It has not even attempted to test connections between psych medication, its side effects, and violent behavior. And why are mentally ill people able to still buy guns? It just does not make any sense.

        We have to be more sensible than this. It's not about taking guns away. It's about making it hard for the wrong people to get them.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        2 weeks ago from the short journey

        Most of those politicians have not used video games as a scapegoat for violent acts. The truth is that many have considered, questioned, wondered about the reports that say violent gaming is a part of the problem, which is a different thing from using them as a scapegoat.

        I guess I'm a little confused about some of what you write because it seems contradictory. For instance, video games are a huge part of today's culture. They are a major player in the lives of many people. So, if our culture is the root of the problem as you say (and I agree) why couldn't video games have played a part in at least some of the violence we've seen?

        Good, clear discussions about the societal problems in our culture are important. We need to carefully consider our input into them, being careful to avoid making assumptions, jumping on popular bandwagons, and avoid stereotyping. It may be a lot of work but it is worthy work.

        For instance, to be upset that gamers are being stereotyped is certainly fair, but it is also fair to not stand by when politicians, religious people, gun owners, or any other group is being stereotyped. Even when it comes to news media personalities it is important to not stereotype but to look carefully at their corporate behaviors and address the actual issues created by their lies.

        Blaming "America" or "Americans" is not a solution. You live in a comparatively small, safe area of Asia, and that's great for you, but in all countries violent crime is on the rise. Where guns are supposedly banned law abiding citizens do not have the option of protecting themselves or stopping criminals when they begin their violence whether they use guns or other means.

        To see "the darkness that lies within" is spot on coverage of the problem but no government action can change the darkness of a human heart or protect everyone all the time from the actions of those who choose to commit atrocities. No rational discussion can make the needed changes because "the darkness that lies within" colors our thinking even though most people know and agree that violent acts are wrong.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        It is not few people, actually. Many politicians for over 20 years have been using video games as a scapegoat for violent acts. Religious culture in the US also constantly blames video games for destroying morals and turning kids away from God (Which in turn allows them to commit such terrible acts, I guess?).

        However, when it comes to gun-related violence, European countries and Asian countries are leaps and bounds ahead of the United States when it comes to being safer countries. Does that mean they are perfect countries? No. Of course not, but the US needs to realize that this excessive gun killing is unique to the US and something needs to be done about it.

        What I was saying is that we need to have a real conversation, not just throwing blame at whatever open window we can find. America can not move towards serious change until we look in the mirror and realize its out fault.

        But thank you for your comment! And thank you for reading my article. I hope it was interesting.

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @Mr Happy

        Thank you for the comment and compliment. It just blows my mind that this is constantly brought up by politicians with zero evidence to support their claims. Like you said, it really is unique to the United States (And I literally just updated my article to elaborate on that point, thank you).

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        2 weeks ago from the short journey

        Few people say that video games are the cause of mass shootings. Many, including experts, do say it is a contributing factor in aggressive and violent behaviors. That said, I do believe other contributing causes are highly involved and I'm glad to see medications included in this discussion. There is no way to stereotype the shooters and get to a solution.

        One of the problems our society faces is the idea that people expect the government to keep them safe. At no time in history has there been a generation so entrenched in the idea that they can be kept safe. It's stunning to see because keeping everyone safe is an impossibility. The effects of this thinking are disastrous.

        Americans have been hearing for years that European countries are safe thanks to their gun control laws but the fallacy has fallen apart before our eyes. Evil people will find a way to destroy other people and any peoples' right to defend themselves should be protected by law because people have always and will always need to be able to do so.

        This world's idea of utopia is a fabrication blinding people to truth.

      • Mr. Happy profile image

        Mr. Happy 

        2 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

        Good article and thank You for writing it. We play video-games here in Canada too but we don't have people going on rampages in public with riffles. It just doesn't happen. This phenomenon is unique to the United States. (I am also a EU citizen and this doesn't happen in the EU.)

      • Eastward profile image

        Eastward 

        2 weeks ago from Bangkok, Thailand

        @Jason

        You're most welcome. Thanks for writing the article! I think you are right that video games are the scapegoat and that research doesn't show any strong correlation between the games and violence. I can relate to behavioral changes with medications as well. I have some close friends that have gotten onto the prescription carousel. The doctors say one drug is the answer and when the patient starts to get accustomed to it, they switch to another or assign a cocktail of different medications. I'm not sure they can even keep track of the side effects and how one reacts with the other. I am curious to know if they have advanced computer software that aids them in making sure that drugs don't conflict with one another. All the best to you and your wife!

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @Eastward

        Thank you very much for your comment! It is just becoming annoying at this point that video games seem to be the quick and easy answer to violent behavior today. These same politicians that have pointed the fingers at video games before are the very ones who funded studies to prove that video games were the problem, only to learn that they were not.

        And I agree with you so much! I do not understand why we are not researching links between violent behavior and mental illness/psych medications. My wife has Bipolar II, and the side effects of her medication can make her unstable on certain days. Granted, without the medication, she can also be unstable, but I often wonder how much of a connection there may be between uncontrolled violent behavior and this.

        Thank you for participating!

      • Jason Capp profile imageAUTHOR

        Jason Reid Capp 

        2 weeks ago from Tokyo, Japan

        @RTalloni

        Thank you for your comment, and I appreciate your opinion.

        However, video games are absolutely a scapegoat, and every single test and research I looked up for this article were incredibly biased towards video games being the link to violent behavior. Mass majority of the research definitely disconnected this link, and very few actually made any connection at all. The ones that still make a claim can only attach "aggression" to the behavior but not violence. This is an unfair link, because adolescents are already struggling with chemical imbalance and heightened hormones. Aggression is a very common side-effect of puberty, and to claim that heightened aggression in young boys has anything to do with video games is ignorant and basically an action of chasing pavement.

        The entertainment industry is not the problem either, and it is just another scapegoat. Let's go back thousands of years when gladiators were a form of entertainment. Back then, although society was not perfect by any means, the entertainment at the coliseum did not instigate violence behavior.

        As the Secret Service study pointed out, most of these people behind school shootings/mass shootings had very little (or nothing) to do with violent entertainment. The theory even then was that violence in entertainment must be linked to the violent behavior being expressed today, and yet, it was not the case.

        We continue to neglect a real conversation on mental health, the side effects of prescription medications that the shooters might have in common, and the uprise of white nationalists and domestic terrorists.

        If we keep blaming disconnected sources, we will continue to seem like we are ignoring real issues, and the world is seeing this a lot more clearly than Americans are. Like I said in the article, other countries have faced similar problems and have made tremendous changes to their society for the best. Arming more people in America is NOT going to solve anything, because America already has the most guns in the world as is, how are more guns going to make things better?

      • Eastward profile image

        Eastward 

        2 weeks ago from Bangkok, Thailand

        I agree that video games are no the problem and am extremely disappointed to see the President point the finger in that direction. What I would like to see is a more exhaustive study of the prescription medications the shooters had in common, as the research done in that area seems to be sparse when compared to something like video games.

        As a side note, I lived in Tokyo for a short while myself. It's a very nice place to be!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        2 weeks ago from the short journey

        While I agree that video games are not the problem, I believe that the claims you mention indicate that they are a part of the problem. Video games are increasingly a part of the issue. Just as television and the movie industry continue to find ways to portray and therefore promote violence the video game industry is responsible for their part in encouraging violence.

        Though the studies you mention report no connection, there are other studies that say there is one. Not only that but many pediatricians, psychologists, and other professionals do agree there is a correlation. Slicing and dicing the so-called professionals' opinions is useful work, but really, all you have to do is ask observant parents whether what their children are exposed to affects their thinking. Many more than professionals realize say yes it does and they say no to exposing them to violence in entertainment.

        Many things play into these tragedies. Each one of them is unique in some ways. Each is mind-boggling. I believe that news media plays a role in encouraging them by giving the names of the perpetrators in reports. I believe that entertainment industries carry a huge responsibility and that as long as we support them we support the violence they portray, sing about, and write about.

        Dozens of people were shot in Chicago last weekend. Nearly 20 in Baltimore. How many in LA? Miami? How many lay dead or dying due to shootings in other places? It's gone on too long and we need to support law enforcement efforts to stem the tide and we need to oppose efforts to keep people from being able to defend themselves.

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