With the recent shooting at a school in Newtown Connecticut and the shooting in Aurora Colorado violent video games are in the news again. The old men in the old media are blaming violent video games as they always do when a shooting hits the national news.
Violent video games have been the target of old media and conservatives for years. They will spout dubious studies and claim there is a link. They will blame any act of violence on violent video games even if the perpetrator never played a video game in his life.
In 1954 Fredric Wertham published the book Seduction of the Innocent in which he blamed comic books for juvenile crime. From his book arose the comics code which castrated the comic book industry for decades. Decades before the film industry suffered similarly. In 1930 the Hollywood studios instituted the motion picture production code which like the comics code castrated the film industry. The Hollywood studios instituted it because of a growing moral panic about immorality in films and the film industry feared the government would step in and regulate the morals of the film industry them selves.
Both the comics code and motion picture production code restricted or out rite banned violence, sex, gore, the super natural, criticism of authority, how criminals where depicted, drug use (even if it was an anti-drug message), depictions of homosexuality, depictions of relationships between people of different races, etc.
Violent video games do not cause violence. I say that with certainly. It does not. I can back this up, with statistics.
Between 1960 and 2012 violent crime was at it's lowest in 1962 with 4.6 murders per 100,000 people, 9.4 rapes per 100,000 people and 88.6 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people. From there violent crime rose to 10.2, 36.8, 298.5 in 1980. Violent crime rate fluctuated until 1991 with 9.8, 42.3 and 433.4. It has sense been dropping until in 2010 where it was at 4.8, 27.5 and 252.3. Sense 1991 violent crime has been going down.
The SNES (Super Nintendo) came out in America in 1993, the Sega Genesis came out in 1989. Wolfenstein 3D came out in 1992, Doom came out in 1993. The first generation of 3D game consoles came out in 94, the second generation of 3D game consoles came out in 2000, the third and currant generation came out in 2005. Between those years and sense 2005 graphics technology on the PC side has increased and access to video games because of digital distribution has grown. Games have been getting more realistic and more violent sense 94. If violent video games cause violence in people you'd expect violent crime to rise not drop.
Of course correlation does not imply causation but if violent video games caused violence in people, violent crime rates should at least have stayed the same. The lowering of violent crime, increasing realism and access to games could just mean that violent video games have no impact on violent crime. Heres where my ability to back up my claims with statistics end but I do have logic.
With all the problems of out society becoming less active, spending more time in front of the TV and on the computer than getting out ans exorcising. Well violent people are doing the same. That is a side effect though, my main argument is that violent video games give an outlet for violence. People are violent, some people are a lot more violent than others. When people play violent video games, they're getting their violent tendencies out of their system. Instead of going out and getting into fights, attacking people, etc they are playing Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc. Because they are getting their violence out of their system with video games, they are not committing acts of violence in the real world.
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