An alternative perspective

but I'm not sold. I'm pretty darn sure that violent video games don't help reduce violence. Just a guess.

Reshared post from +Matthew Graybosch

Do you think video games cause violence?
If so, I have a bridge to sell you.

Cultural and social conservatives in the United States still like to blame video games for gun violence, despite the fact that some of the most outlandishly violent video games are developed in Japan, whose rates of interpersonal violence aren't comparable to those of the United States. They do this despite statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice which show a correlation between decreasing rates of violence during the same time period in which games became more realistic and more violent.

Why do conservatives do this? I think they do it because they can.

The kids who grew up with the NES and the Sega Master System are now adults in their thirties, and I'm one of them. However, gaming is still not wholly respectable. Because gaming isn't as respectable as (for example) sitting on one's ass and watching Monday Night Football, politicians can slander gamers with impunity.

However, I have an alternative hypothesis for you. I think video games prevent violence. They don't do it by teaching non-violent means of conflict resolution, and I'd laugh at anybody who claims otherwise. Instead, I think games prevent real-world violence by giving angry, violent people a means of indulging their violent urges in a manner which doesn't result in violations of individual rights or property damage.

Why do I say this? Because I'm one of those angry, violent people. Rather than try to repress my nerd rage, I found a safe outlet. I'm a gamer. I'm a rights-respecting American citizen. I pay taxes, I vote, and I say that any politician who blames violence on video games is a liar and a demagogue.

Permalink: http://www.starbreakerseries.com/2013/03/20/do-violent-video-games-cause-real-world-violence-or-prevent-it/

video games prevent violence An alternative perspective

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1 Response

  1. +Adam Jones, you might find the following interesting: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/foia/docs/2012-annual-letter-to-the-us-sentencing-commission.pdf

    According to this, violent crime rates in the United States decreased between 1992 and 2011. All the while, video games became more advanced and more violent. I think the correlation merits further consideration.

    Even if you don't agree, thanks for sharing.

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