Today I’m going to be writing a little post on violence that is present in video games, this is something that I and many other of my fellow campaigners are very, very passionate about. Way back in 2005 over 200 academic members of staff that belonged to the American Psychological Association got together and signed an open letter than went against various studies which suggested a potential link between violence and people playing online or single player games on consoles. Now, since this initial stand point there has been many other studies done that essentially suggest the exact same thing. For me, I believe that there is no causative link between the two and any study that suggests otherwise is absolutely rubbish. While some people may be susceptible to such behavior, this is certainly not what most people experience when playing video games, whether it is on a PC, Xbox or PS4.
There is just no logical reason for believing this anyway. This ideology formed the backbone of the original study behind the American Psychological Associations paper, they put forward the line of thought that some may become violent, however this was the case in under 0.1% of test suspects. Ultimately it is believed that most people can indeed distinguish between when they are playing a video game in a game universe and when they are walking around in real life. Vast amounts of research has been done in the past 11 years and no credible study has come forward to validate the violence claims. It is usually a whole range of different risk factors that together combine to lead to people becoming violent and it is ludicrous to insist that simply enjoying yourself could lead to this alone.
Despite this, a large proportion of people, predominantly in America – where gun crime is rife, are inadvertently pointing the finger towards video games and are trying to insinuate that games can lead to repeated violent offences within a short time span of playing them. You would have thought that in the twenty first century that science would have progressed past blatant name calling, however this doesn’t seem to be the case. If you just take a step back from the argument and think that if you played a violent shooting video game, say Counterstrike, for a few hours – would you feel inclined to go and cause somebody actual harm in real life? No, and if you answered yes then you may have some form of underlying mental health issue to be honest.