The tragic accident that took place this Wednesday, 14th Feb 2018 in a Florida High School where a former student who was recently expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons unleased a storm of bullets. Killing at least 17 adults and children in the process.
Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, in an interview on WHAS radio station with Leland Conway show said that Video Games have a partial role in such tragic incidents, even though no study has ever proved video games violence being linked to real-world acts.
He said that Video games are listed for mature audiences, yet they are being played by children and everyone is aware of the fact that these video games are very horrific violence based entertainment platform.
According to him, celebrating the slaughtering of innocent people even as a form of entertainment is something that does not make sense.
Receiving game points on the killing of people has led these students to believe that this is somehow justified and morally correct. Hence, these violent games have been inducing the culture of death for quite some time now, he believes.
Governor Matt Bevin went on to that video games “have desensitized people to the value of human life”.
The Governor also added that it’s not the Video Games as a whole, the endorsement of killing in Music, TV Shows, Movies are all in the background, altering the mindsets of children. He blamed everything other than the Gun Laws inside the United States.
This is not the first time Video Games have been in the loop of such tragedies. The shooters of 1999 Columbine massacre was revealed to be fans of “Doom”, 2007 Virginia tech shooter was found out to be a huge fan of Counter-Strike and also the Norwegian mass shooter who claimed at his trial that he trained for his rampage using Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
While this topic of Video Games responsible for violence has been in light for many years a lot of studies have also been done, and nothing has conclusively linked video games to real-life violence.
Some studies based on experiments suggest that these games have an effect on the emotions of the players. Very Recently an experiment was conducted that was published in the journal Social Affective and Cognitive Neuroscience revealed that playing violent video games have an effect on the brain’s ability to process emotions. Which then can lead to violence, based on the nature of the video game and the player.
Although this may seem pretty convincing, you need to hold your horses because another study conducted at the University of York that took about 3000 people in an experiment had entirely different results. It concluded that Video Games are not the reason behind Violence or real-life crime.
Where most of the population blames the Gaming industry in order to cover their own weaknesses and flaws, not being able to enforce law and order or not being able to provide the emotional support that the young people need could be more responsible for such violent acts committed in real life than these games.
While the world does not seem to recognize the real cause of these problems we have another research that gives us a whole new spectrum to the understanding of Video Games. A recent study conducted at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and the University of Roehampton revealed that Video Games can help treat patients suffering from Schizophrenia.
On a general level what this all proves is that we actually lack a lot of understanding to such matters and we need to dig deep and research more before passing out statements like Mr. Gavin here. We cannot play the blame game for mistakes that we commit as a society.