Video Game Violence? Or is it Just Guns?

Studies on Video Games, Relations to Aggression


Photo by Isaiah Prophet

In the recent wake of mass shootings in our country, many citizens, including President Trump, believe video games are to blame. However, that is not the case.

Isaiah Prophet, Reporter

On October of 1958, William Higinbotham created what is to be believed as the worlds first video game. It was a simple tennis game that featured three main components, two of which were pixels controlled by the players and the other one was a ball. Fast forward 61 years to 2019 and now video games can be run at over 1440 pixels per second. But as gaming technology advances and video games become more popular in the United States, questions have been raised over whether or not video games have a negative impact on its users. The answer in my opinion, is simply no.

Video games have gotten a lot of criticism in the media over whether or not they cause people to commit violent crime and many countries have even banned certain video games because of this belief. Major titles such as “Mortal Kombat”, “Call of Duty”, “Left 4 Dead” and “Grand Theft Auto” have all been banned at one point or another according to the Silicon Republic because of these accusations. Some have even gone as far to claim that video games are the culprit behind mass shootings.

 Recent studies conducted by Vox say otherwise. Their research stated that while video games can cause a temporary spike in aggression, the effects are not permanent. It also states that there is no actual reliable evidence that proves a correlation between video games and mass shootings. Instead the blame should be focused toward the lack of gun control.

America has the highest violent gun death rate of any other developed nation in the world according to another study by Vox. If anything, video games have been influenced by America’s long standing history of gun violence. The arguments brought up against video games are similar to when people tried to link rock and roll to cults, satanism and devil worship in the 1970s. This is just another example of people diverting attention away from the main problem, which is the lack of effective gun control and turning it into something else.

I believe video games are a fun and engaging way to pass the time and nothing more. As of 2019 over 211 million Americans, or over 67% of the U.S population play video games on some sort of device, according to an article by Variety  So to say that every last one of those people is just a possible murderer waiting to happen is ridiculous.