Linking Video Games to Violent Behavior

Do violent video games influence violent behavior? On the surface, the uninformed answer might be “yes.” However, whenever a tragedy like a mass shooting occurs, some people quickly blame video games. Have you ever seen politicians blame shootings on the shooter’s amount of violent video games? Well, that might not be all true.

Both media and politicians love to find something to blame for the cause of shootings and violence across the country. For example, Kevin McCarthy came out in 2019 saying, “The idea that these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals… I’ve always felt that it’s a problem for future generations and others.”

The media and politicians argue that they have studies that prove their claim, but most people who talk about the studies do not show them. However, a U.K. study conducted by Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein at the Royal Society Open Science found no link between playing violent video games and overly-aggressive behavior.

But these are all just studies conducted on small groups of people on the broader scale of the world; until we can get almost 8 billion people to be worked into these studies, we will never for sure find out if video games cause over-aggression.

For more information, please click on the links:

Kevin McCarthy says video games partly to blame for mass shootings (usatoday.com)

Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behaviour: evidence from a registered report (royalsocietypublishing.org)