Fox News Health “War Hero Says Video Games Cause Violence” Features Overwatch

If it isn’t the far left telling gamers that the video games they are playing make them sexist, misogynist, racist and everything under the sun with every shade of the rainbow: it is the far right telling us video games make us violent. Honestly, they seem to go together like steak and potatoes with the quality of facts either side regurgitates.

Your facts could not be more off Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret), especially when you say there is correlational data. There is none, has been none, and continues to be none since violent video games first hit the market. Over the course of the last several decades’ violence among youth, the demographic the political right believes to be most impacted by violent video games, has gone down significantly. Correlational data would imply an increase in the percentage of violence among our youth if your facts were correct and simply put: the evidence does not support that claim.


This Correlating Data Seems A Bit Off Compared To The Claims Being Made

When you mention longitudinal data, Mr. Grossman, one of the longest and most thorough longitudinal studies available found no connection between youth playing violent video games and an increase in youth violence. This combined with the actual correlational data we have available makes a nearly case closed argument that video games do not cause violence. This claim, that doing something about media violence would have the greatest impact on violence in our society, is simply unsubstantiated by a lack of increased youth violence. Simply claiming they have proven the connection does not make it so, they have not. Unlike with cigarette testing, which shows a link to cancer and an addictive quality making it hard to give up, video games have no supporting correlating data and our scientific methods have vastly improved since then.

Now this all being said: there is a responsibility on the parents of children playing video games to watch what media their child consumes, to ensure that they are consuming the type of media that each parent believes is best for their individual child. While some parents participate in what could be considered “excessive” monitoring of their children’s media consumption, it is still on the table for parents out there: especially when you consider the ability to look at the established ratings of video games and the ability to research the content of video games before you buy it for your children. Through the use of Youtube and game developers websites, parents can easily be ensured as to what exact content these games contain.


Nothing Says Serious “Assassination Generation” Training Like A Few Rounds Of Overwatch

As the segment continues Grossman talks about how children, through use of the video game medium, are being trained to kill. This is an interesting claim to make as he correlates his argument with what can be described as video game addiction. He goes on to refer to a kid being detoxed from video games: showing withdrawal symptoms after the first two days of not playing and seeing marked improvement by day three. There are a few problems with this: while it can be noted that many teen shooters have been what could be described as “gamers”, the description of gamer has been so watered down over the years that it is getting to a point you could almost literally say all people who have shot other people were gamers.
Video gaming is so pervasive to our modern world that you might as well corrilate it with having consumed food at some point in their lives, or having drank a beverage of some kind during their lifetime. Also while the military does use video games as a method to help train soldiers in the US, this is done in correlation with use of the real thing, which makes it harder to ascertain as to what impact video games have on the whole process: a process which Grossman broadly refers to as Killology. Considering the complete lack of evidence to support the claim, it would seem highly unlikely that video games are a primary source of the desensitization to killing.


With VR Soon We Will All Be Violent Sociopaths As We Play All These Violent Games At Tender Young Ages

He goes on to compare video game killing to real world killing: saying that the act of killing “NPCs” or “Player Characters” in video games is akin to real-world bullying and that in the real world when someone gets hurt play time stops, while in video games we are “rewarded for inflicting pain”. While yes, in the real world when someone gets hurt that does tend to put a stop on people playing a game, this isn’t the real world we’re focusing on and people are neither being hurt nor bullied while playing video games. Also since no real pain has been inflicted, nobody has been rewarded for inflicting pain. Instead they have been rewarded for completing the games primary task, making his argument pointless.

Video games are an interesting media that are about as regulated as the movie industry, as far as established ratings go, though it is up to parents to be informed about what their children consume, as it has always been, and frankly as it should be. Dave Grossman’s want to educate parents about what their children consume in media is not in and of itself a malicious want. Though the fear mongering and asserting that video games cause violence, when no evidence supports this, is over the top. He comes to a closure mentioning Stanford Med School “TV turn off curriculum”, where he claims a K-12 school ensured kids did not play video games or watch TV for ten days, which he then claims cut violence and bullying in half and improved test scores in the double digits. He claims it is “all in the book”, that is to say his lastest book entitled Assassination Generation. While there is no reason to doubt this information is in his most recent book, while I was researching “TV turn off curriculum” there was nothing I could find that supported the results he claims exist.

Joshua Wiitala

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Just a man who has been playing video games against doctors orders for nearly 30 years. The 80's was filled with idiots. Want to reach me? @JoshuaWiitala on Twitter.