Killer Culture

Video games are framed in the mainstream media using two main tropes.

Trope a) “video games turn kids and young adults violent”

Trope b) “video games detach kids from reality”

Both of these notions have been disproved countless times by scholars like Dr. Chris Fergason who said that the link between violent video games and violence itself is factually incorrect. As recently as this month The Top of House Republican blamed video games for the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas during a segment on ‘Fox and Friends’. This is despite the severe lack of evidence supporting  the claim. 

A similar claim was made after the Sandy Hook shootings in America, where conservative politicians, mainstream media platforms, and the NRA (National Rifle Association) alike were all quick to blame ‘violent video games’ for the tragedy. However the official Sandy Hook report revealed the shooters favourite video game was a dancing one which he played for somewhere between just 4-10 hours.  

The scrutiny of video games ignores the fact that a massive 97% of teens play video games and of those the majority prefer games which contain violent content. According to the media’s logic the majority of young teens would be extremely violent.

The motive behind the NRA’s and the right wing politician’s is simply to shift the blame of shootings in America elsewhere. The blame wasn’t always put on the imaginary guns of video games. In fact in 2017 the NRA pointed the finger at Holywood for mass shootings.

For the mainstream media the intent behind the spread of misinformation is to discourage people from playing video games as it eats into the time that people have to watch their content. Around the world mainstream media has consistently blamed video games for violence, “the dehumanisation of people”, sleep deprivation, declining academic skills… and so on. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.16.29 pm
https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-friends/media-figures-say-guns-dont-kill-people-video-games-do
Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.16.38 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R–s3wwIl_s
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https://www.kotaku.com.au/2018/03/oh-great-a-current-affair-has-discovered-fortnite/

This idea has been made fun of on digital media platforms like Facebook and twitter…

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.17.01 pm
https://me.me/i/video-games-are-cool-%E3%80%81-huaaaaaa-heuuurghh-v-fc7eb52404d24f0b9624959af8357cd0
Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.17.15 pm
https://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/video-games-cause-violence-memes/86034439/
Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.17.25 pm
https://www.reddit.com/r/rickandmorty/gilded/

All this misinformation poses a few risks. The first is the damage that the reputation of academic and scholarly research suffer. The second is that we the people are distracted from the real issues surrounding violence and from actually understanding video games and how to take advantage of their positive uses.

 

 

Kendal Louis

Student at The University of Wollongong

3 Comments

  1. Your incorporation of both scholarly articles and media outlets made the outline of your project clearer and allowed me to understand the vast research and studies that have been undertaken into the outcomes of violent video games. Your analysis of using both primary research conducted through interviews and observations along with secondary research will allow for your project have a unbiased view. I hope that within the video essays this research remains unbiased and that the analysis of both video games causing violent individuals and video games not causing violent individuals is discussed.

    Your outline of the video essays within your pitch was somewhat clear however maybe a deeper analysis could’ve been explored within the blog post. Overall, the blog post and pitch has a clear objective, audience and topic to be discussed within your videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Kendal,

    By using a mix of scholarly articles and sources found on social media, you have made your pitch extremely intriguing and it is clear that you have conducted a lot of background research to this topic.
    You have stated that you will be conducting both primary and secondary, but it would have been more beneficial if you had explained the process of each and what you aim to achieve through the interviews in detail. In using both these research methods, it will be a good way to obtain valid and relevant data, however, you should consider FIST and ensure that your digital artefact remains inexpensive. You could do this by changing the interviews to an online survey. This will cut out the time spent on physically interviewing gamers.
    Additionally, I have found an article that focuses on media violence and moral panic that you may find helpful.
    https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/abs/10.1027/1016-9040/a000164?journalCode=epp

    Good luck with your DA and I look forward to seeing your process

    Liked by 1 person

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