The Facts – “Killer Culture”

It seems that mainstream media have an agenda against video games. What makes this so evident are the constant negatively skewed stories which portrayer video games in a negative light. 

Specifically using two main tropes. The first being that violent video games drive aggression in the real world. This is why we often see violent video games come under severe criticism in the wake of mass shootings, particularly by the media and government. 

The other trope is kind of paradoxical as it completely contradicts the ideas discussed above. It is that video games are detaching kids from reality. The underlying theme behind this has flooded the headlines for the last few years. 

While both these tropes feel easy to believe especially with no prior knowledge, they are certainly more fantasy than they are fiction. By framing video games this way the media are facilitating the widely held views by people who are uneducated about and naive towards the topic and refuse to gain a better understanding. 

Examples of this type of reporting are not uncommon and are seen often in mainstream media in the western world, particularly in the United States and Australia. 

So what does the evidence say? Dr. Cristopher J Ferguson is an American psychologist known for publishing studies disputing the link which we often see in mainstream media between video games and violent behavior. He has conducted the biggest meta analysis  on the subject, examining the degree to which violent video games predict real violence and aggression our youth.

 

What Dr, Ferguson found that violent video games have little impact on the actions of the child outside of the game, that is their aggression, mood, behaviour and grades.

In fact findings also showed that spikes in the playing of video games do not link to spikes in violence, but instead the opposite. The release of violent video games are directly associated with immediate declines in crime.  

 

In reference to the “evidence which is commonly referred to by mainstream media… These are individual studies which have varying, inconsistent results some finding that video games cause effects to behaviours and others not. Previous studies examined responses which described no actual violence (instead just negative behaviours) for example “I have become so mad that I have broken things” instead of actual physical aggression. Even still with all the over exaggeration the final results of their studies state that less than 1% of change in youth reports of aggression were associated with video games.  

 

Dr Ferguson also found prior scholarly journals had distorted the scientific record on violent video games, simply Ferguson says that “any claims that there is consistent evidence that violent video games encourage aggression are simply false”. 

 

Further proof of this are the happenings in Asia, specifically Korea and Japan were video games are incredibly popular. However due to strict laws limiting gun ownership they have the lowest rates of violent crime in the world 

 

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