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Games and Guns

Games and Guns

What type of effect does gun violence in video games have on human behavior with real firearms?

Call of Duty, which has been passed by Fortnite is one of the most successful franchises in video game history, topping charts year over year and boasting around 40 million active monthly users playing one of the franchise’s games over the internet.

What research has been done on the link between video games and violence, and what does it really tell us?

Studies on how violent video games affect behavior date to the mid-1980s, with conflicting results. Since then there have been at least two dozen studies conducted on the subject. One study was linked to an increase in physical aggression while another study had a “calming effect” where boys used them to blow off steam.  Many studies have taken place and continue to come back with conflicting results.

Why has it been so difficult to gather conclusive data?

There seems to be no fundamental way to maintain consistency to aggression research.  With that being said, there is really no way at this point, because it is not strong enough, to draw any kind of causal or even really correlational links between video game violence and aggression.

Determining why someone carries out a violent act, such as a school shooting, can be very complex.  Almost always, underlying mental-health issues are present. 

What about our consumption of violent video came?  That must help explain some of the gun violence.

Actually, it doesn’t.  The Washington Post compared 10 countries and showed that countries with the highest per capita spending on video games, such as the Netherlands and South Korea, are among the safest countries in the world when it comes to guns. In other words, America plays about the same number of violent video games per capita as the rest of the industrialized world, despite that fact that we far outpace every other nation in terms of gun deaths.

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Weren’t the mass shooters all gamers?

Some were die-hard gamers however, this is just an oversimplification of the situation.  The gender and age of many mass shooter places them right in the target demographic for video games.   This demographic which is ages between 18 and 25, also tend to report the highest rates of mental health issues.  To use this as evidence that all gamers are violent, excuses all the other millions of other young men and women who game and aren’t violent.  It is also difficult to determine if the violent youngsters are drawn to the games or do the games make the kids violent?

Whose responsibility is it to monitor what the kids are watching?

Stores can limit youth access.  We can also call for government intervention and ask for tougher laws but whose responsibility is it?  Parents should think long and hard about purchasing these games for their kids. Better yet, they should be involved in the games their kids play so that they can know firsthand whether the actions and images they’re allowing their children to see are appropriate or not.

What do you think?

12 thoughts on “Games and Guns

  1. Angela,

    Thank you for this post on games and guns. In my opinion, everyone is different when it comes to games and guns. Some people should not be playing those games while others can play them with no result mentally. It depends on the persons mental health and moral character in my opinion. I do believe that some of these games have gotten way too realistic and graphic. Also, I believe parents should be the ones who monitor what their kids are doing and not just with the games and guns. 

    1. I agree that parents have a huge responsibility is monitoring the child’s exposure.  However, if it wasn’t available no one could get their hands on it.  Just food for thought.  Thanks so much for your comments!

  2. Your post really spoke to me because I have a 5 year old son who likes to watch YouTube sometimes and there have been video game ads pop up that had gun violence when he was watching preschool shows.  What’s difficult is it’s all around us and children are exposed to this through technology and TV, but if we teach the right things it doesn’t need to be all that bad.  Guns are here and not going away so it’s best to educate our youth in a positive light about the pros and cons.  Thank you for spreading awareness about this topic and sharing!

    1. Positive and correct information is the key.  Responsible behavior being modeled to our children is irreplaceable.  Thanks so much for your perspective!  

  3. Hello there ! This an amazing article you got here “At least if you do take in everything the game has to offer on the first sitting,you’ll easily feel like you’ve had a fulfilling experience,but unlike a GTA game,it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll come back for more once you’ve finished.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome article with me

    1. Like anything too much of anything causes an addiction.  An addiction causes many destructive actions.  Responsible actions are required with the use of any vices.  Thanks so much for your comments.

  4. Hello there! Thanks a lot for this article. Hmmm, this article is something of great interest to me. I play call of duty a lot and I must say everything in your article is true about the how gun games affect the participants. I think children shouldn’t be allowed to play such games as it could develop violence in them. I stand with you on this, gun games is a no no for children. i’d make sure I share this article with friends, thanks a lot.

    1. The whole idea is a great responsibility.  Thanks so much for your comments and openness to support the idea.  

  5. Hello thanks for this very detailed and informative post on games and guns, this is for me a post in time,  my wife is six months pregnant and the ultra sound scan has shown her is a boy, so I have been learning a lot. Especially the kind of games That i would allow, so I don’t get to cause harm time my child because of its negative effect, thank for sharing this post, I know better now.

    1. Congratulations on the new addition to the family.  You will continue to learn new things when it comes to your children as long as they live.  My are grown and I continue to learn things everyday.  Thanks so much for your comments.

  6. Hey nice article you have there. In my honest opinion I think gun violence in video games has a negative effect on human behavior especially the kids. What the kids are opened to will definitely become part of them. Kids that are prone to gun violence game often, might wants to give it a trial if they ever lay hands on real gun, to put what was captured from the game into practice.

    1. Thank you for your response.  I definitely can see your point.  Kids are so impressionable and soak up every little bit of information that comes their way.  These games could really desensitize them when it come to violence.

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