5 Facts About School Shootings and Video Games the NRA Needs to Look At
What's the most violent video game ever? Mortal Kombat? God of War? Nope, it's an 8-bit shooter from 1986 named Chiller. It was a horrific endeavor that involved shooting people in torture dungeons until they died piece by piece. To this day, it's the most grisly thing I've ever played, and it was in arcades. How does 1986 look in school shootings?
1. Matt Cooper shoots himself in class at Boyet Junior High School in Slidell, Louisiana.
2. Two people in their forties hold Cokeville Elementary School in Cokevill, Wyoming hold over a hundred students hostages and managed to blow themselves up with their own bomb.
3. Kristofor Hans kills a substitute teacher, and then is handed over to the police by his parents.
Even for the rest of the '80s school shootings attributed to just ten non-suicide fatalities. More students were killed in the same time period before the release of Chiller. Not that this information actually means anything because...
Violent Video Games Do Not Cause School Shootings
Here's the first thing to realize. The most violent video games out there are rated M for Mature for a reason. They are designed for adults to consume, and in fact it's been put forward that people playing violent video games actually get a benefit from doing so. A study done by Texas A&M International University's Associate Professor, Christopher Ferguson said...
Unfortunately, most correlational studies fail to take account of potentially confounding 'third' variables such as personality, family violence, or genetics. A few do, and consistently find that the link between video game violence and aggression is greatly weakened by the inclusion of 'third' variables. For instance, Ferguson et al. (2008a) find that family violence exposure, not video game violence, is predictive of violent criminal acts.
This, after railing against an earlier study that tried to find a connection between violent Western pop culture somehow influencing 9/11. The study goes on to look at the fact that in the cases where school shooters survived their own rampage to be interviewed on the subject it was clear that they seemed "more interested in the violent images than the game itself."
Man, it's almost as if people that go on violent massacres were inclined to seek out violent medium rather than be inspired by it.
Look, I'm the person that said I thought Hitman: Absolution was turning me into a morally bankrupt sinkhole of a man. I understand the fear of such games and what they might turn out children into. That being said, I'll paraphrase John Waters when I say, "You can't commit a crime playing a game."
Is this too violent a culture? That's a legitimate question... just as legitimate as asking if there are too many guns in America. I for one am perfectly willing to have the conversation on the subject if the NRA is willing to have the conversation about how many firearms are out there available. We could blame each other, or we could work together. It's that simple.