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Violent video games and child aggression

Survey finds 75 percent of parents think violent video games contribute to actual violence.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Jan 16, 2013 9:40PM

Little more than one month has passed since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the world still grieves for the 26 lives lost.

As the community of Newtown and the nation struggle to make sense of the devastation, gun control, mental health issues and violent video games have all been called into question. Groups like Sandy Hook Promise call for a ‘national conversation’ and President Obama is rolling out plans to curb gun violence, but the search for solutions on how to avoid a repeat incident remains.

Photo: Image Source/Getty ImagesIn the days following the shooting, details unfolded surrounding Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Newtown shooter, his “strange” behavior and “obsession” with violent video games kept surfacing. Lanza lived at his mother's colonial-style mansion, where he had two of the house's four bedrooms – one for himself and the other for the computer where he played violent video games, reports the The Telegraph.
According to express.co.uk, Lanza's favorite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors. Was it a game or easy access to a deadly arsenal of guns – he reportedly learned how to shoot after his mother took him to local ranges - that inspired Lanza to carry out the deadly massacre?


The topic of virtual violence resulting in real life aggression has long been controversial. Are these games simply a fun hobby, or for children who may already be mentally or emotionally unstable, do these games have the ability to push someone over the edge?

More from MSN Living: The top 10 worst moments in mom judgment

A new survey from Common Sense Media found that 75 percent of parents think violent video games contribute to actual violence. 1,050 people were surveyed, and 89 percent of them say violence in video games is a problem. (45 percent say it's a major problem; 44 percent say it's a minor problem.)

News: In letters, kids ask Obama to change gun laws

"There is a real harm in children having exposure to violence, such as playing violent video games," says Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Debra Kissen, Ph.D., M.H.S.A. of Chicago, IL. "By playing violent video games, children (and adults) become desensitized to this content and therefore experience less of an emotional reaction to violence," says Kissen. "Therefore, violent behavior becomes normalized and becomes a more reasonable alternative when experiencing a conflict."

News: Gun group: Our industry didn't cause Newtown

Jason Schreier, Editor of Kotaku, the Gamer's Guide challenges the Common Sense Media survey findings and the association between violent video game use and violence.

Bing: How to tell if your child is emotionally disturbed

“There have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence,” he wrote on the site.  “There have been studies that connect violent video games to aggression (more on that in the near future), but there is absolutely zero evidence, according to leading researchers in this field, that links violent video games to violent crime in any way.”

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Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

Feb 6, 2013 3:04PM

ok enough of this stupity its not the DAMN VIDEO GAMES its becuase your mentaly unstable kids are bullied to their limitsand they break... all the school shooters hve een the losers of their schools that got bullied thats is the damn cause of the shootings here are some numbers for you people to look at.


ok lets do a small comparison here.

Incarceration Trends in America
■From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
■Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
■Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in ever y 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control

now according to the news report played on this MSN page

the video game industry with a decline in sales still earned $13.26 billion ... in full numbers thats $13,260,000,000  most new games cost between $50-$60 and with half of the most popular games being violent games that means that roughly $6,6300,000,000was spent on violent video games  so at lets say $50 a game that means 132,600,000 violent games where sold in the last year 

Now the poulation at the begining of 2012  was 312,780,968  so that means nearly 1/3 the population as bought a violent video game in the last year


now lets say this is a world wide sale well then the world population in 2012 was set at 7,021,836,029 now id say remove about 1 Billion to account for those that cant affoard it but i wont.

so now lets do the  math 7,021,836,029 people and 312,780,968 violent games were sold.so the population 7,021,836,029 divided by the number of games sold 312,780,968 = 22.44969 so thats still i larger % of violent game sales world wide then our crime rate ......

so if the number of game sales is only for america then that means its 1/3 of our population that own violent games yet only 1 in every 31 adults are arrested .... if video games cause violence then shouldnt more like half of america be in prison for violent crimes caused by video games? 

So stop blaming video games for violent acts because as you can see statistics say its not video games its becuase your kids are messed up in the head, or you were a bad parent only 2 causes.  and dont make this a oh well they werent with god thing becuase there are roughly 2 billion christians right now , and only 1 billion that dont believe in religion in the world and not all 1 billion of us are sitting in prison in fact more christians go to jail then none religious people youll see more prison gangs with crosses then you will those that dont believe so nope its a simple fact of you didnt raise the kid right or the kid was messed up in the head .....

There is only one way that ill agree that a video game will mess up a kid and that is IF THE PARENTS IGNORE THE RATEING ON THE GAME. giving a little kid under 10 a M rated game is deffently not good for the kid ... i myself am a gamer and play shooter games and have seen kids like 7-10 playing M rated games. NO store will sell a M rated game to a minor atleast they arent supose to i remember the first time i bought a M rated game i was asked for my ID to prove i was 18 to buy the game. So yes it is the parents faults for buying these kids these games if the kid doesnt fit the rating on the box dont give it to them. Do not blame the game makers for you giving your kid the game.

That is like blaming a car company for you getting in a crash when nothing is wrong with it and you made the choice to run a red light.  .....

Jan 31, 2013 11:29PM
What we really have in this world is an epidemic of idiots and pseudo-intellectuals. About 1/3 of you people on here qualify for the Darwin award, congratu****inglations!
Jan 31, 2013 10:56PM
Call to duty? Shitty reporting. I ****ing hate this country. And to anyone who says if you don't like it get out, you are kidding yourself. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, this place is going to ****.
Jan 26, 2013 9:41PM
One of you on here replied.. "you're a moron".  Far from it, twit!
Jan 21, 2013 1:33AM
As if men weren't violent during medieval days when there was no video games
Jan 20, 2013 6:22PM

People shouting 'leave my games alone!', sound childish, irrelevant and shocking non EMPATHETIC. Do you really think a few dollars of tax is too m uch to ask, given the horrific deaths at newtown, and other areas ?


Is your precious precious game so holy, that you refuse to take a step back even for ONE second, and agree to be part of the solution , instead of the problem ?


Are your gaming sessions so important to you, that you'd rather ignore the fact that studies have already been done, clearing linking violent video games with agression ?


If you deny any of that, you are the ones in denail, not those trying to make society a better place.


You should all be ashamed of yourselves, for being so childish and pety.


Aren't we supposed to want to help our 'neighbors' in this world be the best they can be and help prevent needless death and despair , of parents and loves ones left by in the wake of needless suffering and ultimate death ?


What do you think Jesus would say about your pety attitudes and unwillingness to sacrifice even a LITTLE bit, to help prevent horrific crimes, that even if violent games have anything to do with, is worth putting aside your childish anger and shout matches and let society do what it can to help fix this mess ?


I think some of you are just spoiled rich kids or victim of your environment and not well educated, to think your precious game and the almighty!! right!! to play it as YOU wish, is more important than trying everything we can, to save lives.


Ratings will NOT matter 'someone', because the VIOLENCE is the problem. Violence can affect anyone, not just kids.


None of us are completely  resistant to the forces of violence begats violence. We need to live in a world where violence is as completely ABSENT as possible, and if you don't understand that, then YOU are the problem, not those trying to help make a difference, so kids adults and parents can all sleep  and live easier , knowing their loved ones are safer in this world.


The only thng we need to remember, is its not a one size fixes all, so we must stand UNITED together to fix it.


Shouting 'leave my games alone!', won't do it, and its horribly and insultingly arrogant!


Get over yourselves, and act grown up for a change, and be part of the solution, NOT the problem. Grow up.

Jan 18, 2013 4:51PM
The simple fact that the author of the article uttered the statement "shockingly violent fantasy war game Dynasty Warriors", removes any and all credibility from the argument.

It's one thing for moronic, irresponsible parents/authors/talking heads to blame games where graphic violence takes place (COD, Assasins Creed, etc), even though there would still be no link to actual violence from those games. But to blame a franchise like Dynasty Warriors? REALLY?! I don't even remember there being blood in Dynasty Warriors! YOU RUN AROUND AS ASIAN HISTORICAL FIGURES, MOWING DOWN FIELDS OF PAWNS, with edged weapons! Not even guns! The targeting system also kind of sucks balls! It’s a part of a genre called ‘hack-n-slash’, not ‘mass-shoot-n-suicide’. Anyone who has ever played ANY of the Dynasty Warriors games knows what I’m talking about, and it’s really more sad than it is funny that ANY venerable news institution would think to trivialize such a tragic shooting by including a Red Herring reference to one of the mildest games I’ve ever played. Dynasty Warriors is literally one of THE FIRST games I offer to my nieces and nephews when they come over, because they like playing as Feudal Japanese warriors, AND THEY GET A HISTORY LESSON IN THE PROCESS!
Jan 18, 2013 3:36PM

OH.... And by the way...

If you really think a 1% extra sales tax is going to denture ANYONE from buying any game... They are crazier then those on this message board. LOL

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