Video games not to blame for adults’ acts of violence


Ever since video games have become more violent there has been debate whether or not these games are the source of violent human behavior. St. Paul Pioneer Press 2005. (MCT Campus)

By Lance McCaskey
Staff Writer

Ever since their creation in the late 1940s, video games have offered people a new and innovative way to enjoy themselves. However, most of these games have become violent, gruesome and the center of an ongoing debate.

In late July, Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on a group of students at a summer camp in Norway, killing 32, and injuring many others. Through the court trial of this incident, it was discovered that Breivik was an avid player of video games. The defense argued that his avid playing of video games caused him to develop violent tendencies and used this argument to attempt a plea at insanity.

Ever since video games have become more violent there has been debate whether or not these games are the source of violent human behavior. St. Paul Pioneer Press 2005. (MCT Campus)

As a gamer, this is not only extremely frustrating, but extremely disappointing. Video games do not make you violent. Video games do not make you go insane. If I play a war game every now and then, does that mean I am going to go on a mass murdering spree? No. Millions of people all over the world play these games. Yet they are to blame for one psycho killing 32 teenagers? No. Chances are, this man was messed up far before he played Call of Duty or World of Warcraft.

Let’s look at this from an the opposition’s standpoint. If someone plays a war game in their spare time, then they will take up arms and go on a shooting spree. One of my personal favorite games is Skyrim, a fantasy game involving dragons and magic and medieval weapons. As my dad says, it is like you are a viking running around. Since I play this game, I must have violent tendencies. In fact, I may as well go rob Medieval Times in Dallas and go find me a dragon to kill.

I also like playing the Halo series. This game must screw up my mind and give me violent tendencies. If this is true, I might as well build an advanced space suit, go find an alien planet, and kill a bunch of aliens. If I have the need to be like the characters in this game, I need to go off to the alien planet and start an intergalactic war.

Another game my friends and I enjoy is Call of Duty Four, featuring an intense war with the Russians and the Middle East. You play as a British special ops member, and you go on many awe inspiring missions throughout the world. If I feel the need to be like this game, then I should go to Britain, join the special ops, and start World War III. This is the only true way to fix my messed up mind, which some people claim I have.

Just to get this straight, I am not saying that video games can in no way lead to violence. In fact, many studies have shown that if played by a rapidly developing, pre-pubescent mind. That’s what ratings are for. Each game is given a rating, and these ratings should be followed as closely and with as much caution as possible. My point is that this fully grown man, who should have the ability to distinguish real from fake, and not let these games affect him in such in a negative way, should not rely on a violent game as a way out for killing 32 people.

Serial killers and mass murders do not become who they are overnight because they enjoy playing video games. Serial killers are seriously messed up people who are looking for an excuse not to get the death penalty. Do not blame video games for a mass murderers’ actions. Do not pin violent scenes in games as the motive for truly sick and messed up people. It is not video games’ fault.