U.S. Senator Reattempts Violent Game Studies in Wake of Connecticut Shootings


Not enough fingers left on our hands to point at the real problem.

With every school shooting since Columbine, the sensationalist news media has been quick to point the sharp finger of blame on the interactive entertainment medium, otherwise known as videogames.

The recently harrowing attack in Connecticut is no different in this respect, with horrible, horrible human beings that call themselves journalists trying their best to point at anything and everything they can to scare midwestern soccer moms into giving them more ratings.

Fox News ran a story on how the killer’s brother’s interest in Mass Effect, a game not notable for its violence compared to the majority of its brethren, was somehow responsible for the destructive personality of the murderer. Even CNN decided to weigh in with their own stupidity, blaming freaking Starcraft for causing the horrible attack.

If you thought that the sheer ignorance and unempathetic, soulless glorification of the killer (who will not be named by me or anyone else who has respect for the victims and their families) by the so-called journalists had finally reached its peak and will, hopefully, topple over the mountaintop and rest at the bottom of the lake where it belongs, you’re unfortunately wrong.

A U.S. Sentaor, a class of human being that is known for its skittish and foolish nature, by the name of Jay Rockefeller, had this to say on his personal website,

“This week, we are all focused on protecting our children. At times like this, we need to take a comprehensive look at all the ways we can keep our kids safe. I have long expressed concern about the impact of the violent content our kids see and interact with every day.

“As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have introduced legislation to direct the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the impact of violent video games and other content on children’s well-being.”

Yes, this is another “ban videogames because a 20-something middle-class male, who happened to play videogames, murdered people” gambit.

“Recent court decisions demonstrate that some people still do not get it. They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons.  Parents, pediatricians, and psychologists know better. These court decisions show we need to do more and explore ways Congress can lay additional groundwork on this issue.  This report will be a critical resource in this process.  I call on my colleagues to join to me in passing this important legislation quickly.”

Apparently, the results of a few studies that were based on the idea of causation, not correlation, have found that videogames exist in the same world as violence does, and therefore it begs damnation. Not to mention that doctors, homeless shelters, and puppies also exist in this world.

Fine, Mr. Rockefeller. Bring your bill to Congress. Bring us studies that were selected because they agreed with you. Bring them to the very top and when you get there, like Sisyphus before you, your groundless beliefs will tumble down the slope, only for them to be brought up again in the wake of a new tragedy.

You can find Rockefeller’s website post here, if you want to give it a few dirty looks.

P.S. I want to make note that while any discussion on the correlation of violence and videogames should not be automatically dismissed, all arguments that beg hard questions with dire results should be discussed thoroughly, it is still a tiring argument and one that has been laid to rest multiple times already.

Frank Margarella wants everyone to stop giving the killer his limelight and instead focus on those most effected by this horrible tragedy. You can follow Frank on twitter @Fuhjem.


6 replies »

  1. People blame video games but what about films or TV which also glorify violence and gun shooting? Furthermore blame falls on the person who commits such a vile act for being influenced by such things, normal people are fully aware these such acts are not the right thing to do.

    There are games which give you the choice of being good and evil like say Infamous and their research (I believe it was Sucker Punch that said this) has shown that the majority of their players (including myself) play as good instead of evil. Yet studies like that are completely overlooked except for those outlets who write about videogames.

    All of this said, I haven’t mentioned gun control in America which is a whole other issue but this isn’t the place for such a discussion.


  2. These sort of flat out accusation, not even conversations, infuriate me. Maybe these sort of things are what bring about violent behavior? Media outlets have no factors to back up these claims, they just DO THEM. So the kid drank water and breathed oxygen, hell maybe that made him commit these atrocious actions.

    Fact is, mental health is an issue that needs addressing rather than using gaming as the medias scapegoats. We could, I don’t know try and help people with mental health issues, but instead we show our insignificant a journalism degree actually is by randomly accusing games we know nothing about.

    It is shameful on the profession that these people can jobs in the industry, why hard working news bloggers barely get a few clicks, where is the justice.


  3. I’ve read about some of the studies most of them say that after a violent video game is played, the user’s brain patterns (or something scientific like that) tend to be more aggressive. However, there is obviously something else that contributes to these murders’ killings. In a majority of the cases, the murderer has a mental disability. The fact that this disability might make them incapable of distinguishing between reality and virtual worlds is a big one.


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