Composition I - February 29, 2012
Video Games: Who’s Really Responsible?
It’s in the news at least once a week it seems. A crazed gunman goes on a rampage, leaving horror in their wake. The thought in most people’s minds are the same, “What caused this?” The finger pointing inevitably begins and as it seems more and more prevalent, those fingers get pointed at violent video games. Christopher Ferguson believes this to be true in his article Video Games: the Latest Scapegoat for Violence (2007). The fingers should be pointed at the person responsible for the violent act, not an inanimate object that is only used to entertain.
Christopher Ferguson is an assistant professor in the department of behavioral, applied sciences, and criminal justice at Texas A&M University International. In his article, Ferguson discusses the link between violent video games and violent behaviors. Ferguson states “it seems to me that increasingly, as a culture, we have shied away from holding people responsible for their behaviors, and instead prefer to seek out easy or even abstract entities to blame” (2007 p. B20). People, like scientists and politicians, state that they have the answers to our problems. The fallout from this is that it leads to a witch hunt or a moral panic. Ferguson is aware that while his own research on the topic will not be well received by some in his field, he does speak from “familiarity with the research and the literature” (2007, B20). He believes that social scientists made up their minds that violent video games caused aggression before there was significant data to support the theory. Consequently, violent video games have become a “scapegoat” to explain away bad choices that people make. Christopher Ferguson states in his article that he has conducted his own research on violent video games and has published several articles on this research. He believes...