11 March 2010
Video Game violence and our youth
In the past 20 years society has fallen victim to mass murders perpetrated by children, even though overall crime is down. In order to better understand this; social scientists are conducting studies on whether violent video games contribute to this cycle of violence or are they just a tragic coincidence. In “violent Video Games: Dogma, Fear, and Pseudoscience” Christopher Ferguson argues that there is no significant contribution to video game violence and the up-tick in youth violence seen today. However, David Grossmann in “Trained to kill (children who kill)” argues that video game violence not only contributes, but also trains children how to successfully carry out violent fantasies. Both Psychologists find little common ground. Fergusson states that “we understand little about the psychology of the young men who carry out such horrific crimes”. He feels that in society’s zeal to control this phenomenon social scientists are “masking the language of fear and irrationality, in the language of science”. In contrast Grossman demonstrates a strong correlation between video game violence and the alarming level of violence in today’s youth. He argues that the methodology used by our military and law enforcement during training, is being employed by the media and video game industries whose primary consumer is our children. Fergusson counters this by charging that violent video games are not the root cause because of inconsistencies in studies. He further states that “the gap between social science and reality has led to a moral panic regarding the effects of violent video games on youths”. He states that society is repeating the same media-based panics of the past; when Greeks plays, Bible translations, Rock, and rap among others were blamed for violence in the youth of it’s time. Grossman approaches the subject by dissecting the predisposition of violent...