If you wanted to count the number of times video games have been blamed for tragedies, you would need the fingers of yourself, your immediate family, your neighbors and Jack Thompson.  More recently, the man behind the Norway massacre, Anders Behring Breivik, revealed to have used Modern Warfare 2 and World of Warcraft as both training aids and an excuse to isolate himself while he was planning the massacre.  Well, a clinical psychologist at Texas A&M has not only spoken out against the blaming of violent video games, but goes to far to say that it reaches the point of racism. The psychologist, Christopher Ferguson, spoke with Forbes on the matter recently:

I know it’s a little controversial to say, but there’s a certain type of racism
in place with these killings. When shootings happen in an inner city
in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these
things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to
freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain
element of racism or ignorance here.”

“Scientifically, the idea that video game violence, movie, or television
violence contributes to mass homicides is pretty much a debunked idea that has
no real basis to it. I think certainly the Supreme Court case helped, especially since they were so clear
in pointing out that current research was not able to support that line of
reasoning.”

While it may seem like an outlandish claim, it also has some truth to it. Looking at the news today for inner city crime, I didn’t see video games come up once, but in cases like the Columbine massacre or Virginia Tech, video games were brought up faster than ironsighting in Battlefield.  If you can think of a time, comment below or hit me up on Twitter-@GigawattConduit.

[Via Game Informer]

4 COMMENTS

    • Pretty much, yeah. But because it’s white people, somehow video games have to be linked to it, rather than focusing on the whole religious aspect of it all.

  1. I’m not really sure what this article is trying to say.

    It looks like you’re trying to comment on how the media reports on violence. There are legitimate comments to make on the topic, but you have to examine the issue holistically. People are killed every day. The media is just trying to contextualize violence.

    In times where violence is especially horrific and seemingly random, you can bet that the media is going to look into someone’s background to see where it might have stemmed from.

    In the case of young black men in the hood, that’s not a hard gap to bridge. They’re raised in a culture where violence is widespread. Gangster rap celebrates it. They have few outlets, opportunities or role models. The immediate question when one of them is killed is, “were they connected to a gang?”

    But in the case of rosy-faced privelaged white kids like Breivik, whose background doesn’t naturally lend itself to violence, the appropriate questions are buried. In his case, he made the questions and the answers readily availible in his manifesto … which no one who wants to comment seems to have read.

    His violence came from anti-Islamic rhetoric of which the US has become an exporter. It came from experiences where he was harassed and attacked by people of Middle Eastern descent. And it also probably came from mental problems wherein an otherwise incredibly intelligent individual seems somewhat incapable of determining reality from delusion. In other words, we already know why Breivik went on a killing spree, so asking questions about videogames is a moot point.

    And honestly, I haven’t really seen much out of the MSM connecting Breivik’s violence to videogames. He did that himself in his manifesto, but the only places that I’ve seen talking about it are technology and videogame websites.

    I’d  also say that the psychologist Christopher Ferguson is abusing the term “racist.” But who isn’t these days?

LEAVE A REPLY