Gun Violence Is Killing First Person Shooter Video Games
2400 years ago, the famous Greek philosopher Plato expressed concern about the effects of watching dramatic plays had on the youth of his time. Somehow violent entertainment, including video games, continues to be looked upon as the cause rather than a reflection of real life.
Today, some 2400 years later, society has yet to collapse into a “Mad Max” world of violence, and yet critics still point to entertainment as the cause of the world’s problems.
A closer look at more recent history shows how the debate of dramatic plays has been replaced by comic books, radio, television, movies, and now video games:
- 1950’s censorship advocates blame the lack of morals in youth and the increase in violence on comic books, graphic novels, radio and television.
- 1969 the National Commission on the Cause and Prevention of Violence report claims television violence is the key contributor to society’s problems.
- 1976, Television is deemed an “environmental hazard” to youth and culture.
- In 2001, the US Surgeon General reports the strongest risk for violence centers on mental stability and quality of home life, not media exposure.
The real statistics are compelling. In the US, violent crime rates fell by 3.5% from 2007 to 2008, 4.4% from 2008 to 2009, 6.2% from 2009 to 2010, and 6.4% from 2010 to 2011.
A Cambridge University Criminology study of homicide records from the 13th century through to the 1990’s, conducted by Professor of Criminology Manuel Eisner, finds a historical decline in violence of some 2000%.
Then trend is continuing and appears to be accelerating with fewer violent crimes every year, even while the sales numbers of video games greatly increases.
“The argument that gamers are incapable of making the distinction between reality and fantasy is ridiculous,” says Tom Raycove CEO of Disrupted Logic Interactive, developers of Dead Corps Zombie Outbreak. “The cause of violence in our society is incredibly complex. Horrific acts committed by irrational people have never made up the vast majority of entertainment viewers - nor gamers. The capacity to understand the differences between reality and fantasy does not change from simply playing a game. By blaming mental illness on video games is to sensationalize and do a disservice to those truly in need of help.”
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- Disrupted Logic Interactive
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