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Are computer games a significant cause of violence?

Whether computer games encourage violent behavior outside of the virtual world, as many concerned mothers believe, is a source of continual debate. While the experts who agree the link exists have the welcome ear of many politicians, the experts who don't believe the link is significant see the debate as distracting the public from the real causes of violence.

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Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Psychology

Craig A. Anderson    Psychology Professor
Some studies have yielded nonsignificant video game effects, just as some smoking studies failed to find a significant link to lung cancer. But when one combines all relevant empirical studies using meta-analytic techniques, five separate effects emerge with considerable consistency. Violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and affect; increased physiological arousal; and decreased prosocial (helping) behavior.
01 Oct 2003    Source

Experts In Law

Hillary Clinton    US Secretary of State 2009-, Democrat
Children are playing a game that encourages them to have sex with prostitutes and then murder them. This is a silent epidemic of media desensitisation that teaches kids it’s okay to diss people because they are a woman, they’re a different colour or they’re from a different place.
27 Mar 2005    Source

Experts In Psychology

Cheryl K. Olson    Psychology Professor
Lawrence Kutner    Psychology Researcher and Author
Much of the information in the popular press about the effects of violent video games is wrong. The real puzzle is that anyone looking at the research evidence in this field could draw any conclusions about the pattern, let alone argue with such confidence and even passion that it demonstrates the harm of violence on television, in film and in video games.
28 Apr 2008    Source

Experts In Health

US Department of Health & Human Services    (HHS) Government Department
Mostly Disagree
We clearly associate media violence to aggressive behavior. But the impact was very small compared to other things. Some may not be happy with that, but that's where the science is.
11 Apr 2003    Source


Add Your TakeOnIt (click to expand, no login required)
0 Points      MTC      23 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
No, video games cannot cause someone to become violent.

0 Points      David Demers      14 Oct 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
First off, Hillary Clinton is a fuckin idiot! Violent games are fun for what they allow you to do, they allow people to be free in a virtual world. These games dont encourage sex and violence, if i see someone on a videogame such as xbox live kill someone while playing GTA4, im not gana go out on a killing spree. These comments are ludacris and make no sence what so ever. Thats the reason why these games sell so much, violence so you can take agression out on something. Even the video game "Sims" has sex and violence. 'Madden" has violence."MLB the Show" has violence. Every game has some sort of violence, it makes it fun and thats why they sell.

0 Points      Anonymous      17 Nov 2011      General Comment
hahahahahahahahahahahahaha niiiiiiiiiice

1 Point      the27th      18 Jun 2010      Stance on Question: Disagree
God no.
First of all the evidence is against it.
Second of all, video games are a fictional representation of violence -- are you a serial killer if you read Macbeth? Sometimes the people who are interested in fictional representations of violence have what I'd call a writerly imagination... they want to look at human nature at the extremes. I know people like that and they're actually intensely non-violent. It's not actually a wish-fulfillment fantasy.

0 Points      Anonymous      30 Apr 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
I agree that computer games cause violence but it depends on the person that is playing the game and the game itself. Computer games cause violence because if you are playing a game like Tom Clancy Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 whenever you die you come back to life. So in other words you lose the concept of life and death.

0 Points      Benja      30 Apr 2010      General Comment
"...whenever you die you come back to life. So in in other words you lose the concept of life and death"
My homicidal instincts can be traced back to Pac-Man.

More seriously, what you have said may have some truth to it, but without examining the studies all you're basing your opinion on is intuition - and we know from countless scientific studies that such intuitions often turn out to be wrong. I'm guessing you've written off the psychology professors who disagree with you without even reading their studies. How would you feel if you'd personally spent time and effort doing some research, and someone else didn't even bother examining how you came to your opinion? Wouldn't you think that would be rude?