Why Blaming Video Games for Violence is Wrong | NYT Opinion

Why Blaming Video Games for Violence is Wrong | NYT Opinion


Video games are
everywhere nowadays. Invading your living rooms,
storming your phones, even taking the blame
for society’s ills. “These video games
dehumanize individuals.” Like after the recent
wave of shootings when American politicians
shared thoughts, prayers and concerns about video games. “This was a maybe a video
game to this evil demon. He wanted to be
a super soldier for his Call of Duty game.” Even the president urged us
to stop the glorification of violence in our
society, including “the gruesome and
grisly video games that are now commonplace.” Let’s debunk this whole
“video games causes violence” red herring once and for all. I’m Charle Goldberg. I’ve been reporting on
video games for eight years. I’ve been a lifelong
video game player. I have amassed nearly
two million subscribers on my gaming YouTube channel. And, well, I play a
lot of video games. The violent ones, the shooter
ones more specifically. I also love LEGOs. I’m a father. I know I’m just one gamer, but
I’m not a threat to society and neither are the
millions of other people who play video games. Let’s take a look at
the world of evidence. American video game sales per
person are on similar levels to countries like South
Korea, Japan, or Germany. But our rate of violent gun
deaths is 10 to 100 times higher than any of
those countries’. Even within America, there
is zero empirical evidence that video games are
linked to mass shootings. Decades of research from
the American Psychological Association have shown there’s
no link between playing violent video games
and participating in violent crime. This all looks nominal. No link, no evidence. Now, it’s true that some
research shows a relationship between video games
and aggression, but aggression is also linked
to lots of things, including organized sports. Now, maybe you’re thinking,
what about Columbine. Didn’t the two shooters
in that also play the violent video game Doom? And yes, they did, but violent
criminals also watch movies, they read books and
digest the news, real or fake. As one A.P.A. expert put it, “The data
on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive.” In fact, in 2017
an A.P.A. committee issued a statement
discouraging politicians and journalists from trying
to connect video games and shootings precisely
because they feared the rhetoric would distract
us from addressing issues that we know contribute
to real-world violence. So why, against the objections
of science and ethics, do politicians still insist
on deflecting our attention? Because it’s easy. It works. And it’s time tested. In 1915, the Supreme
Court supported censorship of movies because
they could “cause evil.” Film didn’t become a
form of protected speech until the ’50s, just when politicians
turned their energies to a new scapegoat — comic books. Now fast-forward to the paranoias about heavy metal
in the 1960s, Dungeons and Dragons in the ’80s, hip-hop in the ’90s. “Here we go again.” Solutions are hard and
we like simple answers to complicated questions. And it doesn’t take much
to get disgruntled parents frustrated by their
kids’ screen time and Fortnite addiction to
believe that video games are evil. The fact that politicians are
so removed from video game culture is another reason we should
ignore their deflections. Would you listen
to a book critic who’s never read a book? “Shut your pie hole.” And just like books, video games are actually
an art form protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court made
that clear in 2011 when Justice Scalia reminded
us that violence is not novel to gaming. It’s as old as the plots of
Cinderella and Snow White. Gamers don’t really have
an issue deciphering fantasy from the real world. But politicians seem
to have lost themselves in a politically
convenient fiction. Just when we need
them to focus on the crisis of our reality.

100 thoughts on “Why Blaming Video Games for Violence is Wrong | NYT Opinion

  1. So cute.In video game playing around the world,but for sOmE ReAsOn mass shooting's most often happen in USA
    (sorry for my zero seconds of english)

  2. Aggressive – and psychopathic – behaviours are also linked to success in business, finance, and politics. The difference is that the NRA and Wall Street lobby politicians extensively, while the gaming industry hasn't gotten involved in politics yet. And those political donations also feed directly into churches and sermons: 25% of US evangelical said they'd support a morally flawed president in 2014, 65% in 2018 – because of Trump and his Republican donors.

  3. If it's so wrong, how do you explain that countries with no school shooting, like Japan, have also no video game whatsoever? Seriously, have you ever heard of a Japanese video game?

  4. Its not surprising that the New York Times couldnt just voice over the video themselves they dont play video games so they get some super popular person in the community to do it for them as a way to relate to other gamers. Yea-no that doesnt make them "in the know" just because they had commission work done. This is a accurate news topic but when you think about it they are a lot more out of touch than meets the eye. I like levelCaps work and know it by heart; he doesnt speak like that at any degree unless hes reading someone elses script even if hes allowed very little freedom to adapt the script. Hes very honest in his judgement and has spoken about these specific topics before with ease. Its very robotic and unnerving; something only seen and heard by work that isnt his if you compare his youtube videos to this

  5. This video is completely irresponsible and hypocritical! The title says "blaming video games for violence is wrong", but then even this pro-gamer biased narrator admits VIDEO GAMES INCITE AGGRESSION! Huh? If you are specifically talking about "blaming video games for mass shootings is wrong" then be specific!

  6. โ€˜Duck Huntโ€™ was pretty violent and also came with a fake Nintendo gun. But that game didnโ€™t inspire me to go duck hunting and mass shootings were extremely low in the late 80s.

  7. Scientist: "I have a few hypothesis on what causes violence.
    – Societal bad influence
    – Childhood abuse and neglect
    – Lack of gun control
    – Low Self-esteem
    …"

    Politician: "I see. And what solution do you propose?"

    Scientist: "Maybe we could create gun control law?"

    Politician: "IT'S ALL BCS OF VIDEO GAMES!!! BURN THEM ALL!!!"

  8. What I also donโ€™t get is that not all video games are COD, so many enjoy 'innocent' games like Nintendo. Itโ€™s just making a scapegoat out of an industry.

  9. You can not say a child playing hours and hours of evil games does not effect that child. This guy is so biased here. One thing you failed to mention is how many more hours our children are on these games compared to other countries.

  10. You call yourselves journalists ? You poor excuses of slime bag partisan hacks.

    IT WAS ISLAMIC TERRORISTS THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE TOWERS…Not flying machines.

    I hope you go broke and disappear forever. Shame, shame, shame, shame !!!!!

  11. Maybe the CDC should be allowed to do some research on this
    https://www.npr.org/2018/04/05/599773911/how-the-nra-worked-to-stifle-gun-violence-research

  12. What is wrong with America? Republicans. Crushi! ๐Ÿงก ๐Ÿ’› ๐Ÿ’š ๐Ÿ’™ ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿ–ค – Kids Want Food!

  13. I mean, obviously. I thought this tired line of reasoning died with Jack Thompson's career. But I guess the Republicans have some really skilled necromancers.

  14. Politicians who blame videogames either have a poor knowledge of history, or they don't care about the fact that fifty years from now, they'll be ridiculed by everyone. No one can read a 1930s report from the Catholic Legion of Decency (like one finding that gangster movies were responsible for the gangster epidemic) today and not laugh.

  15. A good choice to make news is to choose someone who ever week reports about games .

    A reliable non complex person who can share The news you want to hear and no more .

    Newyork times made a good choice calling Level cap to make this video .

  16. This is classic correlation vs causation fallacy. Do you know drinking dihydrogen monoxide guarantee death at a certain age? Stop drinking dihydrogen monoxide now!

  17. Honestly as someone that wastes years of his life on games, i want nothing more then to be left alone with my creativity in a personal virtual environment.
    I just cant ever see myself doing anything violent that emulates what i do in a virtual setting because that in-game world defines whats wrong and right in respect to the real world environment and clearly labels them for what they are. So really, people and political groups should look at the physical person in respect to there behavior not what they lasted played. 5 to 10-ish yeas down the road i bet this very idea will be classed as junk theory and boomer paranoia judging from the ages of most community leaders and local politicians. And BTW, video games don't make up for years of trauma and abuse that has amalgamated with in a person for them to all of a sudden act on there violent thinking, its the abusers as well as life experiences that gave them a reason to act out in public and display violent behaviors.

    Just had to speak my peace, thanks for reading my rant.

  18. If you want a basic explanation of why politicians hate videos games, itโ€™s because they all support the NRA (National Rifle Association). If they disagree with whatever they say or blame them for mass shootings, their campaign is screwed.

  19. South Korean here. We don't have many gun violence. I mean we have them, like hunters or police officers gone crazy, maybe disgruntled soldier but they are far and between. The reason is simple. We have one of the most comprehensive and strict gun control in the world. Heck, some people say it is too strict. we restrict BB guns for crying out loud. However, for safety that is a sacrifice most South Koreans are willing to make.

  20. Because there aren't millions of dollars flowing into politicians' pockets from gamers, they blame gamers

    But gun clubs give them millions to billions of dollars

  21. :/, It depends on the person if they were raised decently or not. If the parents gave their kid the mindset that it's only a game and actually killing a person is very bad then I believe the kid will grow up fine. On the other hand, there will be psycopaths, the ones who take these things literally, the ones who weren't raised correctly. Books/Movies/Video games might have violence, but they also have lessons to be learned by kids and adults. If violence are promoted in games, then kindness is being promoted as well. The film Joker for example is an art specifically made to show the reality of some people who are driven mad not by themselves but by the society they abide in. These games, have lessons , yes , even grand theft auto has lessons, but of course kids won't understand it that much which is why there are some games that are rated 13+ or 18+ because the creators know if the game is too complicated for the simple mind of a child to understand it. How these kids still play these things? Idk, ask their parents how they got their games.

  22. If the new york times agrees with the fact video games have nothing to do with violence then it HAS to be true XD

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