violent video games don't cause mass shootings
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Health and Wellness

Video Games Don't Cause Mass Shootings–Angry Men Cause Mass Shootings

It's easy to blame video games instead of the shooter

Video Games Don't Cause Mass Shootings–Angry Men Cause Mass Shootings

In the wake of the Jacksonville shooting, in which three people died at a gaming convention, it might be easy to get swept up in the idea that video games cause real-world violence. They don't.

Where does the idea come from?

This idea is not a new one. In fact, it started making the rounds when video game technology was in its infancy. In the 1990's, groups of concerned parents and Conservative groups forced Congress to hold hearings on video game violence and sexual content. The ESRB was formed in '94 as a way to inform parents and to protect children from playing violent or obscene video games that could corrupt their fragile minds. But the rate at which violent crime went down was not influenced by this at all. Instead, school shootings have become more and more common, almost as if video games and real-world violence have no correlation. In fact, there's more of a correlation between ice cream sales and violent crimes!

Shooters and Statistics

Hang in here with me because I'm going to drop a lot of percentages on you all at once.

Almost every mass shooter in America has been a White male with access to firearms. That's really it. They haven't all been gamers (80% had no interest in video games), they haven't all been social outcasts (over 85% had "significant in-person social interactions" in the year leading up), and they don't just snap one day (the highest concentration spent 1-2 months preparing). They've just been men who owned guns.

"Mental illness caused the violence in Jacksonville!"

Actually, probably not. People with mental illness get the short end of the stick when it comes to gun violence, usually being put in the crosshairs of both Conservatives and Liberals. However, there is a disturbing lack of evidence to suggest that mental illness causes mass shootings, in fact most mass murderers are not considered mentally ill. Many are just angry. Like, really really really angry. And racist. The fact that the Jacksonville shooter was mentally ill does not factor into the situation.

"Gamers are isolated violent weirdos!"

Pictured above: a whooooole lot of isolated people.

I mean... only towards controllers. Let's Plays are one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world right now. The top creators on YouTube are gamers who play video games and are watched by gamers. The belief that they're isolated is easily disproven when you consider games like Fortnite, in which you play alongside 99 other players. In games like Trouble in Terrorist Town and Mario Party, you are expected to play against your friends, making it an incredibly social atmosphere.

Gamers aren't isolated violent weirdos, how could they be when in the United States alone there are 155 million Americans who play video games? Seriously, 49% of Americans play video games. There are gaming conventions and streaming platforms built for gamers and online communities of gamers. Not playing video games now makes you the isolated weirdo.

"Video game violence caused the violence in Jacksonville!"

Nope. They were playing Madden NFL 19. There were no guns in the game and no violence other than tackling.

Now I'm not going to get on a soapbox and tell you that I know exactly what did cause the shooting because I don't know. But I do know it wasn't a football video game. Mainly because if football video games caused violence, even at a low percentage, we'd be overrun by violence caused by football video games. There is something more insidious than a video game or violent movies or cursing in a church that causes shootings.

It's shooters.

Shooters cause mass shootings.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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