Thursday, January 17, 2013

Video Games Connected to Gun & Other Violence?

Here's an article by CNET on this topic:
Christopher Ferguson, of Texas A&M International University, argued in one paper that "the negative effects of violent games have been exaggerated by some elements of the scientific community, fitting with past cycles of media-focused moral panics." To put it in historical perspective, Ferguson wrote, the Greek philosopher Plato worried about the deleterious effect of poetry on youths. Hand-wringers have been worrying about the effect of movies since there have been movies. And to put it in my generation's terms, parent groups worried that the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons would turn teens into ax-wielding occultists. I can say with some certainty that none of the socially challenged junior high kids with whom I played D&D turned into ax-wielding occultists.

But what about those "certain" personalities? Researchers generally believe that people with psychopathic tendencies (not, notably, people with autism) can at least be affected by video game violence. That's the same personality type, mind you, that most think shouldn't have access to dangerous weapons.

Basically, the research done so far validates common sense. If your kid has violent tendencies or indicates he or she has a low level of empathy (psychologists say a good indication of this is often cruelty to animals), then it would be wise to keep them away from violent games, violent images, and -- most of all -- weapons. Like I said... common sense.
Read the whole commonsensical link and find out what a schlub Oblunder is about violence.

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