No, "Violent" Video Games does not cause violence!

Mar 20, 2019

Now I love gaming, but I strongly appose educated clearly mis-informed people of social influence distorting and spreading misinformation and false ideas that gaming is harmful, in particularly violent video games are a definitive harm to young adults, when there is very very very - lets me be honest overwhelming evidence proven by repeated studies internationally that indicate that no, violent video games do not train, encourage, promote or increase a person’s likelihood to commit a violent act (using a gun of some kind) such as acts taken upon by individuals who committed mass-shooting of a the high profile Columbine School shooting, or as implied by the video above, that it would increase a person’s likelihood to walk into a Mosque and shoot everyone.

Claims made by Dr Wiremu Manaia in the above video are;

Unless there is something that the media has overlooked, The Christchurch Mosque shooter doesn't appear to be that much of an avid gamer? Sure he played games during his teenager years;

Tarrant spent most of his time on computer games during his high school days rather than chasing girls, his grandmother said.

Christchurch shooting: Gunman's family sorry for terror act

I strongly object to the association or implication that teenagers/young adults who play "violent" video games are more likely to commit violent crime, when I know of no actual un-biased evidence that proves a definitive link between these two things.

Troubled individuals are just that troubled, they have issues. If they have access to weapons, they may be highly likely to mis-use them & commit violent acts, but the fact that an individual who as a teenager played "violent" video games is not going to become an adult to commit violent acts of crime.

The association of which is almost insulting to all of the professional eSports players who play "violent" video games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive; for which they get paid / sponsored to pay professionally, yes in big venues, million dollar prize tickets and international travel - the works! These guys get paid to play a "violent" video games as their job, it's their passion - to date not one person has ever gone out and committed a violent crime. No, I'm not including that Russian team that got busted for hacking, stealing & on-selling stolen credit card numbers...

The only time I know about that gaming and gun violence has EVER overlapped was the Jacksonville Landing shooting, which is funny considering that was a tournament that was about Madden NFL, a video game about an actual sport!

The GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun) Game Bar, a video game venue in the Jacksonville Landing indoor marketplace, hosted a Madden NFL 19 video gaming tournament on August 26, 2018, with around 130 to 150 participants and onlookers. After one of the participants, David Katz, lost a game, he refused to shake the hand of the winner and left the tournament. Soon after, he returned with one of the two handguns he had brought to the event.

If the only actual shooting within the gaming scene internationally is at a Madden NFL tournament, how can someone say or claim that "violent" video games are going to increase a person’s likelihood to commit a violent act? NFL is a national American past time, it's a part of the culture over there like Rugby is apart our NZ culture here, is Rugby violent? Is Rugby going to increase a person’s likelihood to commit a violent crime?

Pen & Teller: Bullshit series in Series 7 Episode 3 clearly discovered that just because a kid/teenager is playing "violent" video games, it does not make them more likely to commit violent acts. They even have an emotional scene at the end of the episode, after they got a young, impressionable gamer of "violent" video games who with his mother’s consent, fired 1 bullet from an AR15. This kid who's apparently more likely to shoot up a school, commit a violent crime because he plays "violent" video games hugged his mother afterwards crying his eyes out, because he didn't like firing a real weapon.

Now, lets' move on to GTA5 - this game "that glorifies rape of women" according to Dr Manaia. Now I'd like to inform Mr Manaia that, sure you can be violent towards women in GTA5 - but you can also be violent towards cops and other male NPCs within that game. The game is NOT designed to glorify sexual violence towards women, in fact you could play the game for hours and find very little sexual violence within the storyline, missions, game content unless you drive around and search out the game characters that are prostitutes and commit violence towards them, but you have the option to not do that too? You have that same choice in real life? I have a car, I have a licence, I have a choice to race around town, take the police on a high speed chase down the Taupo bypass and get taken off the road and arrested but it's my choice to not do that? It's a game that if someone chose to, they could go on a high speed chase, blow up cars, blow up other players in the map in their cars, destroy planes, fly planes into high tall buildings, fly around the map causing mayhem. Or you could complete challenges, complete tasks & missions and join side-games where you can race other players in custom race courses too? To state that or just make the claim that GTA5 is a violent game, that does not thing but glorify the rape of women is like stating that Once Were Warriors is a movie that glorifies tattoo's and alcohol abuse. It's something from someone who clearly has no actual game time in the actual game and is just seeing the propaganda around it in the news and in media, just because Target Australia banned it because you could be violent towards women in the game, but I assume they also sell Baseball bats there too, that have been used to commit violence towards women, in actual crimes.

I don't understand how someone could claim that "violent" video games should be held and restricted for adults, at least 18 (if not higher) when you can commit a violent act drunk, legal age of alcohol is 18. You can join the military, see real action, fire an actual gun and have every chance of probably killing another person in combat missions, before you turn 21 - because you can join the military at age 17. You can even get a pregnant at 16, start a family before you're legal to drink, or as Dr Manaia prefers, play a "violent" video game.

People have very little understanding regarding the social scene around gaming, even in "violent" video games.

The online gaming culture - even within "violent" video games is quite good towards women, women are respected - they're treated just like every other player, based on how well they play and interact, sure there is some sexism, but it's never anything over the line, never anything actually offensive - the women I know within the gaming scene don't feel victimized, they feel at home. They feel accepted, knowing that they're accepted because of how good they are, not because they're a girl. They're good players and other male players respect them for that.

If violent gun crime is a concern, Counter-Strike should be a major issue - Global Offensive is an eSports leader, where competitive matches are 5 players of Counter-Terrorist vs. 5 players of Terrorist.

The game pits two teams against each other: the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. Both sides are tasked with eliminating the other while also completing separate objectives. The Terrorists, depending on the game mode, must either plant the bomb or defend the hostages, while the Counter-Terrorists must either prevent the bomb from being planted, defuse the bomb, or rescue the hostages.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I would like to remind everyone, that to date there has been no violent crime at a gaming event where the game has been Global Offensive. Not one, nor has there been at any Quake gaming events, Counter-Strike: Source or any Starcraft tournaments. Trust me, there is a BIG Starcraft eSports area of the gaming scene...

Counter-Strike is no Madden NFL, it's a gun game - a "violent" gun game. Some parents really don't understand the game, but it teaches players to communicate, teamwork with each other, tactics, actual things like how to clear room or building looking for terrorists, how to hit an opponent, sudo-military style tactics. But I still have no urge or care to go shoot up a school, mosque, or in fact anything but those maps.

DOOM was a M-rated game, my father purchased it for me when I was 11-12yrs old. Many people thought that DOOM was a "violent' video game, the kind of apparent game that would make me want to shoot up a school or commit violence - no, I'm more likely to become a youtuber.

There is just no evidence that definitively proves, without a doubt that just because someone is currently playing Fortnite or another "violent" video game, will in a few years go on to commit violent crime. None.