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Does Video Game Violence Impact the Real World?

Video games are often named as a root cause of violent crime. But is that really the case? In this episode of Millennial Minute, we hear from Kat Murti and James Czerniawski about the relationship between video games and gun violence. 

It’s easier to blame video games .

Murti said that video games are a convenient scapegoat for gun violence because “people don’t want to address the actual real deep-seated issues,” and it is easier to blame video games and mental health when a tragedy occurs.

Czerniawski agreed that both sides of the political aisle use video games as an easy excuse. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve really seen the video game industry explode,” he said. While the video gaming market has grown exponentially, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. He also believes that the blame placed on video games for violent crimes is politically motivated. 

Correlation does not equal causation.

The popularity of video games has skyrocketed in recent years. We have also seen gun violence increase in the U.S. Murti explained that the perception of this issue is supported by the fact that sometimes, individuals who commit violent crimes are more isolated and spend time playing video games. “But it doesn’t mean that the video games themselves are the cause,” she said. In fact, research shows that “video games are not connected to the violence and, in fact, can actually help de-escalate violent tensions within individuals.” 

Video games help connect people.

There is a combination of factors contributing to the rise of gun violence in the U.S., according to Czerniawski. But there is no statistical proof of that violence being linked to video games. “The pandemic has been a huge testament to how technology can do an amazing job of connecting people all over the world,” he said. That connection is important, and it allows us to learn about people and cultures that are different from us.

What do you think? Are video games positive or negative for our society? What else can we be doing more to prevent violent crime? Let us know in the comments! 

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