Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

July 28, 2011 -

While supposed experts are quick to blame video games for the recent massacre in Oslo, Norway that left 76 dead, clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson flatly rejects those conclusions.

Ferguson, a leading expert and fastidious researcher of video game violence at Texas A&M International University, said video games aren’t to blame for this tragedy caused by Anders Behring Breivik. Instead he blames the man responsible for this recent crime, but he also cautions that blaming video games every time a white male kills people is inherently racist.

"I know it’s a little controversial to say but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings,” Ferguson tells Forbes' John Gaudiosi. "When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here."

Ferguson goes on to say that these types of crimes are going to continue to happen and that, thankfully, they are the exception rather than the rule.

“People really want to know what kind of boogeyman can we hang this on and video games are still the top choice when it comes to any type of tragedy,” Ferguson continued.

Ferguson also notes that the fervor usually associated with violent crimes and video games isn't quite as strong with this particular case. This could be because it happened in Europe and no Americans were involved, or that video games are slowly becoming ingrained in American culture.

“There are groups out there who are going to blame video games on everything,” said Ferguson. “They’re like ambulance chasers, really. I think it’s irresponsible and thoughtless to try to make political gain off of someone else’s tragedy, but they’re going to do it. That’s what they do. But even those groups have been much quieter with the Oslo tragedy.”

The Forbes article closes with some common sense from Ferguson about blaming video games for violence:

“Linking the playing of violent video games to a mass homicide when the perpetrator is a young male is like blaming the killing on the fact that he was wearing sneakers,” said Ferguson. “The base rate of that behavior is so common that it has no predictive value whatsoever.”

You should read the rest of this article here.

Posted in

Comments

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

I'm sorry. I can't accept that. We've seen a variety of incidents where people of all different races have committed crimes and it's all been blamed on games. Now, mostly in America, yes, it's been mostly whites, but around the world, games have taken the blame for all nationalities of crimes.

 

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

huh. you know I never thought of that. There is an inherent Racism in this. When somebody goes all jihadi terrorist on people, we dont really sit and say "why", we focus on the terrorist group itself. When inner city killings occur, the why is almost completely ignored.
But when one or two White people get together and cause some kind of crazyness, its like "OMG! VIDEOGAMES" or whatever else is going on that people dont understand. the only real exception to this is Virginia Tech.

I actually had an arguement with my aunt over this, because she asked me point blank, "How can you play those violent videogames when they are making so many people kill people" and I told her "There have been violent killings since Kain and Abel. We just know about them more because Newsmedia wants ratings, so they will analyze, disect, and fear monger everything and bring it to your tv screen. The truth of the matter is that the media will overhype things, when even the FBI says Crime is decreasing exponentially. Also the kids who played videogames in the 80s and 70s have grown up to be adults who play videogames, and we have rules to keep the violent stuff out of the younger kids, and so long as those are followed, there is no problem" and she actually changed her opinion and started parroting my words to her other friends.

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

"The base rate of that behavior is so common that it has no predictive value whatsoever.”

Holy crap! Someone who actually understands how to use statistics!

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

He wouldn't be the first person to make such a suggestion: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/02/28/violent-games-dont-cause-youth-violence-says-usc-sociologist

/b

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will Target Australia sell the next GTA game upon its release?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
RedMageAs someone who writes extensively himself, I can see when writing has been influenced by boiling anger from a mile away.07/31/2015 - 7:12pm
RedMageI also didn't see Leigh Alexander's original article as an attack on gamers; it was just poorly written. She'd likely had a terrible day and was projecting the activities of gaming's vicious fringe onto "gamers" collectively, however you describe that.07/31/2015 - 7:11pm
Andrew EisenI searched for the RPS article but the best I can find is a weekend wrapup article that links to Alexander and Golding's articles. That can't be it.07/31/2015 - 7:11pm
MattsworknameAlso, side note: Windows 10 upgrade appears to be a MUCH better platform then windows 8, testing on 3 seperate units, and it works great07/31/2015 - 7:07pm
Andrew EisenPolygon's "An awful week to care about video games" did not (unless you're referring to a different article) and I've never seen a RPS story on the Gamers Are Dead list.07/31/2015 - 7:06pm
MattsworknameSeveal directly linked to it, including polygon and rock paper shotgun07/31/2015 - 7:02pm
Andrew EisenHuh? Did any of the Gamers Are Dead articles other than Golding's even mention Shaw's study?07/31/2015 - 6:52pm
Mattsworknameso basicly, sargon showed that the whole spat of "Gamers are dead" article were based on lies and misinformation07/31/2015 - 6:39pm
Mattsworknamehow the articles themselves were not truly academic based, but agenda driven, as it they exsisted for idealogical purposes not backed up by the research they claimed supported them.07/31/2015 - 6:37pm
Mattsworknamegeneral, have no need or want of "Diveristy" according to shaws own research. He then went into the articles that cited it, including the origional, and showed that they argued things taht the actual research tthey quoted did NOT support, he lastly showed07/31/2015 - 6:36pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Sorry im so late in responding to your earlier question abonut sargons video, but basicly, he went through 3 phases. He first looked at the cited reasearch the articles used, by somone named shaw, and proved that the research shows that gamers, in07/31/2015 - 6:35pm
benohawk:( Well, that's crappy news James07/31/2015 - 6:29pm
james_fudgeRIP Roddy Piper :(07/31/2015 - 5:39pm
Andrew EisenI told Sega if it releases Yakuza 1&2 HD and Yakuza 5 in North America, I'll buy them. So far, they don't seem to be swayed.07/31/2015 - 5:11pm
Craig R.Too many gamers were harassing and abusing long before Baldwin decided to 'legitimize' the lunatic fringe, but that term certainly made the lunatics easier to pick out of the crowd07/31/2015 - 4:58pm
Craig R.Which is why the entire GG crowd looks like a giant bad egg07/31/2015 - 4:55pm
Craig R.Irony: the people who are feeling hostility toward their 'gamer' identity are often those who are most hostile to everybody else07/31/2015 - 4:55pm
Andrew EisenIt's not about gamers at all, it's discussing the harassment and abuse that Sarkeesian and Quinn had suffered. So yeah, not a great title but not an attack on gamers either.07/31/2015 - 4:48pm
Andrew EisenI agree than many of the titles are kinda bunk though. For example, Ars Technia's "The death of the 'gamers' and the women who 'killed' them" doesn't really work for the article.07/31/2015 - 4:47pm
Andrew EisenAnd I still don't see how articles like Polygon's "An awful week to care about video games" can be construed as an attack.07/31/2015 - 4:25pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician