Chris Ferguson: No Good Evidence that Video Games Contribute to Violence Among Youth

December 21, 2012 -

Kotaku points out that Chris Ferguson, who you may know better as the professor of psychology and criminal justice at Texas A&M University who often argues against the idea that violent video games have a causal effect to violent behavior in the real world, has written a small bit of commentary over at Time Magazine's web site. He talks about the lack of evidence that media like video games and movies translate to violence in the real world, contrary to what pundits in the media and politicians are saying...

"As a video game violence researcher and someone who has done scholarship on mass homicides, let me state very emphatically: There is no good evidence that video games or other media contributes, even in a small way, to mass homicides or any other violence among youth," says Ferguson.

He goes on to say that there is very little evidence about the media consumption of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooter at this point and most of the discussion on violent video games have an influence are speculation:

"At this point, we don't know much about Adam Lanza's media use history," adds Ferguson. "Given that, as researchers Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner note in their book Grand Theft Childhood, almost all young males play violent video games at least occasionally, it's playing the odds to say Lanza did too. But that has all the predictive power of saying that he sometimes wore sneakers or ate breakfast. In their 2002 evaluation of school shooters, the U.S. Secret Service found no evidence to suggest that these perpetrators consume more media violence than anyone else."

You can read the rest of Ferguson's commentary here.

Source: Kotaku


 
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