Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

February 25, 2013 -

During a panel discussion on CBS' popular Sunday political show Face the Nation, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole said that politicians rushing to blame video games for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are misguided because the evidence does not support their theory.

"It’s my experience that video games do not cause violence," O’Toole told CBS News."However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently."

"It’s important that I point out that as a threat assessment and as a former FBI profiler, we don’t see these as the cause violence," she added."We see them as sources of fueling ideation that’s already there."

Christopher Ferguson, professor of psychology at Texas A&M International, was also part of the discussion. Ferguson, who has done his own research on video games, thinks that video games are still young and are facing "moral panic" from supposed experts and politicians much like comic books did in the 1950's:

"I think we have to put this discussion, to some extent, in historical perspective," Ferguson explained."And when new media come out that they tend to go through a period of what we call moral panic, in which they are blamed for all manner of societal ills. And probably the best example of this was from the 1950s, when we had Congress and psychiatrists who were claiming that comic books were responsible for not only juvenile delinquency, but homosexuality."

"We’re in a mode of worry about — or panicking about this type of media. We may do some putting the cart before the horse, and we may see some people sort of starting with a conclusion and trying to assemble data in a very selective way to try to support that conclusion."

You can watch the segment in its entirety to your left.

Source: Raw Story by way of Kotaku (thanks to PHX Corp and Cheater87 for the link).

 

Comments

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

For some reason I couldn't watch the video here and I had to go to Face the Nation's website to see it.  But still, good piece.  In addition to Ms. O'Toole and Dr. Ferguson, I really liked both Rep. Tim Murphy and Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick.  Both of them correctly observed that our Mental Healthcare system is severely broken and underfunded, and we need to take some real steps towards improving it.  That I think, more than any proposed gun laws or even video game laws, will help avoid these tragedies.

Of course, Mr. Winters came off like a complete tool, like in every public statements he makes, and I shouldn't have been so surprised.  He even pulled a page out of JT's playbook, comparing the video game industry to that of big tobacco; claiming they hire experts to make studies that will favor them (a ludicrous claim if there ever was one).  Fortunately he got cut off at the very end.

 

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Unfortunately, Ferguson did not get a chance to object. You could even hear him trying to at the end.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

I would like to point out that PHX Corp had a link up to this story before Cheater.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

I updated the credit.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Note that, at the end of the clip, losing on the facts, Tim Winter of the PTC takes an (untrue!) ad hominem shot at Ferguson when time is just up and Ferguson can't respond. 

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

??? Where does Tim Winters fit into this? He isn't even mentioned in this clip which just has Ferguson and O'Toole. Or are you watching a different clip than I am?

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Sorry, the full clip is from Face the Nation: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50141642n

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Almost as bad as them waiting until after George Carlin passed away to slam him.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Oh wow. That was a jerk move. You could even hear Ferguson trying to protest the characterization just as the segment was being ended.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Cool. Thanks.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

It's funny that Ferguson mentions the comic book moral panic from the 50s, since it turns out the highest-profile instigator of said panic, Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, was roughly as credible as Jack Thompson.

http://news.illinois.edu/news/13/0211comics_CarolTilley.html

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

IF anything would make me beleive in reincarnation or bodily possession, it would be that

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Finally, some intelligent discussion.

Edit: At least out of O'Toole and Ferguson. Tim "Motard" Winter from the Parent Trash Cult called everybody "paid shills" at the very end like he was Jack Thompson(guess it was out of jealousy from losing).

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Plus he waited until they could no longer fight back, shows he has no ground to stand on.

Re: Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

Well, now we know why she is a "former" FBI profiler. Anyone with a view such as video games do not make killers is unfit to profile modern criminals.

 
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