Violent Video Games Cause Aggression

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The idea that first person shooter video games do not have/ or has not been proven to have a causal relation to aggression and violence is not only factually wrong but denies the countless studies and a few actual cases in which the direct connection has been shown, in sometimes tragic ways, with a dogmatic fanaticism.  The truth is that the A.P.A. (American Psychological Association) has and continues to study the effects of these games upon those that play them; these studies are easily found on their web sites and in accepted academic journals. Each study has concluded that there is a correlation; Furthermore, the highly publicized cases, from the college shootings in Florida, to Columbine high school (each had first person shooter games as one of the major aspects), cry out with outrage against the attempted downplay of these relations.

As far as the legal ramifications, the author of the editorial should take a second look at the first amendment. Freedom of speech that is referred to, clumsily applying it to these games does not protect “…Fighting words…” which as the author applies it would cover all forms of expression, now what does that mean? “Fighting words” has been found to include any speech, act, from of communication (that could very well include video games) that promote or advocate violence. In that, under the Constitution there may be a strong legal case to ban all first person shooters. However, that is not what I personally would like to see.

The editorial referred to a ban on selling the games to minors, a well-established legal precedent used for everything from pornography to liquor and guns. In all these cases it is the sellers of these products that are held responsible for whom they distribute them to. A thousand dollar fine is minimal compared to the loss of license and possible criminal charges that these other businesses must contend with if they are found breaking the law.

The assertion that the editorial makes that the burden falls upon the parents takes no account of reality. The question “where are they getting the money?” can be answered many different ways, from birthday or Christmas gift in the form of gift cards or cash to mowing lawns or a paper route.

In closing the final boogey man statement of draconian measures we must all be vigilant against cannot possibly be used with a straight face considering that each side of every political, legal and philosophical issue these days invokes it especially when their argument is as weak as the authors was in the former editorial. To be true, when reading such things one gets the distinct feeling of one trying to defend their own like or dislike to a parent, as a teenager would at the threat of being grounded, rather than a well thought through argument.