Violent Videogames: Encouraging Shooters or Allowing Venting of Aggression?


The Washington Post profiles California video game creator Ted Price, chief executive and founder of Insomniac Games, which makes everything from kids' games to violent shooters. Price, who won’t let his own children play violent video games “flits seamlessly between the kind of games that many politicians and parents abhor and the more benign brand that virtually everyone embraces,” the Post says. Newtown shooter Adam Lanza was described as “shut-in” and “avid gamer” who played the first-person shooter “Call of Duty.” It’s not clear that playing such games translates into violent crime, except among highly aggressive people. Social scientists find that people who play violent games are more likely to act aggressively immediately after play. “People who consume a lot of violent media come to view the world as a hostile place,” concludes Brad Bushman, an Ohio State professor who reviewed research on violent games for the National Science Foundation. Some studies found it was more aggressive people who felt drawn to violent games in the first place, leading some researchers to conclude that there's no sure-fire way to determine whether game play encourages violent behavior or provides an outlet for people to safely vent their aggression.

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