We seem to live in a country where knee-jerk reactions are a regularity, and thoughtful solutions and logical conclusions are few and far between. The recent targeting of violent media, specifically video games, is an uninformed and lazy excuse to place the blame of real world violence onto these mediums.
Let’s get this straight, violent media absolutely desensitizes. It’s a fact that has multiple studies behind it. When you see images enough, it isn’t shocking or new anymore – it becomes normalcy. Where most politicians and anti-violent media protesters get this wrong is by thinking that desensitization equals violent action and desire. It doesn’t. Violence in video games and movies are significantly different from real world violence.
Earlier this year, the government grouped representatives from the major violent media outlets (video game, movie, and television studios) together to help find a solution to lowering the amount of violence caused from these mediums. Their deadline to solve the problem was just over two weeks.
Now, this raises two concerns:
Have we proven that there is a link between media violence and real-world violence? And how are they supposed to come up with a solution to this problem with such little time given? The seriousness of the issue demands more time to fully be addressed and researched to find out if there is a distinct correlation. We need longitudinal studies (studies which span over a long time to get accurate information) to see the development over time, and in-depth research on a multitude of individuals to see if their findings are widespread.
When looking at Japan, they have more gamers per capita than the United States, however, their homicide rate and violent crimes are drastically lower than the United States’.
Another interesting statistic, when looking at our homicide rates and violent crimes, is that they are all steadily decreasing. Our movies, television, and games all have grown more and more violent with better technologies, and enhanced graphics, yet our actual violent acts are decreasing.
This isn’t a gamer screaming out that video games are completely unrelated to violence, however, the evidence that is actually published shows the exact opposite of what most think. This country needs concrete evidence that can explain if there is any, and what kind of, correlation video games and violent actions have to each other. We need to set up studies, experiments, and get concrete data to nail down exactly what causes what, because as of right now, we’re jumping to conclusions that don’t solve any problems, and we’re creating a façade that issues, like violent crimes, have been fixed.
It is important for both sides of this issue to approach it in a rational and mature manner. Facts must be used by both sides to validate their respective points, and we must allow time for debate, research, and testing on a wide array of individuals to really find out what the exact correlation is. It’s time to approach the issue directly, and solve it correctly, because these conclusions that both sides have come to do nothing to solve the problems.