Violent video games and violent adolescent behavior, is there a connection? Millions of violent video games are sold around the United States, millions more are sold overseas, but the numbers of violent crimes, that could be associated with violent video games is low. Assault, robbery, burglary, rape and murder occur daily. The drug industry accounts for the majority of these crimes. The cases not related to drugs, fall into a number of categories, including Psychological Disorders. Disorders that can cause violent behavior are psychotic or anti-social behavior, depression, schizophrenia, delusion, disassociation, and any others recognized by a Psychologist.
Video games, with violent content, do not cause violent behavior. However, in the case of an individual experiencing, violent, disruptive, and dangerous behaviors, video games may contribute to an outburst of violence.
In February of 2009, 60 minutes did a special on video games leading to murder. In the article Rebecca Leung, discusses a shooting that occurred in Fayette Alabama on June 7, 2003. A mentally disturbed young man by the name of Devon Moore shot and killed two police officers, a dispatch officer, and stole a police cruiser. The Attorney Jack Thompson blames the video game Grand Theft Auto as having trained Devon Moore to carry out the murder. Thompson has consistently criticizes violent video games, and has brought forth a lawsuit against the producers of the video game. Thompson says, "What we're saying is that Devin Moore was, in effect, trained to do what he did. He was given a murder simulator.” Thompson argues that Moore had played the game for hundreds of hours and if he had not been “trained by the game.” He would not have committed these murders. The article indicates that the game has sold 35 million copies, with worldwide sales approaching two billion dollars. That would indicate that over 35 million people, have gone through a simulation, and been trained in how to kill people. However, there have not been 35 million people killing three times that number of people. The majority of people who play video games play them for fun, to relax and unwind. This does not mean that every person who has purchased a video game is hardwired for murder, nor does it indicate that they will carry out violent crimes.
Doctor David Walsh is a child psychologist, and he explains that a teenage brain is not fully developed. He indicates this combined with the amount of time Moore spent playing the video game, an intensely troubled upbringing, and shuffled between a broken home and foster care, led to this this tragedy. Dr. Walsh indicated. “Not every child that plays a violent video game is going to turn to violence, because they don’t have the same risk factors that Devon Moore experienced.” (Leung, 2009)
Michael R. Ward, of The University of Texas conducted a study that indicates violent video games may contribute to a decrease in violent crimes. The...