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Old April 13, 2013, 02:28 PM   #51
Glenn E. Meyer
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If you think from your great intuition that games cause violence and the rampages, you need to join the antigun organizations as the logic is the same for banning guns. The data suggest that both do, if you don't want to really study up on the debate.

It is immoral to support the existence of games and guns at the same time. Accept it and become an activist for that position.Ban both.

Or know what you are talking about.
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:11 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by JerryM
I do not need any studies. I lived through those periods. I do know the mindset of kids when I was a kid, and adults when I became an adult.

I know that until a thought is put into your head you do not think of it. However, when it is put there over and over and over again it does desensitize one to such things. If you watch **** over and over and see thing that you would never have even dreamed of, then there are those who want to try them. Until they were put into one's thoughts there was no possibility of them happening.

People do influence the thinking of others, and so it is with violence and essentially all things.

Anyway, having turned 80 last year, and lived through a fair amount of this nation's history I am capable of logically making some of those types of determinations. The argument that no credible study, blah blah cuts no ice with me. I suspect there have been credible studies that show some link between what people watch and play and their behavior, including murder.

I am going to leave it there, and each can think as he will.

Regards,
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With no disrespect intended, as I was taught to respect my elders, being older is not a substitute for a logical argument. I have had arguments with people in their 60s and 70s who support gun control and cite the same specious, fact-devoid arguments the Brady Campaign cites.

They also "don't need any studies" to know that more guns cause more violence.

There have been studies that show a link between movies/games and behavior, and they have almost entirely been as agenda-driven and methodologically suspect as the "studies' by the Violence Policy Center showing how dangerous it is to own a gun. They go into the study wanting the result. Proper peer-reviewed studies without an agenda have not managed to prove the link, just how they haven't managed to prove it with guns. And, just like with guns, frequently some studies bump across the opposite result - that games/guns provide a healthy outlet and reduce violent tendencies.

But what do I know? I'm just an every-scary-feature AR-15 owning guy that has played every game the media has freaked out about in the last 15-20 years, including Grand Theft Auto 2, 3, and 4, Postal, the entire Doom series, Manhunt, every Call of Duty game, every Battlefield game, ever Gears of War game, ever Fallout game, and every Left 4 Dead game. I've never been in a fight, I've never even had a traffic ticket, and in a year I'll have a doctorate. I believe this is because I was parented right and mental health issues were never stigmatized in my household - proper counseling and ADHD treatment saved my sanity and my schooling.

With both of my hobbies, I get tired of arguments made by people who think they know better based on nothing more than personal distaste.
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Old April 13, 2013, 06:38 PM   #53
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scrubcedar: I disagree that first person shooter games constitute simulator time. I've played a lot of PC games, some of them flight simulators, most of them of the shooter variety, and I only know of three shooting games (out of the dozens and dozens I've played) that I would consider simulation quality for the purpose of attacking other (armed) human beings. None of these games are widely played, none were played by any of the recent murderers whose cases we're discussing, and all of them are unpopular specifically because they are simulators and therefore not attractive to most gamers.

To see the difference between a game and reality (and more importantly why a first person shooter is a terrible simulator for real life violence) all you have to do is look at a Youtube video containing multiplayer gameplay footage of a game such as Call of Duty: Black Op 2 (currently one the world's three most popular and widely played first person shooters), and compare it side by side with any specimen of real life combat footage from a site such as Live Leak. There is no comparison. The game is a laughable specimen when shown beside the real deal.

If you like, I could post such a pair of such links if you or anyone else would deem it relevant to the discussion.

I admire your reasons for being opposed to exposing your own child to what you deem to be damaging material. I also respect that decision as a responsible, reasonable, and honorable one. However, please don't assume that because you can derive the fundamentals of flight from a combat flight simulator that the same must be true of shooting games. There are very few shooting games that even begin to approach the level of fidelity to reality that even the more primitive flight simulators employ. If an individual of violent intent is using an industry standard video game to train then they are wasting their time, and will find very little to contribute to their goals in terms of knowledge and skills.

On another note, Diane Feinstein conducted a television interview yesterday, in which she presented an argument, very similar yours, along the "murder simulator" angle in regards to video games. Already angling for more legislation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Violent Video Games Act As Death Simulators

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Old April 13, 2013, 08:22 PM   #54
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Glenn, Zr, etc. I'm not saying these games cause the violence. If you look at all my posts on this subject you'll find that I believe that untreated mental illness is the cause.
I will freely admit that I have not spent hours in front of these shooting games, but I do remember pretty clearly watching my son with the one he (briefly) had.
It was pretty realistic. Perhaps it was one of the games ZR mentioned.

As for their value as tactical simulators, the pentagon, as well as a fair amount of researchers, agree with me. Here is a link from a gaming site.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/18/389...ing-technology
Notice this statement part way through."According game technology developer Havok's vice president of sales and marketing Brian Waddle, the military still occasionally uses outdated simulation software. Proposal requests for training technology are often "designed for older technology to win," and soldiers don't take these games serious because "they don't look as good as what they're playing in their living rooms."

Here is another link from an online science magazine.
http://www.livescience.com/10022-mil...deo-games.html
Here is a quote from that article.
"But such reality-based video games could help prepare recruits for the mental horrors of war, help train them for the real thing and even help prevent cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers."

In case those references weren't authoritative enough, or might be considered biased here is an article that is from the military's own publication "stars and stripes".
http://www.stripes.com/news/not-play...-games-1.85595
A quote from that article. "The Army already uses a commercial first-person shooter video game — "DARWARS Ambush" — to train soldiers. Since 2006, PEO-STRI has fielded more than 3,000 copies of the game to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Homeland Defense, Stephens said."

I'm not out in left field here folks, this is pretty clearly documented stuff.

I'm having trouble finding a link, but the report that was leaked talked about him dropping partially expended mags and reloading before entering the rooms, a move he learned from his games.

As for punishing the parents, if you have a child who is this far off kilter you darn well know it! I speak from personal experience as well as training and education. To park that damaged/dangerous child, who already has problems with reality, in front of what the military itself considers "training simulators" is begging for trouble.
To do it because it is simply easier than fighting with the child is nothing less than criminal negligence and extreme stupidity.

EDIT. Glenn, maybe you were referring to me not knowing about the law concerning negligence. I'll plead guilty to that. Explain to me what's wrong in the situation described above in calling it negligence.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:27 PM   #55
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Charles Whitman had a brain tumor. Whitman was aware that something was drastically wrong and he tried to get help.
That's exactly my point. From my admittedly limited research, there is some underlying cause of severe mental illness in mass shooters.

Violent first person shooters aren't it.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:32 PM   #56
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You and I agree SPEMack, they are not the cause. I still think they're training materials though.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:38 PM   #57
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Heh. We had this gizmo at Ft. Knox that had an M-16A1(!) with laser attachment similar to the MILES gear and a projection screen where various scenarios were played out.

Most of them were shoot/no shoot, but some of them were of a more tactical nature.

That was some pretty good training, I think.
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:07 PM   #58
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scrubcedar: I apologize if my post gave you the impression that I was accusing you of correlating video games with violence. The only point of your post that I was trying to address was your perspective that shooter games, as a category, constitute simulation time for already mentally unstable murderers.

Your data actually meshes quite well with my previous post. Two of the three games I was referencing are derivative from early US Army training simulators, the Operation Flashpoint series and the ARMA series. The third consists of the earlier specimens of a game series called Rainbow Six. I specify the older versions because the newer ones depart slightly from the series' original goal of simulation fidelity.

These games are combat simulators. The weapons work correctly, all the pieces are in the right place, every element of functionality is simulated to as great a detail as possible. The weight of equipment the player's avatar (in-game character) is carrying is taken in to account, influencing your ammo supply, movement speed, simulated stamina. Each avatar's heart rate and respiratory systems is simulated to account for variances in accuracy, tunnel vision, adrenaline shakes, and other factors that a soldier might experience. Ballistics are accounted for, including bullet drop and windage, hardness of material taken in to account to calculate for penetration and ricochet, and hit detection designed to model the effect of fired rounds on the human body.

These are the types of "games" that the US military uses, and they are the exception, not the rule. These games have almost nothing in common with games like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 4, or Halo. Furthermore the differences between mainstream games and true simulations like ARMA are not readily apparent to the casual viewer. You have to play the games to notice the differences, and be familiar with the subject matter to see where the casual games depart so heavily from reality.

I think your point is valid in a sense that was touched on earlier in these thread. I think there may be some validity in the idea that exposure to gun violence can color a predisposed person's preference for the form their violence eventually takes. For instance a person who identifies gun as symbol for powerful violence in things they read, watch, or play will be more likely to seek out that symbol when they want to commit a violent act themselves. However, I have no evidence of this one way or another, so it's merely a matter of opinion.

However, I can see nothing in a vast majority of modern video games that will teach such a person any of the necessary tactics or skills they need to cause damage to other people. The example you mentioned specifically, the rumor that Lanza dropped his half expended magazines before entering rooms, does indeed show a gamer mentality if it's true. In a game your ammunition is independent of your magazines. If you have 100 bullets then each time you reload you get a full magazine as if by magic. You can fire one round, then reload, and the game will behave as if you have 100 fully loaded magazines. Your opponents can't pick your half expended magazine up off the ground and use them against you, and you never have to worry about reusing half empty mags. Mainstream shooting games do not reflect reality in any meaningful fashion, even if they appear to do so at a glance. You have to look deeper to find the truth.

All training simulators are games, but very few games are training simulators.
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:12 PM   #59
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I know there was a school bombing in 1928. The shooting in Texas in the 70's. Those were both big. In the 90's we got multiple 23 hour news channels. They make alarmist reports about all kinds of things to get ratings. Heck, look at the weather channel.

Quote:
But to share the experience, thought process and warning of possible psychological impact that pretending death (excessively) could desensitize an all ready unstable person is not out of the question. The military changed the type of targets for a reason...correct or not is a decent question. They seem to have studied it.
The military is trying to take relatively stable people and teach them to shoot a person that is not directly threatening them.
The people involved in these attacks are by and large psychopaths. They aren't sensitive or empathetic to begin with.

I wouldn't have published this either. Reminds me of a five minute report I decided to wing my Senior year of college. It wasn't on guns, violence or anything similar, but it ended up going into the oddities of going to a year of high school over seas. For everyone in the room it was like watching a distant uncles slide show of a vacation where the food provided was fondue with rancid wine. Similar to the second half of this post actually. Maybe the first half. Maybe all my posts.
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:28 PM   #60
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I played 4 hrs of Battlefield 3 last night, and when I was done I did not feel violent nor did I feel like I was a highly trained special ops solider. I felt like I had a good time with a group of people. The vast majority of the people who play first person shooters are not going to go on a violent rampage, if that were the case, we would have mass causality shootings 3 times a day. I do fully agree with the mental health aspect of it. If you have someone who can not tell the video game from reality that is a big problem. Most people who play video games can tell the difference.
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:57 PM   #61
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Good post ZR. If what you're telling me is the truth, and it sure sounds like it, there probably isn't as much value in most of these games as I thought. It might even induce weaknesses in their approach if you could find them.

I do still think they can influence people who have problems with reality.

Johnwilliamson, when you have a person who is unable to adapt to reality as most of us perceive it, they have a nasty tendency to "create their own worlds", so to speak. They incorporate what gives them pleasure into this witches brew.
To put it another way, "This game gives me pleasure and I can take out my anger on the other players, wouldn't it be cool if I could do this to those people I hate for real!"
A normal person understands they can't do this, and normally even feels shame at the thought.
Someone without the normal range of feelings, like the people you mentioned, doesn't feel that same way, and so they go down the pathway with no restraints.
Giving this person the idea that it is going to be easy and exciting to act this way is really not a good idea, letting them immerse themselves in the experience is a spectacularly poor idea. You are completely correct in your concepts however, these people simply do not feel others pain is real or anything they care about.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:35 PM   #62
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To those using the "The military trains with these" approach, here is a 2003 study from the Department of Defense advocating action video games not because they teach you to be trained killers, but because they increase perceptual and cognitive ability 10 to 20% vs. somebody who doesn't play.

Furthermore, let's take a look at what's actually happening in these games and see if they're exactly murder simulators to teach kids how to play these games.

I'm going to pick from top titles: Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo, and you tell me what you think.

Battlefield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOaGhE_sejI

Call of Duty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF1LYKSQdxE

Halo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61bXX5TD1Ps

For those who didn't watch, in Battlefield a guy flies a jet up, jumps out, shoots another jet with a handheld RPG, and then lands on his plane and gets back in. This action wasn't intended within the game, just left possible with the controls. In Call of Duty he runs around "quick scoping" where he sprints around with a 30 lb. Barret .50 cal sniper rifle bringing the scope up at insane speeds to snipe people at distances from 5 feet to almost 200 with very little aiming required. Finally, in Halo, he begins the game being launched by an anti gravity propulsion system and then enters the battle with laser rifles, flying motorcycles, and plasma weapons that stick to the enemy and explode. Also notice that the sole tactic here is "rush through the enemy's bullets using your magical armor and shoot them 100 times before they shoot you 100 times so you can stay alive".

Oh, and here's Mass Effect, which many people protested because apparently the shooter at Newtown or Aurora played it That's like protesting Glock or Bushmaster. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx2jt0IyFxY

I suppose you'd feel comfortable sending our soldiers into battle after learning to play that game?

And, just for fun, here's Fallout 3, where I once killed one of these monstrosities with a sledge hammer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnLYWSh8oek You can skip to around 1:00
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:43 PM   #63
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dakota.potts: That Battlefield video made my night, oh god my sides.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:11 AM   #64
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Dakota, I already admitted ZR has a point on realism, but you might want to read the stars and stripes article again when it comes to how the military uses these as simulators.
"DARWARS Ambush" was modified by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to train soldiers using desktop computers, he said. It focuses on teaching soldiers how to react to ambushes and roadside bomb attacks on convoys, he said."
"the selected game must provide low-cost training and must not require large number of technicians to run. It must also have a play-back function for after-action reviews, he said.

"One of the major events for training is to be able to capture all these events, good or bad, throughout the entire scenario," he said."

"McManigal said the game will replicate what soldiers encounter on today’s battlefield — from fighting in urban terrain and convoy operations to reacting to contact and ambush operations.

["I]Another program being developed by the Army for fielding in 2009 — called "dismounted soldier" — allows personnel to don virtual-reality goggles and walk around virtual battle space carrying a "weapon" that allows them to shoot at virtual targets, Stephens said.

"We are just starting on the tip of the spear of where this is going to go," McManigal said."


They are clearly already seeing these games as simulators and have plans to run further down this road.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:16 AM   #65
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This may in fact be true (I somehow missed your original posting of that article) but these are not the mass produced games most people play.

Further, these are reactionary games taught to teach specific skills. Even IF a normal person got a hold of them, they would know military tactics (the same tactics they would get in the military) for surviving IED attacks or encountering enemy hostile forces, not for attacking 6 year olds.

I still hold strong that a person who goes to the range twice a year and has hunted deer will know far, far more than a video gamer.

And even if that weren't the case, are you going to punish 150 million people for the actions of (maybe) 20 or 30 since they've come out?
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:46 AM   #66
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Oh, and here's Mass Effect, which many people protested because apparently the shooter at Newtown or Aurora played it
I hadn't heard that. It's funny they mention Mass Effect, because the game caused another controversy. There was, to quote Glenn, a moral panic over the fact that you could do the frisky with aliens of the same gender in the game.

It seemed people were more offended by the "same gender" thing than they were the "alien" thing. Go figure.

Even more troublesome is the idea that intimacy is considered more offensive than violence. When a celebrity has a "wardrobe malfunction," it's a national outrage. Never mind the fact that I could turn the channel at nearly any time and watch procedural dramas in which serial killers do gruesome things to people or Jack Bauer tortures terrorists.

I'll leave the analysis of underlying causes to the psychiatry guys, but we've got some serious neuroses as a culture. Rather than ask the hard questions, we're often all too tempted to blame things for the actions of unstable people.

Quote:
are you going to punish 150 million people for the actions of (maybe) 20 or 30 since they've come out?
That's pretty much the gun-control playbook.
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Old April 14, 2013, 03:09 AM   #67
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Video games and shootings...

Somewhat off topic but the Mass Effect series is truly excellent. Better sci-fi than any sci-fi movie I've seen in recent years and on par with decent sci-fi novels. Shame that peoples' reactivity can overshadow good times.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:09 AM   #68
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The idea that the games are tactical training for rampages is well known. That is quite different from causing the rampage. BTW, Scrub - I wasn't talking to you.

However, if you buy that argument - you may recall that several of the rampage folks frequented ranges. Thus, once again - exposure to guns is dangerous and any move against games must include one's against gun ranges and practice?

Remember Full Metal Jacket when our Gunny Emry was telling the trainees that Whitman and Oswald were trained by the Marine Corps. Lots of folks trained with real lethal force nowadays.

You might recall the moves in MA to ban humanoid targets in matches. The UK shooters used to mock our humanoid IPSC targets - not sporting,blokes. Worked out well for them, now didn't it?

There is nothing in banning or controlling games that does the gun world any good. There is not good science nor good politics.
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Old April 14, 2013, 12:59 PM   #69
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ZR, I do so love that video.

Tom, here's a story link: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...-suspect.shtml
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Old April 14, 2013, 04:55 PM   #70
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Glenn, thanks for the clarification. I do agree with all of you about banning these games. It's not at all a good idea. I just have a considerable amount of caution when it comes to immersing already troubled people in these games. I don't see anything good coming of it. You can call it my beliefs rather than something I can back up with studies, but I can guarantee you that this hunch comes from strong personal experience and training.
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Old April 14, 2013, 06:31 PM   #71
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That's exactly my point. From my admittedly limited research, there is some underlying cause of severe mental illness in mass shooters.

Violent first person shooters aren't it.
If you watched the documentary about public education I linked to earlier, the answer is the psychotropic drugs like Ritalin and Adderall

Every kid involved in a mass shooting fro Columbine forward has been shown to have been on those drugs during their school "career"
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Old April 14, 2013, 11:48 PM   #72
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This fallacy again? We cry it out every time it's mentioned to us.

Correlation is not causation. Correlation =/= causation. Just because two things correlate does not mean one caused the other.

Maybe these kids were on drugs because they had a history of acting this way so their family got them medical help? From a correlation/causation standpoint this argument is more tenuous than either guns OR violent video games.

Furthermore I don't think it's Ritalin or Aderal. If anything it's SSRIs.
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Old April 15, 2013, 08:17 AM   #73
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there were more mass killings in the 20's than there are today. they peaked in 1929.
Gang killings related to mob wars and prohibition perhaps. Random shootings of innocent people just for kicks......you would have to cite specific examples, because I am unaware of any.
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Old April 15, 2013, 08:36 AM   #74
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But what do I know? I'm just an every-scary-feature AR-15 owning guy that has played every game the media has freaked out about in the last 15-20 years, including Grand Theft Auto 2, 3, and 4, Postal, the entire Doom series, Manhunt, every Call of Duty game, every Battlefield game, ever Gears of War game, ever Fallout game, and every Left 4 Dead game. I've never been in a fight, I've never even had a traffic ticket, and in a year I'll have a doctorate. I believe this is because I was parented right and mental health issues were never stigmatized in my household - proper counseling and ADHD treatment saved my sanity and my schooling.
Just because you played the so-called "violent" video games and did not commit mass shootings does not mean that these video games are completely irrelevant in the extremely rare instances that someone else did.

First, we all need to understand that "mass-shootings" are extremely rare. Second, we really need to eliminate those cases involving gang and turf wars, because those shootings are not for kicks or some twisted sense of glory; they are for money and turf - another problem entirely.

Third, we really have to understand that people who do these things have a very different mental makeup than just about all the rest of us. They have a suppressed or complete lack of empathy for others - i.e. psychopaths who are not afraid to die. Whether this is due to drugs, sustained abuse, or just born that way - I believe If you care about others, if the pain of others bothers you, then no matter how many violent movies you watch and video games you play, and guns you own, you are not going to randomly inflict pain and death on others.

There may be other elements that none of us have even touched on that need to be present as well. But, I think its a mistake to simply dismiss violent video games as completely irrelevant. There seems to be some connection. I'm not declaring this in the absolute and certainly not applying this to 99.??% of the people who play these games with no ill consequences.
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:06 AM   #75
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To Dr. Meyer

In your professional opinion, do these games play a role in desensitizing people to violence, injury, or death? How about movies, videos, and television viewing?
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