Every time I read comments about how the Connecticut killer played violent video games as if it were a relevant fact, it makes me want to gouge my eyes out to hide from the stupidity. Seriously, you might as well point out that he liked pancakes instead of waffles for all the pertinence it has to what he did.
I’ve played video games since I was about 6 years old or so. I’ve played them as they became increasingly more graphic and realistic. At no point did I suddenly have the urge to go jack a car and beat up a prostitute after playing Grand Theft Auto. I never wanted to shoot up an airport after playing Call of Duty. A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of Criminal Minds in which the two bad guys built their own version of a video game in the real world and forced teenagers to kill each other. Why? Because they couldn’t play their favorite game anymore and needed a fix.
This does not happen in real life.
Violent video games do not make people commit crime anymore than movies or music do. It may give SHAPE to the violence but that violence was coming out one way or the other. Think back to Ghostbusters when Dan Aykroyd accidentally chose the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. No matter what, something was going to attack New York. The shape was incidental.
Keep the focus on where it belongs: the easy availability of military grade weapons and the lack of care for the mentally ill. Our blasé attitude towards both guarantee more needless tragedy.
The upshot, as far as video games is concerned, is that the first video gamer generation, mine, is moving into the seats of power and the grumpy old people that yelled at us to stay off their lawns are retiring and dying off. No one complains that listening to Elvis will lead to drug use and sex anymore because just about everyone that thought that is dead. In another decade or so anyone that blames “those darn video games!” for anything other than problems with addiction will sound like a Neanderthal.