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  1. #1
    I'm doing some research for a media study; I want to know what different people think about this subject. Do first person shooter games, like Call of Duty and Battlefield, where the player takes on the role of a gunman, have an impact/influence on real life violence? Here's a few examples of where it could be argued that these games do in-fact encourage violence:

    Anders Breivik- Perpetrator of the Norway attacks 2011 in which a total of 77 lives were lost. Anders claimed that he 'trained on Call of Duty' before carrying out these attacks

  2. #2

    Do first-person shooters influence real-life violence?

    Aaron Alexis- Shot and killed 12 people earlier this year, in September at the Washington Navy Yard. He would play games like Call of Duty and similar shooting games for up to almost 18 hours a time. It was claimed that he heard voices in his head after playing these games. Friends and family believe this pushed him to to do what he did.

    I would like your input on this subject; what do you think about it, do you agree? Do you disagree? Why? Please just be as open as possible. When leaving a comment please leave your gender and age group. Thank you

  3. #3
    Call Of Duty can’t possibly train you for using guns. Maybe for planning routes and tactics and such but handling guns is a different matter. These examples don’t imply causation just relation. Those people sound like they already had mental issues, games weren’t an influence in their behavior.
    Millions of people play violent games everyday, if games made you violent we’d be on all out war already. These are edge cases and they went to gaming because of their issues, not the other way around. There have been plenty of studies who have found similar results.
    Where i’m opposed to shooter/warfare/overly violent games is with young children, since they are much more easily influenced and don’t yet understand the real consequences their virtual actions would cause in the real world. I don’t think that provokes mass killers either but it may just create a troubled personality.
    I’m a male, 19. The demographic of Verge subscribers will probably lie squarely in the pro-games camp, tough if you want more differing opinions you should also post this elsewhere.

  4. #4
    For the average person i don’t believe it does, however i think it could have a small impact or at least not help someone with a pre-existing mental issue. Having said that, movies, media, billboards etc would also have the same impact.
    I also struggle to see how in cases with children in particular how these issues were not picked up upon prior to this, yet alone how they had access to guns in the first place. Im not saying they all would have shown symptoms, but either way i think most parents are well aware of the problem these days.

  5. #5
    I think FPSes could desensitize the act of killing for some people, but I don’t think it would have any impact on the willingness to actually kill someone. So it would possibly make it easier, but it doesn’t make you do it.
    If that translates in to that you need a mental condition to do it is debatable, but personally I don’t feel that way

  6. #6
    Anyone worth their salt would not buy claims that a video game is responsible for their behavior. One cannot truly say with a straight face that games that contain violence encourages violent behavior, they would essentially be suggesting that playing Pilotwings makes one a better pilot, playing Diner Dash makes one a more efficient waiter, or playing Minecraft makes one a better builder. Anyone who does something ridiculous like shoot up kids in a school and say that they ‘trained’ on Call of Duty is simply a mentally ill person who should have been prescribed meds who wants their ‘accomplishments’ on whatever game they have been playing until four o’clock in the morning be recognized by people other than the ones they had the sessions with; the idiots who are dumb enough to believe such crap are bigger losers than the mentally ill people who commit these acts.

  7. #7
    If you drew a trend line in the US from 1980 to 2013 of the number of shooting deaths and the number of gamers you’d see the line for shooting deaths go down as the line for number of gamers shot up.
    If FPSes do increase real-life violence the increase is minor enough that it’s being offset by other societal factors, and based on the numbers it’s more likely that FPSes are decreasing levels real-life violence (maybe by giving violent people an outlet or simply by keeping them inside and gaming rather than outside).

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