Violent Video Games Reduce Violent Crime

With the recent shooting at a school in Newtown Connecticut and the shooting in Aurora Colorado violent video games are in the news again. The old men in the old media are blaming violent video games as they always do when a shooting hits the national news.
Violent video games have been the target of old media and conservatives for years. They will spout dubious studies and claim there is a link. They will blame any act of violence on violent video games even if the perpetrator never played a video game in his life.

In 1954 Fredric Wertham published the book Seduction of the Innocent[1] in which he blamed comic books for juvenile crime. From his book arose the comics code which castrated the comic book industry for decades[2]. Decades before the film industry suffered similarly. In 1930 the Hollywood studios instituted the motion picture production code which like the comics code castrated the film industry. The Hollywood studios instituted it because of a growing moral panic about immorality in films and the film industry feared the government would step in and regulate the morals of the film industry them selves[3].
Both the comics code and motion picture production code restricted or out rite banned violence, sex, gore, the super natural, criticism of authority, how criminals where depicted, drug use (even if it was an anti-drug message), depictions of homosexuality, depictions of relationships between people of different races, etc.



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Comment by James Kz on December 22, 2012 at 5:27am

It is not just the media. The National Rifle Association in its eagerly-awaited press release yesterday blamed violent video games and violent film for the shootings, and demanded a national registry of the mentally ill. That is where the media got it.

The last is a chilling thought: the mentally ill are eleven times more likely to be the victims of violent crime than others, and one-in-four reports violent crime against them every year.

Such a database as the NRA is asking for is similar to public sex offender registries. First, they get posted everywhere. Second, you can't get off them, and you can't know who all has posted them where. Third, it makes you a target for someone who wishes to do violence.

Such a database would have the exact same effect on the mentally ill, a subjective diagnosis for many at best. It would cause undue hardship in employment, relationships, insurance, you name it.

As for the Comics Code Authority (a voluntary measure of self-censorship enacted by the comic companies to avoid government regulation of their industry), it is now defunct.



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