Video game violence: the battle between the screen and real life
For a number of years now, an increase in physical violence has often been associated with acts of aggression shown in video games. But is there really a connection between the actions made in video games and those made in real life?
Mass shootings across America has led to President Trump leading the scapegoating of video games. The President stated that "gruesome and grisly video games" contribute to the "glorification of violence in our society".
Video games have been blamed for destructing young minds due to the involvement of young leaders in US devastations such as Columbine in 1999, Virginia Tech in 2007 and Sandy Hook in 2012.
The outpour in opposition towards video games has led to opposing views being shared on social media; but, looking at the science, is there a link between violent games and physical damage?
Academics have found varying results when exploring a connection but a regular pattern is beginning to be formed. Several recent studies, including one from the Oxford Internet Institute, found no connection. Another useful perspective, based on national statistics, showed no link between video game spending per capita and crime statistics. In fact, in countries such as South Korea or Japan, where more money is spent on games per capita, their violent crime rates were ranked with the lowest across the world.
Violence in games is a common feature for those who find enjoyment from destruction in which no one is really hurt - a form of escapism in a free world with no consequence.
These games may not lead directly to mass shootings but their gaming ethics and levels of violence still deserve questioning. Games such as Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty all have violence flowing through their veins and encourage crimes of a passive and aggressive nature.
Perhaps, however, the future of games lies in not encouraging violence but using it for good measure. Games such as Hitman and Dishonored reward players who navigate tasks without bloodshed. These games don't provide an alternative to violence but they do, however, make us question the emotional importance before we pull the trigger.