A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Editorials and Profiles

Do Shooter Games Make You a Serial Killer?

With the current United States political climate being as polarized and aggressive as it is, both sides of the spectrum seem to struggle to find even the slightest common ground. One very harshly debated topic of today would be the seemingly rising gun violence. With shootings receiving more and more coverage in modern journalism, many have been wondering about the cause of such gun violence and, in spite of the current state of politics, both sides of the spectrum have begun to come to a similar conclusion: video games are causing or contributing to violence and possibly even gun violence and homicide. In reality, however, this is far from the truth. Before jumping to such rash conclusions, some facts should be brought to light. 

To begin with, it should be said that studies have found an increase in aggression due to games. However, these studies did not mention the fact that most of the aggression was due to the rousing of the players’ competitive spirit. On top of this, researchers behind these studies were said to have been manipulated in order to be more difficult and frustrating. Conclusively, most other studies had similarly poor credibility.

In terms of studies against this argument, many have shown that, after the release of a new video game, overall crime generally decreased. This result, unlike the counterargument, makes sense because most people who enjoy video games would often describe the violence of video games as cathartic. Many would argue that it does the opposite of cause violence and that it can often calm people down instead.