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'No Shaming in Gaming' - Why the media are wrong to link video games to violence

Posted on 23rd November 2014

Heavy proportions of blame to...demonic acts have sadly been put on video games...How the media and 'psychiatrists' can...conclude that...ferocious acts [are] a result of video games is beyond

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Gaming has been a popular culture phenomenon for the past twenty years and, as a collective industry, has revenue of over $10 billion, not a figure to sniff at right?

But I know what you're thinking, how does an article about video games relate to me? The fact of the matter is that everybody is a gamer, and not just the stereotypical, overweight, acne ridden male living in his parents basement. If you download the occasional app on your smart phone and play in the waiting room of the dentist, or play Wii Sports Tennis with your drunken grandparents on Christmas day, or perhaps you play the occasional game of FIFA on a Friday night with the lads, then demographically speaking you are a gamer.

The fact that everybody can be considered a "gamer" makes this next argument outlined by the The Daily Mail even more moronic. In the recent, and simply horrific case of sixteen year old, William Cornick, killing his Spanish teacher in full view of his class, heavy proportions of the blame to this demonic act has sadly been put on video games, specifically a game known as Dark Souls.

Now admittedly, as an avid gamer myself, I can say that this game pushes the boundaries of what any sane person would wish to endure, with one scene representing a character made up of one hundred human corpses. But let's break it down and look at the numbers - since the games release in 2011, Dark Souls has sold more than 2.3 million copies. Out of the 2.3 million people who own this game, how many people do you think would have acted violently due to playing it? If you attempt to search for any media coverage linked to violence and Dark Souls, only the solitary case of William Cornick appears. How the media and psychiatrists can then conclude that this ferocious act was a result of video games is beyond me.

Did it not occur to the media outlets to look into the fact that maybe this boy was living with severe mental deficits? Or maybe trouble at school is what turned him into a 'stay at home loner'? I do not understand why the government has not put more effort into identifying children who have these psychopathic tendencies. Identify them at a young age whilst they are still in our education system, so they can be helped and don't become a danger to society.

Let’s face it, any teenager that can stab his teacher without any remorse is definitely a danger.

Sam Hughes - Student Voice Team 

Picture-http://www.gulli.com/news/2790-merkel-und-winnenden-ruf-nach-schaerferen-kontrollen-2009-03-16