Since the Tipper Gore “Parental Advisory” days of yore, the media, parent councils, naysayers, soothsayers, and everyone’s favorite uncle, Sam, have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to link the violence in video games to their real-world counterparts. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stop trying. The anecdotal evidence is clear that many of the assailants in any of the seventy-plus school shootings since Sandy Hook had played video games. These games, when mixed with already present social disorders and mental health issues, may have removed the lynch pin that held their fragile minds together.
But there are some parents, like Susan Bennett of Wichita Falls, Texas, who are more confused about their children who play these so-called “gateway games” yet are not violent.
Susan asks, “Could there be something wrong with him?” Her son, Jeremy, sits next to her on their faux leather couch, engrossed in a well-worn copy of Dianetics. “I mean, you hear on the news about these kids shooting up their classmates and it’s obvious they were big on those shoot-em-up games, which is what Jeremy adores. But he doesn’t show any violent tendencies. I’m just afraid that everyone will know that he is different from all those other kids. What will people say?”
After speaking at length with Susan Bennett and her son, before he went to choir practice, we dug deeper into this issue. What we found was astounding. It turns out that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of kids throughout the United States that show no violent tendencies whatsoever after playing these horrifically violent games. It turns out that most of them have decent GPAs, hold after-school and summertime jobs, and are active in their communities.
But that hasn’t stopped the Senate from moving money around from social programs like Homeless Veterans and Women’s, Infants, and Children (WIC), in order to study the issue and find the smoking gun between video games and violence. Seventeen years and ten studies later they’ve yet to find the link. This won’t stop them, however, as they’ve said they are willing to put in as much of the tax payer’s money as possible until they find the evidence they need.