Video Games: Cause For Violence?

Video games are constantly being held responsible for acts of violence, but are they really at the heart of the issue?

News Headlines Hold Video Games as Cause for Recent Fratricide in Arizona, But Are Games Really The Issue?

It’s nothing new to hear about how video games are causing people to grow increasingly violent in our society. A long and heated debate has been raging since the introduction of violent video games but the question still remains on whether or not this correlation is accurate. Many people blame the video game community for violent youth - most recently the fratricide of David Ramirez in Mesa AZ this month.

Many headlines claim that the murder was “over video games.” News sources such as Fox NewsKTLA 5 and AZFamily’s news sites all blare the same message: “Man Stabs Brother Over Video Game,” but what they all fail to mention is that a video game had nothing to do with the attack.

Within the police report (which can be found at the bottom of AZFamily’s article covering the murder) it is stated that the altercation became heated when David Ramirez - the victim, moved towards the television set after his brother - Felipe Ramirez - told him he wouldn’t stop watching television to let David play video games. Felipe got up, put both hands on David and told him to “Come at him” as it reads in the report, and when this happened things got physical.

Long story short, Felipe is facing charges of second degree manslaughter with a 750,000 cash bail. His hearing will take place on July 24th of this year.

What does this mean for the video game community? Many would say that violence such as this relates to the mindless killing that occurs almost all too frequently in today’s games. FIZX reports, however, that despite the increasing violent trend, youth crime rates have fallen in the last 25 years. In fact, the BPS (British Psychological Society) states that a team at Hannover Medical School has found no evidence in the emotional blunting in gamers who play excessive amounts of violent video games.

Cases that blame video games such as the 2004 murder of Stefan Pakeerah. Pakeerah’s parents held the game “Man-hunt” responsible for a brutal attack on their 14 year old son, claming that his attacker, 17 year old Warren LeBlanc, was obsessed with the game. Later on this was discredited as LeBlanc never owned the game, rather his victim did, and so the argument lost ground.

Other cases, listed in an article by Charisma News include the Sandy Hook Shooting by Adam Lanza, The Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner who suffered from mental illness, The attack made by Elliot Rodger, a world of warcraft gamer who pulled a gun on himself and 7 others and an several others. What the public fails to realize is that many of these attackers have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, or were playing so called violent games with no relation to how they actually committed the crimes.

In a 2014 article by Time Magazine it’s stated that 90% of youth are exposed to video games, 90% of which include violence. With those kinds of statistics it’s inconceivable that every youth shooter/attacker was influenced by video games. Unless 90% of all youth are going on violent rampages, then there’s no reason to believe that Videogames are at the heart of it all, and in the case of David and Felipe Ramirez, their altercation was purely personal. The game had little to no role in the murder, despite what the headlines all say.

Here’s the video of Felipe Ramirez’s Processing.

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A sci-fi and video game enthusiast, Kurtiss has been writing and playing since before his first evolution. While he will probably end up with cataracts and arthritis, he does it for you, his readers.
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