The fact that mass murderer Anders Breivik was a gamer led several media outlets to blame video games for his violent behavior, but mental health professionals believe otherwise. Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway throughout 2011, is a gamer, and during his trial told the court he once played Modern Warfare for 17 hours straight, using such games to to work out the police response and his best escape strategy.Christopher Chambers, a senior research fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, explained that correlation is often wrongly confused with causation:
“If a person plays violent video games and then commits acts of violence, it doesn’t prove that the video games caused the violence. There could be no link whatsoever, or it might even be the other way round: that the person’s violent tendencies drew them to violent video games in the first place.”
Seena Fazel, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Britain’s University of Oxford, points to a 2008 paper in the journal Criminal Justice and Behaviour, which describes two experiments designed to test whether violent games encourage violence. The results showed that neither exposure to violent video game conditions in a lab, nor previous real-life exposure to violent video games caused any differences in aggression. The paper concluded that “trait aggression, family violence, and male gender were predictive of violent crime, but exposure to violent games was not.”Isn’t it nice to have unbiased professionals stand up for gaming and not suggest that our favorite hobby is turning us into a society of homicidal maniacs?
via The Star