Can violent video games lead to violent behaviour?

Imagine if the entertainment industry created a video game in which you could decapitate police officers, kill them with a sniper rifle, massacre them with a chainsaw, and set them on fire. Think anyone would buy such a violent game? They would, and they have. The game Grand Theft Auto has sold more than 35 million copies, with worldwide sales approaching $2 billion.
Two weeks ago, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed in Alabama against the makers and marketers of Grand Theft Auto, claiming that months of playing the game led a teenager to go on a rampage and kill three men, two of them police officers.
Can a video game train someone to kill?

This is the introduction to an article by reporter Ed Bradley for CBS News. What do you think? Can video games such as GTA lead to violent behaviour in real life? or could it be the other way round, that they provide an outlet for violent agressive feelings? Should video games be subjected to stricter control, so that kids cannot buy games that are unsuitable for their age?

Read more about it:

  • Full CBS article
  • GTA IV at Wikipedia
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    2 thoughts on “Can violent video games lead to violent behaviour?

    1. Claudia de Zárraga

      Maybe this kind of game isn’t very suitable for minors, but for adults is OK. In my opinion when you are older enough, you know that this is only a game, and you don’t mistake it with reality. In fact I found the game quite entertaining, but I wouldn’t allow my kids to play with it.

      Reply
    2. Miguel Zarraga

      Children and adolescent in the USA spend and average of six hours watching television or playing videogames and computers and unfortunately violence is everywhere. There is a lot of violence on TV even in the cartoons where the violent acts are four times more frequent than in prime-time television. Movies are another source of violent content. Do you remember the awarded “No country for old men”?. Moreover media violence is socially acceptable and is used more often than patience, negotiation, or compromise to solve conflicts on TV.
      It’s a neat relationship between viewing TV and increased risk of violent behaviour but the association is less clear with videogames, probably because it has been less studied. Anyway measures at the level of family, school and community aside to more strict laws can help us to fight this difficult problem.

      Reply

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