TV and video games may intensify violence

But SDSU and Pt. Loma Nazarene scholars take nuanced view

Former governor Schwarzenegger displays admirable gun control in his new violent thriller.
  • Former governor Schwarzenegger displays admirable gun control in his new violent thriller.

You turn on the TV to a football game. A 340-pound lineman smashes a 190-pound running back to the turf. The violent collision is replayed twice — along with the sound of the crash — as the play-by-play announcer lauds the lineman as “the National Football League’s fiercest tackler.” The color commentator exults, “This is smash-mouth football!” Next comes a movie ad: a grimacing guy (perhaps a former governor of California) sprays bullets from an automatic rifle at the bad guys, who fire back with assault weapons.

Next, you watch the news. Three sociology professors — reflecting on the Newtown massacre and football-related dementia — probe the roots of America’s violent culture. Nobody mentions the media.

But for decades, scholars have been studying the role of the media (particularly TV, movies, and video games) in worsening our violence/gun-obsessed society. However, not much research has been done on the role of television and video games in highlighting and celebrating football violence. Perhaps the fact that former Chargers linebacker and suicide victim Junior Seau had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by multiple hits, will awaken the nation — if not the National Football League.

A 2006 study by scholars at the University of Michigan and University of California Davis is often considered the bible on the media’s role in our violent society. The authors devoured many studies on the topic. Conclusion: “Media violence poses a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression,” both in the short and long term. Children are particularly vulnerable. A 1992 study indicated that by the time the average American child graduates from elementary school, he or she will have seen more than 8000 murders and 100,000 other violent acts (such as rapes or assaults) on network television.

The media industry generally asserts it reflects society, not shapes it. Although Hollywood officially deplores such events as the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, stars and producers insist there are not links between reel violence and real violence. “Keep the two separate,” says former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose new film, The Last Stand, is a Belshazzar’s Feast for lovers of guns and bloodshed.

K. Tim Wulfemeyer, professor at San Diego State’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, says “scientific research on this subject is mixed at best,” but it’s safe to say that media violence can reinforce tendencies toward such behavior that are already ingrained in a person. However, media blood-splattering cannot “cause average, normal people to actually commit violent acts.”

William F. Eadie of the San Diego State journalism/media department says, “There is a relationship between people watching media violence and acting aggressively, at least in the short term.” However, “Most people are able to distinguish between fantasy violence and actual violence.” But he warns that those who consume many hours of media a day may “have a distorted view of the world and have a higher chance of acting on these distortions.”

Dean Nelson, founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University, points out that in court trials in which lawyers argue that a crime “is similar to what recently appeared in the movies or TV, [that argument] almost never ends up in a conviction. Jurors are not convinced there is a cause and effect” — that is, seeing a similar crime committed on TV did not motivate the person to go out and do the same.

As to the relationship of media violence and actual violence, Nelson says, “Correlation? Perhaps. Causation? Probably not.”

In retrospect, it is surprising that dementia and related mental diseases were not linked to football long ago. In the 1920s, doctors knew that repetitive brain trauma produced psychological afflictions in boxers. By the 1950s, many physicians wanted the sport banned. Boxers’ problems have had many names: punch-drunk syndrome, chronic boxer’s encephalopathy, boxer’s dementia, and the like. Among the prizefighters suspected of suffering head trauma-related dementia have been Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Billy Conn, and Muhammad Ali (Parkinson’s syndrome probably caused by boxing).

Long before the Seau suicide, the NFL denied the game causes long-term brain injuries while simultaneously paying off former players complaining of such maladies.

Long before the Seau suicide, the NFL denied the game causes long-term brain injuries while simultaneously paying off former players complaining of such maladies.

As recently as 2009, the National Football League was insisting before an incredulous congressional committee that there was no connection between football head injuries and long-term brain trauma. But ESPN reported that in the 1990s and early 2000s, when the league was denying the connection between the sport and traumatic brain injuries, it was secretly paying off players who had suffered such woes.

Now, with more than 4000 players suing, the league brags that it is spending $30 million on head-injury research. This is an insult. Most owners are billionaires. The average team is worth $1.1 billion and enjoys $276 million in annual revenue. At the same time the National Football League boasts of the piddling $30 million it spends on research, it is contesting the suits of the 4000 players and still insisting it takes care of injured retired players.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the National Football League and television. Each team gets well over $100 million a year from the league’s deals with broadcasters. So does this cozy relationship explain why TV glorifies on-field carnage? “When young people see athletes being praised for aggressive (violent) behavior on the field — and in many cases being rewarded for such behavior — it’s not much of a stretch to believe that at least some people are going to try to emulate such behavior,” says Wulfemeyer. “When this happens, I guess you could say media-related praise for violent hits can contribute to cases of [chronic traumatic encephalopathy], crippling injuries, etc.”

Nelson is not sure that media celebration of butchery can be called a cause of the crippling diseases that afflict players, especially retired ones. However, continuous showing of violent action “is going to encourage other players to say, ‘I want to get on the highlight reel, too.’ It does encourage more violence.” ■

Contact Don Bauder at 619-546-8529

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Time was, even in the movies, strength and courage rather than brutality and narcissism, were the messages that came through to young men and boys. Movies were a small part of the environment then; today, most of the adventure is of the armchair variety, and we are smothered by media products, starved for real experiences.

What is the baseline against which violence can be measured?

Twister: I think you are right on that, and I am old enough to remember. Back in the early days of movie and TV violence, there would be bloodshed aplenty, but the good guys would win, and there would be a moral of sorts accompanying the denouement. Now it seems to be violence for the sake of violence. Best, Don Bauder

"Starved for real experiences" and particularly of the type that invoke or challenge the human to act in "strength and courage" and other such human virtues.

With the increasing absence of human experiential "adventure" as noted above, and in this world where profiteers have designed, dictated and overrun real life via entertainment venues like local news, sports, sitcoms, those dastardly idiotic instant-empty-mentality-reward-gratification video games, marketing and advertisement ever which way one turns----the masses have lost sensibility to fend against the insidiousness of it. We're bound to the impossible struggle and attempt to keep heads above water while the govt is in step with corporations whom benefit together with them in keeping a mass of zombies and drones at their disposal and as their arsenal. The escape is the "armchair variety" of life: the tv, the video game and a continued disconnection from real experiences and adventures where humans must "be" everyday in all their senses.

We're seeing decades worth of a building violence-smorgasbord in fictional media alongside rampantly increasing real-life brutality worldwide and we just keep sitting and watching. If 20 babies executed in their school classroom in the US and all those mortified innocents who are living daily shell-shocked lives throughout the world doesn't finally tell us that something is seriously amiss with violence-for-profit, nothing can or will.

Don, I think there should be a distinction between viewing fictional violence, and viewing actual violence.

The last two decades has seen both a dramatic drop in violent crime, and a dramatic rise in hours spent playing video games. So there's little reason to believe video games, which everyone knows is fake, is causing violence...in fact, there's not even correlation between video games and violence. The opposite might even be true.

But when it comes to viewing actual violence, as you described, with replays of "smash mouth" hits, performed on real people with real consequences, I believe that could have a dramatic affect on the intensity of the violence performed by the viewers.

What is without doubt however, and what any military veteran can tell you, is that when you practice performing violence, it becomes easier and easier. So in basic training you don't shoot at round targets, but people shaped targets. You don't bayonet balls, but human shaped dummies.

In our schools, while everyone else is being taught the principles of cooperation and non-violence, the football team is practicing how to be violent. They've got coaches screaming at them to hit harder. They practice on real people, learning how to tackle, hit, get in the dirty punch.

Is it any surprise that computer nerds, who play lots of video games, are rarely arrested for violent crimes, while football players, whether at high school, college, or professional levels, are disproportionately represented on the blotters?

So I believe it's not seeing fake violence, but witnessing and participating in REAL violence that makes someone prone to violent behavior in real life.

The obvious solution to this is to remove football from our schools, at any level, immediately. (Coincidentally this would free up money in cash starved districts for actual educational purposes, instead of playing games.)

Fred: You make good points. As you know, there are scholars who believe that TV and video games DO result in actual violent acts. Removing football from schools would be desirable, but think of the consequences: a certain portion of the population would be so outraged that the hullaballoo would take our minds off more important matters, such as our military waterboarding prisoners. Best, Don Bauder

I'm with Fred. Let's put our priorities on education and fitness for all students and deny the jock culture it's continued dominion over our schools.

Radical Uterus: But there is a certain monied portion of the alumni base that would say that an SDSU degree was worthless unless the football team was a winner. Best, Don Bauder

Radical Uterus: So true. But the University of Chicago, once a powerhouse in the Big Ten, dropped football in the late 1930s or 1940s. Academically, it is one of the greatest universities in the country. It doesn't have trouble raising funds. Best, Don Bauder

That monied alumni base will one day be dead.

Radical Uterus: But that base will be replace by younger alums with the same mentality. Best, Don Bauder

Don, SDSU is, and has always been, known as the "Crown Jewel" of the CSU Sytem.........

Which tells you too much about the CSU system that most of us don't care to admit.

Visduh: With such a sharp statement, you won't be invited to be on KPBS on the SDSU campus. Best, Don Bauder

Disclosure: I hold a masters degree from SDSU, and taught there as an adjunct faculty member.

Visduh: If they could identify "Visduh," which they can't, they wouldn't invite you to any faculty teas. Best, Don Bauder

SurfPup: And what school is the "Clown Jewel" of the CSU system? But you are right: SDSU is very strong in a number of departments. Best, Don Bauder

SurfPup: And what school is the "Clown Jewel" of the CSU system?

My vote would be Chico State.

There you go with that old stereotype. How about Marijuana State, aka Humboldt State? Now THAT one has an image problem.

SP: What is the tight end on the Chico football team known for? Does the Humboldt team look under every stone in the road to find its keys to victory? Best, Don Bauder

Visduh: Yes, but Humboldt State sits right in the middle of territory where the stuff is grown in extremely high volume. The university has to help the local economy, lest town/gown frictions arise. Best, Don Bauder

SurfPup: From what I understand, Chico State would be the "Down Jewel," as in down a quart of booze. Nationally, my alma mater, Wisconsin-Madison, would be at the top of the list. Best, Don Bauder

SP: Chico State does have a reputation. Best, Don Bauder

My alma-mater, which isn't known as a football school, ended up ranked 18th, where did Wisconsin-Madison finish? We like to say that our football players know the difference between Socrates and Sophocles, as NU has a rather scholarly team. However, I suspect that professional football will go the way of the asbestos industry within the next couple of decades, as it should. When the litigation ball gets rolling, more lawsuits, and insurance becomes cost prohibitive, I suspect the people in charge will revisit the merits of football.

Jeff: Wisconsin players do know the difference between Socrates and Sophocles. Socrates plays left guard and Sophocles left tackle. It's possible that pro football will go the way of the asbestos industry, but football is extremely popular; when asbestos went down, it could appeal to no significant constituency. Best, Don Bauder

Well, the Roman Circus was extremely popular and appealed to a significant constituency, and look where it is today.

Jeff: Think about those games pitting the Christians against the Lions. The Lions won back then, but today they are not flourishing as the Christians are. Best, Don Bauder

NU's Law School has the most awesome LS location in America. They are on Lake Shore Drive area, and the Library actually fronts Lake Michigan, I was in there a few times and could not do anything I was supposed to, the view and beauty of the area was mesmerizing. And that wall of windows overlooking Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan torpedo's anything serious you had planned on doing..............And one of the best SCOTUS justices of all time, John Paul Stevens, is a NW LS graduate and on their "Wall of Fame"....

SurfPup: As I have said before, I agree that the area of Chicago where the Northwestern law school is located is beautiful. So is the campus in Evanston. Lake Shore Drive is impressive; I used to drive it a lot. I lived in the Near North as a bachelor and had a great time. I worked in both the Loop and on the most enticing area of Michigan Ave. The settings for the Art Institute, Lyric Opera, and Chicago Symphony are pleasant and induce nostalgia. But take it from one who was born and reared in a Chicago suburb, and spent a lot of time in the downtown: there are a helluva lot of cities more enticing than Chicago, especially when you go west and south from the city core. Basically, the city and many of its suburbs are flat, boring -- bungalows upon bungalows, in the wind and bitter cold. And the place is corrupt and broke. Ditto for Illinois. Best, Don Bauder

I have never been to the NU main campus, Evanston, and I was surprised the LS is no where near the main campus!

Much the same situation exists with Loyola (the one in LA). After Loyola (the male school, Jesuit run) merged with the women's college, Marymount, it consolidated its operations on the Loyola campus in Westchester. The former Marymount campus in Palos Verdes was phased out over many years. But what of the law school, which is part of Loyola Marymount? Ahh, it is in (or near, depending upon your identification) downtown LA. It operates out of what they call the "fortified compound" just to the west of the Harbor Freeway, aka I-110. That facility is not old, although the neighborhood is about as old as they get in LA, and is rather a pleasant place once you get inside. That means it is a very long way from Westchester, and has an entirely different feel.

Visduh: Loyola wisely separated its law school from its main religion-based campus, which teaches ethics. Can't let those law students pick up bad personal qualities, such as honesty. Best, Don Bauder

The faculty and curriculum at Loyola Law isn't, I'm advised, much tinged with religious content. I suppose it could be said that it is running a secular sort of school there. But there are reminders of its Catholic nature, such as Mass being offered on campus every day. And when the titles of those whose signatures adorn the diplomas from the school end with the letters, "SJ", you know it is Catholic, about as hard-core Catholic I think as you'll find.

Visduh: My guess is that a lot of lawyers go to confession daily to purge themselves of the whoppers they have told in court. Best, Don Bauder

. It operates out of what they call the "fortified compound" just to the west of the Harbor Freeway, aka I-110.

You have been there I take it, it is entirely FENCED in by huge barred walls. The area is so-so, but obviously dangerous to some degree or the LS would not be fortified like it is. Laurie Levenson, a top criminal law and procedure expert, is a professor there. Had a great contracts guy named Gold who taught contracts for the bar exam.

You take it correctly. I have a relative (I'm not going to be more specific than that) who attended the place fairly recently.

Loyola LS is one of the TOP regional LS here in So Cal, but it only has a solid reputation in this area. Not really recognized nationally.

Visduh: Did that relative graduate and pass the bar? Best, Don Bauder

SP: A fortified law school: not a bad idea. Best, Don Bauder

SP: You would really enjoy the main campus, sitting, as it does, on Lake Michigan. Beautiful buildings. The Northwestern med school is also in downtown Chicago. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: Yes, your percipient observations attest to your excellent education at SDSU. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: Think of the great writers who faced many a hangover -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, for one. I believe he was also bipolar. And he may not have been what you would call a GREAT writer. Best, Don Bauder

Weak stories? Too much emphasis on special effects? Nooooo! For many years we fretted about the short attention spans of the kids who were distracted by such things as TV. Well, TV was nuthin' compared to the fast pace of what they see and do on these electronic devices that seem to be stuck fast to their hands. To get them to sit still and watch, ya' gotta make it interesting, and that means action, action, action! Story line? Whuzzat?

My most recent foray into movie watching was an "action thriller" (I won't mention the title) involving New Orleans and a sort-of-reformed smuggler who was trying to go straight but was sucked back into his specialty. The inconsistencies in the story, the geographical screwiness, the offshore violence and gunplay, and all the racket were anything but entertaining. But, hey, don't let details get in the way of a good story. Or at least a story that sells movie tickets.

Visduh: You're right again. This is an age of gratuitous violence. The video games appear to be examples of bloodshed for the sake of bloodshed. Ditto some of the movies and TV. My wife talked me into going to the latest James Bond movie. We used to laugh uproariously at them. But this one seemed to take itself seriously. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: A new video game that helps people FOCUS? Interesting. Best, Don Bauder

Early Shakespeare performances were raucous affairs, with aggression, food and beverages not unlike Insane Clown Posse events. Look it up...theater didn't start out as literature.

Opera was often scandalous, and early Mozart critics claimed the music had too many notes!

These are entertainments, in each era, as true in 2013 B.C as today, which are denounced by those of us over 40.

We oldsters sniff that the newfangled gadgets are destroying the youth and making them violent super-predators. "Dang Og and those stupid kids! Banging sticks on rocks makes them crazy and they go out and hunt mastodons all week. It will all end in tears, I tell you."

Yesterday it was Frank Zappa's music that would make us all serial killers (and today he is a revered Saint of Music and Human Rights Activism, bless his hairy...) Today we have the oh-so-deadly video gamer, tuning up his killing skills.

I am an archer, Navy Vet., and a software professional who has played video games. I can tell you that shooting a real bow and arrow or gun is nothing like doing so in a video simulation. I suspect that were a gamer to shoot a real gun, the shock of the recoil would make them drop it like a "hot potato" (to use the idiom of my revered elderly readers, who presumably are the only ones still reading, the youngsters having long lost interest).

Hey...I sympathize my geriatric comrades, colleagues and friends. I don't like stupid movies, but they don't cause mayhem. Violent video games are enjoyed most fervently by young men...and young men are the ones most associated with violent crime. That's a basic demonstration of the statistics of correlation. It doesn't prove that video-games, music, or crappy films cause or encourage real world violence, only that young men are associated with both independently.

Contrast this with ACTUAL violence. Not a simulation...witnessing or experiencing the real thing. On a football field, for example, or a Roman Colosseum, or a religious crusade and related local pogroms. Or in our poor neighborhoods today, as often brutalized by the police as by the hoodlums, in the home by family far more often than at the hands of strangers.

That's what science KNOWS causes violent behavior. First hand experience, especially as a victim while young.

Science has looked at, repeatedly, and never proven strong causal links with playing video games and violence...only an obvious correlation which is to be expected since the fans of video games are young males, who also disproportionately perform acts of violence.

Video games might be any young violent man's preferred entertainment, but that's simply because in his entertainment preferences he is mostly normal.

In comparison to real violence, like high school football programs, the video games certainly don't prepare him or train him or compel him to violence.

Fred: That 2006 study, which basically summed up many other studies, concluded that there IS a causal connection between movie-TV violence and the real thing. But many experts have your point of view: there is correlation but not necessarily causation. In re Shakespeare: an expert who is a friend has pointed out to me that his plays are raunchier than we know. One interpretation is that "Get thee to a nunnery" actually should be translated into "Get thee to a whorehouse." Best, Don Bauder

When did he first play a movie role as a sort of superman? I swear I saw one with him in it as early as 1972. But in that one (if it was him) he was sort of an android creature. That he could speak little English and if he did, it had a strong Viennese flavor, might have influenced that. Some sort of a blow-up doll of a 'roid monster would have played that role about the same as he did.

It was his performance as governor that revealed how little he knew of anything. I dismissed his candidacy in the recall election as a joke. For a time it appeared as if he was really trying to reform, but when thwarted, he did a 180 and headed off in the other direction. How about that for political conviction? I won't even get into the infidelity and all the personal mess he was, other than to say that "it figures."

Visduh: I am sure he wasn't the first governor to have fathered a love child. President Grover Cleveland, who was elected twice, had an illegitimate child, giving rise to the campaign song, "Ma, ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha." Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter; Fathering a child in or out of wedlock, and neglecting that child, is a serious offense. Brutalizing your spouse and children is a serious offense. Narcissists can be found in abundance in politics. So can liars. Best, Don Bauder

Maybe this one?

Hercules in New York is a 1969 low-budget fantasy adventure film. It is notable for being the first feature film to star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was about 22 years old when the film was produced. He plays Hercules, who is bored with life in Olympus, and decides to move to New York. Schwarzenegger, because of his long last name and to play off the name of fellow cast member comedian Arnold Stang, is credited as "Arnold Strong 'Mr. Universe'". Due to his thick Austrian accent, Schwarzenegger had all his lines dubbed, although modern showings of the film have his audio track restored. However, even these restored showings cannot change the final scene's lines that Hercules speaks to Pretzie over a small transistor radio, in a voice that is clearly not Schwarzenegger's.


by Duhbya

Duhbya: Great tale. I have never seen a Schwarzenegger movie, so I really cannot comment knowledgeably on the genre. But I have certainly read a lot about what they are about. Best, Don Bauder

Well, I'm right behind you, then, having seen just one of his flicks, "The Terminator", most notable, to me, for introducing 3 phrases into the American lexicon. "Your clothes, give them to me", was probably the most memorable, followed by "I'll be back", and "Fxxk you, Axxhole", all delivered in his Austrian dialect.

I remember when he showed up unannounced in the Union newsroom in 1973, shortly after the move to the Valley. I don't recall the reporter he sat with, but I'm fairly certain there was no mad dash to become the chosen interviewer. He was still primarily known for his bodybuilding, but he was clearly on a PR mission. The reporter kept asking him weightlifting-related questions, (I was the quintessential eavesdropper) but the future Governator repeatedly steered the conversation back to his cinematic aspirations. He was quite full of himself, a trait profoundly displayed to this day.

Duhbya: I doubt that the Terminator introduced the phrase "F* you, Ahole," into the American lexicon. I remember hearing that before Schwarzenegger was born. I might have used it -- to someone smaller than me, of course. Best, Don Bauder

Duhbya: I am cleansing myself by confessing my sins. Best, Don Bauder

Nice start, then. :> )

Benedicat tibi.

Duhbya: I guess it is pretty late in life to start the cleansing process. Best, Don Bauder

Don Bauder;

Dubai doubt that the Terminator introduced the phrase "F* you, Ahole," into the American lexicon. I remember hearing that before Schwarzenegger was born...

I can tell you without hesitation I have used it at least a million times. I like to used modifiers with it also, like "mother%$#^[email protected]" and "&^%*sucker".

SP: Shame on you, SurfPup. This is a blog for gentle men and women. No profanity or unclean thoughts allowed. Best, Don Bauder

Sorry......it happens every time I think of public unions.......

He was quite full of himself, a trait profoundly displayed to this day.

LOL...OK, Arnold wrote a book back in 1979 or 80 called "Education of a Bodybuilder", and I bought a copy, autographed by him, and at that point only knew of him through what was then a subculture, bodybuilding. I read it and it was amazing HOW BIG his ego was. Just amazing. I would say that either Arnold or Donald Trump have the biggest egos I have ever seen. Read the book, very interesting and within a few pages you will get a flavor of his out sized ego. In a way he deserves it as this is a guy who was born into poverty and has gone to the highest level of fame and fortune. Arnold did NOT have running water in his childhood home, and as I recall used an outhouse for the bathroom. Not many people at his level of wealth or fame can make any similar claim as to their humble start in life. Donald trumps father was a multi millionaire developer before The Donald was ever born.

SurfPup: The Donald not only has a big ego. He has a dangerous blind spot. He has no idea he is making a complete fool of himself with his public utterances. Best, Don Bauder

"Hercules In New York" was made in 68/69 before Awnooold had a very good grasp of the English language, and his voice is dubbed and it is so bad it is hilarious. Dubya is correct, Arnold used the stage name "Arnold Strong". Good movie for comedy, eventhought it is not meant as a comedy. Had a $300K budget as I recall, which was not that cheap for the time period.

SurfPup: Did Ahnold ever have a very good grasp of the English language? Best, Don Bauder

For a time it appeared as if he was really trying to reform, but when thwarted, he did a 180 and headed off in the other direction. How about that for political conviction?

You have to remember something, Arnold had never failed at anything in his lfe until he was elected governor. He thought he was going to steamroll the public unions by taking his plans directly to the voters, which he did. What he did not count on the the onslaught of money and opposition public unions could muster, and he got spanked. After that he wussed out on everything. He was a disaster.

SurfPup: The champion body builder could lift weights, but couldn't fight tons of money. Best, Don Bauder

Hahahahahahh....TONS of $$$= Too much for the Austrian Oak.

SurfPup: Money talks -- volumes, and nauseously. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: The plot of Ahnold's recent movie was adjusted to suit him: he plays an aging law enforcement officer (or something like that) who gets his last chance before retirement to gun down Mexican drug lords armed with assault weapons, etc. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: That's why they cast him as an aging law enforcement man. Best, Don Bauder

NOTE: NY TIMES TACKLES VIOLENCE/MEDIA QUESTION. The lead story in the Science Section of yesterday's (Feb. 12) New York Times has an interesting story, "Shooting in the Dark," on the question of whether video games influence aggressive behavior or lead to mass murders. It notes that the young men who opened fire at Columbine and the Aurora, Colorado, theater were video gamers. But the story says the evidence of the connection is not clear. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: We're dealing with anecdotal evidence here, but I believe you will find that the Aurora theater and Columbine shooters were video game players. Best, Don Bauder

NaturalBorn...I think there is some substitution effect.

They don't play video games "until they actually commit their crimes". Rather, they play video games INSTEAD of committing crimes.

Police and other sociologists will tell you that some crime is committed simply out of boredom. Give young males engrossing entertainment and they won't be committing crimes.

So maybe video games actually PREVENT crime?

Think about it...

Fred: That's a hypothesis that can't be tested or proven. Best, Don Bauder

naturalbornwriter: High youth unemployment breeds idleness and boredom, and some say it breeds crime. Best, Don Bauder

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