Friday, January 30, 2009

Violence and violence...

A new study claims that there is no causal relationship between videogame violence and real life violence. In "The School Shooting/Violent Video Game Link:
Causal Relationship or Moral Panic?", C. J. Ferguson studied the people who were perpetrators in school shootings, and their relationship to video games. From the study:
Indeed, related to violent video games, the FBI report specifically stated, “The student spends inordinate amounts of time [although inordinate is never defined and is left subjective] playing video games with violent themes and seems more interested in the violent images than the game itself ” [italics added].

This confirms what media studies has been saying about entertainment violence for a very long time. It is a lot more relevant to the use of violence whether the person is interested in violence than if the person is exposed to violent media. If they are interested in violence (for instance through learning that violence is an acceptable tool to solve problems), they will seek out violent entertainment. It's not the violent entertainment that causes the violence, if anything, it's the other way around.

Tag this article, fellow media scholars. It's one of the few that looks with a critical eye on the methodology of other studies, and which looks for more than the one, simple and obvious connection.

Article found by way of Lisa Galarneau's notice on facebook. Thanks, Lisa :)

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