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Fed up with violence in society? Start with limiting video game consumption

| Monday, June 4, 2018, 10:18 a.m.
An upcoming video game that simulates school shootings and slated for a June release is being called a 'disgrace' by the families of students who were killed in the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High three months ago.
Miami Herald
An upcoming video game that simulates school shootings and slated for a June release is being called a 'disgrace' by the families of students who were killed in the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High three months ago.

In our eagerness to find a solution — or lay blame — in the wake of another mass shooting, violent video games have once again become the easy target.

No, an alleged killer likely didn't shoot up a school because he or she played “Mortal Kombat” or “Call of Duty” as a kid.

But that doesn't mean it's not time we redirect our children's focus.

Is it so unreasonable to think that these repeated acts of violence — whether in video games or movies — don't make us desensitized to violence?

Jesse Schell thinks so. He's the CEO of Pittsburgh-based Schell Games and teaches at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center.

“Right now, our culture — television, movies and games — largely sends the message that running around and shooting people with assault rifles is normal, healthy behavior,” he told the Trib's Aaron Aupperlee.

The American Psychological Association stated in 2015 that violent video games are linked to aggression but not necessarily criminal behavior.

Roger Klein, a psychology professor at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education, told Aupperlee that the discussion has shifted from whether violent video games cause violent behavior to how the games contribute and affect the behavior of individuals.

It's beyond time we put down the joystick and turn off the console.

Maybe we can't completely disconnect from violent media, but we as parents are failing our children if we continue to allow their participation in such games, or at the very least limit their exposure.

Will that alone stop this senseless violence?


But we also can't keep complaining about the proliferation of such violence if we continue to sit idly by.

Just because our lawmakers continue to resist taking action doesn't mean we should, too.

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