Expert Says Blaming Videogames for Violence is Racist

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NEXT
 

Expert Says Blaming Videogames for Violence is Racist

image

A clinical psychologist says that blaming videogames for outbreaks of mass violence is not only a waste of time but also actually smacks of racism.

It's a sadly familiar pattern. Somebody snaps and kills a bunch of people, and fingers immediately start pointing at videogames. The most recent example is the horrific mass murder in Oslo, Norway, that left 76 people dead at the hands of a lunatic who claimed that he used Modern Warfare 2 to train for the attack. But Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist at Texas A&M and well-known expert on videogame violence, says that such accusations are not only a waste of time, but even a little bit racist.

"I know it's a little controversial to say but there's a certain type of racism in place with these killings," he told Forbes. "When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, videogames are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and videogames are inevitably blamed. I think that there's a certain element of racism or ignorance here."

The problem, he said, is that the public doesn't want to accept that these killing sprees are effectively random and unstoppable. "People really want to know what kind of boogeyman can we hang this on and videogames are still the top choice when it comes to any type of tragedy," he added.

But he also pointed out that the anti-videogame rhetoric is far more muted today than it was a decade ago. The extensive research that's been done in the years since the 1999 Columbine murders have largely debunked the idea that violent media contributes to violent behavior, a point emphasized by the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the First Amendment rights of videogames.

"One thing we've learned from research is that approximately 95 percent of young boys have played a violent videogame. That becomes a tricky thing when these mass homicides occur and the shooter is a young male. The odds are he's played violent videogames," Ferguson said.

"Linking the playing of violent videogames to a mass homicide when the perpetrator is a young male is like blaming the killing on the fact that he was wearing sneakers," he continued, noting the "statistical anomaly" of Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho, who did not play videogames. "The base rate of that behavior is so common that it has no predictive value whatsoever."

Permalink

Racism? Really? We're going there?

That is stupid.

Now, if only all the crazies would listen to smart people like this guy, we'd be getting somewhere. Unfortunately, that most likely won't happen, as is rightly pointed out in the article:

Andy Chalk:
The problem, he said, is that the public doesn't want to accept that these killing sprees are effectively random and unstoppable. "People really want to know what kind of boogeyman can we hang this on and videogames are still the top choice when it comes to any type of tragedy," he added.

Having someone or something to blame makes people feel more secure, even if it's false security. It's the same reason heavy metal and the like were blamed for "corrupting" the minds of the young, when it first emerged.

I would, however, like to add, that it's nice to see someone with knowledge in the area actually defending our beloved video games, when they're being attacked by irrational people.

There certainly is a double standard in the media. When an Arabic person perpetrates an act of terrorism, everyone jumps on Islam's tits. When a white person commits a violent act of similar magnitude, they immediately attack video games. I guess they'd rather demonize games than Christian Conservativism.

If video-games are a race now, can I play the race card?

You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

Never looked at it like this before, but it's a good point on both counts. I always tended to argue that any work of fiction would have the same effect as a video game in skewing perspective and moral reasoning to those who are already unstable, but I've never considered that anymore it should be considered a non-factor.

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

I thought it made perfect sense. Black teenagers are involved in shootings, the media says meh, typical. White teenagers are involved in shootings, the media says, oh god, video games have corrupted our innocent white youth into murderous monsters. It's a double standard, and it's a little bit racist.

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

Because the video game issue usually comes up when the shooters are middle to upper class white men, but ignored when the shooting occurs with lower class black men. He saying that its racist that they only look at video games, or rather any sort of outside influence, when the shooter is white, but not black. It implies that black people are more likely to just be violent without outside influences, which would be racist.

edit: ninja'd by one post

ddq5:
There certainly is a double standard in the media. When an Arabic person perpetrates an act of terrorism, everyone jumps on Islam's tits. When a white person commits a violent act of similar magnitude, they immediately attack video games. I guess they'd rather demonize games than Christian Conservativism.

Not to disagree really, but you can't blame any system of political or social thought on the actions of crazy people.

OT: It's not actually racism. It's for sure a double standard. But racism isn't the big horrible mutated elephant in the room people seem to think it is. I would invite everyone to read the book, "RAce and Economics" by Walter E Williams. DO EET!!!!

For those talking about the racism part: It's hard to come up with in an article, but I'd say the two above posters have it right. As for the rest of it, this guy really does seem to know what he's talking about. That a kid has played violent videogames is as important as that he was wearing sneakers, I like that line.

Hah, wrong word choice buddy xD
That was actually pretty funny

EverythingIncredible:
Racism? Really? We're going there?

That is stupid.

He actually makes a good point on it.

OT: I wish people would just get their heads out of their asses and clean the shit from their ears in order to listen to people who know way more about these types of things than they ever will.

It kinda reminds of the Hypochondriac vs. Professional Doctor sort of scenario.

Before video games, before games of any sort there was violent behavior.

These people who wish to make video games the next social hysteria are putting the horse before the cart here. How do they explain Hitler then? Or Mao or Billy the Kid or a hundred other examples I could give inthis manner?

People need to stop blaming the tools and start looking in the f#$%ing mirror.

All of his points are fantastic except the racism one. Its a bit too much of a stretch

....That actually a very good point.

Seriously, though that actually an very good point.

EverythingIncredible:
Racism? Really? We're going there?

That is stupid.

Indeed. While I applaud this guy for trying to bring people to their senses regarding games, you're skating on very thin ice by calling this "racism". I guess the logic makes some sense, but still.

Racism? Really? I mean I'm dead set against blaming video games for things, but do we really need to go there?

James Crook:
Hah, wrong word choice buddy xD
That was actually pretty funny

wrong word but beyond that its a decent point people do jump on games far too often despite being proved wrong just as often.

It smacks of bigotry and ignorance, but racism? Not really. Good, though, he pointed out that pinning violent outbursts onto videogames has the same statistical worth as blaming them onto sneakers.

Somebody should really let Fox News know that.

Corporal Yakob:
If video-games are a race now, can I play the race card?

EverythingIncredible:
Racism? Really? We're going there?

That is stupid.

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

He isn't saying that video games players are a race - he's saying that no one plays the video game card when black people or Islamic fundamentalists go on shooting sprees - only when middle class white kids do it.

Basically, when a white kid murders people, people think: "it must be video games because middle-class white kids couldn't possibly murder people like those dirty black kids."

But when someone of another race does it, no one cares. No one blames gang violence in Detroit on video games. Even if the kids in the gang DO play video games, the explanation is clear: they did it because they're not white.

So THAT is why it's racist. Because video games = violence is basically saying that white kids can't be violent unless they played video games (but every other race can be).

canadamus_prime:
Racism? Really? I mean I'm dead set against blaming video games for things, but do we really need to go there?

Giest4life:
It smacks of bigotry and ignorance, but racism? Not really. Good, though, he pointed out that pinning violent outbursts onto videogames has the same statistical worth as blaming them onto sneakers.

Somebody should really let Fox News know that.

You too - see my explanation above. That's why it's racist - because people only say "violence is caused by video games" when it's WHITE kids doing the shooting.

This was not the train wreck I was expecting when I saw the headline...

Actually, let's take this one step further: When a lower-class, inner-city person does something violent, we frequently just don't hear about it because "it just happens". When something anomalous, like some suburban white guy goes and shoots a bunch of people, we start looking for scapegoats instead of actually thinking about the situation. Then again, as he said, it's nothing new.

Are people not reading the article and just glancing at the headline and intuiting what they think this must be about?

He's not saying balming games is racist, he's saying blaming games when middle to upper class white people commit acts of violence and not blaming games poor black and hispanic people commit violence is a double standard that is "a little bit racist". I agree with him. The implications are that white people could never stoop to such barbarism without an outside influence but shootings in the bronx happen just because black/poor people are violent by nature.

The point of the article is really just to bring to bear the absurdity of accusing video games as being the entire cause of a violent act.

A rather clever way to jump onto a sensational newspiece and redirect some views to a different issue.

Rather than defending video games, the expert is implying that its only a big issue when it happens in white schools / areas / countries / population ... if the action happened in non white / majority race areas... theres no need to bother looking for a culprit, no once cares.

In other words : If video games were blamed on none white and / or minority groups as well then it wouldnt be racist according to the expert here.

I don't think that anyone is getting the point for the whole racism part. You see for Columbine and Oslo, video games are the excuse because News Reporters and "experts" don't want to blame it on the fact that person was just troubled, or was a really big Christan terrorist. Instead they pick video games. In other cases, if someone else did it, its because of their religon/color. If he was Muslim, that apparently would be his probelm. If he was a minority, that would be his probelm. If he was a white Christan, it suddenly turns that he couldn't simply do the acts because he was a white trouble person or that he was a neo-nazi but instead something else caused it and everyone is trying to pin it on that scape goat.

First thought i thought it was thin ice with the racism claim but since blaming games is motivated by the skin color of the criminal its valid. Hes saying that when a white kid snaps or does somethign stupid we act like they could do no wrong save for the corrupting influence of an outside source(games, rock music, goth music, metal, punk rock, etc) and it makes sense. A lot of video game blaming is racially motivated. Even if they don't know it while they accuse games.

He made some good points.

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

Did you read the article?

The point is that when non-whites commit acts of violence, it's Islam's/racism's/other's fault. When white people commit acts of violence, it's video games' fault.

He thinks that this sort of thinking is racist.

And while I see his point, pulling the race card immediately kills my enthusiasm for any argument.

EverythingIncredible:
Racism? Really? We're going there?

That is stupid.

Well, not "racism", but the principle's pretty much the same.

I'm not sure about every aspect this researcher brought up about the issue but it's definitely interesting stuff to think on and there certainly is a double standard in play when it comes to where and who is responsible violent crimes and whether or not video games are brought up as far as I can tell.

ryo02:

James Crook:
Hah, wrong word choice buddy xD
That was actually pretty funny

wrong word but beyond that its a decent point people do jump on games far too often despite being proved wrong just as often.

Yeah, you can give credit to the guy for standing up for games :P

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

BLUF:
It's racist because the topic is only brought up if the killer is white. If the killer were, say, black or Arabic, very few people would jump all over the "video games did it" boat.

It's also racist in that they hold the same roots in prejudice. If you only see, for example, a handful of black people in your life and they're all bona-fide idiots or criminals, you might be inclined to think all black people are bona-fide idiots or criminals, which is racist behaviour, pure and simple.
Likewise, if all you ever see of video games is the News telling you that some idiot who went on a shooting spree played Modern Warfare 2 you might be inclined to think two things : All video games are Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 2 causes people to go on a shooting spree.

What he's saying with that 95% statistic is pointing out how ludicrous the connection is. Ninety-five per cent of males are not murderers. The reason so many murderers play video games is because of a completely unrelated role correlation. You may as well say "Shooting Sprees are caused by boys wearing sneakers" (To use his example). Yes, boys who go on shooting sprees tend to wear sneakers, but so does every other young male. Sneakers constitute the primary type of footwear in the modern world. The facts are unrelated. As a matter of fact, you might look at a chart and see something like most of the people who wear sneakers/play video games do not, in fact, go on shooting sprees. Of course, sneakers are not a relatively new media, so they don't get examined like this.

Read the article before you say it's illogical.

Princess Rose:

He isn't saying that video games players are a race - he's saying that no one plays the video game card when black people or Islamic fundamentalists go on shooting sprees - only when middle class white kids do it.

Basically, when a white kid murders people, people think: "it must be video games because middle-class white kids couldn't possibly murder people like those dirty black kids."

But when someone of another race does it, no one cares. No one blames gang violence in Detroit on video games. Even if the kids in the gang DO play video games, the explanation is clear: they did it because they're not white.

So THAT is why it's racist. Because video games = violence is basically saying that white kids can't be violent unless they played video games (but every other race can be).

canadamus_prime:
Racism? Really? I mean I'm dead set against blaming video games for things, but do we really need to go there?

[quote="Giest4life" post="7.303621.12157281"]It smacks of bigotry and ignorance, but racism? Not really. Good, though, he pointed out that pinning violent outbursts onto videogames has the same statistical worth as blaming them onto sneakers.

You too - see my explanation above. That's why it's racist - because people only say "violence is caused by video games" when it's WHITE kids doing the shooting.

Oh, I got that.

I still think it is stupid though.

Jesus H. Christ!

Reading Comprehension... a lot of you sorely lack it.

Thanatos5150:

GaltarDude1138:
You hear that, Fox? You're racist!

Seriously though, how does that make any logical sense? He says himself 95 percent of boys have played violent videogames, and I'm pretty sure that would be regardless of color of skin or country of origin, so someone explain to me how this makes sense in his mind....

BLUF:
It's racist because the topic is only brought up if the killer is white. If the killer were, say, black or Arabic, very few people would jump all over the "video games did it" boat.

It's also racist in that they hold the same roots in prejudice. If you only see, for example, a handful of black people in your life and they're all bona-fide idiots or criminals, you might be inclined to think all black people are bona-fide idiots or criminals, which is racist behaviour, pure and simple.
Likewise, if all you ever see of video games is the News telling you that some idiot who went on a shooting spree played Modern Warfare 2 you might be inclined to think two things : All video games are Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 2 causes people to go on a shooting spree.

What he's saying with that 95% statistic is pointing out how ludicrous the connection is. Ninety-five per cent of males are not murderers. The reason so many murderers play video games is because of a completely unrelated role correlation. You may as well say "Shooting Sprees are caused by boys wearing sneakers" (To use his example). Yes, boys who go on shooting sprees tend to wear sneakers, but so does every other young male. Sneakers constitute the primary type of footwear in the modern world. The facts are unrelated. As a matter of fact, you might look at a chart and see something like most of the people who wear sneakers/play video games do not, in fact, go on shooting sprees. Of course, sneakers are not a relatively new media, so they don't get examined like this.

Read the article before you say it's illogical.

^This

I see the point
"Assumed" Reasons for shooting by race
Middle Eastern = "Terrorism
African American ="Gang/Drug Related"
Caucasian = "Video Games"
Japanese = "Whaling" or "Bad sushi"

Orc = "Griefing noob Gnome mage"

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here