Letter: Violent video games are not responsible for violence

Dear Editor:

Imagine a world filed with chaos, a place where every street is unsafe to walk on and every town is a frothing cesspool of violence and danger. That is what the world would be like if games such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, which have often been accused of causing violence, actually followed through with these claims. Many people have different standpoints on the debate of whether nor not violent video games cause violent behavior and after seeing my research I guarantee that you will agree with mine. My view on this issue is that no, they do not cause violence. I say this because millions play these games and only small handfuls are the ones committing these acts, people committed violence before video games were even heard of, and finally, little is actually known about the correlation between violence and video games.

Only small handfuls of people are actually violent from videogames. According to a study featured in the New York Times, as sales for violent games go up, actual violence becomes less frequent. This is important because it introduces the idea that violent games act as a way to let off some steam. As stated above, if video games actually caused violence, society would have already collapsed into itself.

Some may disagree, saying that all this violence and blood programs people's brains to think that those things are okay. Their evidence might be based on the fact that the individual Adam Lanza had killed twenty-six people. As PBS states, Adam was a Call of Duty fanatic. This is hardly evidence because people can be violent for reasons besides video games, such as their upbringing or maybe drugs.

Though much is said regarding this topic, very little is actually known. At ProCon.org, the two sides are put together. On my side, respected scientists say that research is flawed because they study only the short term effects which may last for a few hours and not the long term effects which can last for years. This results in a flawed result which warps one's perception of the argument.

Violent video games should not be blamed for the violence in this world. My reasons include the fact that while millions play these games, few are inclined to commit violence, people can be violent for reasons other than video games, and little is known about this topic. If you now agree with my claim after reading this letter please help me spread this message and convince others that video games do not cause violence.

Matthew LeBaron
Six Grader, Madison Middle School

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