Yeah, so maybe this one will get me in trouble with the gamers, but I seem to be a trouble magnet lately, so bah. I do not believe playing violent video games CAUSES violent behavior, but I do think that violence in video games is a contributing factor in a lot of Columbine-style teen shooting sprees, and was in Columbine in particular. Sorry, but if absolutely everything in your life is wrong, AND you have very little adult guidance, AND you live in a culture that is swimming in firearms…then playing a few thousand hours of deathmatch Doom is just going to spark some ideas. You’re bound to think, “I’m so good at solving problems with a gun in a virtual arena, but so bad at solving them in life, maybe I just lack the appropriate tool.”
I still disagree with all efforts to ban, label, censor or ostracize video games. Better to attack harder but more significant targets, like parental and peer responsibility. I just think it’s ridiculous to say that video games have no share of the responsibility for teen violence. They have a small part in it, but it’s far outweighed by their entertainment value to people who are not already completely batshit crazy.