Expert says blaming massacres on video games is ‘racist’

We in the gaming community are no strangers to being blamed for grotesque acts of violence. There’s been a long chain of controversy, and the tragic events of Oslo and Utøya are no different.

When it came out that Anders Behring Breivik used World of Warcraft as a cover and that he “trained” in Call of Duty, we all knew our medium of choice was going to have to weather yet another storm. When people suffer tragedy, it is common to look for someone or something to blame. Clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson, an expert on videogame violence at Texas A&M International University says that interactive media is not the cause of these kinds of killings.

‘I know it’s a little controversial to say but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings,’ said Ferguson.

‘When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed.  I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here.’

While I feel he is being a little hasty in calling this racist, I can’t help but think Ferguson has a point. These kind of reactionary responses are truly born in ignorance. Time and time again we have seen that various media are charged with corrupting our youth, and society as a whole has remained stable through it all.

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

Naturally, Ferguson has a solid point here too. As games are becoming more and more popular, the predictive ability of these assumptions are losing whatever traction they once had.

Expert Calls Blaming Video Games On Tragic Massacres Like Oslo and Columbine Racist [Forbes] [Thanks, John!]

 

Daniel Starkey