January 26, 2009

Crime and the Video Games Debate

Filed under: Opinion — admin @ 1:38 pm

A new study released by Texas University shows that there is no direct correlation between those exposed to violent video games and increasing crime statistics. The author of the study, Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M International University, exposes that violent video games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and their like, do not desensitise the game player and encourage them to go out and commit criminal behaviour. The study, instead comes to the conclusion that ‘moral panic’ sets in after a violent or horrific crime has taken place and video games are seen as an easy target for politicians, media and parents to blame.

violent-video-gamesThe debate on violent computer games and criminal activity in youngsters will rage on, however, when you have the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, citing ‘violent video games’ as the influence in the rising knife epidemic that the the City finds itself within, it is difficult to reach a conclusion one way or the other.

Another study also released today reports that youngsters as young as 5 years old are involved in criminal activity in the UK including burglary, robbery and assault. Home environment has a large part to play in a childs discipline and where children are not finding any emotional stimulus at home, they then turn to gangs instead, for security and a feeling of belonging.

It is easy to see why moral panic sets in when you face the reality of child and youth crime. It is a despairing thought to think that so many of our young people face adversity at such an early and crucial part of their life.

If you are a concerned parent and are worried and would like to know more about the video gaming culture on children then further reading can be found at www.pamf.org

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