Myth 14: Video games encourage violent behavior.

Of 3000 parents surveyed by What They Play: The Parents Guide To Video Games, the majority said that they were more afraid of their children playing video games than seeing porn when away from home. Mitt Romney warned, “Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games. The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool.” Hillary Clinton said, “Grand Theft Auto, which has so many demeaning messages about women, and so encourages violent imagination and activities, and it scares parents.” Set aside for the moment that some politicians will just throw any sensational speculation into the oratory stew to make an impression (the roommates of the Virginia Tech Shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, said that Cho never played video games). Could so many parents and politicians be right? Does playing violent video games transform ordinary, well adjusted kids into violent maniacs? The FBI and the United States Secret Service don’t think so. In fact, it is has been observed by the most comprehensive study of kid gamers to date that playing violent video games can be therapeutic for many kids, enabling them to express teenage frustration, rebellion and experimentation in a safe, non-threatening way.

That’s crazy talk. Show me some proof. Continue reading