Now can we quit fretting about gamers?
While the data did appear to show a link between an increase in violent video game consumption and a decrease in youth violence, just as it did for films after 1990, Ferguson is not prepared to say the result is anything other than a coincidence. But what he can say for sure is that while media violence is definitely being consumed more now than ever before, there is absolutely no clear evidence to link media violence with societal violence.
The results have been published in the Journal of Communication.
“Society has a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to the problem of reducing crime. There is a risk that identifying the wrong problem, such as media violence, may distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health,” Ferguson said in a press release. “This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.”
Which is basically the polite way of saying “everyone shut up and find something that’s actually real to fret about.”
I doubt if the above linked article is going to do anything to convince the fear-based, conservative special interest groups in our society — but, for what it’s worth…
Perhaps now we can finally quit ignoring that which we ABSOLUTELY do KNOW causes violent behaviors: “poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health [issues.]”
…instead of picking on a bunch of socially inept kids with Cheetos-stained x-box controllers (and the games they enjoy) as the source of all evil in this world…