Video Games and Violence

Two weeks ago America was stunned by the tragic shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington DC.  Since then, many experts have commented on the shooter’s unstable mental state.

But what few news outlets have reported is that Aaron Alexis spent hours each day playing violent video games such as Call of Duty.

One of his friends was quoted as saying, “He could be in the game all day and all night. I think games might be what pushed him that way.”

In fact, Mr. Alexis became so engrossed in the game that his friend would have to bring him meals so he could eat without taking a break.

Speaking of violent video games, Grand Theft Auto V pulled in $800 million bucks the very first day it went on the market.

According to Pluggedin.com, controversy surrounding the game’s content began to surface almost as soon as it was released.  What is particularly troubling is a torture scene in which players earn a higher score for inflicting more pain.

Video game reviewer, Tom Bramwell says, “The fact you have to use the full range of torture techniques to get a higher score is unlikely to improve anyone’s mood.”

Commenting on the game’s enormous popularity, Christian culture expert, Walt Mueller, points out that culture both reflects our lives and tells people what they should value and believe.

He says, “We can learn a lot about ourselves by pondering this game. We can see who we are, and who we are becoming.”

To learn more about the impact of violent video games, visit the American Psychological Associations website at apa.org and enter “video games” in the search engine.

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here.