Video Games: The Real Cause of Mass School Shootings? Essay

Video Games: The Real Cause of Mass School Shootings? Essay

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Whether violent media content leads to real-life violence is always debatable. And in recent years, school shootings have made video games a new focus of public concern and scientific research. In public opinion, video games cause more aggression in comparison to traditional violent media contents because video games have more features of interactivity, "due to the active engagement and participation of players" (Hummer and Wang et al. 137). But more and more reports tell us that video games are not the main cause of school shooting issues; rather it is the negligence of parents, schools, and communities.
Since children are good at imitating and are in their developmental period, are they affected by violent video games? This question is important since there are many young gamers nowadays; as the data from Harvard Health Publications show, about 97% of teens play video games and 66% of teens play action games that may contain violence, which is a huge number (3).
Before the scholars had reached a conclusion, things seemed to get even worse. Several serious incidents of school violence happened in recent years. The perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded 25 in two separate attacks before committing suicide (Nizza). Another school shooting also caught many eyes. On March 11, 2009, at a secondary school in Winnenden, southwestern Germany, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer—who had graduated from the school one year earlier—took his father's gun and shot at his schoolmates, which resulted in 16 deaths (Pidd). Right after these three young shooters above were both identified as avid video gamers, video games were regarded, by scholars and the public, as a significant factor in ...

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... A., Y. Wang, W. G. Kronenberger, K. M. Mosier, A. J. Kalnin, D. W. Dunn, and V. P. Mathews. “Short-Term Violent Video Game Play by Adolescents Alters Prefrontal Activity During Cognitive Inhibition.” Media Psychology (2010): 136-154. Web.
Myers, David L. and Michael Arter. “Communities that Care in Practice.” Journal for Juvenile Justice Services, 20.1 (2005). Web.
Nizza, Mike. "Seung-Hui Cho: Who Is This Man? " New York Times. 14 Dec. 2011. Web.
Pidd, Helen. "Profile: Tim Kretschmer." The Guardian. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. Web.
U.S. Census. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. “Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support.” U.S. Census. (2007). Web.
U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center. The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative. Secret Service. (2002). Web.

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