It’s an old argument, but are video games to blame?

Connecticut school killings reignite debate about violence in video games, Fox News, December 18, 2012

In the wake of the Newtown school shootings, a valuable restatement of an old theme: violent video games can foment violence.

Lanza was an incessant gamer. Though details about what games he played and how extensively he played them are still unknown, his gaming experienced may sadly be near the center of the events that occurred that day in Newtown.

In the article cited above, special emphasis is placed on the video games “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto.” In the article we read of an interview of Brad Bushman, a noted professor of communications and psychology at Ohio State University, who has published many, many studies on the impact of violent media on children.

His latest study published just two weeks ago showed that people who played violent video games for three days straight showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations every day they played.

Was Lanza this absorbed in these games in the days preceding the mass murder? If the FBI can piece matters together in the computer he deliberately shattered before his death, we may have a few answers.

As Bushman and others including myself point out, multiple factors are always afoot in these violent murders, including access to guns and severe mental illnesses. See my Psychology Today piece on the Aurora shooting for my thoughts on a related event.