Amen: Former FBI Profiler Says Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 26 2013 9:44 AM
Believe it or not, there are some in Washington who don't blame real-world violence on violent video games. Shocking, we know, but it's true. Former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole is one of them, and during a panel discussion over the weekend, she pointed out that there isn't evidence to support the notion that video games cause violence.

"It's my experience that video games do not cause violence," O'Toole told CBS News, according to The Raw Story. "However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently. It's important that I point out that as a threat assessment and as a former FBI profiler, we don't see these as the cause of violence. We see them as sources of fueling ideation that's already there."

Violence in video games is once again a hot topic after a CBS News investigation found a bunch of games in the home of Adam Lanza, who shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

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Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Texas A&M International University, also weighed in on the matter with a bit of historical perspective. According to Ferguson, a period of "moral panic" often follows the introduction of new media. For example, in the 1950s, Congress and psychiatrists were blaming comic books for juvenile delinquency and even homosexuality, Ferguson says.

"We're in a mode of worry about -- or panicking about this type of media. We may do some putting the cart before the horse, and we may see some people sort of starting with a conclusion and trying to assemble data in a very selective way to try and support that conclusion," Ferguson explains.

Parents aren't convinced. In a recent survey of 1,050 parents of children 18 years old and younger, 89 percent said that nationwide violence in today's video games is a problem. Interestingly, after being shown advertisements for Hitman: Absolution and the movie Gangster Squad, 84 percent said the game's ad was inappropriate versus 63 percent who felt the same way about the movie.
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Here's how this sort of idiotic false hypothesis works: Over the years, I have observed that more than 90% of voters over the age of 88 who have voted Republican have died within 2 years. Therefor it follows that voting Republican causes people to die.

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lipe123 replied on Tue, Feb 26 2013 1:40 PM

You know whats the most obvious answer to all this videogame/tv show BS?

Lets see:

world war 1/2 - must have been video games that caused the death of millions by violence.

Hitler, "the dark ages", jack the ripper, Gengis Khan etc etc etc must have been all the bad videogames and TV they watched that made them want to kill other people ?!

Seriously these idiots thats trying to say people are all nicey nice until you add some external thing like video games obviously have no idea what the word "human nature" means. There has been violence and violent behavior since we were freaking cave dwellers!

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KOwen replied on Tue, Feb 26 2013 2:27 PM

These surveys are making parents sound like overly protective downers. I must have gotten lucky cause I was watching movies like Terminator 2 when I was 5. People being violently killed was always ok. Brief female nudity (the human body) on the other hand was way too inappropriate.

Shocking. An Investigation finds video games in home of a young adult. Also found; movies, music, board games, pot, porn, and a lot of used tissues.

CBS News Procedure - Decide which scapegoat is the most topical and run with it, rehash from previous school shooting incidents if necessary, read: Columbine/Doom. Jump to conclusion for your own political agenda and/or to boost ratings by scaring parents and others who don't understand the medium.

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