Video games blamed for violence in the United States

Unhealthy video games may not be the cause of actual violence in the United States (US), but they do ingrain reckless attitude and promote violent culture, says the United States Vice President, Joe Biden.

In an era where mass shootings in the country are rife, should parents blow the whistle when they find children consumed with destructive video games for prolonged periods?

Joe Biden, the presidential candidate and current Vice President of the US, says that while it may not be the potential cause of a crime, it could inculcate the self-destructive behaviour.

In his recent interview with CNN, hosted by Anderson Cooper, Biden expressed a possible disagreement with President Trump’s controversial claim over violent video games being the inherent cause of crimes in the country.

The other possible causes of violence in the US

While pointing out an instance from Japan, where, although the mass murders are rare, the addiction to video games among country’s youth is uncontainable, Biden asserted that it is not a good practice to expose children to such a level of brutality. The glorification of violence can desensitize children. However, they are not entirely to be blamed for the widespread barbarity in the US.

Aside from questions regarding the eventualities arising from video games, Cooper shifted the focus to gun possessions, on which Biden suggested an initiative called the gun buyback program, in which ordinary citizens can sell their privately-owned arms to the US government without facing criminal charges.

He also alluded to President Trump’s ruthless remarks against the non-white community stating that statements of such nature contribute to vindictive attitude.

Biden’s involvement in this matter is not new to the US

It is not the first time Biden has come forward in an arguable defense for video games. During Obama’s administration, the vice president had conducted a panel discussion with key members of the gaming community.

Last year, following the forum discussions, the vice president’s standpoint against video games took a 180-degree turn.

While the former Delaware Senator started the talks by lashing out at the gaming community and referring to them as “scumbags,” he concluded it by saying that the panel has been unable to establish substantial evidence against video games. He furthers that there is no correlation between upswing in massacres and addiction to brutal online games.

Then White House Senior Policy Advisor for Digital Media, Constance Steinkuehler reiterated Biden’s argument stating that despite lack of a direct link and a Supreme court ruling in favor of gaming industry, the gaming community still remains responsible for the content they create.

Should violent video games be accused of causing violence in the US?

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic presidential candidate, joined in the argument declaring that it is the easy accessibility to guns that constitutes the problem.

Mental state, video games, or the exposure to disturbing content on the internet may be a possible distraction but are not the real cause, she alleges.  

Scientists have not found a conclusive link on violent video games and violent acts but the idea that there is reappeared following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, last weekend.

An online statement thought to be written by the El Paso gunman mentioned the combat game “Call of Duty.”

On Monday, President Donald Trump said that “gruesome and grisly video games” contribute to a “glorification of violence” and a rash of similar comments from other politicians followed.

“Politicians on both sides go after video games…it is this weird unifying force,” said Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University who studies video games.

And while the implications of brutal video games remain popular “grist” among US politicians, one ponders over the question whether the system needs more accountability from the game developers? Or, should the parents be held responsible for the abusive behavior of their children? Post your comments below.