An Australian youth worker is blaming videogames for what he claims is a growing problem of kids carrying knives.
Following the in-school stabbing death of a 12-year old boy at the hands of a 13-year old in Brisbane, Les Twentyman, an advocate for young homeless people, was asked to speak before a government inquiry into the matter.
According to ABC, Twentyman blamed games for desensitizing children to violence, in turn making them more likely to carry, and to eventually use, knives.
Normally they’d have a fight and people might ring around them, and it would be one-on-one, and when one [child fell] to the ground it would be over.
But today that is not the case because of the amount of violent entertainment that these young people are absorbing. They lose sight of reality and become desensitized…
Twentyman sees knife-carrying children as a potential epidemic, citing a young girl who told him that carrying a knife was as common as carrying a mobile phone.
While there were 19 reported knife incidents at Victoria schools in 2009, up from 11 in 2008, Education Minister Bronwyn Pike denied Twentyman’s claims of a growing cutlery problem, saying, “Yes, there was a slight increase, but these figures do go up and down a bit, but there hasn’t really been an overall trend of increase.”
This story is eerily similar to one from 2008, in which a wave of UK stabbings was also attempted to be linked with violent media.