Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

July 28, 2011 -

While supposed experts are quick to blame video games for the recent massacre in Oslo, Norway that left 76 dead, clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson flatly rejects those conclusions.

Ferguson, a leading expert and fastidious researcher of video game violence at Texas A&M International University, said video games aren’t to blame for this tragedy caused by Anders Behring Breivik. Instead he blames the man responsible for this recent crime, but he also cautions that blaming video games every time a white male kills people is inherently racist.

"I know it’s a little controversial to say but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings,” Ferguson tells Forbes' John Gaudiosi. "When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here."

Ferguson goes on to say that these types of crimes are going to continue to happen and that, thankfully, they are the exception rather than the rule.

“People really want to know what kind of boogeyman can we hang this on and video games are still the top choice when it comes to any type of tragedy,” Ferguson continued.

Ferguson also notes that the fervor usually associated with violent crimes and video games isn't quite as strong with this particular case. This could be because it happened in Europe and no Americans were involved, or that video games are slowly becoming ingrained in American culture.

“There are groups out there who are going to blame video games on everything,” said Ferguson. “They’re like ambulance chasers, really. I think it’s irresponsible and thoughtless to try to make political gain off of someone else’s tragedy, but they’re going to do it. That’s what they do. But even those groups have been much quieter with the Oslo tragedy.”

The Forbes article closes with some common sense from Ferguson about blaming video games for violence:

“Linking the playing of violent video games to a mass homicide when the perpetrator is a young male is like blaming the killing on the fact that he was wearing sneakers,” said Ferguson. “The base rate of that behavior is so common that it has no predictive value whatsoever.”

You should read the rest of this article here.

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Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

I'm sorry. I can't accept that. We've seen a variety of incidents where people of all different races have committed crimes and it's all been blamed on games. Now, mostly in America, yes, it's been mostly whites, but around the world, games have taken the blame for all nationalities of crimes.

 

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

huh. you know I never thought of that. There is an inherent Racism in this. When somebody goes all jihadi terrorist on people, we dont really sit and say "why", we focus on the terrorist group itself. When inner city killings occur, the why is almost completely ignored.
But when one or two White people get together and cause some kind of crazyness, its like "OMG! VIDEOGAMES" or whatever else is going on that people dont understand. the only real exception to this is Virginia Tech.

I actually had an arguement with my aunt over this, because she asked me point blank, "How can you play those violent videogames when they are making so many people kill people" and I told her "There have been violent killings since Kain and Abel. We just know about them more because Newsmedia wants ratings, so they will analyze, disect, and fear monger everything and bring it to your tv screen. The truth of the matter is that the media will overhype things, when even the FBI says Crime is decreasing exponentially. Also the kids who played videogames in the 80s and 70s have grown up to be adults who play videogames, and we have rules to keep the violent stuff out of the younger kids, and so long as those are followed, there is no problem" and she actually changed her opinion and started parroting my words to her other friends.

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

"The base rate of that behavior is so common that it has no predictive value whatsoever.”

Holy crap! Someone who actually understands how to use statistics!

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Ferguson: Blaming Video Games for Oslo Massacre is 'Racist'

He wouldn't be the first person to make such a suggestion: http://gamepolitics.com/2007/02/28/violent-games-dont-cause-youth-violence-says-usc-sociologist

/b

 
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SleakerI didn't gather the same conclusion.. Seems like they are focusing on devices & services still, just not calling it 'devices and services'07/11/2014 - 8:57am
PHX CorpMicrosoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/10/5887143/satya-nadella-microsoft-ceo-employee-email07/11/2014 - 8:45am
MechaTama31declared that everybody should have them. Somebody still has to produce them.07/11/2014 - 7:44am
MechaTama31I do mean the developers/governmet. And money is not the only thing of value. I am including the food, housing, etc that everybody is supposed to get for free under this system. In the real world, those things don't exist merely because an authority has07/11/2014 - 7:43am
InfophileAs automation gets better and better, the number of jobs absolutely required keeps diminishing. How many people these days do you think are actually needed to keep everyone alive? Most people just make our lives more convenient and entertaining.07/11/2014 - 4:43am
Matthew Wilsonthat kind of system only works when most people (around 70 to 80 percent ) do not need to work.07/11/2014 - 1:21am
TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
TechnogeekAlso, you raise a valid question, but I'd argue that as things stand we're artificially limiting the amount of "gold/silver" that could be produced. The whole "work a job you hate to pay the bills" thing meshes poorly with the entreprenurial spirit.07/10/2014 - 11:49pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, it looks at how in-game economies work and what lessons can be applied to reality, focusing primarily on multiple currency systems. Such systems do exist in real life (food stamps, for example), although generally aren't seen as such.07/10/2014 - 11:43pm
MechaTama31Or to produce the gold and silver, for that matter?07/10/2014 - 11:42pm
MechaTama31But in seriousness though, the F2P games can conjure up all the "valuables" out of the ether. Are there going to be enough people going for the "gold" and "silver" to actually produce the necessities the "free energy" is supposed to cover?07/10/2014 - 11:39pm
TechnogeekHey, it works for Wall Street.07/10/2014 - 11:36pm
MechaTama31We should base our real economy on something that is reviled as a soul-sucking scourge? ;)07/10/2014 - 11:25pm
TechnogeekRelevant to this website's stated focus: an argument for a guaranteed minimum income using F2P games to illustrate how and why it could help. https://medium.com/@gthoreau/game-socialisme-6312268d469507/10/2014 - 8:28pm
ZenOk, so yeah...it's kind of a lie...but I HAD to go with "Nope. I'm zen." lol. Only broke one controller myself (PS3) on a playthrough of Uncharted that got frustrating.07/09/2014 - 10:38pm
MechaTama31I am not proud of this, but I had to select the "multiple times" option. Not for the same game, but I went through several controllers (particularly dreamcast ones. fragile, maybe?)07/09/2014 - 6:52pm
Andrew EisenI'd say breaking a handheld out of anger counts (even if it's just the hinge). Likewise, I'd say busting a keyboard or mouse counts so long as you were playing a game at the time.07/09/2014 - 12:28pm
 

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