Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

During a panel discussion on CBS' popular Sunday political show Face the Nation, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole said that politicians rushing to blame video games for the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are misguided because the evidence does not support their theory.

"It’s my experience that video games do not cause violence," O’Toole told CBS News."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 violence," she added."We see them as sources of fueling ideation that’s already there."

Christopher Ferguson, professor of psychology at Texas A&M International, was also part of the discussion. Ferguson, who has done his own research on video games, thinks that video games are still young and are facing "moral panic" from supposed experts and politicians much like comic books did in the 1950's:

"I think we have to put this discussion, to some extent, in historical perspective," Ferguson explained."And when new media come out that they tend to go through a period of what we call moral panic, in which they are blamed for all manner of societal ills. And probably the best example of this was from the 1950s, when we had Congress and psychiatrists who were claiming that comic books were responsible for not only juvenile delinquency, but homosexuality."

"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 to support that conclusion."

You can watch the segment in its entirety to your left.

Source: Raw Story by way of Kotaku (thanks to PHX Corp and Cheater87 for the link).


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Finally, some intelligent discussion.

    Edit: At least out of O'Toole and Ferguson. Tim "Motard" Winter from the Parent Trash Cult called everybody "paid shills" at the very end like he was Jack Thompson(guess it was out of jealousy from losing).

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  2. 0
    black manta says:

    For some reason I couldn't watch the video here and I had to go to Face the Nation's website to see it.  But still, good piece.  In addition to Ms. O'Toole and Dr. Ferguson, I really liked both Rep. Tim Murphy and Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick.  Both of them correctly observed that our Mental Healthcare system is severely broken and underfunded, and we need to take some real steps towards improving it.  That I think, more than any proposed gun laws or even video game laws, will help avoid these tragedies.

    Of course, Mr. Winters came off like a complete tool, like in every public statements he makes, and I shouldn't have been so surprised.  He even pulled a page out of JT's playbook, comparing the video game industry to that of big tobacco; claiming they hire experts to make studies that will favor them (a ludicrous claim if there ever was one).  Fortunately he got cut off at the very end.


  3. 0
    Avalongod says:

    Note that, at the end of the clip, losing on the facts, Tim Winter of the PTC takes an (untrue!) ad hominem shot at Ferguson when time is just up and Ferguson can't respond. 

Leave a Reply