Fox News Offers Two-Part Feature on the Bad Influence of Violent Video Games

Fox News can't seem to get enough of trying to connect the dots between real-world mass shootings and violent video games. Part one of a two-part report on the subject gathers the usual suspects to try and say definitively that video games played a central role in inspiring some of the worst shootings in the last decade or so including Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, Adam Lanza, etc.

So who are their go-to sources this time around? Well the article pulls quotes from child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Paul Weigle, Iowa State University professor Dr. Douglas Gentile, associate professor of psychology at the University of Missouri Bruce Bartholow, and former president of the American Psychological Association’s Society of Media Psychology and Technology Dr. Phyllis Koch-Sheras.

The worst part of the article isn't that Fox News sought out experts on only one side of the issue; it's with the report itself, which makes claims about the heavy influence of video games, without taking into account other factors like the availability of a firearm, or mental illness.

Here's an excerpt, which pretty much gives you pretty good idea of what direction this article ends up going:

A decade after Evan Ramsey sneaked a 12-gauge shotgun into his Alaska high school, where he gunned down a fellow student and the principal and wounded two others, he described how playing video games had warped his sense of reality.

“I did not understand that if I…pull out a gun and shoot you, there’s a good chance you’re not getting back up,” Ramsey said in a 2007 interview from Spring Creek Correctional Center, in Seward, Alaska. “You shoot a guy in ‘Doom’ and he gets back up. You have got to shoot the things in ‘Doom’ eight or nine times before it dies.”

"Doom," the computer video game Ramsey described, was all the rage in the 1990s, but primitive by today’s standards, where gamers can play first-person shooters with movie-like graphics on high definition televisions.

We would like to point out that, out of all the experts, Dr. Douglas Gentile had the most reasonable response:

"I think it’s the wrong question — whether there is a link between mass shootings and violent video game play,” Dr. Doug Gentile, a research psychologist and associate professor at Iowa State University, told “I understand people want to look for a culprit, but the truth of the matter is that there is never one cause. There is a cocktail of multiple causes coming together. And so no matter what single thing we focus on, whether it be violent video games, abuse as a child, doing drugs, being in a gang — not one of them is sufficient to cause aggression. But when you start putting them together, aggression becomes pretty predictable."

You can read the rest of the article here.

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


  1. 0
    Bill says:

    I miss the good old days of adolescently fire bombing these book selling attention whore's Amazon pages. Endlessly pointing out how they lied in their interviews or articles with 1 star reviews on their most recent books.  Then someone came along and said it was counter productive and immature.  Perhaps, but it was cathartic and people got to see our response.  Now by being "mature" about it no one hears anything at all from us.  Just the way they like it.

  2. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Easily beaten to the obvious I am :)

    Glad to see I wasn't the only one that caught that though.

    Majority characters of the games only needed single shot. Only difference i can conceive of is Doom 3, where the Shotgun was gimped horribley in all regards. But that didn't come till years later.

    TBH given the comment wasn't made until 2007, I'd say it was the defense lawyers trying to sway the public opinion and try to convince people it wasn't a parenting problem or issue with the kid alone.

    Reading up on it he had TWO accomplices, one that encouraged him, and one that showed him how to use the gun.

    The whole doom game comments didn't happen until '06, well after our good friend JT was parading around trying to shift societies whoas onto another easy scape goat. Though to his credit, at the time he did claim he didn't know he'd kill anyone.

    But nothing of Doom until his father blurbed it YEARS afterwards that I can find. Obvious blame shifting.

  3. 0
    merely_justin says:

    without taking into account other factors like the availability of a firearm,

    Of course not. It's Fox's job to minimize talk about the guns themselves or the masochistic relationship Americans have with guns.

  4. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    “You shoot a guy in ‘Doom’ and he gets back up. You have got to shoot the things in ‘Doom’ eight or nine times before it dies.”

    Damn.. Andrew, I still love those old Doom games. However, I wanted to comment on this part where he said you have to shoot enemies eight or nine times before it dies as stated above. To be fair, there are enemies that you have to shoot multiple times to kill. However this does not apply to the former humans, or even the imps. Most of these multiple shot enemies are monsters. Many of them don't entirely resemble humans. Therefore his logic is still flawed. Even with the human characters getting killed in one shot, any character that gets killed, one shot or ten, isn't getting back up when killed.

    – W

  5. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "You shoot a guy in ‘Doom’ and he gets back up."

    No he doesn't.  Once an enemy goes down, it's dead.  It does not get back up.

    Don't believe me?  Watch.


    Andrew Eisen

  6. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    'Fox News Offers Two-Part Feature on their ignorance of Violent Video Games, and passes it off as Fact.'

    fixed it.

    Also, if we got rid of all videogames violent or otherwise, we would have no more school shootings….wait..

    '1760s[edit source | editbeta]
    The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only three children survived.[1]'

    I wonder what videogames they were playing in the 1760s. There is a long list of shootings in the U.S. alone between the 1760s to today. Videogames have only been around for 20-40(?) years. 

     – W

Leave a Reply