Video games don’t make killers

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Video games don’t make killers, experts say

Video games don’t make killers, experts say, according to a new study. Research now points to video games being a common pastime for many Canadians. Moreover, this updates the outdated thinking that video games are a niche activity.

Richard Lachman, associate professor at Ryerson University, stated that finding a link between playing video games and criminality won’t give any results.

‘It’s one component in a huge range’ Lachman said. ‘You might as well suggest, ‘what about employment, is that a factor?’

The bottom line is that video games have become a key leisure activity for Canadians. Unfortunately, the press is still very much enamored with a narrative painting video gaming as influencing the rise of criminal pursuits.

Video games as narrative for crime

When a 23-year old man was charged with quadruple homicide in North Toronto, police stated he had shared his intentions through the online community. Nonetheless, according to researchers, the fact that both the young man and his friends played video game just put them among the majority of Canadian population.

Lachman was adamant in declaring that recent studies point to the fact that the overwhelming majority (80-90%) of North Americans play video games.

In March 2019, a new study surveyed 2000 participants. So it found that 65% of respondents were gamers. The number rises to 96% among men aged 18 to 24.

A senior research analyst at Mintel affirmed that without a doubt there is proof video games have entered mainstream society. Yet, he also points to the failure by society to accept video games as an art medium alongside film and television.

Moreover, Stewart said people simply misunderstand video games in their aspect of play. As a go-to explanation for violence and criminality, video games influence no more than any other factor.

New study paints different picture

The University of Montreal published a new study through its Jama Pediatrics journal. The study tracked the screen time of 4000 adolescents, aiming to find patterns. Even though the study found that higher social media use and TV could lead to depression, video games are different.

The study moreover found that video games are not associated to feelings of social isolation. Also, Lachman highlighted that since video games create a sense of community, mental health concerns are shared among its members.