How does it Work?... How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II… Story By Lauren Stidham

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II

One thing that can be linked to school violence and school shootings is violent video games and television. Kids all around our country have free access to countless video games, shows, and movies. Most of these portray violence one way or another. Although some are much more graphic than others, it remains nonetheless.

So what does violent screenplay have to do with school shootings?

Could it really lead to violence?... Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com
Could it really lead to violence?… Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com

We will start with video games. Many parents, teachers, and other people in authority frown on over usage of video games, and in some cases they don’t allow it at all. Now of course we must consider that there are certain video games that are well designed and geared towards promoting learning, not all video games are violent.

Of course, a majority of the best-sellers are very violent. Out of the top ten best-sellers of 2015, only two of them aren’t graphically violent. The other eight are all based upon extremely violent scenarios and depict scenes of which you are expected to take the lives of people in gruesome ways.

According to studies conducted by Dr. Vincent Matthews from Indiana University, violent video games alter the person’s ability to use emotions, attention, and concentration. His experiment involved making a group of young men play violent video games two hours a day for just a week. In just that time frame, their brains had already altered.

“The brain changes that Matthews’ group saw were similar to those seen in teens with destructive sociopathic disorders” – Time.com

Now think of the kids who have been under the influence of video games for a matter of years, by this time, their emotional and concentration part of their brain would be eroded. Without that emotional part functioning properly, the person can become dangerous. Most of what keeps normal people from killing is the emotional and/or moral standard.

Not only do video games change the way your brain works, but they can also be very addictive. World of Warcraft in particular is the center of many cases of addictions. There are several reasons realism, social interaction, and the ongoing sense that there is always a next level.

The game’s realism is created by having camera views that simulate the views that one would get if you were actually in the game, plus you can adjust the view to get the desired effect. There is a network of people who play the game and you can pair up with them and go on quests together. This provides a source to fulfill social needs. Additionally, World of Warcraft is an ongoing game of which doesn’t have an end. You can continually advance in the game, you can move to a new realm when you max out in one realm. The makers of the game update it and add new realms regularly.

To read an article about how World of Warcraft effected Ryan van Cleave’s life go to http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/aug/29/world-of-warcraft-video-game-addict

Additionally, there is another link between violent video games and school shootings. This one applies directly to violent television.

As earlier stated, kids all around have full access to violent video games and television. This can prove to be bad because as a child develops, they aren’t quite able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.  In the movies like the book of Eli and video games like grand theft auto five, the people don’t have consequences for their actions the way that real people do.  A child could believe that they could do what their favorite television or video game character does.

“I have ultimate control and can do what I want with few real repercussions.” – Ryan van Cleave, former World of Warcraft addict.

How does it Work?... How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock
How does it Work?… How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock

Further, television can promote the idea of violence. There are many popular movies where the main character is a criminal. Many shows are designed in a way that distorts our idea of a hero. Instead of the classic chivalrous hero who saves the innocent, we have characters who are masters of destruction and know gruesome and cruel means to “get the job done.”

Now the question is, does that really cause violence as severe as a school shooting? A majority of perfectly normal people have experienced violent media. Shouldn’t there be a whole lot more school shootings if violence and graphic media are so directly linked?

The truth is that it takes a still developing or unstable brain to see an act of violence and then commit an act of violence as severe as a school shooting. It all goes back to the condition of the brain. Yes, video games and television can help to provoke an act of violence, but it is very rare that it is the sole cause.

However it is not counted out as a possibility for a cause.

“Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman found a statistically significant small-to-moderate-strength relationship between watching violent media and acts of aggression or violence later in life.” – New York Times

Studies show that there are actually some direct correlations between violence and media violence. To look over the evidence yourself you can follow this link to http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/does-media-violence-lead-to-the-real-thing.html?_r=0 .

2 thoughts on “Reasons behind school shootings: Part II… Story By Lauren Stidham”

  1. This was a very interesting article, it’s important to realize just how much things like video games can change young minds.

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