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article imageOp-Ed: Christopher J. Ferguson Interview on Video Game Violence Special

By Walter McDaniel     Jul 21, 2013 in Crime
The course of Christopher J. Ferguson’s career has led him to do some intriguing research on gaming. I recently got in contact with this interesting psychology and criminal justice expert to get his view on a recent case.
Dr. Ferguson, Ph.D., studied the psychology and criminality of gaming extensively at Texas A&M and even went on to write about it for Time ideas. He agrees that media violence and video games are at an all-time high but points out that “societal violence including among youth has declined to 40-year lows."
The main connection to violence in games that the aforementioned case was a spiked bat. As dedicated gamers know this is a staple of many games, not just Dead Rising 2. It is only connected to it because the boys had allegedly played the game recently. Dr. Ferguson also focuses on the fact that “if it weren’t a spiked bat it would have been a different weapon.” As you can see from the above picture many other games also have similar weapons.
This seems obvious in hindsight when you consider the fact that one of the boys stood to inherit a fortune if his father was killed without him being caught. There is also evidence that the boy was humiliated by his father on several occasions. Dr. Ferguson was cautious about the allegations but explained “If it’s true, it would obviously be a motivational factor.”
In modern times games have been targeted for creating violent tendencies in youth. Dr. Ferguson also brought up another interesting example of this: “This kind of argument was recently rejected in the Christopher Harris trial in Illinois, during which the defense tried to pin a multiple homicide on one of the teen victims… who happened to be a gamer”
Lawyers and family advocates have for years tried to use gaming as a convenient scapegoat. But the evidence just simply is not there. In fact Dr. Ferguson went so far as to say that there is “no evidence that video games lead people to commit these types of behaviors.”
I want to thank Dr. Ferguson for his experience and knowledge on the topic. Check out some of his investigative literature yourself or take a look at his book. You should of course compare his evidence to that of opposing viewpoints and come to your own conclusion. There are many voices on the other side as well. Examining both is the only way we’ll push through the panic and scapegoating to find the truth.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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