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Study Claims 80 Percent of Mass Shooters Showed No Interest in Video Games

study no evidence link violent games behavior

President Donald Trump met with leaders in the video game industry this week to discuss violence in video games and whether games could be having an influence on those who carry out mass shootings. It's a debate that has been ongoing for years but has recently gained increased attention after the tragic February 14 mass shooting that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

But CBS News reports a study by psychologist Patrick Markey saying that the vast majority of mass shooters, about 80%, show no interest in video games at all. According to Markey, many people want to draw a correlation between violent video games and these extreme acts of violence, but the evidence just isn't there:

"It seems like something that should make us safer so it's a totally understandable reaction. The problem is just the science, the data, does not back up that they actually have an effect."

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To go even further, there seems to be a completely opposite effect, according to the study. That's because Markey also noted that when a new violent video game is released, crime actually decreases. Why exactly that occurs Markey cannot explain, but it is certainly a detail worth highlighting. Some argue that violent video games are an influence, while others claim they are an outlet.

The study did identify that for a short time after playing a violent video game, a person may be a little more hostile or view the world as a more dangerous place; however, there was no correlation to actual real word violence occurring as a result.

At the meeting with President Trump this week, a video showing numerous scenes of video game violence was shown. Most notably, the video featured a clip from the No Russian sequence in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, in which the player is involved (if they choose not to skip the scene) in a terrorist attack on innocent civilians at an airport.

During the meeting, representatives from The Entertainment Software Association shared the same evidence as Markey's study, saying "there have actually been no studies indicating a correlation between video game violence and real violence." Earlier this year, a completely different study by the University of York also found "no evidence" of violent video games causing violence.

Source: CBS News

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