Video Games: The Constitution Speaks for Itself


As we approach E3, there’s a lot of excitement and mystique that builds up to the unveiling of next year’s Big Two. Previously unseen graphics and processing power are new benchmarks touched by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and the tech-savvy fawn over not only the specs but the impressive line-up of games that both are confirmed to have. Some people are intimidated by these new consoles. With the Newtown massacre fresh on people’s minds, critical parents and media figures everywhere are scratching their chins at the thought of yet another Call of Duty… one that’s even more “real” than its predecessors. But this is modern day expression: This is what freedom of speech is in 2013.

Lazy parents around the world would see this level of entertainment boggled down, regulated and practically stripped away because the media’s constant blame-peddling never warrants enough of a backlash to put someone aside from the shooter at center stage for the events of Sandy Hook. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein calls these video games murder simulators, and NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre admonishes the industry as a whole despite the fact his organization put out a shooting game one month after the Newtown massacre happened. But who’s the real failure when it comes to situations like these? Is it Halo or is it the parent that cries on national television because “they didn’t know?”

Let’s be fair: There are studies that connect violent video games to acts of aggression. One study conducted by Iowa State University on 227 juvenile delinquents in Pennsylvania concluded that video games were a strong risk factor. However, it’s worthy to note that twin and adoption studies published on the MEDLINE database maintained by the National Library of Medicine reveals that socioeconomic status and functions of serotonin in the brain are also risk factors for antisocial and aggressive behaviors. This isn’t the first time a dysfunctional mind has been linked to these kinds of behaviors either. A separate study in the United Kingdom turned up a psychiatric condition known as ‘conduct disorder.’

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