By Brian Craddock
After the Columbine Massacre, many people have blamed media like video games for being responsible for the shooters’ actions.
As someone who grew up post-Columbine, in an era where violence in media is becoming more common, I feel the impact of violence on people is vastly overstated.
I wouldn’t say that violent video games have absolutely nothing to do with people perpetrating violence, but the people who become violent criminals after consuming violent media almost always have other issues like mental illnesses.
In the case of Columbine, while the shooters probably did enjoy violent video games a bit too much (Eric Harris allegedly built a mock-up of the high school in a since-lost mod for the game Doom), they both had severe mental issues.
Doctors found that Harris was a psychopath with a God complex, and that Dylan Klebold, the other shooter, was depressed as well.
In my opinion, someone who play a violent game all night, coming away from it with the idea that murdering people is a good thing isn’t mentally sound, and shouldn’t be playing it. While I find things like the ESRB and MPAA rating systems annoying at times, they do a great job of alerting people, especially parents, to what they’re buying.
The way I see it, regardless of any effect video games have on violent criminals, their actions are primarily the result of some kind of mental illness or other similar factors, rather than the media they consume. I think that if people want a solution to this issue, they need to look elsewhere than media that millions of people manage to consume without going on to commit a violent crime.