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Think Out Loud

Are Violent Video Games Related to Violence in Real Life?

Pete Springer/OPB

In the wake of the recent shootings at the Clackamas Town Center and Sandy Hook Elementary School, we’re looking into some of the potential ways to prevent such tragedies in the future. We’ve discussed security in schools, mental health resources for parents and kids, gun laws and, most recently, mental health care available to “transition age youth.”

Next we will explore whether or not there is a relationship between violent video games and violence in the real world. As the national conversation around gun violence progresses, video games have been cited as a contributing factor. But while some are blaming violent video games, others assert that there is no link between playing violent games and actually being violent. And while there seems to be agreement that violent behaviors are rarely spurred by a single factor, the role and weight of each factor, including violent video games, is still being debated.

Do you play violent video games? Did you when you were younger? Do you have children who play violent video games? Do you see a link between video game violence and violent behavior? 


  • Christopher Ferguson: Associate Professor and chair of the department of psychology and communication at Texas A&M International University
  • Sarah Coyne: Assistant Professor in the family life department at Brigham Young University
guns prevention video games violence living sandy hook

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