Former FBI Profiler: Video Games Are Not Cause of Violence

posted on 2013-03-05 16:35 EST

CBS' Face the Nation show featured an interview on Sunday with former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole, who stated, "It's my experience that video games do not cause violence. However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently." O'Toole added that as a profiler, she would take into consideration a person's total immersion in violent games or a person's tendency to emulate games or use games to as educational materials to understand how to carry out a crime more effectively. O'Toole added that video games are not the cause of violent behavior, but may encourage someone who is already considering acting violently.

Joining her in the interview was Texas A&M International University psychology professor Christopher Ferguson, who stated that, according to his research, "there seems to be something in our brains that is able to distinguish between events that go on in the fictional universe and those that go on in the real universe." Ferguson said he recommends that parents should be involved in choosing games for their children, and added that in some of his research he has found that kids who play violent games with their parents "have some of the best outcomes in terms of volunteering, helping others and such, and that's probably not the video games that are doing that, but more the parental involvement."

[Via Comic Book Legal Defense Fund]

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