News Connecticut Senator: Violent Games Can Put Mentally Ill Over the Edge
posted on 2013-06-27 23:11 EDT
Connecticut Democratic senator Chris Murphy spoke in an interview with GameSpot on what he perceives as a threat that violent video games pose towards the mentally ill. Murphy had focused on violent video games' role in a speech he gave in January.
"What researchers will tell you, is that if you already have a severe mental illness, and a predilection to violence, perhaps the video game exposure can put you over the edge. But in and of itself, there is no research showing that there's a link," Murphy stated. Murphy also referred to the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooter, Adam Lanza, and his ties to video games.
"What we know is that this young man, deeply mentally ill walking the school with an assault weapon armed with 30-round magazines. What we know is that he was very, very severely mentally ill; that his mother had been trying to get him help for years. And what we also know, is that he spent a lot of time playing violent video games."
Details on Sandy Hook shooting and the influence of violent video games were stated by an anonymous law enforcement veteran in an interview with New York Daily News in March. According to the source, Lanza kept a detailed "score sheet" of 500 mass murders and was looking to get to the top by earning the most "points."
Politicians and experts spoke in support of and against the perceived link between violence and video games. Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein stated that censorship of video games may be necessary. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi cited Japan's low crime rate as evidence that violent video games do not cause violent behavior. FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole agreed, stating there is not a link between violent behavior and video games. A study published last month found that competitive behavior of video games and other activities are linked to aggression.
Congress has looked to pass a number of bills to combat the perceived link between violence and video games. Democratic congressperson Jim Matheson introduced Bill H.R.287 to house in January in hopes of making ESRB ratings legally binding and President Barack Obama has called for a scientific study investigating the proposed link leading to open letters from the video game industry asking for no censorship. Vice President Biden stated that taxation of violent video games and media would not cause a legal issue.