Popular Media

Is the Debate Around Social Media Another Tech Panic?

In 2005, California proposed legislation to ban the sale of violent video games to minors. This law was a culmination of growing concerns that violent video games were causing children to become more aggressive. Commentators noted that perpetrators of mass shootings, as in the case of Columbine, Heath High School, and Sandy Hook, often played video games considered to be violent such as Doom, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty.1 Studies on the connection between video games and aggression came pouring out. In response, policymakers began to introduce laws banning or otherwise regulating the sale of violent video games to minors.

This would seem to be the ideal result. Lawmakers were able to come together and pass a law that addressed the issue at hand. The only problem is that there is little to no evidence that video games, even violent ones, lead to increases in aggressive behavior let alone that they are a driving factor behind school shootings.

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