OPINION: FBI Profiler says Violent Video Games Don’t Cause Crime

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

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This article contains the opinion of the author and is not a reflection of the opinions of the oprainfall staff as a whole.

violent video games FBI profiler

FBI profiler reveals truth on violent video games at CBS.

According to an interview with Mary Ellen O’Toole (a former FBI profiler) last Sunday on CBS‘ news broadcast, Face the Nation, her statements regarding her experience with unstable criminals that cause such terrible tragedies as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting are plain as day; even an organization such as the FBI does not consider violent video games to have any kind of causal relationship with these kind of horrible actions against society. Her sentiments were further explained by Prof. Christopher Ferguson, a critic of those who blame video games for violent crime in the Psychology dept. of Texas A&M International.

Mary Ellen went on to say that video games are, only in the worst case scenarios, ‘one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently. … We see them as sources of fueling ideation that’s already there.’

In other words, in people who are already prone to violent thoughts and behaviors – those who are isolated and willingly indulge themselves in violence on a constant basis with no other activities – violent media can act only as “sources of fueling ideation that’s already there” when used by that person as a personal-training or educational tool. Such statements bring back to mind the ‘manifesto’ of Anders Breivik in the tragic shooting that occurred in Oslo, Norway, in which the Call of Duty franchise was called his ‘training material’ for that antisocial calamity.

Prof. Ferguson also revealed several key facts behind the issue of violent games, not only referring to the Comics Code Authority of the 1930’s and its creation in response to the Kefauver Comic Book Hearings, and also explained the concept of “moral panic” which all new media must endure as a scapegoat for society’s problems. Then, the professor related startling facts about the reality of violent video games and their affect on society and crime. Among youth, violent crime is down to its’ lowest point in four decades; other countries who consume just as much media and games as North America have lower crime rates than that in this country. Studies which claim to prove video games cause aggression have methods which are fundamentally flawed to begin with, and the list goes on during the entire joint interview. “We have this repetitive pattern, and we can see that in the past it’s kind of ridiculous, but we cannot see that in the present.” The original video of this interview is available at the bottom of this article.

However, even as both of these esteemed professionals stand up for the truth behind the frightened lies from those like the NRA president or selfish pundits like Glenn Beck, even the FBI understands that violence in any media, including video games, has an affect on society as a whole, even if actions are only done by those that desire violence to begin with.

In the coming weeks, both myself and my fellow writer Ceruleath Noreleath will be conducting a series of editorial debates on a number of relevant issues within the gaming community and our collective culture. Our inaugural debate will be on this very subject; Violence in Gaming and Media Backlash, hosted here on the oprainfall  website on Saturday, March 2nd. This will be a mature, honest and open look at this issue from all sides, as well as what we gamers can do about this problem as it exists. I would like to encourage all readers to return for this forthcoming article, as I can assure you that there will be something that anyone can learn from our efforts on your behalf.


Video courtesy of Rawstory.com and CBS.

About Joel McCabe

Former Staff- Joel McCabe's first personal gaming experience was PITFALL for the Atari 2600 in 1984. Having owned or played on every US-released game console gives a wide history, ranging from fighters, to shooters, to strategy, to plaformers, to JRPG and beyond. Starting with Jumpman for the C-64, he has played games on PC occasionally for nearly 20 years. He currently owns a 360 and a 3DS.

  • You don’t say?! 😛

    In all seriousness thought, it’s good that respected agencies at least can articulate arguments against that ridiculous claim, which is a matter of having some common sense.

  • An Tran

    Good thing the FBI isn’t as stupid as some of the other government officials and agencies we have.

  • Xx_Kares_xX

    What ‘debate’ is there to be had when it’s already been proven to not be an issue (as stated in this article). Stupid people hurt me…

    • The debate on this issue is not whether violence in video games causes real-life violence; that is a given. However, violence in video games as a form of media and the backlash that ensues, as well as our collective reactions to the affects of said violence as a gaming community IS an issue. Especially considering concerns and questions that we as gamers need to face if this situation will ever become truly resolved and irrelevant. That is my stance in the debate, at the very least. If you wish to learn more about my stance on the situation and the issues involved, then be sure to return to the site on Saturday. Regarding your second statement… rest assured, I will cause you no pain.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      That is obvious by the way you typed x.x. Even if we have differing opinions you are obviously intelligent. My ‘Stupid Comment’ wasn’t meant toward either person in the debate it was meant about the general populace who jumps on bandwagons without doing any research, I probably should have been more clear. But thank you for clearing that up for me and I’m very interested to see the debate (Then again I read pretty much everything that Operation Rainfall puts up so I guess I’d end up seeing it anyway)

  • fruitspunch_samurai

    Now I feel bad for calling the FBI the federal bearu of idiots for the last 20 years.

  • YAY! Some American’s are smart after all 😛

  • About a month or two ago, senator Joe Manchin wanted to ban GTA V and any and all Grand Theft Auto games. This is what he had to say:

    In a recent interview to MSNBC, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said the following thing about Rockstar’s GTA series, “Look at Grand Theft Auto, put out by Rockstar Games in New York City and see what it promotes. Shouldn’t that be looked into and maybe be banned?”

    This was in response to the Sandy Hook School shooting.

    And now this:

    “President Barack Obama, as part of a wide ranging proposal to reduce gun violence, has ordered the Centers for Disease Control to launch a study into the correlation between violence in video games and the real world.”

    Why is the CDC conducting a study? What exactly do they have to do with games?

    Grand Theft Auto V is not even out yet.

    • Xx_Kares_xX

      Obama is only going through with this because all of the parents out there who aren’t willing to take responsibility for their parenting want a scapegoat, and video games fit the bill right now. If Obama (or any politician for that matter) were to ignore this outcry people would riot. On the other hand, if the findings are that video games DON’T cause violence no one will believe it anyway so what’s the point? Parents… there is a rating system in place for a reason. If you don’t want your kids to go on a shooting spree and you think games are the problem… THEN DON’T BUY THE VIOLENT GAMES.