Violent video games blamed for mass shootings

Violent video games blamed for mass shootings

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These days, any kind of media you want is literally at your fingertips--at home, online and even on your phone.

"The problem has worsened over the past few decades I believe, in part, because kids have had greater access to violent videos," said State Attorney General, Greg Abbott.

A top executive with the National Rifle Association is also blaming media and games for contributing to mass shootings like Newtown, Aurora and Columbine.

"The research points to a relationship between an exposure to violent video games and subsequent, short-term, aggressive behaviors or hostile thoughts," said Matt Eastin, the author of the book, "Encyclopedia of Media Violence."

"The reason why we're concerned with kids is because they have a lesser sort of cognitive capacity to sort of deal with how to you mediate the message of right versus wrong, fantasy versus reality," said Eastin. "They're being faced with making what we would say to them in the real world is a wrong decision, they're being told it's right and it's not only right, it is justified and it is rewarded."

He says while violence in our world is nothing new...the video games are.

Eastin said, "This isn't Atari 2600. We're not dealing with bad graphics. We're dealing with as close to realism as you get from a technological standpoint."

Plus, access is much easier.

Eastin added, "If you take violent show "X," it was on every week. Now, with the way that TV works, I can watch that show every day if I want to...there's not just a few titles for video games out, there's hundreds of them, and my access to them. Think about all the apps that are available."

A week after slamming video games for "the marketing of violence to...kids" the NRA released this free mobile app called "Practice Range."

The original age recommendation was set at four years old and up. Tuesday, the appropriate user age was moved up to 12 and a warning about "realistic violence" was added.

"Not everybody is going to have the exact same effect. You put two kids down, they play the same game, it could have a slightly different effect."

Eastin says the exposure to violence is just part of the problem.

"It's too easy just to simply say video games are the reason why this is happening," said Eastin.

State Attorney General, Greg Abbott, said, "I think that addressing the violent videos as well as dealing with mental health will be two better paths to pursue."

Eastin says we need more controlled, long-term studies to better understand the impact of realistic, violent video games like this.

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