RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, inspection of gun laws and video game violence have come to the forefront.
Earlier this week, NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre said armed officers should be placed in every school across the country. Now he is fueling the debate over the role violent video games play in society.
“Sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people through video games,” LaPierre said.
In games like “Call of Duty,” players take on a shooter’s point of view in high definition. They can also taunt one another in real time.
Shoppers like Andrew Dozier do not see it as reality.
“Just because I go home and blow off some steam at night after a hard day at work, that’s going to make me more prone to shooting someone,” Dozier said. “I totally disagree.”
Local parent Lydia Heckstall said the shooting did not impact buying violent video games for her 12-year-old son.
“I don’t think it’s going to change because you know with everything else that goes on in the world, you have to keep talking to your children about all of these issues,” Heckstall said. “You know…making them aware.”
While video games can be easy targets as to why a mass shooting occurs, VCU clinical psychologist Dr. Micah McCreary believes video games can be an scapegoat for a larger underlying issue.
“I think people are always looking for easy answers to very complex issues.”
Dr. McCreary said there is no evidence to prove that exposure to violent video games leads to violent behavior.
“We don’t know who uses the video games,” McCreary said. “Were they violent before they started playing video games? Were they passive before the video games? There’s so much that needs to be looked at to really be able to determine that.”
Andrew Dozier agreed.
“For those of us who can differentiate between fiction and reality, it’s really not a problem.”