I have never really understood the link between violent video games and violent acts, considering how many people play video games and how many video games contain some sort of violence in them on a range of levels. Then you also have to consider how many people, who at some point in their lives, have played a video game of some sort and then compare that number to people who commit violent acts and the percentage who played games at some point through their lifetime.
Violence has almost always been there somewhere a long the line of human development and history, so where has this link coming from. Is it because gaming is a growing industry and therefor is garnering more media attention.
Not to mention that there are varying degrees of violence, ranging from things like swearing at someone, through verbal, emotional and physical abuse, all the way to murder and mass murder. So to say all the types of violent acts are directly attributable to violent video games is painting the industry with a very broad brush.
I’d like to point that although on the whole I don’t think that video games are not a standalone reason for violence, it has to be said they do make up part of a bigger picture. This picture being media as a whole, meaning things like film, TV and even newspapers (to a certain extent). There are plenty of examples in the media that glamorise violence, there are more than a few action, sci-fi and horror films out there that have quite gory and contain copious amounts of violence in them and those genres of films were about long before graphically violent video games became popular.
I believe more important factors in violent behaviour are things like family history in relation to violence, a persons biological make-up and the environment they grew up in. Also I believe mental illness and culture differences play bigger parts in violence or how a person might act in a situation than video games do or ever will do. I think that a persons psychology has a big effect on how they are affected by media and the world around them and how they interact socially and their surroundings.
So my opinion essentially comes down to this, video games are a piece of the jigsaw and not a very big one, in terms of the whole picture. There are too many factors when it comes to why humans act the way they do and video games are only one small part of it. In my opinion a deeper predisposition to violence and acting violently must be a bigger, more important part of a persons psychological make-up than what sort of things they take in from their surroundings.