Violent games can enable would-be mass murderers, say CA Senator

Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein says violent games can serve as "simulators" for would-be killers.

Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein has again spoken out against violent video games. Today on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Feinstein said these games can be enablers for would-be mass murderers.

"I think the really violent video game becomes a kind of simulator to practice on. And it enables the individual to become much more familiar with that depiction of death and blood," Feinstein said, referencing the exaggerated way in which some games depict violence and death.

"Of course it's not the way it is in real life," she added.

During an event last week, Feinstein said violent games play a "very negative role for young people." She said if the game industry continues to make games that glorify guns, Congress may intervene.

Feinstein's recent comments follow December's schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut where a 20-year-old killed 20 children and six adults being taking his own life.

The shooter was reportedly a "deranged gamer."

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
1690 comments
Mako
Mako

"these games can be enablers for would-be mass murderers"  ... She is right, the same way any holy book can be "enablers" for would-be mass murderers. The key there being "would-be". People that have some issue that predisposes them to mass murder will see influence from all sorts of places. But in the same way religion can temper people's rage, video games can also provide a cathartic release of tension.

The media is not the problem. There are other developed western countries who have the same access to media that we do, yet they have a 10th or less of the gun crime we do. There are have been plenty of studies on video games and violent behavior and none of them has has shown any conclusive link.

I don't claim to know what sets some of these mass murder's off. I do know that easy access to tools of mass murder does not help.

therage416
therage416

This issue is no brainer for most, censorship is baaad. I think that the people that oppose violent video games need to look at whether violent video games make violent people, or violent people play violent video games. It could also be argued that video games can serve as some sort of substitute to actually going out and shooting people, a way to take out anger and stress without actually hurting anyone.

jacksamuk
jacksamuk

Before censuring games they should get worried about the firearm License policy in the country. If there is no gun to buy , there is no way of shooting. 

CyberLips
CyberLips

I used to play Reel Fishing on the PSone , but i don't go fishing because i find it horribly boring. We play games so we can do stuff we can't do in real life. Also games for children don't have violence and if they do it's mostly some kind of creature killing some other kind of creature that does not exist in real life. If a game is not suitable for children you can tell by the 18 rating on the box , crazy right? I don't understand why they are so obsessed with "violence" in games. What are they going to do next? Ban every violent movie , tv show and song? 

BarkingSpider81
BarkingSpider81

Why is it that every time I hear something stupid and ignorant about video game violence, it's coming from the mouth of a crusty old fart who hasn't been laid in 100 years?

jjohns88
jjohns88

Tell that lady to be quiet and blame the irresponsible parents who buy these games for their kids who are for one, are not age appropriate to play them anyway and don't teach them about morals.

OldKye
OldKye

So if playing violent video games practices me for violence... how come after playing cooking mama I still suck at cooking i mean the list goes one...

Gran turismo never made me a better driver.

Monster hunter didn't make me run into the wild (I'll get you deviljho!).

Sims made me worse at interior decorating not better and i'd be dead if life played out like my sims.

Heck i still can't speak Spanish and i spent plenty of time exploring with Dora and her little blue monkey too...

I mean honestly if this was true ban the Sims teaching people how to keep humans as pets is way worse then COD getting people to enlist to protect our country.

aieon21
aieon21

"Conspiracy + Propaganda = Politician's in the Gaming World"
Enough of this Game Violent thinggy. It is just a simulation....Don't over exaggerate it....Don't think that what gamer see or play in the game is what the gamer DO.....that's it, it has no effect on gamers. Violence are made by uneven Idiology or False Research.....Do majority win?....NO....their are just many people controlled by persons higher than them :)))))

lithus
lithus

lol Its kinda funny seeing everyone get up-in-arms here about another idiot politician versus video game debate.  But have any of you actually written a politician?  Besides carrying on here, have you EVER done anything proactive?  You're just preaching to the choir here guys. 

Its obvious Most of us have been exposed to violence on a daily basis and still don't kill.   We get it, they don't. After all, she's only a democrat, she doesn't know any better, so send the b*tch a letter.

tommy_boy9999
tommy_boy9999

what a corrupt sack of crap

I guess she doesnt want to talk about the Drones and how hundreds of innocent children have been killed by them. 

number1nick123
number1nick123

And here I thought violent video games were just government propaganda to get us to join the army or become policemen so we can shoot the people in real life that shoot other people in real life. 


Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

I have been playing violent videogames since I was 8 years old practically. Have I ever wanted to kill someone? Nope. Have I ever wanted to do a crime at all? Nope. Have I been influenced to do illegal/legal drugs? Nope. To be quiet honest with you playing violent videogames saves me money because I don't have to waste it on anger management classes. If this woman wants to point the finger on violence then games are NOT the problem.  The REAL problem here is stupid government people that think they should control EVERYTHING. 

pmamba45
pmamba45

Yet her "all welcome background votes" have no conditions to get her where she wants to be.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

so all of those early resident evil games that a crap ton of puzzles and item management was a "bad" influence on me? huh. BTW anyone ever notice that every person who attacks games, music and movies is always some really old ugly person?  I mean, if i looked like her id be hating too. all. day.

vongroove
vongroove

Kill people for free? I wish!

LacksInSanity
LacksInSanity

Maybe one day We The People will get fed up enough with politicians acting like they know what's good for us better than we know what's good for ourselves that we will just fire them all and start over.

Geon106
Geon106

This debate. Again. I've played GTA games since I was 6. I played Doom when I was 8(way too young IMO). I haven't killed anyone... yet.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

.... Half & Half


1.) These violent video-games due act as a sort of simulation for "Would-be" killers. I state that, because if I couldn't be killing people in video games, you had better believe I would take my anger out on those that cause it.

2.) That being said, you have to wrap it all around context. Context is EVERYTHING, always and forever. It is the single most important factor of any interaction between anyone anywhere anytime.

What I mean to say is this; I use violent games (ie Hitman) to stab people violently and out of anger. I can do this, because it is a game and I understand the difference between a game and reality (if you can't discern the two, you are insane and need to be placed in medical care.)

I deal with "jerks" (GS won't let me swear... boo hoo) all day, in and out, non-stop. Deep down, nothing would satisfy me in the short run longer than plunging a 5 inch blade into their stomach.

BUT, that is the short run, and it's unrealistic. That is why violent games make me feel so good. Because I get to (in essence) stab the shit out of people who piss me off. Without hurting anyone in real life.

Because I understand that it would be wrong to physically hurt (in this case kill) another human being. Especially for simply pissing me off. Not to mention that I understand there are real-world consequences. Like a life in prison, or the death sentence.



Things like violent games, yes they do have these features. I will never argue against that point.

HOWEVER, if a person can not discern between reality and fiction and/or right and wrong... then they don't deserve to be included as a member of functioning society. Put that poor SOB in a mental hospital and get him help 'cause there are serious wiring problems.


There really is nothing more to be done or debate about this topic then what I just stated.

waraga
waraga

This lady is crap then also ban violent movies 

neroangelo1986
neroangelo1986

this is the kind of fancy old lady stereotype that thinks reading books and drinking tea gives her understanding about everything in life xD

FlawlessGoBot
FlawlessGoBot

Why is it that most of these political types that are still harping on this are from California? I mean seriously, have they run out of stuff to attack and ban in their own state?

gimousis
gimousis

If you are not already some kind of crazy, you wont just become a murderer by playing video games. You can't just play shooters and then think "Hey this is fun, I'll do it in real life!"

Why do ignorant politicians, when hearing "deranged gamer" as the article suggests, focus on the "gamer" part rather on the "deranged". Is it really the games' problem or is it the young adults' mental health that is at fault here?

Anyway, do whatever you want in your fucked up "Amurica", but leave the rest of us free world do whatever we want about violent games.

Keatz_
Keatz_

Maybe the US should rethink their laws on firearms before criticizing violent games... Really now fatties... >.>

jackroussel
jackroussel

okay guys i have a plan: nobody kill anyone, then if she bans video games let's all go out and become serial killers. Then she'll shut up.

Skyrim25
Skyrim25

Since when in hell does a senator think that they know more about this then the COUNTLESS professional psychologist/scientist and ALL of there studies that show that games do NOT cause mass murderers?

I guess in the land of Oz (inside a senators mind) the senators think they know better then any and all porfessionals at there jobs yet senators know nothing of there own jobs as a senator!!!!!!!

Blowing_for_Ps4
Blowing_for_Ps4

damn kids with their Xbox's fowling it up for everyone

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Feinstein, did I not say for you to retire or be recalled?  Are you deaf already, or just mentally incompetent?  Please shut your mouth before saying things about topics of which you know nothing about.

Nemesis4747
Nemesis4747

stupid old bat, everywhere i turn she is trying to ban my hobbies, i would hate to live in a world she rules

Goupil418
Goupil418

When you look at her face closely on that picture you can tell what she thinks:

-Hahaha childrens! I'm gonna steal your childhood by removing all violent video games from your life!

Just... LOOK AT HER FACE!

I mean it's freaky, almost looks like the last pope's face

Goupil418
Goupil418

wtf did this bitch smoke?!?!

Nightmist67
Nightmist67

I would love to see her to actually try and cross the gaming industry. Many have tried all have failed miserably.

so_hai
so_hai

Only evidence-based material can be accepted in this debate, beliefs about video games are just that: beliefs.

Ever since games have been prominent, gun violence has been down anyhow.

griffy2013
griffy2013

If you're in your right mind you won't go around harming/killing people.  Problem solved?

obsequies
obsequies

man she must need high security then

slikjohnson
slikjohnson

Also, guns don't kill people, bullets do. So lets just ban bullets and not video games then we can have all the guns we want. PROBLEM SOLVED

slikjohnson
slikjohnson

So if the killer was a "deranged golfer" could we maybe ban that too, lets do swimming and basket ball and all kinds of other stuff that causes controversy. Like "deranged clowns" and that fucking Ronald McDonald, cause McDonald kills people and makes them fat. They must all answer for their crimes!!!!!!  

tizmond
tizmond

Another ill-informed, American wind-bag, skirting round the real issues (guns themselves) and jumping on the "Blame video games" bandwagon. It's almost cliche.

DocMARs
DocMARs

Says Dolores Umbridge.

kyphe
kyphe

The evidence shows that male gamers between 15 and 30 are less likely to commit violent crime than their peers, violent games often have the effect of making people realize just how vulnerable life is, how often do you die in a game their is no re-spawn IRL and we all know it

areial_ace
areial_ace

im not sure about games turn people into to killers but when politicains open their mouths im overcome with the urge to do something violent to them

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Batman, Riddick, Rambo, The Warriors, James Bond, The Thing.........

Violent Games????

Or Violent Movies on which they are based????

pmamba45
pmamba45

 "Don't Knock It Till You Try It". I'd laugh if she topped a prestige leaderboard. She might like it.

sakajo
sakajo

What will happen if the US bans violent games? The companies will move over seas (along with the non-gaming companies) and the games will get smuggled in. SO all your doing is losing out on legitimate cash, which I know you love oh so much, ya dumb bitch. 

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

[She said if the game industry continues to make games that glorify guns, Congress may intervene.]

The Glorification of Guns would'nt be so much of an issue if they were not actually Legally attainable you stupid b*tch!

Carlos_D_F
Carlos_D_F

Pah! All you skeptics in the comments are obviously too young to remember what the world was like BEFORE video games, when there was never any violence anywhere WHATSOEVER. You fools!

JSBrito
JSBrito

just watch videos like: Rage Compilation - Call of Duty European Championships

yeah.. nuf said. 

jacken_uff
jacken_uff

Great article once again Eddie! Keep up the amazing journalism! Man you must've really pushed the limits with this one huh? What's that almost 150 words? I learn so much from your articles....

bayernfan
bayernfan

Yea right, now they want to ban video games and do nothing about guns.  Good going...

Violence is a problem and avoiding the causes by finding scapegoats is an easy way to get political promotion.