Games 'destigmatize' violence, says Connecticut governor

Democrat Dannel Malloy criticizes violent games, says society stands to make "great gains" by spending more time focusing on mental health treatment.

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At the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors this weekend, Democratic Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy criticized violent games for "destigmatizing" violence in the United States. As reported by the Connecticut Post, Malloy called on his peers to focus their efforts on removing the stigma from mental health treatment.

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"If we spent as much time and energy on destigmatizing mental health treatment as we do in the proliferation of these video games that destigmatize violence, we as a society would make great gains," Malloy said.

Malloy's comments came a month after the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He recalled this day, saying, "the day that Newtown happened, there were games available that actually allowed people to go into a school in the game and shoot 'em up."

"Why do we do that?" Malloy added. "When we're willing to destigmatize violence and willing to bring it home to your living room or your den and put it on a 50-inch screen [and play games that award points for] when you hit someone with your semiautomatic and more points depending on how many times you hit someone with your semiautomatic, where is the social value in that? Is this the kind of thing we want to be involved in as a nation?"

President Obama earlier this week announced a $500 million, 23-point plan to reduce gun violence in the United States that included directing the Centers for Disease Control to investigate the relationship between violent game consumption and real-world violence.

Responding to Obama's plan, the Entertainment Software Association (the group that represents the industry's interests in Washington, D.C.) said scientific studies have proven no link between entertainment and real-world violent behavior exists.

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