While no one can ever get used to hearing about mass murder massacres, using video games as the secret underlying culprit is getting boring. So when the tragic events in Norway occurred, everyone easily latched on to the fact that gunman Anders Behring Breivik was a gamer. He played World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, two of the most popular online games in the world, with millions of active players.
To many, especially the sensationalist media, it the perfect hook. Forget about proving cause and effect, it just sounds too good to make it sound like Breivik would have been a perfectly peaceful and normal guy if it hasn't been for Call of Duty.
But one psychologist had a refreshingly different outlook. Christopher Ferguson, who specializes in video game violence at Texas A&M University, not only says blaming games is wrong, but those who do so are racist.
"I know it’s a little controversial to say but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings," he said in comments quoted by Forbes.
But how is it racist? That's another one of those trigger words used far too often, and doesn't seem like it fits in with this kind of discourse. However, Ferguson points to the fact that video games are generally only used as a factor when the murderer is white.
"When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here," he said.
Ferguson also said 95% of young boys have played a violent video game. So if a boy ends up killing people, chances are he's played a violent game. That makes these kinds of arguments really dumb.