news\ Aug 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

Australian police commissioner blames video games for rise in knife fights


In another attempt to use video games as a scapegoat for violence, New South Wales police commissioner Andrew Scipione has cited video games as the primary source for a rise in knife crimes.

Speaking to Australia's Daily Telegraph, Scipione claimed that video games rewarding players for murder, rape, and theft have left some desensitized, and while he admits it may just be a few out of the millions, he argued you only need one "really disturbed person" who has access to a knife to cause mayhem.

"How can it not affect you if you're a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people (do) for hours and hours on end," he said. It's worth noting that Scipione also briefly mentioned movies in his fight against desensitization, but the majority of his focus was on video games because they let the kids act out the crimes.

"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people," he explained.

"That's not going to affect the vast majority but it's only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You've got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who's got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia. That's concerning."

I believe the same argument can be made about any form of media or entertainment. If someone goes to an opera and later commits a crime, are we going to say the opera motivated them to do that? Placing the blame on video games serves as nothing more than a mask to the real problems.


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