Violence in video games: does it cause violence in real life? And how do we morally feel about it? [content warning – mentions of suicide and shootings]

In this episode Don, Fai, Marcus and Sachin discuss a report of a bill in Pennsylvania that would increase tax on violent games, to raise money to keep schools safer. Is it a good idea? We discuss if there’s any evidence to justify such a tax. Then we talk about ways in which virtual violence could be wrong – from a moral perspective. Skip to 24:45 if you want to get straight into these topics.

Please note this episode was recorded long before the August 2019 Dayton and El Paso shootings.

We read from the following sources:

PA lawmakers debate video game ‘sin tax’ during state’s esports month: https://variety.com/2019/gaming/news/pennsylvania-video-game-tax-1203128774/

Joakim Sandberg discusses the stresses and impacts of being lone developer: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-02-08-tearing-down-the-lone-developer-myth

This study by Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein found no association between use of violent video games and aggressive behaviour in adolescents: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.171474

This xkcd comic beautifully illustrates the dangers of not saying ahead of time what your study is looking for: https://xkcd.com/882/

Disturbing clips were posted of a player attacking suffragettes in Read Dead Redemption 2: https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/nov/07/red-dead-redemption-2-game-criticised-over-killing-of-suffragette

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