Children who play or watch video games that include firearm violence are more likely to use such a weapon and pull the trigger. This is what emerges from a new American study, which is destined to be discussed in the gamer community and not only.
In practice, more than 200 children were selected , and divided into pairs of two to form three groups, which were asked to play a version of Minecraft that included firearm violence, one that represented violence without weapons from fire (therefore with swords, sticks and so on) and finally to a version of Minecraft without any kind of violence. One of the two children would have to play, the other look.
After playing for 20 minutes, the children were transferred to another room containing toys and some pistols, naturally rendered harmless and locked in a locker. Of the 242 children taken as champions, 220 were able to find the guns. 61.8% of the children who played the Minecraft version with weapons touched the gun, against 56.8% who had played the one with the swords and 44.3% of the children who had played the non-violent version.
Who had played the version with weapons, is even more inclined to pull the trigger, with an average of 10.1 pressures per child (compared to 3.6 in the sword version and 3.0 in the non-violent version). The most disturbing fact is that the first ones pulled the trigger point to themselves or to another child for 3.4 times each, of average (against 1.5 times the seconds and the 0.2 times of the children who played the Minecraft without violence ).
What does the study mean? That those who play or watch violent video games are more inclined to use weapons than those who use video games that do not have this feature. But before blaming video games wrongly, it is good to remember one thing, which is then one of the main reasons why the same study was performed.
Although probably some types of entertainment can actually be violent, when it comes to guns, the first solution to avoid any kind of gun involvement is to keep them safe and in a place where children can’t have access.
Brad Bushman, professor of communications at Ohio State University, said:” Gun owners should keep them safe, and parents should protect their children from violent media, including video games .” In fact, every day in the United States, around 50 children, and teenagers are injured by firearms, often due to the casual discovery of one of them by the weapon.
About 20% of firearms owners always keep one loaded and unsafe. Once again, therefore, the most effective method to avoid irreparable damage is education and prevention. And common sense, we would add.