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Do Violent Video Games Lead To School Shootings?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How it relates to the book
  3. Recent School Shootings
  4. What video game companies are doing to fix it
  5. Theories about Violence due to Video Games
  6. Conclusion
  7. References


Since 1999 when the Columbine high school massacre happened there have been 68 school shootings in the united states. In recent years the average number of days between school shootings has been decreasing. People, like our current president Donald Trump, believe that this is because of violent video games where the user gets to play and use weapons to kill virtual people. This report will be discussing, how my topic relates to the book, the recent and past school shootings, how video games have evolved over the years, what violent games are doing to fix it, and theories people have about violent video games.

Regulating convictions about hostility is one of the foremost vital cognitive components affecting youthful aggression; they allude to an evaluation of hostility acceptability by a person (Huesmann and Guerra, 1997). They can be isolated into two sorts: common convictions and retaliatory convictions. The previous implies a common see approximately animosity, whereas the last mentioned reflects forceful convictions in provocative circumstances. Regulating convictions approximately hostility reflect the degree acknowledgment of aggression, which influences the choice of forceful behavior. Studies found that normative beliefs about aggression are straightforwardly related to animosity. To begin with, self-reported hostility is essentially connected to regulating convictions approximately animosity

How it relates to the book

This topic relates to the book best in chapter seven which is about crime and deviance. In the book, it talks about control theory and how if everyone was given the opportunity to do deviant acts they would. It also talks about how humans are selfish who make fundamentally calculated decisions about engaging in criminal activity by weighing the benefits and risks to see what works out best for themselves. I believe that this relates to school shootings because, a person might not like some of the people at their school whether it’s a teacher or a bully, so they decide that it would be best for themself to get rid of those people by shooting their school. Not thinking about the other people they would hurt in the process, weighing the risk versus benefit for themselves, like in control theory. School shootings could also be due to conflict theory. Conflict theory suggests that people choose to be deviant as a response to the superior or a ruling class above them. Theorists argue that individuals choose to engage in deviant behavior in response to the inequalities of the capitalist system. To conclude, school shootings could be of a choice to benefit themselves (Control theory) or from a choice in response to those who are of a superior level than themselves (Conflict Theory.

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Recent School Shootings

Within the last year, there have been 11 school shootings within elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country. Jan. 31: Memphis. A 14-year-old at Manassas High School was shot with a pellet gun at school. The student’s injury was not life-threatening. Feb. 8: Baltimore. A man entered Frederick Douglass High School and shot and injured a staff member, prompting students to hide in their classrooms at the sound of gunfire. The police said they believed that the gunman had targeted the victim, a 56-year-old special education assistant. Feb. 12: Kansas City, Mo. A teenage girl was shot and killed outside a high school after an argument at a basketball game earlier in the evening. The police said that the assailant and girl knew each other and that it appeared the suspect had waited for her in the parking lot. Feb. 26: Montgomery, Ala. A 17-year-old student at Robert E. Lee High School was shot and wounded in an arm by another student. The school was placed on lockdown and the assailant was arrested. Apr. 1: Prescott, Ark. A 14-year-old eighth-grader at Prescott High School was shot and injured by a classmate. Apr. 30: Charlotte, N.C. Two students were killed and four others were wounded after a gunman opened fire in an anthropology class at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. One of the students who was killed, Riley Howell, was credited with stopping the massacre. May 7: Highlands Ranch, Colo. One student was killed and eight others were injured in an attack on an English class at STEM School Highlands Ranch. May 7: Savannah, Ga. A Savannah State University student was shot and wounded in a residential hall on campus. Aug. 30: Mobile, Ala. Nine people between the ages of 15 and 18 were wounded when gunfire broke out at a high school football game. The police arrested and charged a 17-year-old student in the shooting, and later sought a second assailant when they found evidence of shots fired by a different gun. Oct. 24: Santa Rosa, Calif. A 17-year-old gunman shot a schoolmate twice just outside Ridgway High School and then walked calmly into class, where his teacher did not realize anything was wrong.(Bosman, 2019)

What video game companies are doing to fix it

Mortal Kombat is a video game developed by NetherRealm Studios and is published by Warner Bros Studios. The game is widely known for its gore and violence as characters are torn in half and decapitated. Most people like to play the game just to watch the gruesome finishing moves done between the characters. The game is definitely not for anyone who doesn’t like violence because that’s what makes the game the way it is. Warner Bros isn’t gonna change it because that’s what makes the game unique. (Byrd, 2019) Senator Leiberman has asked the makers of Mortal Kombat and other violent video game companies to create a warning system because if parents really knew about what happened in theses games they wouldn’t buy them. (“SENATOR CALLS FOR WARNINGS ON VIDEO GAMES,” 1993) Call of Duty is a war based first-person shooter game. The player can play against the computer in simulated missions or can play online against real-world people. The game has put warning labels warning the player as they log in to the game that it’s an extremely violent game you can even take off the missions that are very gory or show lots of blood. They’ve even implemented a setting to called “paintball” mode where blood and bullets are changed for brightly colored splatters of paint. To conclude, some companies are taking steps to bring down or warn the consumers of the violence their game has.

Theories about Violence due to Video Games

According to Bandura’s social cognitive theory, violent video games can initiate adolescents’ observational learning. In this situation, not only can they imitate the aggressive behavior of the model but also their understanding and acceptability about aggression may change. Therefore, normative beliefs about aggression can also be a mediator between violent video games and adolescent aggression. ( Anderson et al., 2017)


We live in a world filled with violent movies, shows, and especially video games. There have been a number of different studies to decide whether violent video games relate to the violence in the youth, specifically school shootings. The evidence shown in these studies shows no definite results. While there are no definite results, some video game companies are taking steps towards making the game less gory as well as less violent in general to help try to stop the many school shootings in America.


  1. Giddens, A., Duneier, D., Applebaum,R., & Carr, D. (2016). Introduction to sociology (10th ed). New York, NY: Norton
  2. Huesmann, L. R., and Guerra, N. G. (1997). Children’s normative beliefs about aggression and aggressive behavior. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 72, 408–419.
  3. Kepes, S., Bushman, B. J., and Anderson, C. A. (2017). Violent video game effects remain a societal concern: reply to Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder (2017). Psychol. Bull. 143, 775–782.
  4. Bosman, J. (2019, November 14). Here’s a List of School Shootings in 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019, from
  5. Byrd, C. (2019, May 3). Review | “Mortal Kombat 11” lives up to its reputation: Brash, fun and ridiculously violent. Retrieved November 24, 2019, from Washington Post website:
  6. SENATOR CALLS FOR WARNINGS ON VIDEO GAMES. (1993, December 2). Retrieved November 24, 2019, from Washington Post website:
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Do Violent Video Games Lead To School Shootings? (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
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