In a previous post, I identified a dialectic reasoning pattern I call the “new stupid” pattern. Here is another example.
Old stupid argument: violent video games make children more dangerous and lead to fighting, gang violence, school shootings, etc.
New stupid argument: its absurd that atomizing monsters with the BFG and sniping aliens would translate too are more violent temperament. This is just fear mongering by out of touch senior citizens.
What’s actually going on: in The Republic, Plato emphasized the importance of the stories told children and how people’s minds are affected by the stories to which they are exposed. Our culture glorifies violence. The ubiquitous exaltation of violence is prominent in video games, board games, movies, television, advertisements, news, the wars being fought, medals given to soldiers, classic and contemporary literature, and religious texts.
Are violent video games contributing to violence in society? Certainly, but no more so than any other medium.
Should society limit children’s access to violent games? Perhaps, but only if we’re willing to limit access to other violent media, including the Bible.