In an interview with Forbes, clinical psychologist Christopher Ferguson outlines his thoughts. “I know it’s a little controversial to say, but there’s a certain type of racism in place with these killings,” he says. “When shootings happen in an inner city in minority-populated schools, video games are never brought up. But when these things happen in white majority schools and in the suburbs, people start to freak out and video games are inevitably blamed. I think that there’s a certain element of racism or ignorance here.”
“Scientifically, the idea that video game violence, movie, or television violence contributes to mass homicides is pretty much a debunked idea that has no real basis to it,” he says later in the interview. “I think certainly the Supreme Court case helped, especially since they were so clear in pointing out that current research was not able to support that line of reasoning.”
This is actually a really good point. I rarely, if ever, see video games and other forms of media violence blamed for crimes committed by minorities - that’s nearly always reserved for whites. I wonder if the Columbine massacre and the resulting backlash against videogames would have been different had the two men not been white. What would have been the scapegoat then? There’s definitely a racial difference between who is given an internal vs. external locus of control regarding why crimes are committed. Whites (I’m speaking generally here) are afforded an external locus (games, bad parenting, etc) while minorities are portrayed as having an inherent criminality. I never realized videogames were a part of this paradigm.