Is there a link between video games and Conn. school shooting? - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Is there a link between video games and Conn. school shooting?

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The Connecticut school shooter was allegedly a fan of "Call of Duty." The Connecticut school shooter was allegedly a fan of "Call of Duty."
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

Is there a connection between violent video games and last week's tragic killings at a Connecticut elementary school?

Friends say shooter Adam Lanza was an avid gamer, whose favorite game simulated killing people. The 20-year-old was reportedly a fan of "Call of Duty," which is at the top of many kids Christmas wish list.

"There's lots of parents that let their young people and their children play with these games that don't realize the psychological effect it could have down the road," said Georgia state Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta).

Cooper has degrees in child development and psychiatric nursing, but admits there's little she can do as a lawmaker to address the issue.

GOOD DAY HOT TOPIC QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK THERE IS A LINK BETWEEN VIOLENCE AND VIDEO GAMES?  Post your comments on our FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, or tweet us @GoodDayAtlanta.  We'll read some of your comments on the air during the 9 a.m. hour of Good Day Atlanta on Monday.

Video games are already rated for age appropriateness by the entertainment software rating board.

"Trying to enforce that where all these games are sold – I think that's probably an impossibility," said Cooper.

One expert believes we'll never know if video games played a role in the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

"It's very complicated and probably due to many causes, but violent media could play a role in such behavior," said Dr. Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

Bushman has conducted numerous studies on violent video games and is considered an expert on the subject.

"We found that violent video games increase aggressive thoughts. They increase angry feelings. They increase physiological arousal such as heart rate and blood pressure. They increase aggressive behavior," said Bushman.

His advice to parents: monitor what your children play and how much time they spend playing it.
    
To learn more about video games, how they're rated and why, visit the entertainment software rating board's website at http://www.esrb.org/index-js.jsp

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