Santa Barbara Killings Remind Us of Violent Video Games’ Role in Culture

Jim Daly

Video games are in the news more and more – and usually, it’s not for good reasons.

Gaming is sometimes blamed in the growing trend where young men are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve major life milestones like moving out of their parents’ house, going to college, getting married and starting a family. Some of these men are stuck in a prolonged adolescence; one stat says 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games than 12-to- 17-year-old boys.

The connection between many of our nation’s troubled young men and violent video games has also become increasingly worrisome.

The tragic killings in Santa Barbara are just the latest example of a young man who enjoyed violent video games committing unspeakable, deadly acts.  NBC News reports an unauthenticated document purportedly written by Elliot Rodger describes how “the writer’s only release was to disappear into marathon sessions playing … World of Warcraft.”

Obviously, connection doesn’t mean causation. Cases like the Santa Barbara murders are complicated, with many factors at play, and ultimately it comes down to sin in the human heart. Like Focus’ own media discernment ministry, Plugged In, recently wrote:

It’s impossible to say that games create killers or cause them to go on bloody rampages, of course. But what’s more clear is the correlation between violent games and how they affect young players’ behavior. A number of studies have documented significant ways that games seem to shape the moral development of young gamers…

But it is safe to say this: something that has the potential to impact the development and future of our young people is something moms and dads should diligently monitor and be up-to-date on.

Helping parents understand video games

Today’s Focus on the Family broadcast, “Addressing Video Games in Today’s Culture,” is designed to help parents learn about the mainstream culture of video gaming. The two-part broadcast featuring a panel of video game players and reviewers describes how video games and gamers have changed significantly in just a generation. Most importantly, the broadcast will provide moms and dads with practical takeaways that will equip them to teach their children discernment when it comes to games.

As always, you can tune in to the broadcast through your local radio station, online or via our free, downloadable app.

You can also receive a free copy of “Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids with Love, Not War,” which tackles the issue of family-based media discernment, for your gift of any size.

Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter

Focus on the Family has helped 560,000 parents manage a significant family crisis within the last year alone. Partner with our ministry and join Friends of Family to help us ensure that families have access to Christian counsel and Bible-based resources year-round.

Related Posts

Navy Seal’s Commencement Speech Full of Common-Sense Wisdom

Girls Propositioning Boys: Helping Your Son When the Tables Are Turned

An Interview with Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall

Jim Daly's Blog on Focus on the Family

Follow me on Twitter @Dalyfocus

Follow me on Facebook

Keep up with Focus on the Family on Facebook

Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter