GTA V made headlines in the wake of a violent massacre in Connecticut earlier this month. With someone or something needed to blame for the violent attack, gun control lobbyists and politicians pointed to video games as the reason behind this inexplicable behavior. With Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V just months from release, one politician turned his attention to the open world title, going so far as calling for a ban on the title.
However convincing these arguments may sound when looking for a scapegoat, researchers disagree. Virginia Tech’s James Ivory, a professor at the university who studies the effect of video games says that there is not an established link between actual violent crimes and violent video games.
“The agreement is pretty well universal among social scientists that there is not a clearly established link between actual violent crime and violent media usage,” explains Ivory.
Ivory doesn’t completely rule out short term aggressive behavior that video games could cause, but believes that “agressive behavior” and the violent crimes that the some try to link to violent video games are worlds apart.
Rockstar Games is readying GTA V for a spring 2013 release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.