Video games do not cause violence according to former FBI profiler

A former FBI analyst has stated on CBS News: "It's my experience that video games do not cause violence." Former FBI Senior Profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole explained her professional stance on the subject in a live debate on Sunday, discussing the link between violent games and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December last year. However, she also added: "We're not strangers to how this material can be misused."

She explained that video games are "one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently," adding that violent games can be used alongside newspaper clippings or textbooks as educational tools as part of the potential offender's preparation for an intended crime. "As a thread assessment and a former FBI profiler, we don't see these as the cause of violence. We see them as sources of fuelling ideation that's already there."

It was also pointed out by Texas A&M International University psychology professor Christopher Ferguson that when new media comes out, it tends to go through a period of moral panic and this has been seen in everything from movies to comic books.

Watch the short debate in full here:

Source: RawStory (opens in new tab)

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.