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: