Shell Shockers video game cracks into classrooms

By Miranda Chung, Assistant Opinions Editor

As soon as one signs up to play, there is banner on the screen that says, “Welcome to Shell Shockers, the world’s most advanced egg-based multiplayer shooter! It’s your favorite battlefield game…but with eggs!”

While most see this as another harmless and common kids video game, there may be a possibility that these types of games can contribute to gun violence.

Shell Shockers has become a very popular video game in the CHS community. Multiple students are able to come together on chromebooks to play the game during class. It has practically become an addiction. Even those who were never interested in playing video games have started to enjoy it.

After having mass shootings occur, the media and many public officials have come to question the role of the shooter’s video game habits.

The American Psychological Association considers violent video games a red flag for aggression. In 2017, the APA concluded that exposure to violent video games can lead to increased aggressive behaviors, thoughts and emotions as well as decreasing a person’s ability to show empathy in both short-term and long-term.

Violent video games can also desensitize a person’s ability to see violent behavior in others and decrease prosocial behaviors like helping another person. The longer that someone is exposed to violent video games, the more likely it is for them to experience violent behaviors.

It makes sense that since playing violent video games tends to increase the level of aggressive behavior; it would also results in more lethal violence or other criminal behaviors. However, there is actually no clear evidence to support that assumption.

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting in Florida in 2018, policymakers are again trying to find out whether or not there is a correlation between playing violent video games and causing violence. The Entertainment Software Rating Board stands by their claim that their ratings are effective. However, the APA Task Force still recommend for the ESRB to revise their rating system to make the level of violence clearer. The Task Force also recommends that further research must be done using delinquency and criminal behavior as outcomes to determine whether or not violent video games are linked to violence.

The bottom line is, it is important to keep in mind that violent video games exposure is not the only factor that contributes to violence and  aggressive behavior. For example, mental illness, bad environments and access to guns are all risk factors of aggression.