An expert on the influence of violent video games believes such
alleged "entertainment" may have played a role in last Friday's
massacre of children and adults at a Connecticut school.
Adam Lanza killed 20 kindergartners at Sandy Hook Elementary
School and six adults last week in Newtown, then turned his gun on
himself. He was thought to have been a fan of warfare video
Menconi, a Southern California-based family advocate who
lectures on the influence of media, believes there is significant
relationship between violent gaming and aggressive behavior.
"When did you ever think that the most popular game is killing
people?" he asks. "You can't point at video gaming and say video
gaming made my child pull that trigger -- no, you can't ... and I'm
not saying that.
"But I can say this, and research has backed me up: it has
desensitized a whole generation of young people."
Menconi points to research that reveals a direct physiological
occurrence during a first-person shooter game and the gamer.
"There's a little thrill that goes with the fact of killing --
and in fact, it hits the same mental synapse of the child as actual
killing," he explains. "And after it is done over and over and over
and over and over, that little rush needs a bigger rush. It's kind
of like drugs."
Al Menconi Ministries also focuses on the negative influence of
anti-biblical values portrayed in music and, in contrast, the
positive effect Christian music can have. His "Christian Music Diet" -- which encourages
individuals to listen exclusively to Christian music for 30 days --
kicks off January 1, 2013.
Dr. Ted Baehr, a Hollywood-based media expert and family and
child advocate, concurs with Menconi on the impact of violent video
games on behavior.
"We are breeding a generation of murderers with no moral
conscience and no self-control," he states in a press release. He
cites a recent study from Ohio State University that
found "the negative effects of playing violent video
games" are cumulative.
Baehr, who is founder and chairman of the Christian Film &
Television Commission, observes that reports indicate the
perpetrators of past massacres at Columbine (Colorado) High School
in 1999 and, more recently, at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado,
were frequent video game players.
"None of these evil killers went to church or synagogue on a
regular basis," he says. "Modern society's rejection of Christian,
biblical faith and values clearly leads to social chaos and mass
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper also wonders about the
negative influence of video gaming. He said Sunday on CNN that
"violent video games and a 'culture of violence' found in the media
could be contributing factors to mass shootings."