That’s the question asked in light of a disturbing new study that links racism with violent video games.
Media sources report the study, conducted by Ohio State University, suggests that white players who adopt black personas in video games are more likely to be racist toward blacks.
A news release on the finding references the study’s co-author, Brad Bushman, who stated that the video games “makes the white players act more aggressively after the game is over, have stronger explicit negative attitudes toward blacks and display stronger implicit attitudes linking blacks to weapons.
“These results are the first to link avatar race in violent video games to later aggression, said Ohio State professor of communication and psychology said.
The study is the latest in a series of examinations on the effect violent video games have on gamers. According to Bushman, the impact of the games seemingly crosses over into how people view and relate to each other,
‘The media have the power to perpetuate the stereotype that blacks are violent, and this is certainly seen in video games,’ Bushman said in the news release. ‘This violent stereotype may be more prevalent in video games than in any other form of media because being a black character in a video game is almost synonymous with being a violent character.’ . . .”
The research on violent video games was indirectly brought into the closing forum Friday during Hampton University’s 36th Conference on the Black Family. Gun violence took center stage at the event as Wayne Dawkins, a writer for politicsincolor.com, referenced Josh Horowitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who stated, “Of 30,000 American firearms deaths on average annually, 12,000 of them were murders, and, of those homicides, 48 percent of the victims were African-Americans.”
Dawkins’ revelation also included a comment from Hampton University psychology professor Candace Wallace, who singled out reality TV shows for her reasoning behind mass media reinforcing perceptions that “black life is cheap.”
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] was also mentioned by Wallace as she referenced a connection of PTSD being prevalent in violent urban areas in the same ways the condition is present in battle zones.
Although the references make a case for “black on black” violence, ABC News correspondent Byron Pitts, the forum’s moderator, urged the public to avoid the phrase.
“Statistically, violence in America,” he said, “often involves similar people living in close proximity, whether it is ‘white on white, black on black or midget on midget.”