After Mass Shooting, News Host Suggests Gamers Should Be Monitored

Talk show host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, speaking on Fox & Friends following the horrific shooting in Washington DC yesterday, suggested that people who play video games should be monitored.

"What about frequency testing?" she asked. (Video above.) "How often has this game been played? I'm not one to get in there and monitor everything, but if this indeed is a strong link, right, to mass killings then why aren't we looking at frequency of purchases per person? And also, how often they're playing and how many — maybe they time out after a certain hour."

By now it's a familiar story: when tragedy happens, the fingers get to pointing. But to suggest that there's a link between mass murder and video games, and that peoples' video game habits should be monitored? When all we have here is correlation? When actual researchers are divided on the subject of whether video games lead to aggression? And when there's no scientific research linking games to violence at all?

It's sometimes hard to believe these people really exist.

For a more reasonable perspective, here's an ex-FBI profiler speaking on CNBC:


    Tonight on the Fox Comedy Channel......

    These arguments they make.. it's like a 5 year old in kindergarten has come up with them.

    A to B to C.. therefore X. It just doesn't work like that and every sane person knows it..

    "“What about frequency testing?” she asked. (Video above.) “How often has this game been played? I’m not one to get in there and monitor everything, but if this indeed is a strong link, right, to mass killings then why aren’t we looking at frequency of purchases per person? And also, how often they’re playing and how many — maybe they time out after a certain hour.”"

    If this were even remotely true, we'd have millions of mass murderers every day. Just ridiculous bullsh*t.

    Last edited 18/09/13 4:37 pm

      A to B to C.. therefore X. It just doesn't work like that and every sane person knows it..

      The problem is that the kind of people that watch Fox (or any other mainstream news) are not sane, they're just gullible morons.

      "It must be true, it was on TV, they wouldn't lie to us, right?"

        Or my favourite: "The research may not be conclusive, but where's the opposing research? There's none of that, is there! I just think the coincidences are very interesting."

        Fucking 'interesting' coincidences...

        (Actually there is opposing research, but none that they will show the gullible morons...)

    This just reaches a whole new level of dumb...

      So true. What they fail to realise is this.
      Many people play violent video games.
      The large majority of these people do not commit violent crimes.
      A very small proportion of these people commit violent crimes
      These small percentage of cases are widely publicized in the news.
      It does not mean that all people who play violent video games will be violent.
      It does not mean that most people who play violent video games will be violent.
      (Having taken an in depth look at the the scientific literature for purposes of research, there is no decent research to say that violent video games are ay worse than violent movies either). The studies arent well controlled. People just enjoy saying that violent video games are worse than violent movies. There is no solid evidence. The media just wants a scapegoat.
      Also, hasn't the media ever heard of the availability heuristic?

      Last edited 18/09/13 6:45 pm

      I feel the need to play devils advocate here for the first video a "little" bit.
      The way it was presented was far less sensationalized that the usual guff that Fox slap together. There were all the right if's and it was never claimed as fact that there was a link, more that there was some speculation that led to quite convincing conclusions.
      Yes, it is still guff, but I didn't cringe nearly as much as usual.

    I love the lady in the second video. I knew as soon as this happened that video games would be blamed the media is so predictable with this kind of thing that it isn't even irritating to see anymore, It's just boring.

      It's Fox.. they don't stop beating the dead horse.. even when it no longer looks like a horse, they just keep beating it.

        Just give it time and it won't just be fox anymore there is already a bunch of news articles with the heading about him being obsessed with violent games etc.

        Someone has been playing 'Horse Beater 5 - The Neighsayer' a leeeetle too much methinks. (japanese game released 2006...look it up)

      I have no doubt that video games can play some role in making people more violent. But it's not the root cause and it's silly for these people to look at it in isolation.

      Again and again we've discussed that people who commit these atrocious crimes have underlying conditions that are not related to video games.

        Exactly it's like (and apologies for the horrible example) somebody robbing a bank and then turning around and blaming money.

        Last edited 18/09/13 4:52 pm

    This isn't worth an article. It would be like announcing rain in the news every time it rained. It would be worth an article if Video Games DIDN'T get the blame.

      Fortunately there are also positive articles out there! :)

    surprised they haven't linked it to GTAV's release specifically.

      They might have if it was pushed back a week at a moments notice! And i'd believe it too..

      It's only a matter of time before they do a GTA V story, it's inevitable.

    Almost ironically, though, most experts agree that Hasselbeck is an idiot.

    isn't the NSA already on that?

    440,000 people die in the US each year due to tobacco (including second-hand smoke). Maybe she should do her finger pointing elsewhere, especially where in that instance there is a clear cause to nearly half a million deaths.

      Killing yourself through smoking and killing other people is entirely different, though. Should the law be responsible for saving people from themselves?

      I feel like the law should be about enabling you to lead your life as you choose, and protecting you from other people whose actions would otherwise prevent that. We should create laws to stop someone from endangering other people with, for example, second-hand smoke, but not necessarily to stop them from endangering themselves through smoking. Of course, there's always the drain on the medical system to consider.

      But, no, none of that makes the wild finger pointing at games any more rational.

    All these mass shooting murderers were male. By their logic this means being male makes you murder people.

    Just once, I'd like to see one of these news reporters make the point that they themselves, or perhaps their kids, play videos games too. It's always a case of "those other people over there" when it comes to gamers.

    Last edited 18/09/13 4:55 pm

      But then you get the, "What happened to videogames, I was pretty content with Pacman" excuse.

    if this indeed is a strong link, right, to mass killings then why aren’t we looking at frequency of purchases per person?

    Frequency? Has she sat down with a videogame? Or even walked into a store to buy a videogame? It's not like buying a pack of smokes, you don't "frequently" buy games. At their release price (especially in Australia) you won't be buying a new game every week. Less if you work long hours. Considering how long some games can take to "complete" not everybody buys in bulk (excluding Steam sales that nobody ever gets around to playing anyways) because they still have some games at home to finish.
    Also keep in mind that despite the fact that the publishers keep trying, a new CoD isn't released every week. Usually there's several months between "the next big shooter", so it's not exactly a "frequent" thing.

      They should blame that on video games too, because You can smoke in GTAV, therefore it's promoting smoking. -note the sarcasm-

      To be clear I think she means frequency of play. If somebody plays Video games on a daily basis they must be a killer.

      But let's be honest, if Video Games had this effect it would be on a global scale, why do video games only affect Americans? The only reason they point the finger at games is because the gun lobby is extremely loud, completely nuts, and they have all the guns.

      I saw on another news article this guy was known to be mentally unstable and suffering from PTS.

        The second video was much more reasonable. It's not the video games themselves that is the issue, it's the total retreat away from the real world.

        Unfortunately games are kind of designed to facilitate that. They provide manipulative reward structures to keep you engaged. For most people that's not a huge issue, it's part of what makes gaming fun. We have other things in life that we want to get back to, so we don't really get 'addicted'.

        For a small section of society it can be extremely destructive, though. Much like gambling.

    I won't bother watching the first video. It's more of the same bullshit from morons who not only don't know what they're talking about, but who are also trying to direct the blame away from the real issue; mental health and gun control (or lack thereof). Watching it will only piss me off. As for the second video, which I did watch, the woman was right; his video game addiction was a sign of other problems. As gamers we all know video games don't make people violent. That capacity of violence is already there in those who can do this sort of thing. Video games don't cause it or make it worse. What makes it worse is a lack of help. People see the signs, but they don't do anything to get the person help, and eventually... Well, we're already aware of what happens next.

    I guess no one ever killed anyone on a murderous rampage prior to CoD being released.

    According to the Associated Press: “(Alexis) had been suffering a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder. He also had been hearing voices in his head, the officials said.”

    And he was on a cocktail of prescription drugs for his mental disorders. Is this not taken into consideration?

    These would be the same videogames available (and played) throughout the rest of the world...
    You know - the rest of the world that does not have the mass shooting frequency of the USA, but curiously, also does not have their ambivalence to gun control...

    This is a clear case of ignoring the elephant in the room - firearms availability in the US. As a FOX news pawn she is bound to divert attention from US gun laws.

    If they'd started reeling in the firearms issue in the US after Columbine or Sandy Hill etc. - maybe this guy would not have had access to the weapon used? Maybe not too - but as a ratio to user - games are clearly safer than firearms.

    Issues such as Mental Health and Gun Control always take a back seat to the usual scapegoat of violent video games. I knew before all these articles that they'd find some way to blame it all on games, despite his previously admitted mental health problems and the fact that he never left the house without a gun on his hip


    Last edited 18/09/13 8:12 pm

    she is a retard. a hot retard.

    "Ok, let's ban all video games, heavy metal music, and any other form of entertainment"

    Two weeks later there's a report of a mass shooting.

    "oh shit, what are we going to blame now, uh... ummm, I got it, boredom, that's right, they did it because they were bored".

    Here, like most gaming sites, guns are blamed. On pro gun sites they blame video games.
    Both sides are blaming the wrong people.
    Pro gun supporters and gamers should band together and start pointing the finger at the real culprit. . . prescription drugs.

    Heres a statistic for you. . .
    11 of the last 15 mass shootings in the USA (including this latest one) the shooters have been on psychotropic prescription drugs.
    The remaining four shooters medical files have been locked down and are not available for public record. . . which says a lot about their contents.

      No. Just no. Guns are the cause. Only dumb barbarians would disagree with this. If you take guns out of peoples hands then there wont be any to shoot people with. This is simple logic.

      the fact that these people were on medication points to the a serious problem, they all had mental health issues.

        Awesome! Good to know.
        Let me go hide all the spoons so my wife doesn't get fat.

        Seriously, go read some facts and statistics.

          Instead of claiming one or the other wouldn't the logical assumption be that both easy access to guns and questionable Mental Health are the issues.

          Sane people can own guns, store them safely and use them without harming people. People with Mental Disorders can be peaceful and quiet 99% of the time and suddenly have a Violent outburst. The problem is when Gun Ownership and Mental Disorders Cross you get Mass shootings.

        the fact that these people were on medication points to the a serious problem, they all had mental health issues.

        And that's the problem. You can take away every single gun, but if someone wants one bad enough, they will get one. You never heard of the black market?

        So you take away the gun, what's to say he wouldn't have just run around with a machete instead, chopping into anyone in his way?

          There's nothing to say he wouldn't. But there's a chance you can outrun a guy with a Machete. It's not possible to outrun a bullet.

          If a guy walks into the Mall and pulls out a Machette everybody will run away, he now has to catch and kill each person and more will get away. It's a Grim survival of the fittest scenario but it's a lot more survivable than somebody opening up with an Assault Rifle on the crowd.

            And if guys in PNG walk into a tourist camp, armed with machetes, it's not going to end well.

              That is a very different Scenario to the one we're talking about here. PNG isn't exactly a place I would consider Safe. I'm not saying the guy with a Machete is a meh scenario, I'm saying running away works a lot better than when the guy is armed with an assault rifle.

              Crazy person who wishes to kill people is scary no matter what weapon they have be it bare hands or some sort of high capacity Automatic Weapon. But what I can say is this, in countries where there is gun control like Australia there has been a dramatic drop in gun deaths and gun crime. Yes there are still criminals getting back yard made guns or black market guns and they are using them to commit crimes.

              The point is the average mental health patient doesn't have access to fire arms here. In the heat of the moment they can't pull out an old shotgun and run down to the local K-Mart for Ammo.

        If you took away the guns there would just be more physical violence. You're doing the same thing the news stations are doing, looking at the means while ignoring the cause.

    We all seen this coming.

    Why are the talking about video games? The guy was suffering from PTSD. Obviously his mental condition is the cause of it. The real question is why wasnt he receiving any mental health treatment.

    Isn't the NSA already monitoring everyone?

    It's all clear to me now! I noticed that every time someone on Fox blames Gamers; murders happens in the world around the same time! This is proof of a strong link!

    It's so simple! If we ban stupid people from Fox we could finally have World Peace!!!

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