Peter Dutton Wants To Rehash The Video Game Violence Debate

Peter Dutton Wants To Rehash The Video Game Violence Debate
Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

It was only a matter of time before a politician tried to dig up the old debate around video games and real-world violence in relation to the Christchurch terror attack, and this time, that person is Peter Dutton, or, as the Chinese media have dubbed him, “Potato Brother”.

Potato Brother spoke on ABC Radio National this morning in the wake of the New Zealand mosque shooting which left 51 people dead, stating that “we need to be realistic about the threat that we face”. While this mostly dealt with matters of ASIO intelligence and relevant government briefings, he mentioned that perhaps video games need to be discussed in relation to the attack.

“I think there is a further debate, I might say, in relation to the use of computer games and graphic videos, and the way in which that is accessed online,” Dutton said.

Skimming over the fact that old mate bizarrely lumped “computer games” and “graphic videos” into the same box, blaming video games is surely something that we can stop doing now given the number of studies which have overwhelming proven that there is no link between violent games and real-world violence.

As an avid gamer, having to continuously defend my passion from out of touch politicians is becoming exhausting, and I know I’m not alone. But before this becomes bigger than it needs to be, let’s have a very brief look at the latest study to disprove the “video games are bad, mkay” argument which is bound to spring up.

Published on February 13, the study was conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford and the Oxford Internet Institute and is being praised as one of the most comprehensive studies on the topic to date. The aim was to measure teen aggression and violence in video games using both subjective and objective data.

Unlike previous studies on the subject, this one collected data on aggressive behaviours from both the teens and their parents and carers, rather than just the former. There were 2,008 participants in total, with the gamers comprised of 14 to 15-year-old British teens.

“The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time,” Professor Andrew Przybylski said in the research. “Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.”

In other words, there’s still no link between the two.

I’m well aware that Potato Brother has merely brought up the idea of further debate on the topic, but I think it’s worth nipping the whole thing in the bud before it even takes off.


    • Weirdly you’ve been downvoted by people I can only assume hate Australia. What do you do when it’s obvious that these politicians can’t be reasoned with? Just crack an egg on them! d(>_・ )

      • It is every Australians duty to Egg Fraser Anning and his goose-stepping goons (Who are also convicted criminals btw)

        • I saw it suggested that what we need to do is just stand around holding an egg carton every time Anning goes out in public.

          Just in the background, holding our groceries. That just happens to contain an egg carton.

    • Because he has another fucking stupid comment to make and unfortunately he’s still in government.

      But his time is almost over…

      • Yeah, he was elected in a small margin of votes.

        Polls have shown his voting district is very likely to vote him out.

        • God I hope so, regardless of what side of the fence you sit, nobody should be backing Peter Dutton, he is an evil little puppet with delusions of grandeur.

          Thank hell he turned out to be a backstabbing bastard as well, they were about to hand the guy more power than any one person in Australia should wield and he sure as shit wasn’t going to be using it for good.

      • But his time is almost over…

        I won’t believe it until he’s gone. After all, no one expected Trump to win… yet stupidity triumphed against all sanity.

          • Very true, I mean I didn’t vote for him but obviously the majority of the population must have.

          • Yeah I was using the royal we (I didn’t vote for Abbott either). The majority of America didn’t vote for Trump if that adds some context. I think it’s easy to pile onto Americans but we’re all a bit shit in our own ways haha

  • Well I guess in the current he cant blame Lebanese Muslims again…..

    please don’t call him potato, I like them and they don’t deserve that.

  • Lets blame video games again… the research shows otherwise with violent crimes dropping in most countries other than USA. Lets ignore the fact that this recent attack is another person who owned MULTIPLE GUNS and even by admissions by people at his own gun club FREAKED THEM THE FUCK OUT!!!

    The whole video games lead to gun violence is NRA Propoganda for decades, they fund the research, they fund the anti-video game lobby groups and they do this all to deflect blame on guns… and the media outlets and politicians are willing to jump on board cause the Gun Lobby is really scary, not cause they have guns, cause they HAVE LAWYERS!!!

    • You had me with the first paragraph but lost me with the second.

      It is seriously telling that the guy gave other people the creeps. Though, to be fair it’s possible he didn’t and the people at the gun club are just trying to make sure they don’t look like psychos too.

  • Why is it the Libs just wanna kill any industry that isn’t about digging crap outta the ground?

    Like the NBN – “What is it?
    Can we dig it outta the ground?
    I know we can dig copper outta the ground, lets just add copper to it.”

  • Of all the things to poke fun at with Dutton (of which there are many) why choose the one thing he cannot control ie. his appearance?
    As for the games….whatever. We’ve been over that planty of times. Tight gun laws work, proven fact. Imo all legal firearms should be single shot manual reload low calibre. Penalties for illegal firearms should be tripled from whatever they are now. Done. Stop blaming games.

    • That’s the one thing that took me back a bit. When you shame people due to things like that, you immediately lower yourself and lose your moral grounds. They may not agree with Dutton, but attacking him over that, is very much the same as shaming someone over their weight or any other physical feature. They had a potentially decent article until that point.

    • They don’t have to be single shot. Just regulate who can own and use semi-autos. Like in Australia, they are only legal for professional shooters. And you can’t have low power single shot firearms when there are people who cull large animals for a living. Try killing a full grown cow with a .22 single shot. Australia’s gun control laws seem to be fairly sensible and on the whole are working. No need to go further.

      As for the games issue. He’s not calling for a ban *yet*. But even the fact that he’s mentioned the possibility of including games in a debate is nonsensical. Considering the sheer volume of gamers around the world if violent games were a “trigger” there’d be thousands of times as many mass shootings and violent acts all round the developed world every day.

  • It’s incredibly easy not to murder lots of people when the things you need to murder lots of people quickly aren’t accessible.

    Watching violent tv/movies and playing violent video games no matter what your opinion or research you like doesn’t change this.

  • Just wanna throw my hat in the ring.

    I don’t think games and movies desensitize people enough. I think they did the worst thing by not showing the live stream on tv.

    I’ve played shooting games all my life. I’ve watched hundreds of gory movies. I’ve fired live guns, none of that affected me. I watched the whole stream of the shooting. That affected me so badly.. it was disgusting and horrible. Previously I was indifferent on gun violence but after watching that… Holy fuck it’s serious.. it’s woken me to the problem and I think more people should see it.

    • Look I get your intentions but showing it would’ve done far more damage than good.

      You looking at this from a resonable persons mind frame, you saw the footage and were horrified but this footage wasn’t made for resonable folks, its made to create conflict, to embolden like minded individuals and seek retribution from opposing extremes.
      There’s already people calling the footage fake, you have some of the extreme right wingers glorifiying and justifying it while others claim it’s a lefty false flag to make the right look bad, you already have politicians politicising it to push their own agendas, imagine if they had the footage also.

      It’s the same tactics used by terrorists already where they purposefully create news that has a negative effect when the mainstream reports on it, essentially getting the media to push the hate and incite further violence.
      (Already the video will be used by both right wing and Islamic terrorists to radicalise people, it creates a cycle that gets worse and worse as it travels)

  • Meh, who cares? Dutton is out of there in a couple of months anyway. He can’t do any more damage to anything at this point.

    • The damage he is already done is worth so much more than a ‘meh’. It’s one thing to vote a party (and a person) out of government. It is another thing entirely to have the political balls to permanently undo the damage they did while in power (the prosecution presents the work of our previous Attorney General as Exhibit A).

  • Blame video games?
    Surely the issue is tighten gun laws.
    Just look at Australia, no semi automatic fire arms has drastically reduced the number of mass shootings across the country.

  • Politicians like Dutton LOVE this kind of rhetoric. It gives them a monster to blame something on without them actually doing anything useful. Triggers all the people who aren’t capable of critical thought and creates a nicely packaged product for current affairs programs and the cover of the daily Telegraph. Job done.

Log in to comment on this story!