A UK sailor has been jailed for 25 years after a shooting spree inspired by a violent video game.
Able Seaman Ryan Donovan had been obsessed with the video game Grand Theft Auto – linked with murders in the US. After being disciplined for disobedience, Donovan told shipmates he was planning a killing frenzy based on the game. He later shot dead an officer and seriously wounded three others (The Guardian, 19/9/11).
Not long afterwards, UK and Swedish researchers identified evidence of “Game Transfer Phenomena”, where some gamers integrate video experiences into their real lives (Daily Mail, 21/9/11). The study involved 42 in-depth interviews with participants ages 15 to 21, all of whom were frequent video gamers.
Almost all had experienced some type of involuntary thoughts in relation to video games, and half sought to use something from a video game to resolve a real-life issue.
“This study reinforces our concerns about the link between violent and explicit games and real life behaviour,” said FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips.
“It also reinforces our concerns about the proposed new 18+ games caregory agreed to by Australian attorneys-general in July. There is doubt the new guidelines would exclude games with a higher impact than games currently available – despite the agreement reached by attorneys-general last November,” Mrs Phillips said.
Source: VoxPoint, November 2011, p/. 7.
Reprinted from VoxPoint by permission of FamilyVoice Australia, 4th Floor, 68 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA, 5000.