Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong

Do violent video games lead kids to be more violent in real life? This was a huge debate amongst homeschoolers five-ten years ago. I’m not as involved in the day to day discussions of that subgroup anymore, but I feel like there are plenty of people who still believe that they do. So much research went into the writing of this book that I hope that it does get the audience it deserves.

Here is my standard video game disclaimer: We are an unabashed video game enthusiast family. We own quite a few consoles and even collect what are now “antique” systems so in some ways I felt like with me the author was preaching to the choir a bit.

Tracing the world of video games from its start where in the early days Atari broke its own rule about violence against humans by introducing  Cops N Robbers and Roaring Twenties both of which included gun violence. That said: ” It is hard to create a horrifying and realistic violence image in the blocky 160×192 resolution of an Atari 2600.”

Nowadays we all know that that anything pictured  in a video game will be both realistic and graphic whether it is violent or not. Through extensive research, we also know that games can have a positive impact on everything from social skills to stress, and may even make us more morally sensitive. The authors have spent years on the front lines of the video game debate and now offer a comprehensive overview of the scientific research on gaming. I found this to be a balanced look that separates the myths from the research.

I read a DRC of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong

Paperback – March 21, 2017

by Patrick M. Markey (Author), Christopher J. Ferguson