An Australian police commissioner has spoken out against violent video games and a culture that praises and revels in violence, acknowledging that the vast majority are unlikely to be affected, but saying that "it's only got to affect one or two" to be "concerning".
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione stated that there was "nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence they're being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they're playing."
"How can it not affect you if you're a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people (do) for hours and hours on end," he said.
"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people. That's not going to affect the vast majority but it's only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You've got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who's got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia. That's concerning."
Scipione went on later in the article to acknowledge that the issue is compounded by alcohol and poor parenting. Violence in games, and its relation to crime and licensing has become a topic of debate once more here in the UK following the conclusion to a process that now sees PEGI's age brackets replace BBFC's as the legally enforceable standard for game classification. [Sydney Telegraph]