We're still doing this? Not a single person on the planet has committed a violent act that was video game inspired... not one. Yes, some people are violent and do play games, but this is not a causal link :/ I've been playing mature rated games since the N64. 1997. When I was 8 years old. I've pretty much seen the evolution of three dimensionally rendered bullet wounds :/ And ya know what? If I ever saw a REAL bullet wound, I would probably start shaking and be very sick. Hell, my brother busted his thumb open on a skateboard a few years back, and I couldn't even look at it.
If there was some connection between violent media and desensitizing, then I must be very lucky to have not received the negative effects. But for that to be true, then there would be plenty of documented cases. Gaming has grown so much and entered so many homes that if there was even a tenuous link we would see it. Black Ops 2 sold millions of units in America in just a few weeks this Christmas. Wouldn't a rise in violent crime follow? There's millions of people out there right now aged 10 to 30 all getting onto the same game at once and have been doing so for weeks now, and the game encourages you to kill each other for points. If even one person in those millions went outside with a rifle and took the game to the next level, then you might have something... a minuscule something that would more then likely turn into a case of one disturbed individual who would have killed without the games influence.
But we don't see that, do we? Just like we don't see people stabbing each other in the cinema lobby after Expendables 2 because 'they got curious what it feels like'.
But it's interactive! They say. It's not like an action movie! You get to take part and this makes you envision the actions easily and comprehend them!
...yeah, and that's exactly why it's not nearly as damaging to you as an action movie, which isn't even damaging at all :/ Watching someone I don't know stab another person I don't know is something viewed impartially. I have almost no feelings towards the event, and thus there is no impact. But letting me take a personal role, even in a clunky simulation of real events, lets me associate with the people I'm hurting and understand what it is I'm doing. It doesn't make me want to stab a man any more or less then I already do (lets be clear, I don't) but it does give me slightly more perspective on the action.
I don't want to hurt people. I don't have it in me to cause serious harm and I cannot watch people suffer. Violent video games have not increased my aggression or desensitized me. They have actually made me LESS violent.