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Psychologist Warns About Dangers Of Violent Games Amid Calls For More Regulation

Says 'If You're Already Violent...Then It Can Incite You To More Violence'
An advertisement for the game Call of Duty Black Ops 2. (credit: Getty Images)

An advertisement for the game Call of Duty Black Ops 2. (credit: Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are now renewed calls for stricter regulations of violent video games following a new report that the gunman in the Sandy Hook shooting may have treated the massacre as the ultimate scorecard.

Armed with an assault rifle in the video game he was playing Tuesday, store manager Chris Scott was on the hunt for a terrorist.

“It’s always about the kill…it’s always about the prestige. It’s always about getting the achievements,” Scott told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.

But the line between what’s real and what’s not is now blurred after it was discovered that mass murderers in Norway and Newtown, Conn., may have been inspired to carry out their massacres by violent video games.

“It just makes them want to be the hero and compete with all those that they see, those strong…macho men that they see acting out the violence,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kurianasky.

Kurianasky said often there are other factors at work with someone who carries out such horrific violence, but added the games are a real concern.

“If you’re already violent and you’re watching violent video games, then it can incite you to more violence,” Kurianasky said.

Gaming experts, though, point out that using a gaming controller is a lot different from handling an actual gun.

“Unless I went to a firing range and I was trained, I would not know how to shoot a gun based on playing this,” Scott said.

When it comes to impressionable children getting their hands on games meant for adults, everyone seems to agree parents need to be more vigilant.

“There’s an onus on the parents to control that,” said one man.

“I would restrict my kid completely,” said another.

“Is it entertainment? Is it making them feel less aggressive? Is it inciting them? Is it giving them fantasies?” Kurianasky said.

President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to fund research into the impact of violent video games as part of a broader gun control plan.

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