During the Rittenhouse trial on Monday as the prosecution interrogated Kyle Rittenhouse on the stand, they brought up the widely debunked archaic view that playing violent video games such as Call of Duty affects his self-defense claims.
Prosecutor Thomas Binger pressed Rittenhouse on the choices behind his decision to select an AR-15 for purchase, stating that he may have purchased the gun because it resembled those used in the popular first-person shooter game Call of Duty.
AR-15s "are the types of weapons that are used in first-person shooter video games, correct?" Binger asked.
"I don't really play first-person shooter video games, I have, but I believe there's a variety of guns including shotguns, pistols — there's guns in video games that resemble all guns," Rittenhouse responded.
"Isn't it true when you would hang out with Dominic Black you'd play Call of Duty and other first-person shooter video games sometimes, and those are games in which you use weapons like A-15s to pretty much shoot anybody who comes at you? Correct?" Binger questioned.
"Its a video game where two players are playing together. I don't really understand the meaning of your question," Rittenhouse said.
"To be honest, isn't one of the things people do in these video games, try and kill everyone else with your guns?" Binger pressed.
"Yeah," said Rittenhouse. "It's just a video game. It's not real life."
The link between violent video games and real-life violence is questionable at best. The argument that violent video games lead to real-world violence has been researched since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, where it was revealed that the two shooters were avid gamers.
According to the Dana Foundation, "The main reason to worry about video games is a slew of studies claiming to find a link between violence in video games and real-world aggression, but countervailing studies have found no persuasive link. The main reason to be skeptical of a causal link is that video games have spread widely around the world without driving other countries to the levels of violence in this country."
They state that "there is no hard evidence yet that such games lead to mass murders or grisly killings. Indeed, most correlation studies show at most a small effect."