Another tragic death, another psychologist suggesting that violent video games are involved.
According to ABC News, on April 18th in Queens, New York a homeless man bled to death on the sidewalk while numerous pedestrians walked past. Most completely ignored Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, as he lay unmoving on the ground, bleeding from numerous stab wounds he had endured in the torso at the hands of a would-be mugger. One person rolled him over, saw the blood and kept walking. Someone even stopped to take a picture of Tale-Yax on their mobile phone before continuing on their way.
It was not until an hour and a half later did anyone call for help. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene at 7:23 a.m, Tale-Yax was already dead.
Video taken from a nearby surveillance camera reveals something even more tragic about Tale-Yax's death. Moments before being stabbed, Tale-Yax had followed an alleged mugger who was pursuing a woman walking down the street. Though the footage does not capture Tale-Yax actually being attacked, seconds later the man runs back into view and then disappears. Tale-Yax follows briefly but then falls on the ground where he lies until for almost two hours.
ABC News asked psychologist Michael Bradley why people would be so callous as to walk past a dying Good Samaritan in need.
He replied, "we love violence in this culture...We have this kind of 24/7 pounding of violence in our movies, in our videos, in our music and certainly in the games. We now know that that pounding of violence actually causes brain changes where people start to not distinguish between real violence and cyber violence.
"Literally they go to another part of the brain that's sort of very passive and doesn't react the way it should. If they hadn’t had this 'desensitization' effect ...We're actually rewiring our brains to not react to violence and pain the way we should."
In the video clip produced by ABC News, games like Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 are used to illustrate Bradley's point.
It is worth noting that a similar incident happened in 1964 --years before violent video games made their debut --when Kitty Genovese was robbed and brutally stabbed to death while her neighbors watched.
However, desensitization caused by violent video games is hardly the only reason why people did not stop to help Tale-Yax. Bradley also said that people tend to copy other people's behavior, so if one person passed by Tale-Yax, others would follow suit. Additionally, some believe it is someone else's responsibility and assume the authorities will handle the situation.
To watch the entire report (including footage of the attack), check out ABC News here.
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