"Grand Theft Auto 5" and its series are commonly thrown under the bus and used as a scapegoat whenever the topic of violent video games and their effect on people comes up; however, a former FBI agent says titles like that are not the reason for violence.
According to a report from GamesIndustry yesterday, former FBI analyst Mary Ellen O'Toole spoke about her experiences and said that she has found video games do not cause a person to act violently.
"It's my experience that video games do not cause violence.
"However, it is one of the risk variables when we do a threat assessment for the risk to act out violently.
"It's important that I point out that as a threat assessment and as a former FBI profiler, we don't see these as the cause of violence, we see them as sources of fuelling ideation that's already there," O'Toole said.
Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Texas A&M University, said that this issue is best looked at from the perspective of history.
"I think we have to put this discussion, to some extent, in historical perspective. And when new media come out that they tend to go through a period of what we call moral panic, in which they are blamed for all manner of societal ills.
"And probably the best example of this was from the 1950s, when we had Congress and psychiatrists who were claiming that comic books were responsible for not only juvenile delinquency, but homosexuality.
"We're in a mode of worry about - or panicking about this type of media. We may do some putting the cart before the horse, and we may see some people sort of starting with a conclusion and trying to assemble data in a very selective way to try to support that conclusion," Ferguson said.
Given all of the rhetoric surrounding this topic, it's best to let scientific research come up with the definitive conclusions.