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Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The author of the 400,000-copy bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide--and what we must do about it.
Paducah, Kentucky, 1997
: a 14-year-old boy shoots eight students in a prayer circle at his school. Littleton, Colorado, 1999: two high school seniors kill a teacher, twelve other students, and then themselves. Utoya, Norway, 2011: a politicalit.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
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Maria The author actually suggest skipping to the last couple chapters where he summarizes the studies that he and others have done if the descriptions of…moreThe author actually suggest skipping to the last couple chapters where he summarizes the studies that he and others have done if the descriptions of the video games and the violent crimes they inspired bothered the reader. If you were worried about length that would be a great place to start too.(less)

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Dec 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
Let's take a moment of silence for this amazing book description. Let's see if I get this... A Colonel wrote a book about a social phenomenon using scientific data? Seems legit enough in my opinion. I haven't read this because over the years I've read hundreds of scientific articles about violence and video games and I seriously doubt I'll learn something new. Also, the book description says it all. When I started reading scientific articles about this phenomenon I thought that video games contr ...more
Liz Lazarus
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Assassination Generation” is the most important book I’ve read this year.
Filled with powerful information and backed with data, this is a book every parent should read.

We don’t let our children smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or own firearms, yet we allow them access to violent media including TV, movies and video games. The latter, video games, are likely the worst because instead of being a passive viewer of the violence, our children are taking an active role in directing t
Feb 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF- I skimmed the middle part of the book since it was just a repetitive fearmongering self promotion. If he had just presented the facts and studies without all the hyperbolic crap I might have respected him a little more. This is just another older generation saying something is ruining the children with video games as the latest scapegoat instead of taking responsibility as parents and actually doing their job. The same thing happened in the 90s with D&D and in the 80s with metal music.
Mary Loucks-Cummings
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Every. Parent. Needs. To. Read. This. Book.

In our media-, electronics-, death-obsessed culture, we have got to get a handle on things before it gets even worse, and the first step is restricting children's access to violent video games (in addition to access to violent movies and TV... followed by limiting their screen time to a reasonable amount). I was surprised by how readable this text was, given all the statistics and studies within the pages. The indisputable, scientific evidence between

Fredrick Danysh
With the rise of mass killings since 1975 it is easy to blame guns [which the author suggests is not the real reason] instead citing studies that youth are being desensitized to violence and death by video games and other sources that teach and applaud violence. I recommend this study to parents, educators, entertainers, political leaders, and all media personnel. As both a retired teacher and retired United States Marine, I find Assassination Generation thought provoking. This was a free advanc ...more
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I feel bad giving this book such a low rating as I really enjoyed the author's previous books On Killing and On Combat. Working in the field of mental health I understand the concern for video games and violence, but this could have been a chapter in a book as it felt really repetitive. I guess it might be interesting and/or provide some insight for parents.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Big on assertions, small on support.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad, I'd give it about a B+

Very informative but a bit overly heavy-handed at points. Needs more research and focus on directly pursuing the positive and pro-social behaviors that entirely negate the malicious elements. But, for the perspective it brandishes, very thorough and well-supported.
Danielle Clark
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a huge fan of the author making plugs for previous books/himself every chapter but the information provided was very, VERY eye opening. I'm not a parent but I'm a middle school teacher and it makes me worried for my students.
Michaela Crutcher-Lord
I like the military connection, but I also think it plays into some scare tactics. Yes, the mass murder rate has jumped, but the actual crime rate is as low as it was in the 60s. I agree that children shouldn’t be playing first shooter games and that we desensitize at young ages. However, in my opinion, the media shapes due to the information overload and this medium itself raising the next generation. We are teaching a generation how to be without actual education. A lot of this book is repetit ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
This book does a convincing study on the connection between violent video games and violence in society. More need to read this and admit the connection exists and act to reduce the advertising and glorifying of these games.
R.K. Byers
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
don't know if I'd attribute THAT much evil to video games.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, violence
I picked this up after hearing it mentioned on a radio program immediately following the most recent school shooting in Florida. I'm so aghast at the frequency of these shootings -- acts of extreme violence that have never occurred in the history of humanity. And I'm looking for answers. How is that anyone can walk into a school and just shoot people dead? The author presents interesting facts, of which I haven't seen publicized anywhere else in these days following the shooting. While the autho ...more
Kevin Costain
Jan 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I generally don’t end books before finishing, but this one is a little much. The book is essentially a hit-piece against the media and video game industry, blaming it for all the violence-centred ills of Americana. Really difficult to take seriously.

Some thoughts:
- Calling violence a worldwide phenomenon - it really isn’t pp19
- Various points of praise doled out for the prison-military-industrial complex.. like this is somehow helping. “Let’s shove more people in prison t
Linsey Adair
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because we live in a world that is far beyond that of our own childhoods, we must understand what was set in motion decades ago that touch pieces of how-the-world-works that I would never have thought to think about.

Do you have children? Do they play video games? Are you aware of the content, the rating systems, the standards, the marketing methods? Do your children have friends? Are they gamers?

I am PRO video games. I believe they can improve critical thinking, hand-eye coordinatio
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I just recently returned from vacation and so I apologize for the insane amount of updates I will be adding to Goodreads. Assassination Generation was one of the few non-fiction books that I brought up with me because I was really interested in it. I've never been much of a violent video gamer. . . my days were filled with "Who Wants to be a Millionaire Kids Edition", "Pacman", and "Diner Dash". However, many of my friends play games that the author here would consider "violent", and I have to a ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-rivalry
Assassination Generation gives parents and society much to consider regarding the increasing violence of today. The author, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, has many years of military training and study behind him in ways to turn soldiers into killers. Backed by numerous scientific journal studies, he proposes that video game simulation violence has caused the current upsurge in large scale massacres. Several criminals have modeled their rampages in the style of their favorite video games. I am horrified ...more
Dian Valencic
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read!

Every parent, educator, needs to read this book!! I would not have believed the effects of these games . But unfortunately We are dealing with this first hand. These are not the computer games of 20 years ago. And back then the internet was not readily available. This is today's epidemic. The plus in this book is the steps that can be taken to address this issue.

Peter Harrington
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I gave this book three stars because it simply states the obvious; children or even adults who watch violent movies or play violent video games will be more aggressive. But, it took over 200 pages to state the obvious over and over and over and over again. The book would have been better if it was an insert into another book and kept at about 20 pages. I don't like giving this Author such a low rating because his other works are five stars!
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
4 stars for the topic, 3/3.5 for the book in general. I think the topic is important and appreciated all the research and studies included, and the author's efforts to bring attention to this matter. That being said, the book felt a bit repetitive (maybe due to all the research included?). I'm glad I read it (also glad when I finished it). Also, some of the things that pass for "entertainment" in our society are pretty appalling.
Reggie Carlisle
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book provides solid statistics and makes a good argument for intervention and regulation of the video game industry as it relates to young people. The biggest problem I had with it is that it was very heavy handed. I would have appreciated the opportunity to review the evidence and make my own decision without being told (repeatedly) the conclusion I should draw from the information presented.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very intriguing. It read more like a textbook, but I didn't mind that. The information provided is insightful and has made me question how often I play video games. I intend to look up the studies that the author cites in order to learn more about the link between video games and aggression. I won this book through a giveaway and I am so happy that I did. I would definitely recommend this book.
M. Winslow
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cannot express just how amazing this book is. I listened to it (read by the auth0r) and now am so much more better informed about the causes of the mass murders that have been present in the world's history since the 90s. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who thinks that banning guns is the answer -- IT'S NOT!
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
On point and well-researched. Any "erring" on the side of safer side of exposure to violence was always backed up by evidence from Grossman. He handled the very tough topic with tremendous respect for those who suffer both as victims of the violence and those struggling within its grasp, yet--thankfully--no mention of the killers names.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely eye-opening and will influence my (theoretical) parenting strategies, but I do wish he had a stronger grasp of statistical and scientific reasoning. It's fine when he sticks to recapping the peer-reviewed research, but when he draws his own conclusions they're often specious, which is a shame because he had plenty without them.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every parent should read this book. What an eye opener. How people can still deny the negative impact and proof that violent video games and media have on our youth is beyond my comprehension. Our society needs to stop the denial and take action. The longer we deny, the more our world will deteriorate with an increase in school shootings and other horrifying events.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book hesitant because I believed that there was more to this epidemic than video games. This book convinced me that this is one of he biggest challenges facing our country. Plenty of information, but well explained.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some assumptions made in this book are not supported by data, but the main premise- the link btw video games and learning aggression- was really interesting and for once something new about gun violence in the USA.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Could have been eight chapters shorter.
Lori Held
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read!

This book was eye opening and disturbing! I wish all parents and educators would read this book! We have to do something about violent media and especially violent video games!
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Lt. Col Dave Grossman is the author of On Killing and On Combat as well as several science fiction books.

In 1998 Lt. Colonel Grossman retired from the military as Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University. His career includes service in the United States Army as a sergeant in the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, a platoon leader in the 9th Infantry Division (United States), a general s
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead, anthropologist” 0 likes
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