A coalition of concerned parents and lawmakers are speaking up this week amid new concerns that videogames depicting the simulated violence of professional wrestling could inspire youth to carry out their own acts of implausibly theatrical faux violence.
“If we don’t start regulating these wrestling videogames, we will see an increase in young men slapping their thighs while pretending to ‘superb-kick’ one another,” tweeted Tennessee congressman Winthrop Beggsworth.
“Next thing you know, we’ll have hurricaranas in schools and shooting-star splashes in our places of business.”
The debate over whether the make-believe violence of wrestling games inspire real-life make-believe violence has gone on for decades, despite study after study showing no correlation aside from a small increase in public crotch-chopping.
In one study, 200 young gamers were encouraged to play WWE 2K18 on “career mode” for three consecutive weeks, and none of the subjects went on to become an underdog battling against corporate authority figures until an against-all-odds championship victory.
In one landmark study, however, scientists did demonstrate that lowering one’s singlet strap does indeed make that person more powerful.