Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman is an author who has specialized in the study of the psychology of killing, which has been termed 'killology'.
In February 1998 LTC Grossman retired from the military as Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University. His career includes service in the US Army as a sergeant in the US 82nd Airborne Division, a platoon leader in the 9th Division, a general staff officer, a company commander in the 7th (Light) Infantry Division as well as a parachute infantryman, a US Army Ranger and a teacher of psychology at West Point.
LTC Grossman's first book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society is an analysis of the physiological processes involved with killing another human being. In it, he reveals evidence that most people have a phobic-level response to violence, and that soldiers need to be specifically trained to kill. In addition, he details the physical effects that violent stresses produce on humans, ranging from tunnel vision, changes in sonic perception, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
LTC Grossman argues that the techniques used by armies to train soldiers to kill are mirrored in certain types of video games. The conclusion he draws is that playing violent video games, particularly Light gun shooters of the First-person shooter-variety (where the player holds a weapon-like game controller), train children in the use of weapons and, more importantly, harden them emotionally to the task of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game.
His second book, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, is an extension of the first, intended to provide coping strategies for dealing with the physiological and psychological effects of violence for people forced to kill in their line of work (soldiers and police officers).
LTC Grossman uses blunt language that draws the ire of gamers - during the heights of video game controversy, he was interviewed on the content of his books, and repeatedly used the term "murder simulator" to describe first-person shooter games.
Since his retirement from the Army, LTC Grossman has founded the Killology Research Group and continues to educate law enforcement officers and soldiers in the techniques he has studied for improving outcomes in lethal encounters. He also speaks at civilian events on ways to reduce violence in society and deal with the aftermath of violent events such as school shootings.
- On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (1995) (ISBN 0-316-33000-0), an analysis of the psychology of killing both in the military and in civilian society, which he calls killology.
- Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill : A Call to Action Against TV, Movie and Video Game Violence (1999) (ISBN 0-609-60613-1)
- On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace (2004) (ISBN 0-9649205-1-4), "a ground-breaking examination of what it takes to perform, cope and survive in the toxicity of deadly combat as a soldier in a foreign land and a police officer in the mean streets of urban America.".
- The Bullet Proof Mind: Prevailing in Violent Encounters..and After A two hour video recording given for the benefit of cops where he teaches them how to emotionally and mentally train oneself (the brain) for combat.
- The War With Earth (2003) (ISBN 0-7434-9877-1) (with Leo Frankowski) Book two of the series starting with A Boy and his Tank. Sample Chapters
- The Two-Space War (2004) (ISBN 1-4165-0928-3) (with Leo Frankowski) New series. Sample Chapters
- Kren of the Mitchegai (2005) (ISBN 1-4165-0902-X) (with Leo Frankowski) Book three of the series starting with A Boy and his Tank. Sample Chapters
- The Guns of Two-Space (2007) (with Bob Hudson) Book two of the series starting with The Two-Space War. Sample Chapters
- "Biography: Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman – Killology Research Group". 2000. http://www.killology.com/bio.htm. Retrieved 19 July 2010.