#5

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Great article. I don't really think violence in games is an aggression enhancer, and on the subject of desensitization, real violence is currently much, much different from the silly, over-exaggerated gore in video games. Everyone I've met is only desensitized to video game gore, and will usually grimace or even feel sick at real bloodshed. As an anecdote, I faint when I see real blood, but exploding heads, smashed limbs, and chestbursting aliens in video games don't bother me one bit!

The structure of this question -- Do videogames make people violent or merely attract violent people? -- is brilliant. Think of the possible implications if we apply it on a broad scale!

Does golf make people serially unfaithful or merely attract philanderers?
Does politics make people lie, cheat, and steal or merely attract career politicians?
Do the Oakland Raiders make their fans violent, drunken thugs or merely attract drunken, violent fans?

The possibilities are endless.

In other words, violent videogames are neither sufficient, nor even necessary for violent behavior, but can, at most, be considered as a merely possible contributing factor by providing one possible alternative for desensitization for those who are already prone to sociopathy/psychopathy. I agree. All the research is on aggression NOT violence, and although the two are obviously related, they are by no means interchangeable. Right-winger censors will never get far by showing that violent videogames cause actual violence because they quite simply do not. They may partially contribute, but so can many other factors, and thus they cannot on that basis alone be censored. This is more or less my theory as well.

The real question relates not to the FCC but to practicing psychologists like Dr. Mark. The question is; "are violent videogames a healthy activity for this individual" and must be thus applied to INDIVIDUALS, not to society. I imagine the question is answered differently for each individual, but there may also be general rules that we may glean from treatments, such as "allowing children under the age of 15 to play violent videogames increases the probability of those children having more social issues, or resolving social issues with aggression" just as a hypothetical example. But even if this were the case, it would only warrant pamphlets and ad campaigns to make parents aware of this tendency because the said effects are not dangerous, and thus do not even remotely fall under the "shouting fire in a crowded theater" clause of the First Amendment. And if some effect like this were actually proven there SHOULD be an awareness campaign. It's my understanding that awareness campaigns are almost always more effective than direct censorship, with the added benefit that developers won't have to worry about a $1000 fine every time a clerk sells an MA ranked videogame to a minor, because the parents will be doing the job instead of the District Attorney. (I am of course making reference to the California bill which would make it a crime to sell to minors.)

I know that games can make you angry in a sort of childish way because I have yelled at my parents, I have insulted people in a fit of rage, but I could never imagine them making someone go psycho, though.

But then, maybe I'm too grounded in reality... maybe I'm not unhinged enough to have a real opinion on the subject of games making me go crazy.

Either way, I enjoyed your article and I'm glad you didn't approach it like "this is gaming, it's sacred, you'll never get angry doing this, it's pure win".

.

Mark J Kline:
Ask Dr. Mark #5

Do videogames make people violent or merely attract violent people?

Read Full Article

[perception] This man is a psychologist/pseudo scientist and is stating the odvious.

psychology is a pseudo science according to some bros so don't worry bros, i wasn't being offensive on purpose.

Look their is one thing I can vouch for as far as games and anger are concerned, I use them to vent my anger, if I'm pissed about something I'll play GTA and go nuts, venting anger like that is fine (therapeutic in many ways), but before you pull the amateur psychologist line of,"But that may induce you to perform such acts in real life cause "Psychology publication X" says so!", to that I say holding a controller in your hand is a very different experience to handling an actual weapon (I should know, damn near broke my shoulder this week firing a shotgun for the first time), if people tried pulling off some of the stuff possible in videogames they'd probably shoot their eyes out! The same holds true for movies, watching someone shoot someone and actually pulling the trigger yourself are totally separate experiences, like watching someone do a backflip and attempting to replicate the result, you'll just end up hurting yourself. Watching a zombie munch or some poor sap's brain doesn't suddenly trigger a hankering for human flesh does it? As far as the act of playing a game is concerned yes it can make me irritable and such, but it's more to do with people interrupting me in the middle of something I deem important because they're too lazy to do it themselves that causes said irritability!

kuvasza:
The structure of this question -- Do videogames make people violent or merely attract violent people? -- is brilliant. Think of the possible implications if we apply it on a broad scale!

Does golf make people serially unfaithful or merely attract philanderers?
Does politics make people lie, cheat, and steal or merely attract career politicians?
Do the Oakland Raiders make their fans violent, drunken thugs or merely attract drunken, violent fans?

The possibilities are endless.

Here's mine,

Does anonymity make one act like a dick, or does the prospect of anonymity attract dicks?

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