Critical Miss: Gamer Science

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ObsessiveSketch:
"Our study indicates PROVES that prolonged ANY exposure to violent ALL video games can exacerbate WILL CAUSE pre-existing social and mental difficulties DEFECTS *end sentence* and, in excess, can cause..."

^^^THIS is the argument gamers fight so hard against. If anyone were to say the exact statement in the comic, gamers would, of course, nitpick at things such as "Why aren't violent movies held to the same standard?"; "ANYthing 'in excess' is bad"; and "If they're pre-existing, then video games didn't CAUSE anything!", but we'd have to grumble and accept the facts.

The edited statement above is what fear-mongers sling left and right, and is completely devoid of any scientific merit. After hearing this same bias statement rehashed a hundred times, I think it's understandable that gamers have pre-sharpened pitchforks and ready-made torches sitting next to their computers.

I prefer flares. The fire is magnesium based so it can't be put out with water.

Cory Rydell:

Mysnomer:

Is that Cory playing the stereotypical gamer?

Negatory, I like to think that I myself have elevated above reading too much into these studies unless there is some real interesting brain stuff. Behavior studies are fairly open to interpretation and there are so many variables usually not considered.

He also has much more prominent sideburns then I can really grow... mine are more or less wispy.

Yes, like all good internet users, I hastily posted something, and then went and did the research. I then noticed that he was missing your lip piercing, and your superior fashion sense. Also his eyes are...I dunno what that is, but it's creeping me out...

Thedek:

ObsessiveSketch:
"Our study indicates PROVES that prolonged ANY exposure to violent ALL video games can exacerbate WILL CAUSE pre-existing social and mental difficulties DEFECTS *end sentence* and, in excess, can cause..."

^^^THIS is the argument gamers fight so hard against. If anyone were to say the exact statement in the comic, gamers would, of course, nitpick at things such as "Why aren't violent movies held to the same standard?"; "ANYthing 'in excess' is bad"; and "If they're pre-existing, then video games didn't CAUSE anything!", but we'd have to grumble and accept the facts.

The edited statement above is what fear-mongers sling left and right, and is completely devoid of any scientific merit. After hearing this same bias statement rehashed a hundred times, I think it's understandable that gamers have pre-sharpened pitchforks and ready-made torches sitting next to their computers.

I prefer flares. The fire is magnesium based so it can't be put out with water.

But torches are more convenient. You can make 4 of them with a stick and a lump of coal, and they burn forever!

I'm pretty sure that the first one is true, since it doesn't generalize.

In other words, we embrace the science we like, but call bullshit on the science we don't like.

Of course people are going to react like that when something they love is being discredited. If you were to deconstruct or talk down upon a religion in a video, people of that religion are most likely going to react negatively to whoever made the point.

No...that's not the truth.

I call BS on both studies.

YES

OH GOD YES

I think with this strip Critical Miss steals Zero Punctation's spot as 'Escapist content with opinions so similar to mine that I secretly believe it's made by a future version of me after traveling back in time'. It does mean I won't have to write Mogworld from memory in the futurepast, which is a relief.

The Random One:
YES

OH GOD YES

I think with this strip Critical Miss steals Zero Punctation's spot as 'Escapist content with opinions so similar to mine that I secretly believe it's made by a future version of me after traveling back in time'. It does mean I won't have to write Mogworld from memory in the futurepast, which is a relief.

THERE IS NO CANDY IN THE VAN.

I really hate that this is basically true...

I would be receptive to studies that proved violent video games had negative effects, if they just weren't based off bullshit theories, or had major holes.

Kalezian:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Too true. Gamers are so quick to try to discredit or dismiss studies that come out in some way against their hobby, but herald pro-game studies as the truth. You can't have it both ways, guys.

except that most anti-game argumental studies often group gamers as an entire clump and only use gaming as a basis of their, at best, guesses.

I play my fair share of violent video games, everything from stomping on turtles to shooting up a meeting between two gangs, and yet Im not a violent person, nor has gaming caused any of my social disabilities, in fact the opposite, my social disabilities is what caused me to get into gaming [who needs friends when I have Mario!].

Sure, in order to get a full view of how video games affect the mind, we need to see both sides and be willing to make concessions, but much like Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, I don't see either side making concessions until the other admits they are wrong.

Basically, your middle paragraph put you into the pandering category this comic is addressing. Also, the Israeli Prime Minister just spoke before Congress a few days ago about how they would be willing to go so far as to allow the Palestinians land for their own state as part of a peace agreement.

In summary, don't talk about stuff you don't understand to make yourself sound smart.

What if they were both true?

Having introverted stupid people flying around blowing up things for revenge

When will the violence end?!

ObsessiveSketch:

But torches are more convenient. You can make 4 of them with a stick and a lump of coal, and they burn forever!

Lulz, Minecraft jokes are still funny ^^

DNF jokes aren't :(

Makes me miss the day when I was capable of remaining willfully ignorant. Oh the memories....

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Too true. Gamers are so quick to try to discredit or dismiss studies that come out in some way against their hobby, but herald pro-game studies as the truth. You can't have it both ways, guys.

To be fair, a lot of the anger is more directed at the fact that people would even consider games turn people into psychopaths when the ridiculously vast number of gamers would never kill anyone, not the study itself.

Either that or 90% of my friends are serial killers.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Andronicus:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Too true. Gamers are so quick to try to discredit or dismiss studies that come out in some way against their hobby, but herald pro-game studies as the truth. You can't have it both ways, guys.

Well, what are we supposed to say? "You know what? Maybe I really am just one more ragequit away from going postal with an SMG down the local mall." I don't buy it. If this was a serious issue, why don't we see horror stories revolving around gamers in the newspapers every day? Most news stories that feature "killer gamers", show us obviously highly unstable people, and who totally played Call of Duty that one time. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that videogames turn people into mindless, unfit zombies, who sometimes recover just for long enough to become raging psychopaths.

Not having the majority of comments on a negative game article being "lalala, can't hear you", "Like psychology is a real science", and my personal favorite: "[insert anecdotal evidence that has no point or relevance]" would be a great start. You know how we prove we aren't all man-children? Respond rationally and sensibly to claims.

Like say Exterminas or MelasZepheos or Penn and Teller who present a rational reasonable arguments but get drowned out by the pundits and other talking heads who respond with a "Gaming is EVIL!" statements. You can make the most reasonable and rational argument you can make and still not everyone is going to agree with you. Plus there are people out there trying to push their own agenda behind faulty science.

You're cutting out a really important middle step: the media interpreting the scientific data for us. So often, an organization like Fox News will report the former sort of study as "Violent video games can bring out violent tendencies; therefore, video games are evil and must be banned." This sort of logic is equivalent to "Water mixed with arsenic is typically fatal; therefore, water is poisonous and must be banned." The original studies dealing with violence in media dealt with TV, and, goodness knows, it probably goes for everything from movies to books to stage plays. Rather than decry violence in $POPULAR_MEDIA_DU_JOUR, we ought to be looking at violence in media as a whole, and how we can present violence (and to whom) such that these effects are minimized.

TheMaddestHatter:
The American Psychiatric Association voted on the matter in 2007 and doesn't consider "video game addiction" to be a mental disorder for now

Source: http://energeticarticles.com/self-improvement/addictions/teen-game-addiction-is-it-a-problem

That's for the American Psychiatric Association. Not the American Psychological Association, my mistake. Further source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070625133354.htm

The APA defines mental disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Since the current edition, DSM-IV-TR, does not list "video game addiction," the APA does not consider "video game addiction" to be a mental disorder at this time. If the science warrants it, this proposed disorder will be considered for inclusion in DSM-V

That's from before the vote mentioned in the first quote. They looked into all current studies as of 2007, found the science faulty, and don't treat it as a disorder or an addiction. To my knowledge, they are not accepting any applications on the subject until new conclusions are drawn or new techniques are used to bolster credibility. I have not found anything contrary to this, and I research the subject extensively.[/quote]

Fair enough but, as was already said, they haven't taken it off the table. They just said that there isn't enough solid research to classify it as an addiction in 2007. As this abstract shows, research into this is ongoing.

http://www.psych.org/MainMenu/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2010-News-Releases/Video-Game-Study.aspx

Further, if we go with the symptoms laid out for gambling addiction (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual oriental Disorders, Fourth Edition):

1. The individual is preoccupied with gambling (i.e. preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble.)

2. The individual needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.

3. The individual has repeated unsuccessful efforts at stopping.

4. The individual is restless or irritable with attempting to cut down.

5. The individual gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (i.e., feeling of helplessness, guilty, anxiety, and depression).

6. The individual after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses).

7. The individual lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.

8. The individual has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.

9. The individual has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling.

10.The individual relies on others to provide money or relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.

In order to be diagnosed, a person must have 5 of those symptoms. Much like many other people on these boards, I knew someone who was addicted to the MMOs City of Heroes and World of Warcraft. He showed 7 of the above symptoms. (He didn't do 1,8,and 10.) If the APA uses the same guidelines to measure gaming addiction......well, we've had cases of people dying because they wouldn't stop playing Starcraft. That alone is going to be hard to dismiss.

In the end, I praised this comic more for the accurate portrayal of the reactions around here after Greg Tito wrote his article. Most of the people who criticized the study that Greg Tito reported on never watched the video or read the link. If they did, they would know that the study did not say that violent games cause violence. They just went off what Greg Tito wrote in his Fox-Newsworthy article. The points that can be broken down from the study are:

1)Individuals who play a lot of violent games become desensitized to seeing violent images.

2)These same individuals may experience heightened levels of aggression.

That's it.

He also admits that this study is not conclusive by itself and that there are other factors besides violent gaming that need to be considered. This is hardly the attitude of someone who is hellbent on destroying the industry. However, because the study said that there may be negative side effects, the same people who yell SCIENCE after every Extra Credits episode are now yelling BS as if we were on the Fox News comments board.

This is true, gamers are like this it would seem. But the "study" that inflamed this debate really is faulty. Heres what i gather.

Person A is playing a violent videogame for hours. He is then shown a picture of a man with a gun in his mouth. He shows a little reaction.

Person B is looking at pictures of Lolcats and a guy on a bicycle, then is shown a picture of a man with a gun in his mouth. He has alot more reaction then person A.

All I can say is.....no fucking duh.

Watch good fellas. Watch it again. Less reaction? good for you.

Watch a disney movie. Then watch a guy get hit with a baseball bat. Are you reacting?

....No duh.

It does sound like they are honest with their results. Its the fact that it seems ready-made to be misconstrued IMMENSELY.

The reason why people call "bullshit" on the negative studies is because the people who perform the studies (or report the studies) have a tendency to be extremely biased on the issue, which is reflected in the results.

Exterminas:
There certainly is a middle ground. Most of the so called "Violent Games cause Violence"-Studies don't try to prove that. Psychology doesn't work that way, at least not in a single study. Your average study will always just try to pin down correlations and from

"There is a correlation between people who show violent behavior and people who play video games"

it is a far stretch to "Violent Video Games cause violence" but this is true for any kind of psycholgical exam. There are litarary hundreds of thousands of probelms to the hypothesis "Violent Video Games cause Violence", this is a problem fit for a generation of scienticsts, not single teams of researchers.

Here are some hints at these problems:

-How to measure Violence? How to guarantee that what you measure is not caused by the study-environment and would actually occur in real life?

-What is Violence? Violent Behavior? Beating people up? Shouting at your parents? Or just brain activity in specific areas of your prefrontal cortex? Huge different for the press release.

-How to get a controll group? Almost every young person from the civilized world these days play video games of some sort.

-How to make sure that there are no external causes or preexisting problems that get empowered by the violence in games?

-How is violence in games different than in films/books/fairy tales?

So in summary, I don't see the main problem in the community's hypocracy, but rather in the way scientific work gets presented these days. When a neurologist talks about violence, he will most certainly mean something else than us average joes.

Most of these studies don't imply that there is definitive games = violence. Most of them were designed just to prove that there is a correlation between violent games and violent behavior, no matter how small the percentage.

But everyone seems to assume that any study that proves positive was headed by Mr. Garrison in that gay marriage episode of South Park.

lacktheknack:
BUT MY LASER VISION!? IT WAS A LIE!?

I've said this before, but I got flamed into the ground. You guys are braver than me.

As have I

They don't have a "report" button that users can press. It's less dangerous.

Well, undoubtedly a game could be a causal factor in triggering or worsening dispositions for pre-existing mental flaws and deficiencies in unstable individuals.

...just like a flickering street light could be a signal to some nutjob that it's time to go snuff somebody's life out.

And just like no one would ever seek to put legal limitations on streetlights because a few freaks might be triggered by them - as such regulation would be grossly disproportional to the "threat" posed by them - there's little reason to limit games (or movies, TV-series etc.) beyond the ordinary age restrictions on marketing to minors.

Unless proven that games featuring violence (or other crimes) are generally liable to increase the number of violent acts (or other crimes) committed by ordinary individuals with no pre-existing disposition for instability, then all this research is of no practical significance beyond being misused as source material for overblown scare campaigns on FOX.

There's this podcast I listen to called Skeptoid, which examines popular beliefs. They had a show in which the host took student questions, and one of them was on this very topic. According to Skeptoid, there is a divide between researchers who say violent video games have no effect on a person's mental wellbeing, and those who say it has some effect. But even amongst those who say it does have an effect admit that it is pretty small.

For most normal people, playing violent video games is not going to turn them into a psychopath. For those with mental-health issues as well as a predisposition towards psychotic behaviour or sociopathic behaviour, violent video games might have an effect at raising aggression levels or inspiring anti-social behavior. But I will contend that many other things could trigger that sort of behaviour, not just games.

Millions of people play violent video games, all around the world. In the US, Crime rates are FALLING and have been since the late 80's. I know that correlation is not causation, and I'm certainly not saying that video games cause less crime, but if they were as dangerous as some say they are, then surely crime rates would have gone up!

You know what? Alcohol DEFINITELY can increase aggression and has caused countless crimes. Why don't they try to get back on the prohibition wagon?

Hits the nail on the head.

Far too often, on this very site no less, pro gaming "studies" would be lauded and accepted with almost no resistance whereas studies which can be more negative are met with howls of indignation and suddenly everyone is a master scientist capable of spotting all sorts of faults in the experiments and dismissing their conclusions as invalid.

TheRealCJ:
Most of them were designed just to prove that there is a correlation between violent games and violent behavior, no matter how small the percentage.

On a related note whenever the escapist does provide a story on these kind of studies, it would be nice if they included parts of the abstract detailling the results and the strength of the correlation found.

There is NO discussion value in these kind of threads otherwise, since we are simply provided with a statement and an already made view, but no information of which to form our own (which results in everyone being a pseudoscientist despite not having a clue how these things work as mentioned above).

Hehe, good one. The community is far too reactionary when it comes to things like this. BUT most of the studies that are comissioned into the effects of 'violent videogames' have a clear anti-gaming motive behind them. Apart of rare expections they are funded by evangelical groups, right wing politcal groups or anyone else with a motive about the outcome of the study.

But there have been a few good works that do show effects can be had on younger people or those with pre-existing problems. The message is less "Gaming is evils!!!" but more "Be sensible". There are ages on games for a reason, take note of them.

but of course any kind of rational, well reasoned study into the effects violent games can have are used as a basis to attemtp to censor them. Like what is going on right now in the supere court.

"exacerbate pre-existing" is the important part of panel one that most people neglect either out of ignorance or malice.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Too true. Gamers are so quick to try to discredit or dismiss studies that come out in some way against their hobby, but herald pro-game studies as the truth. You can't have it both ways, guys.

Of course gamers dismiss studies that say games are bad. Gamers often know that they feel relaxed after shooting someone, the studies that says games are bad are always idiotic. Watching someone's pulse rate increase when they play Call of Duty doesn't mean that they will use violence after seeing it. Likewise pro gaming studies are just as big a pile of bullshit.
Personally I have had problems with anger issues for years, but after I started playing violent game I've been getting calmer and more relaxed.The Game I Wanna Be The Guy on the other hand could make me want to punch someone. This is however not a valid study, but the case for many gamers. They think about how they react to violent games, and often that does involve a feeling of being more relaxed outside the game world.
What's a common factor for those kids going into a school shooting a bunch of kids and teachers is that they have played violent video games. They also tend to have problems at home, in school, being bullied, feeling outside, watching violent movies and having access or know how to get access to guns. Probably 7/10 of the kids being shot are likely to have played violent games. There's another reason why we dimiss it. There are lots more playing games than there are killers.
Violence have been decreasing for a long time, not increasing with the trends of violence in games going up. All the worst wars have been fought before games.
They used to blame movies before games reach this level of graphics and popularity, but seems to have forgotten all about it even though that was the devil's work in the 80's.
Psychology is not a universal study, which means this is utter bullshit. Observe a million different persons through their life, make sure they will all meet certain obstacles that will be the same for all. How do they deal with them, do they deal with them, give up ignore? There might even be a million different reactions to this because they will have lived a million different lives.
Another proof that's sorely underrepresented is that there's less violence in other countries than America - the land of the games are bad studies. I for one can only recall one person being shot in my 20 years of living. To be fair I don't think I would remember anything from more than 10 years back with confidence, I also don't follow the news very closely so I might have missed something. Anyway, my point is that violent video games are just as popular here, yet there's less violence. Why?
If I decided to say that gaming had nothing to do with it, I would be wrong. I might be a factor. It might be the only reason. It might be why we're less violent. However, there's no proof for it, but plenty of news where they say it will make you a violent person. So to summarize.
I hope this explains why I hate "Games are bad "studies"" and shows some proof that it might be complete bullshit. Or if you are not convinced, tell me why not every single gamer has gone on a killing spree.

As many others have stated, this comic is too true. This sums up most gamers pretty well, and I know I react the same way when someone says it leads to violence.

I will kill those who say video games are violent. I mean, I wanna, I
wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
guts and veins in my teeth. I wanna eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
KILL, KILL!

thepyrethatburns:

Fair enough but, as was already said, they haven't taken it off the table. They just said that there isn't enough solid research to classify it as an addiction in 2007. As this abstract shows, research into this is ongoing.

http://www.psych.org/MainMenu/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2010-News-Releases/Video-Game-Study.aspx

Further, if we go with the symptoms laid out for gambling addiction (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual oriental Disorders, Fourth Edition):

1. The individual is preoccupied with gambling (i.e. preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble.)

2. The individual needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.

3. The individual has repeated unsuccessful efforts at stopping.

4. The individual is restless or irritable with attempting to cut down.

5. The individual gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (i.e., feeling of helplessness, guilty, anxiety, and depression).

6. The individual after losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even ("chasing" one's losses).

7. The individual lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.

8. The individual has committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.

9. The individual has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling.

10.The individual relies on others to provide money or relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.

In order to be diagnosed, a person must have 5 of those symptoms. Much like many other people on these boards, I knew someone who was addicted to the MMOs City of Heroes and World of Warcraft. He showed 7 of the above symptoms. (He didn't do 1,8,and 10.) If the APA uses the same guidelines to measure gaming addiction......well, we've had cases of people dying because they wouldn't stop playing Starcraft. That alone is going to be hard to dismiss.

In the end, I praised this comic more for the accurate portrayal of the reactions around here after Greg Tito wrote his article. Most of the people who criticized the study that Greg Tito reported on never watched the video or read the link. If they did, they would know that the study did not say that violent games cause violence. They just went off what Greg Tito wrote in his Fox-Newsworthy article. The points that can be broken down from the study are:

1)Individuals who play a lot of violent games become desensitized to seeing violent images.

2)These same individuals may experience heightened levels of aggression.

That's it.

He also admits that this study is not conclusive by itself and that there are other factors besides violent gaming that need to be considered. This is hardly the attitude of someone who is hellbent on destroying the industry. However, because the study said that there may be negative side effects, the same people who yell SCIENCE after every Extra Credits episode are now yelling BS as if we were on the Fox News comments board.

And you know what? Gambling shouldn't be classified as an addiction either. At least, not as is. The act of gambling for money, while considered the problem, is far from the main reason gambling addicts gamble. They gamble because it is a controlled environment with which they can experiment with chaos without any short-term disadvantages. It's a psychological issue that goes far beyond gambling.

That's why there are very few addictions that I will concede actually exist, and even those are dubious to me. Outside of drugs, I don't think any addictions(alcohol included)have the impact we place upon them, but are rather just visible symptoms of a much larger problem.

I'll reiterate what I said in a previous post: No piece of media can make you do something you weren't already going to do eventually. When it comes down to it, most of those guidelines could have their subject changed around and fit just about anything. Are we going to start harping on Television or Movie addiction? By your standards, I fear there is a serious epidemic of book addiction among my friends and colleagues, how shall we address that? Hell, by this list, my mum comes awfully close to a Violin Addiction, which clinic should I take her to? It's a slippery slope, and it won't get any more logical any time sooner.

Yopaz:
snip

I think a lot of people don't understand what most studies test for. Most test for desensitization and aggression. And psychology is a valid science. No one in the scientific community actually takes claims like "games cause violence" seriously. That is just new outlets putting a spin on things. You know the most damning thing against both sides? They are inconclusive. Most either have a slight positive or negative correlation. Which means that you can't draw anything substantial from them.

And as to how to argue against them without testing? Point out potential biases and factors. Do violent games make people more aggressive or do aggressive people just play violent games? Can catharsis come into play and have the opposite effect? Or environmental influences as you pointed out.

Seriously, guys. These tests aren't trying to say that we are killers. They are trying to say that games can desensitize us to violence and could make us a bit more aggressive.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Yopaz:
snip

I think a lot of people don't understand what most studies test for. Most test for desensitization and aggression. And psychology is a valid science. No one in the scientific community actually takes claims like "games cause violence" seriously. That is just new outlets putting a spin on things. You know the most damning thing against both sides? They are inconclusive. Most either have a slight positive or negative correlation. Which means that you can't draw anything substantial from them.

And as to how to argue against them without testing? Point out potential biases and factors. Do violent games make people more aggressive or do aggressive people just play violent games? Can catharsis come into play and have the opposite effect? Or environmental influences as you pointed out.

Seriously, guys. These tests aren't trying to say that we are killers. They are trying to say that games can desensitize us to violence and could make us a bit more aggressive.

Did you even bother to read through my post? The whole last segment was about saying it would be ignorant to say gaming does or does not cause violent behaviour.

Yopaz:

If I decided to say that gaming had nothing to do with it, I would be wrong. I might be a factor. It might be the only reason. It might be why we're less violent. However, there's no proof for it, but plenty of news where they say it will make you a violent person.

There, from my own post. I stated that it might be the only reason we are violent as well as the reason we are less violent. I also never stated that psychology isn't a valid science. I said that it wasn't a universal science. By that I mean that there's too many factors, things change, culture change, we get new technology, our mentalities change according to this. It's a valid science, but no universal. Gravity will always follow the same rules. Hydrogen and oxygen will always make water when they bond covalently.
Oh, and yes, no-one in the scientific world takes these studies as facts, but a lot of the general public do. Politicians use this to make anti-gaming laws, not necessarily because they believe the studies, but because they assume that enough people to do let them win an election. So then they get anti-gaming laws passed because studies that indicate that violent games may cause aggression because of these studies. That's what make gamers pissed off. Golfers would be pissed if they tried to outlaw golfing too.
A lot of studies are presented incorrectly, and that can really destroy the integrity of the study.
I also don't see any reason to go on with this since we actually don't have that different view on this. Both anti- and pro-gaming studies can't prove anything.
I do however agree fully on the hypothesis that aggressive people play violent video games. If this is a bad thing I can't say, because either of these 2 scenarios make sense:
1: He/she plays video games and likes it so much he/she wants to do it in the real world.
2: He/she plays video games and is satisfied killing things that aren't real.
I also realize that since I do belong in the same group as the the person from frame one in the comic, your original comment did spike my anger a bit and took this farther than required. I apologize for this, and thank you for a well crafted reply.

Yopaz:

Did you even bother to read through my post? The whole last segment was about saying it would be ignorant to say gaming does or does not cause violent behaviour.

And this is what I get for responding to messages right after I get up in the morning. Sorry.

Grey Carter:

This kind of attitude actually quite irritates me.
Believe it or not "common knowledge" is not viable scientific evidence. At one point, it was "common sense" that the earth was flat and light came from the eye. Common sense was wrong.
You could argue that violent media is likely to make mental people more mental or you could argue that providing people an outlet for their aggression could possibly be beneficial. Both of those conclusions are fairly reasonable and both are supported by "common sense."
Studies are often repeated because a single study represents a miniscule cross section of the population. Different studies allow for different geographic age locations, age parameters etc.

Geez, I wish you'd have quoted me on better terms.

Common sense is not viable scientific evidence: True, especially when talking about common sense on it's own. I'll concede that my last sentence about health issues was just dumb, since it was, and the fact that you reacted to it only serves to further embarrass me for likely upsetting someone I'm a fan of. But before I grimace and feel like an ass, let me explain where I was coming from with my sarcasm and my "not insightful" attitude.

Common sense is not the same as common knowledge. Yes, this sounds like semantics, but hear me out. Sense is based on estimation, or rather educated guessing, whereas knowledge is based on facts. Though something can change common sense to common knowledge (like a study echoing what we already figured, as is the case here), that doesn't mean it's insightful. At all. All it's doing is stating what we have put together from personal experience and innumerable articles dealing with similar issues and affects.

Ex: It's common knowledge that those with mental difficulties are often easily influenced. It's common knowledge that those with social difficulties are made worse by staying inside. It's common knowledge that gaming most often takes place inside, and that gaming's goal is the immersion of the players. Thus, it's common sense that someone with pre-existing mental and social difficulties would be made worse by playing violent videogames for prolonged periods of time.

See? A study proving what we already figured out isn't insightful and can only be useful if you're in an argument and need something concrete on the subject to back you up.
_Which brings me to why I was sarcastic towards the modest female scientist in your strip. It was a funny strip, but seemed one sided. We have to realize that the reason many gamers act like that (curse real studies and praise stupid studies) is because of what those real studies are used for. Most often than not, a study that even mentions violent gaming in a negative light will be used by someone high up arguing against violent games/games in general.
*looks at California*
It's because of this that gamers have grown cold to any studies, even insightful ones, that mention gaming in any sort of negative light. They know it's only going to be used as fuel for the anti-gamer/anti-mature game fires that flicker at their brightest in political and media circles. In their desperation they can at times turn to idiocy, like blond dude did with Mr.Lasers in your strip.

I don't know if that point I explained there was what you were actually going for. If it was it wasn't done to the best in the strip. If it wasn't then disregard this sentence. : )

*sigh* And I'd hoped you wouldn't use the "earth is flat" argument. You have no idea how many use it incorrectly. It doesn't belong here either. Yes, it was common knowledge sense that earth was flat at one point. But then what happened? It was discovered the earth wasn't! Something new was shown! Studies proved it wasn't, and that light didn't come from within the eye. Those kinds of studies were insightful, and so they aren't the kind of studies I'm talking about.

I don't think all studies are bad or useless, and I understand repeated studies have their place as well. However I don't blame you for assuming I did disregard all studies since I said that bit of stupid at the end there...
...Uuuugh...

So, in conclusion: I hope I've explained myself clearly and I also hope you don't have any hard feelings towards me or think I meant any by responding with this. I DO however feel that I should've explained myself clearer from the start (ugh) and actually am embarrassed the author of one of my favorite web comics so far was ticked off by something stupid I said (uuugh). Now to grimace and bury my face in my hands. Can't wait to see the next strip!

Ickorus:
My issue is with the scientists that say games will turn ordinary people into murderers and rapists, not the scientists who say that people with pre-existing mental conditions may be more likely to do such things, that's pretty damned obvious. To be fair though, it's the same of any medium, if you're a nut job and you watch a gory horror movie you're probably gonna get as many ideas from that as you would a gory horror game.

martyrdrebel27:
personally speaking, i think if i never had a game to come home to and slaughter legions of soldiers, or zombies, or cops, or... whatever i'm choosing to de-life that day, i most likely would've looked for that same satisfaction IRL. but, knowing that i DID have that optional, consequence-free outlet for my anger at my peers and elders, i chose that nearly every time. humans had war and violence and murder and rape and pillaging and destruction and genocide and justin bieber and all the other bad things in life WAAAY before tv's and videogames were around. this may be hard for some people to accept, but at the end of the day, we're all just ultra-violent war machines looking for a reason to push the button.

The way that's written makes me wonder if you once went on a murderous rampage but don't normally do so.

well, come on, i am only human. i do my best, but sometimes i let the occassional multi-state killing spree slip through the cracks.

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