Researcher Links Media and Violence

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Researcher Links Media and Violence

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An Australian researcher says years of study has proven definitively that violent media leads to violent kids.

The never-ending back-and-forth about what research into violent media proves or does not prove about its impact on kids can get a little tiresome, but it's worth keeping up with simply because, despite what you may have been told, ignorance is not strength. And if some day consensus is reached and it's determined beyond a doubt that violent media does - or does not - have a long-term detrimental impact on those who consume it, wouldn't you like to be there to participate in the wrap-up discussion with a high, hard, "in your face?" (Try not to be ungracious winners, kids. It reflects poorly on your character.)

Anyway, that moment of accord hasn't arrived yet, but what we do have is another researcher, Dr. Wayne Warburton of Australia's Macquarie University, claiming that years of international study have proven "definite links" between the consumption of violent media and the likelihood of aggressive real-life behavior in kids.

"There are some key impacts of violent media on children that are very well demonstrated in research," Warburton said. "They include increases in the likelihood of aggressive behavior, increases in desensitization to violence and an increase in the overall view that the world is more scary and hostile than it really is."

Warburton, the deputy direction of Macquarie's Children and Families Research Center, said the results of MRI brain scans of kids exposed to violent media were similar to those of kids who'd witnessed real violence, and that kids who played violent videogames were more likely to display aggressive behavior in the real world for up to 15 minutes after they stopped playing.

"Over the long term it's just like eating fatty food," he explained. "One hamburger won't kill you but there is a cumulative effect."

Warburton is the co-author of a new book, Growing Up Fast And Furious: Reviewing The Impacts Of Violent And Sexualized Media On Children, "that aims to cut through the often confusing swirl of information and conflicting advice currently on offer." While there is "considerable consensus among researchers" about the negative short and long-term impact of violent media on kids, Warburton said, the perception of the public remains "persistently undecided."

"Although media is just one of many influences in our children's lives, it is a powerful and pervasive force and it's one that we can do something about, from parenting, to professional practice, to the making of policies and laws," he said. "We hope that by presenting a series of chapters that provide a summary of research evidence to date, readers will be able to judge for themselves."

Source: Adelaide Now, Macquarie University

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I dunno, I would say the world is as scary as most people think, particularly in Australia where most living things are actively plotting to kill you!

I can only speak for myself but violent games have curbed my violent tenancies. When I was younger I had a hair-trigger rage and would get violent very quickly. When I got into gaming, it gave me a safer less physical outlet for those emotions.

I dont like to think of the directions my life could have gone without gaming.

As usual, more "would be" professors peddling anti-gaming garbage. The world is a scary place and most violence comes from bad parenting and other smaller influences.

Besides, aren't humans naturally violent anyway?

Meh, none of this "A Makes You Violent" crap would matter if parents got off their asses and parented like they're supposed to.

At 7-10 years old:

Your kid should not be reading "Lolita"

Your kid should not be watching "The Silence of the Lambs"

and

YOUR KID SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING CALL OF DUTY

Eesh.

"Although media is just one of many influences in our children's lives, it is a powerful and pervasive force and it's one that we can do something about, from parenting, to professional practice, to the making of policies and laws," he said.

At least he's not calling for the ban of everything. In fact, that right there that I bolded is the big one. Regardless of who is right, you shouldn't be buying your 12 year old CoD or SAW or any of that kind of stuff.

That's the real lesson here.

If video games make people more violent, wouldn't the repeated record breaking historical sales of violent video games actually indicate that an increasing trend of violence occur year after year, instead of the steadily decreasing trend that's actually occurring?

So playing violent video games is worse than what WOULD have happened, which is me snapping and violently murdering every single motherf*cker that bullied me for 10 years of school with gratuitous amounts of stabbing?
Obviously, right.

Gaming can provide a safe outlet for emotions, but it's just the target of the times these days, just like 'violent' music such as rap and metal (Or rock, if you go back further) once was, and violent comics before that.

Well I certainly want to strangle him.
Because we all know that no kid HAS EVER been naturally aggressive.

I remember the day video games invented violence.

Seriously though, this is pretty underwhelming stuff. It's like saying "Children who watch movies about horses tend to have a more favorable opinion of horses". Well, no shit. I imagine watching Ken Burn's The Civil War makes people more interested in history, too!

Imagine! We are skewed towards the things we consume and enjoy. Hang on, I gotta get on the phone with Ripley's.

vxicepickxv:
If video games make people more violent, wouldn't the repeated record breaking historical sales of violent video games actually indicate that an increasing trend of violence occur year after year, instead of the steadily decreasing trend that's actually occurring?

Warburton said, "kids who played violent videogames were more likely to display aggressive behavior in the real world for up to 15 minutes after they stopped playing."

That's not the same as saying "video games make people more violent". There's a difference and he's saying that it doesn't just apply to video games.

EDIT:

Tomo Stryker:
As usual, more "would be" professors peddling anti-gaming garbage. The world is a scary place and most violence comes from bad parenting and other smaller influences.

Besides, aren't humans naturally violent anyway?

Video games are mentioned only once in the entire article and that was in saying, "kids who played violent videogames were more likely to display aggressive behavior in the real world for up to 15 minutes after they stopped playing."

That doesn't sound like "anti-gaming garbage".

ZeZZZZevy:

"Although media is just one of many influences in our children's lives, it is a powerful and pervasive force and it's one that we can do something about, from parenting, to professional practice, to the making of policies and laws," he said.

At least he's not calling for the ban of everything. In fact, that right there that I bolded is the big one. Regardless of who is right, you shouldn't be buying your 12 year old CoD or SAW or any of that kind of stuff.

That's the real lesson here.

People are too quick to pick up their pitchforks and light their torches to burn the heretic. :-/

DVS BSTrD:
Well I certainly want to strangle him.

Did you play a violent video game less than fifteen minutes ago? :-P

itsthesheppy:
I remember the day video games invented violence.

Seriously though, this is pretty underwhelming stuff. It's like saying "Children who watch movies about horses tend to have a more favorable opinion of horses". Well, no shit. I imagine watching Ken Burn's The Civil War makes people more interested in history, too!

Imagine! We are skewed towards the things we consume and enjoy. Hang on, I gotta get on the phone with Ripley's.

People seem to have forgotten about "violent media" and zeroed right in on "violent video games".

No, forget that, they zeroed in on "video games" and went on the attack from there.

I disagree like most people here that one becomes violent by playing violent videogames. It is stress relieving and usually results in the opposite. Though it is bad for sleep and in the first 15 minutes after watching a violent movie or playing a violent videogame one might be more willing to punch someone in the face during a heated argument, but I don't think this is the same as making people more violent.

At the same time I would like to point out the irony how alot of people in the forums have been discussing how female sexual stereotypes skew our views as if the games are melting our brain, and the same people will probably post here saying how it's bullshit that videogames make you violent without a second thought.

I agree.

We should ban fatty food!

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Meh, none of this "A Makes You Violent" crap would matter if parents got off their asses and parented like they're supposed to.

At 7-10 years old:

Your kid should not be reading "Lolita"

Your kid should not be watching "The Silence of the Lambs"

and

YOUR KID SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING CALL OF DUTY

Eesh.

Agreed full heartly commander, Austrailia's got its 18+ rating now, crap parents don't have the excuse anymore.

Violence begets violence, I would say thats a given.

DVS BSTrD:
Well I certainly want to strangle him.
Because we all know that no kid HAS EVER been naturally aggressive.

My point exactly. I was ruthlessly bullied and tormented as a child, instead of taking it I fought back. I wasn't going to be harassed by them and I certainly wasn't going to take it to an adult that wouldn't do anything.

Here is the clincher, I didn't even touch a game console or any video game of any kind until I was fifteen. What have you to say about that Doctor?

You know, video games have been around for...what is it 30 years? I'm pretty sure violence existed before then. I'm pretty sure Hitler didn't start WWII because a Jew beat him at Halo. Godwin's law I know, but still my point stands.

I can prove that violent videogames turn people violent also, when I play a game of league with a bad team I want to punch someone.

Wouldn't surprise me if there is some truth to what he's saying.

We could just skip this discussion if parents would actually think about giving their 8 year old child a copy of Black Ops or Condemned, but no...

erttheking:
You know, video games have been around for...what is it 30 years? I'm pretty sure violence existed before then. I'm pretty sure Hitler didn't start WWII because a Jew beat him at Halo. Godwin's law I know, but still my point stands.

But that's irrelevant to the point he made. He didn't say all violence was or is caused by video games. Read the article again for proof.

itsthesheppy:
I remember the day video games invented violence.

Seriously though, this is pretty underwhelming stuff. It's like saying "Children who watch movies about horses tend to have a more favorable opinion of horses". Well, no shit. I imagine watching Ken Burn's The Civil War makes people more interested in history, too!

Imagine! We are skewed towards the things we consume and enjoy. Hang on, I gotta get on the phone with Ripley's.

I agree. When you think about it, it seems pretty obvious. But most people don't think about it and sometimes it takes someone who is "qualified" to point it out to bring our attention to it.

We need to recognize and acknowledge the impact our media has on us. It's not positive or negative. It just is. Being aware of how our chosen media effects us is important. It gives us our control back.

And to the people who are going to scream that this is anti-video games pandering: This research isn't just talking about video games. It's all the media that kids are exposed to.

Calm down guys. He's not talking about just video games, but all media in general. Books, movies, and TV are all a part of it. And I have to say that I agree with him somewhat. As a society, violence has much less of an impact because we see it in all forms of media throughout our lives.

While you debate this, your army knows and exploits this fact, increasingly recruiting ex gamers to operate the UAV's and serve as a waste material at the front lines.

you know, even if this ends up being absolutely true, it just means you should stop buying kids games we already know they shouldnt be playing anyway. which you should already be doing anyway.

so wtf is the point? a research article isnt going to stop the ineffectual parents who dont care what their kids are doing with their free time.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
Wouldn't surprise me if there is some truth to what he's saying.

We could just skip this discussion if parents would actually think about giving their 8 year old child a copy of Black Ops or Condemned, but no...

erttheking:
You know, video games have been around for...what is it 30 years? I'm pretty sure violence existed before then. I'm pretty sure Hitler didn't start WWII because a Jew beat him at Halo. Godwin's law I know, but still my point stands.

But that's irrelevant to the point he made. He didn't say all violence was or is caused by video games. Read the article again for proof.

I know I know, but people who think that video games cause violence seem to act like a good deal of modern violence is caused by video games as opposed to people just being naturally aggressive.

I tried to read this seriously, until he compares video games with fat food...

Cyrus Hanley:
That doesn't sound like "anti-gaming garbage".

Ok, then what is the point of even doing this survey? There attempting to make a point or gather "evidence" that could give them the upper hand to control the media.

To do otherwise is like collecting bananas only to throw them away afterward. They have an agenda like everyone else my friend.

i think it's almost impossible to pin aggressive behavior entirely on media consumed. And linking it is going to show different results in every single study as long as you use different people. meh on this researcher.

What is the point of this? Everyone knows and accepts that there is a correlation between violent video games and increased aggression. But, as my Psychology teacher was quick to hammer into our heads, correlation DOES NOT prove causation. What this guy is saying has been addressed and discussed from the bloody 90s back with the first Doom. He's not breaking any new ground, all he's done is waste money on a pointless study.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Meh, none of this "A Makes You Violent" crap would matter if parents got off their asses and parented like they're supposed to.

At 7-10 years old:

Your kid should not be reading "Lolita"

Your kid should not be watching "The Silence of the Lambs"

and

YOUR KID SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING CALL OF DUTY

Eesh.

it is more:

YOU should be watching over your kids and not let them get lectured by uncle television.

it is basically the same as you said but parents are so damn lazy in this age that it should be said clearly.

the guy is somewhat right. take the control off one of your friends while he is playing and watch his fury unleash.

As a psychology student, as an empiricist, and as someone who has actually read many of these studies, I've really come to detest my fellow gamers. It annoys me that people make sweeping grandiose statements about how media consumption obviously cannot have any affect on someone at any level, despite repeated evidence to the contrary that they refuse to read. It annoys me when people use the same, tired, "common sense" arguments which have been refuted by empirical evidence. It annoys me when I'm forced to remember that, no matter what is done to demonstrate this connection between media and aggression, there will always be these mocking and condescending articles in every gaming magazine saying just how stupid we are. But most of all, I hate that people will call into question the integrity of researchers whose research they know nothing about and will never bother to actually read, simply because they have nothing but an ad hominem to add to the discussion. It hasn't happened yet in this thread as of the time of writing this post, but it's early in the day. I see it happen in every thread, so I'm sure it won't take more than a day to have one happen in this one.

Tomo Stryker:

DVS BSTrD:
Well I certainly want to strangle him.
Because we all know that no kid HAS EVER been naturally aggressive.

My point exactly. I was ruthlessly bullied and tormented as a child, instead of taking it I fought back. I wasn't going to be harassed by them and I certainly wasn't going to take it to an adult that wouldn't do anything.

Here is the clincher, I didn't even touch a game console or any video game of any kind until I was fifteen. What have you to say about that Doctor?

To be fair he's talking about Media, not specifically games. I'm quite confident that you watched tv or films as a child.
And he's not saying that it makes you violent in general, just that in the 15 minutes after experiencing violent media etc then you're more likely to exhibit violent traits or act violently.
(I think, skim read the majority of it)

Not sure whether I believe it but I'm not interested enough to look into the work to be quite honest.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Meh, none of this "A Makes You Violent" crap would matter if parents got off their asses and parented like they're supposed to.

At 7-10 years old:

Your kid should not be reading "Lolita"

Your kid should not be watching "The Silence of the Lambs"

and

YOUR KID SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING CALL OF DUTY

Eesh.

Actually, my parents made a conscious decision to let me play super violent games when I was young because they knew it wouldn't change me. And it wouldn't.

What peer-reviewed journal was his work published in? Oh he wrote a book? Thats cute. This guy can get credit for a Meta-analysis when he actually does one, and not just a book in which he gets more sales for more controversy.

Clearing the Eye:
I agree.

We should ban fatty food!

Or we could inform parents about it and let them moderate their children's intake of it.

Tomo Stryker:

DVS BSTrD:
Well I certainly want to strangle him.
Because we all know that no kid HAS EVER been naturally aggressive.

My point exactly. I was ruthlessly bullied and tormented as a child, instead of taking it I fought back. I wasn't going to be harassed by them and I certainly wasn't going to take it to an adult that wouldn't do anything.

Here is the clincher, I didn't even touch a game console or any video game of any kind until I was fifteen. What have you to say about that Doctor?

He would probably ask how that is even relevant.

erttheking:
You know, video games have been around for...what is it 30 years? I'm pretty sure violence existed before then. I'm pretty sure Hitler didn't start WWII because a Jew beat him at Halo. Godwin's law I know, but still my point stands.

Where was it said in the article that video games created all violence?

Tomo Stryker:

Cyrus Hanley:
That doesn't sound like "anti-gaming garbage".

Ok, then what is the point of even doing this survey?

To let readers judge for themselves on issues like violent media influencing children's behaviour.

Tomo Stryker:
There attempting to make a point or gather "evidence" that could give them the upper hand to control the media.

That's your inference.

Tomo Stryker:
To do otherwise is like collecting bananas only to throw them away afterward. They have an agenda like everyone else my friend.

Yes but I think you're mistaken about their agenda.

Suave Charlie:
Snip Power Activated!

True and I may have overreacted a little to quickly. I'm just so tired of people who have titles thinking they can control the general public. Its my right as a human being to make my own decisions, I'm an adult.

But for preteens and kids under cognitive thinking level whose next thought is, "What is mom making for dinner?" That choice is not and shouldn't be there's. There in lies the problem of bad parenting. You let anything else influence your kids before they can think outside of the box, well then you doing a swell job teaching them.

Can you sense the cynicism?

Cyrus Hanley:
Yes but I think you're mistaken about their agenda.

Then could kindly tell me it, since I obviously missed it?

Yet another study where the conclusions were drawn up before the criteria.

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