Research Finds Negative Effects in Violent Videogames

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This one doesn't even seem to pass the smell test. I mean honestly most soft science "behavioral science" studies don't. All they do is regurgitate the "scientists" intended outcomes. But this one seems even a tad more blatant than most.

They were probably aggressive because they were made to play bad games ;)

kouriichi:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. "Video Games can cause aggression, aggression can mean violence."

The same way football players are more likely to use steroids than a lazy teenager, a person who drives everyday is more likely to get in a car accident, and a surfer is more likely to be eaten by a shark. Theres bad in everything, but i dont see them banning bulk tubs of "Scooperman" because to much "Frozen Dairy Desert" can lead to heart failure.

In the end, studies like this get us nowhere, and never will. Just because people are more angry after a few thousand rounds of CoD, doesnt mean they will go out and 360 noscope the neighbors cat.

That's pretty much how i feel about this, well said.

Let me count the problems here.

Sample size=70 students-microscopic.
Sample group= all from same school, very little diversity
duration of test=3 days

The lack of diversity, short duration and small sample size of this "study" says nothing about the population at large. you cannot possibly even begin to rule out any of the really important variables with these systemic flaws in the study.

Might be good enough for a high school project but I would expect much higher standards than this from a university. Is this what people are paying 10s of thousands of dollars on education to learn to do these days?

Did my school diploma thesis on that subject.

Again another study which reveals "short term aggresion". This is nothing new. When you play a violent game and get questioned directly after the gaming session, you're more aggressive.

A bunch of studies also revealed that it's not really a violence-aggression correlation, it's more an exctiment-aggresion correlation.
Because even test subjects which played exciting but non-violent games showed these effects. Games used to test this were racing games and similar stuff.

So far the long time effects are not proven to my knowledge. There's also yet no direct correlation between gaming induced short term aggression and real life effects (e.g. gamers bein' more violent to others), since all data which i saw is showing that humans usually are very good to differentiate between fiction and reality.

Basically only people who're nuts to begin with and can't abstract that stuff could become potentially more dangerous to the rest of us.

*shrug* Call me, when they find something new.

Bear in mind, you can get those effects for some people just by telling them a violent story. So while the results may be noticeable, they don't really uniquely implicate videogames.

i wonder if they considered how "frustrating" some games are.

obviously, someone who plays LoL or COD multiplayer is going to me much more frustrated than someone who plays a lite game (not saying superbike or dirt is)

but what i'm getting at is if they figured that into their game choice..there are plenty of violent games i play that i don't get frustrated with at all, while some old mario games i've gotten vehemently pissed off at when there is little to no violence at all.

still, interesting choices to do the study with.

Before everyone goes into research-bashing mode, let us look at what the study actually claims; people who play violent games will have a slightly more aggressive mindset afterwards. No "videogames cause violence," no "violent videogames kill," merely that we humans are an impressionable lot. Other things that increase aggressive behavior is having a bad day, being low in blood sugar or drinking alcohol, things that everyone goes through without murder every week. The study was limited in both scope and scale, and should be seen neither as a threat to violent games or as proof of their seduction of the innocent. We now know that playing Modern Warfare might make you more likely to choose violent paths in a choose-your-own-adventure story, or annoy people with noises; no more, perhaps less.

Ignoring studies and going for knee-jerk responses as "I HAVE MURDERED A GAZILLION DIGITAL NAZIS AND AM STILL SANE!!1!" really does not help our cause. It only makes us as ignorant as the murder-videogames crowd. This study will, as all others, be misrepresented and misused by the censorship-worshipers, but that does not give us license to stoop to their level. Taking the high ground is always the way to go in the long run.

Lawyer105:

Scow2:
Books and movies are not interactive. That's a HUGE difference. Compare your thoughts about the protagonists actions in a movie such as Commando, and then compare them to the thoughts on the actions of your character in any game where you get to kill large numbers of enemies.

Personally, I don't see much of a difference. Clearly I'm massively unusual in that I can tell the difference between a game and reality, because I don't really care about shooting stuff on a screen any more than I'd care about demolishing an inconveniently placed apartment block, but I abhor violence and abuse of power in real life.

In addition, just because the medium is interactive shouldn't lead to the demonisation it receives. 80 years ago, people were horrified by burlesque (officially, anyway). Today it's fine. People were horrified by radio (for completely different reasons! :P ). Today it's fine. People were horrified when TV came out. Today it's a substitute nanny.

Gaming should be no different. Those who refuse to learn from history are too gorram' retarded to be permitted to influence policy decisions and societal perceptions. Unfortunately, to my eternal disgust, the population as a group are too retarded to keep the loonies in check.

Sometimes, I'm just ashamed to be human (and all that other unnecessarily over the top deprecation! :P ).

The effects of gaming aren't as extreme as people make them out to be, but the interactivity DOES add an element that I feel should be researched, though most research goes about it completely the wrong way. And I DON'T feel that the effects the medium has on people is negative.

Andy Chalk:
The students were assigned to play either violent games - Call of Duty 4, Condemned 2 and The Club - or non-violent ones - S3K Superbike, Dirt 2 and Pure - once per day, for 20 minutes at a time. At the end of each session, they were given the beginning of a story and asked to list 20 things the lead character would say or do in it. The students who played violent games were more likely to think that the character would behave aggressively or violently, a belief that grew stronger with each passing day; those in the non-violent pool did not show any increased expectations of hostility.

So exposing someone to certain content results in that content being on their mind shortly afterwards? No shit!

If I showed you pictures of food for 20 minutes, I'd bet you'd be thinking about it afterwards, and maybe even get a little hungry, but you're not going to suddenly run off and become a chef because of it.

This research could be done with absolutely any form of media and you'd get the same results. Books, TV, Films, Music, whatever. To make the research solely on video games with a focus on aggression in this way just shows that the person conducting the experiment had an agenda. Whether that agenda is to villify violent games, or simply to gain more attention due to the provocative subject matter, this test was clearly biased.

Ahahaa, 3 days = long term!

My sides -_-

Scow2:

Lawyer105:

Scow2:
Books and movies are not interactive. That's a HUGE difference. Compare your thoughts about the protagonists actions in a movie such as Commando, and then compare them to the thoughts on the actions of your character in any game where you get to kill large numbers of enemies.

Personally, I don't see much of a difference. Clearly I'm massively unusual in that I can tell the difference between a game and reality, because I don't really care about shooting stuff on a screen any more than I'd care about demolishing an inconveniently placed apartment block, but I abhor violence and abuse of power in real life.

In addition, just because the medium is interactive shouldn't lead to the demonisation it receives. 80 years ago, people were horrified by burlesque (officially, anyway). Today it's fine. People were horrified by radio (for completely different reasons! :P ). Today it's fine. People were horrified when TV came out. Today it's a substitute nanny.

Gaming should be no different. Those who refuse to learn from history are too gorram' retarded to be permitted to influence policy decisions and societal perceptions. Unfortunately, to my eternal disgust, the population as a group are too retarded to keep the loonies in check.

Sometimes, I'm just ashamed to be human (and all that other unnecessarily over the top deprecation! :P ).

The effects of gaming aren't as extreme as people make them out to be, but the interactivity DOES add an element that I feel should be researched, though most research goes about it completely the wrong way. And I DON'T feel that the effects the medium has on people is negative.

True.
Better knowledge about how the interactivity of games affects people might even help creating better games and more immersive gaming. Or help the big money create more addictive casual games/MMOs, as the old Skinner box is being overused. As long as we stay calm and do not overreact when things appear differently than we expected, gaming is not in a threatened position.

RhombusHatesYou:
And as already mentioned up-thread, there's no control group... How are we to know that it's 'violent' games having an 'aggressive' effect and not 'non-violent' games having a pacifying effect?

My first thought was, "technically the non-violent games are the control group". Then I read this post. You make a very good point, which I can't believe I didn't see right away. The reason we use placebos in drug tests is we already know a sugar pill won't kill germs, reduce pain, or what have you. The only justification for doing this study was the claim that the amount of aggression in games can effect the amount of aggression players show in real life, constructing a perfect Morton's fork; there are three possible assumptions the scientists could have made, all of which fail the "does this make sense" test:
1. Videogames affect aggression; violent games increase violence, and non-violent games decrease it. This fails because it means the "control group" is nothing of the sort.
2. Videogames have no effect on aggression. This is a good null hypothesis, but you don't design your experiment to ONLY WORK IF THE NULL HYPOTHESIS HOLDS. Experiment design 101: Always. Isolate. Your. Variables.
3. Videogames can have negative effects, but never positive ones. If you see no problem with starting from this assumption, you've probably never heard of confirmation bias.

sethisjimmy:
Not only does this study not prove that violent video games make people commit more violence, but it also does not prove that violent video games even make people more aggressive. Unless you consider writing violent stories correlates into you being an aggressive person, which I think is silly.

It's really not though. It's a pretty clear indication of the person's mental state at the time they're answering the question(s). It's not perfect by any means, but it's definitely sufficient for this kind of study.

OT: This is actually rather interesting. The only question I have about it now is when, relative to the periods of gameplay, the questions/metrics were taken. There's already been studies that indicated a short-term increase in aggression after playing violent games, through somewhat similar means. I'm curious as to how that impacted this particular study. The seemingly-cumulative effect seems to indicate that there may well be long-term effects, but that may just be the short-term effects being compounded. We'd need more data to say.

Edit: Also, I've gotta say, the vehement, visceral, and knee-jerk reaction of the vast majority of the people in this thread is simultaneously hilariously depressing and depressingly hilarious. I am forcibly reminded of this:

image

I've actually seen the whole "decompress from violent games" thing work.

Wow this is dumb, there are so many things I can counter but I don't even want to bother it would end up being a page long.

But the one thing that made me lol was victory noise, bahahaha I celebrated winning that means I'm mad right?

What the fuck is this "At the end of each session, they were given the beginning of a story and asked to list 20 things the lead character would say or do in it." I mean, hell, anyone with half a brain will think of a grim/violent attitude to a character who's been killing people in the game, such as a CoD soldier, Nikko Bellic, etc. WHY would a Dirt 2 character (aka rally pilot) be aggressive? I'm sorry, but at least this part of the research could only lead to one outcome...
As for the "noise". I feel that in fps multiplayers there's an instinctive feeling of "humiliation" when you lose, which automatically means there's an "extra" amount of "primitive" excitement when you win, the abilities required in a racing game and a shooting game are far too different, thus bringing different aspects/levels of excitement to the players.

Edit: I do believe, firmly, that violent games - in CERTAIN PEOPLE, who, for many other reasons, already have a tendency for violence OR, in the case of younger audiences, some sort of difficulty to differentiate reality from fiction, thus failing to have a decent grasp on social morality - can lead to an ultimate outburst of violence, probably due to the high level of interactivity that don't usually get from other media.

This experiment is total rubbish in my opinion. mainly because of the core testing element it seems to use: "tell me a story"

Ok, so if i say to you: "don't think about a pink elephant" what are you going to think about? a pink elephant! thus if i asked you to tell me a story after that, chances are you might set it in the zoo because i gave you the idea of an animal. What was this guy expecting after having people play violent videogames? Of course they were going to discuss things at the forefront of their minds. He has no basis to draw conclusions in projecting over such a long term period in the future thanks to three days of study with a patchy core concept of experimentation.

A better test would have been say: examine peoples behavior for a week with no videogames, then have them play violent games the next week before examining their behavior during the videogame week and then the week after where you ban videogames again. I'd guarantee you that the aggressive behavior seen to have been induced by playing these games dissipates. But this still doesn't give anywhere near enough data for a long term conclusion. You would need a study spanning easily a year or more to be able to draw those kinds of conclusions!

add this experiment to the pile of useless amongst most other studies done on videogames

EDIT: Yet, as a scientist, i'm open and actually want to see more experimentation done on videogaming as an entertainment medium with its effects on a persons behavior documented. But only if the experiment is solid enough and data set broad enough to be taken seriously and hold up to questioning certain demographics and timescales.

I don't know anything about how reputable the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology is, so I can't say how much peer-review this study was subjected to. But in any case since their entire methodology isn't listed in the article and the actual journal isn't out yet, we don't have any way of examining it. And there are three things that stand out to me as potential methodological flaws:

1. Population: I didn't see anything about a pre-test to measure aggression before playing the games. While randomly assigning the games should help, it doesn't guarantee that by chance one group didn't start out as more aggressive than the other. While I wouldn't say the 70 population size or taking the participants from one school automatically rules out this study (certainly there have been plenty of linguistic studies with even more constricted populations that are considered valid) it's necessary to see how these participants were recruited and some demographic data on them, particularly how often they played violent video games or were exposed to violent media in their daily lives. I expect if they were trying to conceal the nature of their study that these sorts of demographic questions weren't ask, but that raises some red flags. As a graduate student, I know plenty of people who don't have the time to participate in studies like this (myself included). It may be that the population they are drawing from is more susceptible to influence from entertainment because they have more free time and thus fewer things occupying their mind. Or conversely, they may have more free time, enabling them to consume more entertainment outside of the study, which could also be a factor. Also, were all participants mentally similar? Were they all under the same degree of stress in their lives outside of the study? If one group had by random chance more people who had just broken up with their boyfriends/girlfriends, or had just failed a class, they might be more susceptible to violent fantasy than other participants.

2. Game factors: Maybe the CoD group was more aggressive because they were made to play a shit game? I kid, but they seem to be assuming that violence is the only psychologically relevant difference between these games. And there's a whole lot more that could be at play. I think the only way you could ever truly measure this would be to have two games that are 100% identical aside from the fact that in one the player must be violent and in the other the player must not be violent. And such a game may not be possible to make, certainly not if there are story elements. But it's quite concerning that the three non-violent games appear to come from the same genre (or at least closely related genres), whereas the violent games come from different genres.

3. Outcome: How exactly do they measure aggression? If the participant writes in the story that a character calls another a name, is that aggression? What about passive-aggression? But the bigger problem here is that the study tests for aggression in an imaginary space. We well know that people engage in thoughts that they would never act out in real life. After all, if someone watched porn for 3 days we wouldn't be shocked if they completed stories with more sex-related content- sex would be on their mind. Likewise, if someone who played fantasy-themed games completed the stories with more fantastical elements. Such results don't imply that the media influenced participants' behavior so much as the content of their imaginations. It's telling that they only concern themselves with [±AGGRESSION] or [±VIOLENCE] in the study- presumably if their model is valid the non-violent game group should have responded with an increase in some kind of response, perhaps an inclination to imagine people solving their problems though off-road racing.

I think it's very likely that in the broadest possible sense, what they describe in their study is a real phenomenon. It's trivial to say that the content you are exposed to should influence the thoughts in your head. What's more interesting to study, and without seeing methodology in detail we can't say for sure if this study actually does this, is whether those thoughts become more or less likely to influence behavior. Because people have been exposed to violent media since the first cave painting showed a hunter spearing a buffalo, but that doesn't mean the cave painting made them go out and spear a buffalo of their own. We have thousands of mitigating influences every day competing for our mental spaces. Games are powerful because we believe through agency and fun they have more influence than passive media, but it's not obvious at all that that increased influence must automatically lead to changed behavior.

If games made people violent then i expect hundreds of thousands of acts of violents connected to games. How many people are violent after eating a doughnut? There is no way you can make a link between games and violence. An not violence as in throwing a joypad as your frustrated through messing up a section of gameplay...i agree that happens. But actually a game making you go out and stab or kill another human being? No i doubt that so much.If thats the case then ban everything that stresses people out, music, driving, work and everything else.

I'd be interested to know how many of the study participants play games in their free-time and whether or not that was accounted for in this study. 'Cause I'm not overly fond of first-person shooters, so I can see myself getting pretty frustrated after 20 minutes of dying repeatedly. Along the same lines, my parents would be completely lost if you handed them a controller and told them to play CoD4. Pretty sure they don't even understand the concept of a "thumbstick" or how to control the camera. While my brothers are both very into first-person shooters and spending ONLY 20 minutes playing one of those games would be pretty annoying for a completely different reason.

On a completely different subject, I'm curious what kind of results a study like this one would turn up with a video game that has more mixed elements. They chose first-person shooters as their "violent" games. What about a first person RPG-style shooter game, such as Fallout 3 or Skyrim? Those games have the potential for just as much violence, but they also offer a lot of non-violent gameplay and interesting scenery. I'm curious how aggressive people might be after spending 20 minutes of crafting increasingly complex suits of armor or arranging the nuka-cola bottles in their player-owned house ...

Is this a joke? What kind of scientific study can conclude long-term impact from a three-day experiment with a straight face? This evidence is laughably flimsy.

kouriichi:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. "Video Games can cause aggression, aggression can mean violence."

The same way football players are more likely to use steroids than a lazy teenager, a person who drives everyday is more likely to get in a car accident, and a surfer is more likely to be eaten by a shark. Theres bad in everything, but i dont see them banning bulk tubs of "Scooperman" because to much "Frozen Dairy Desert" can lead to heart failure.

In the end, studies like this get us nowhere, and never will. Just because people are more angry after a few thousand rounds of CoD, doesnt mean they will go out and 360 noscope the neighbors cat.

Also, there was no control group that regularly watched violent movies and tv shows
I bet that they would have at least same effect on a person

Oh look, the gaming community is refusing to accept any evidence to state that their hobby could cause harm!

Sorry, we are starting to look too much like the pot smoking community. Every study that says our hobby can have negative effects is immediately ignored, any study that says our hobby can have positive effects is immediately preached from the mountaintop of moral superiority.

Finally, one quick point: Correlation does not indicate causation, Violent crime rates being stable (Or decreasing) does not neccesarily invalidate all of the research that shows videogaming can cause more violence, there is a substantial leap of logic taking place there.

But I do not see the point in writing any more. Chances are I am going to get flamed for what I have written so far.

Play lots of violent games, become more aggressive overall. Seems logical, I am willing to accept that as fact. Now, it is important to note that this study is not saying that people will become psychotic axe murderers, nor that we will start punching people in the face. Just that consuming lots of violent media can increase levels of aggression.

Why is that hypothesis so hard to accept?

kouriichi:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. "Video Games can cause aggression, aggression can mean violence."

The same way football players are more likely to use steroids than a lazy teenager, a person who drives everyday is more likely to get in a car accident, and a surfer is more likely to be eaten by a shark. Theres bad in everything, but i dont see them banning bulk tubs of "Scooperman" because to much "Frozen Dairy Desert" can lead to heart failure.

In the end, studies like this get us nowhere, and never will. Just because people are more angry after a few thousand rounds of CoD, doesnt mean they will go out and 360 noscope the neighbors cat.

Right, and especially with the example of CoD is it the GAME making people mad or the little cunts that play it?

Instead of video games, now we can sit them in front of tv political commentators and watch them morph into hyper partisan, close minded paranoiacs. Quick, ban all the news channels! Think of the children!

Oh, so it's still socially acceptable to watch violent movies and read violent books, but video games cross the line? A good movie/book puts you brain first into the action, and while you're not actively participating with your fingers, you're still participating by not turning it off/putting it down/walking away -- tacit compliance, innit? All the while we cheer the main character on as he or she curb stomps mob#13 and moves on to the next one. Yeah, I know, GTA and all of that, but what about people who write/film fictional violence? Shouldn't we be afraid of them committing violent acts, too? Oh no, we shall never attend another comicon! All of those violent comic book writers are just one step away from losing it and going on a murder spree!

I think I've had enough of video game "research".

No control group, small sample size, limited timespan, no comparisons to similar tests done with other media... yeah, this isn't science. Do it again on a larger, more broad scale, over a longer period of time and compare the results, then we'll talk.

Mr F.:
Oh look, the gaming community is refusing to accept any evidence to state that their hobby could cause harm!

Sorry, we are starting to look too much like the pot smoking community. Every study that says our hobby can have negative effects is immediately ignored, any study that says our hobby can have positive effects is immediately preached from the mountaintop of moral superiority.

Finally, one quick point: Correlation does not indicate causation, Violent crime rates being stable (Or decreasing) does not neccesarily invalidate all of the research that shows videogaming can cause more violence, there is a substantial leap of logic taking place there.

But I do not see the point in writing any more. Chances are I am going to get flamed for what I have written so far.

Play lots of violent games, become more aggressive overall. Seems logical, I am willing to accept that as fact. Now, it is important to note that this study is not saying that people will become psychotic axe murderers, nor that we will start punching people in the face. Just that consuming lots of violent media can increase levels of aggression.

Why is that hypothesis so hard to accept?

For me the problem is that there always seems to be that quiet undertone of sensationalism. Of course I'll feel a little more aggressive after going toe to toe with someone, but there's that lurking sense in these reports that well, if you feel aggressive you know what's coming next. . .

It bothers me because when I was a teenager my mom heard some news report or other about a D&D obsessed kid or two sacrificing their parents (or something like that). I'm talking pen and paper D&D. Guess who was banned from playing any sort of role-playing game because it was going to turn me into a slavering murder fiend?

There are always going to be the crazy exceptions who see something, hear of something, or play something and it's enough to convince them to go over the line. For the rest of it though, if we're going to do studies let's do them properly. It's the same thing, for me, as when I hear of a 20 day study on 30 people trying to link cancer to tomatoes. Uh, really? It's like the whole thing with parabens. Yes, there's evidence that they're not good, but until I see some ten, twenty year studies with more than sensationalist headlines (or metals in deodorant because a few women with breast cancer used specific types of deodorants with that metal in them) it's something to be taken with a grain of salt. I had a friend tell me that my problems with eczema and period pains were caused by parabens. So I took up the challenge and no longer use products with parabens in them. Still have issues with eczema, still have awful lower back pains before my period. Is it less? Hard to tell. These almighty studies though, aren't anywhere near complete enough to be handed out to the public willy-nilly. It's important because some people take these things as infallible proof -- just like my friend and his campaign against parabens.

Besides that, I don't believe there are enough controls on studies like these. Have we defined a scale of violence? What amount of violence begins to cause problems? I've seen/heard of people flinging controllers and beating keyboards over simple platformers where your goal is to beat the setting -- is that any less concerning than someone screaming into a headset over a game of CoD?

In the meantime all I can do is think of my well-meaning mother, informed by "studies" like these and the hours of begging it took to convince her to buy us Super Smash Brothers.

here's a sample from the positive side of this

Another garbage scientific research find to add to the list

UltraXan:
I've been playing violent games since I was 4, starting with Unreal Tournament. Now it's things like... *looks at steam game list* TF2, L4D(2), Saints row the third, UT3, Dawn of War, Vindictus, Skyrim... Am I aggressive? No, quite the opposite, actually.

chiefohara:
I've played violent video games for 20 years.

Haven't killed anyone yet.

Anecdotes don't equal evidence.

That's like saying "I've been smoking 40 years now and don't have cancer. These cancer warnings are bullshit!"

Look, we do know that there is at least a relationships between violent video games and aggressive/violent people. That does not mean that it causes it, but it does make it kind of ridiculous to dismiss any relationship out of hand simply because you've never killed anyone or aren't aggressive.

Look, the logic of this study and the methodology appears to be crap. But two wrongs really don't make a right.

As much as I may dislike the findings, we must go with the best available data we have when forming conclusions. Is this study comprehensive or authoritative? No, but it's data appears to be valid and scientific. As honest intellectual individuals, we must set aside our personal beliefs when confronted with evidence and question not only the evidence, but our beliefs. The mark of a good scientist is the ability to toss out long held, even intimate and personal beliefs when presented with contradictory data.

Again, I'm not saying this is authoritative by any means, but please keep an open mind to all sources of valid data, regardless of conclusion.

EDIT: That being said, I do some some holes in the study methodology.

Mr F.:
Oh look, the gaming community is refusing to accept any evidence to state that their hobby could cause harm!

Could we see some real, usable evidence?

Sorry, we are starting to look too much like the pot smoking community. Every study that says our hobby can have negative effects is immediately ignored, any study that says our hobby can have positive effects is immediately preached from the mountaintop of moral superiority.

Can you show me some solid studies, preferably something that's been validated, with firm links?

Finally, one quick point: Correlation does not indicate causation, Violent crime rates being stable (Or decreasing) does not neccesarily invalidate all of the research that shows videogaming can cause more violence, there is a substantial leap of logic taking place there.

While indeed that alone is not an issue, there remains the fact that the media tends to report violence as an epidemic, then tie video games and the rap music and kids and their dern ifones and STAY OFF MY LAWN! to said epidemic.

And you know what? The Bureau of Justice basically says in its report "don't let the lower violent crimes rates stop you from pissing yourself over violent crime." Even the people who reported the low in violent crime are trying to make sure we're still worried about it.

There's an A to B to C here. It's just not what people are saying, but rather what they're reacting to.

While yes, the lower rates of crime do not mean games don't cause violence, surely logic dictates that the failure of such a "demonstrable" claim about such a prevalent media to cause any significant shift says something significant, would it not?

I mean, you were talking logic, right?

Play lots of violent games, become more aggressive overall. Seems logical, I am willing to accept that as fact.

Right there. You are willing to accept something as fact because it "seems" logical.

Why is that hypothesis so hard to accept?

Do you understand what a hypothesis is? You have accepted this "hypothesis" as fact. I have no problem with accepting it as a possibility. I just want to see it demonstrated by people actually behaving like scientists.

And honestly, I think aggressive games probably do engender aggression, but there are a couple of catches here:

1. My observations, the grounds upon which I believe this, are evidence in any sort of viable scientific or psychological sense. There are issues like a skewed base and confirmation bias.

2. My big question is, is this any different from other media? I've noted the same sort of observational link between aggression and Monday Night Football. Nobody is studying football's link. This seemsto be something that is present in a lot of media and activities. Which brings up 2A: so what? Like, video games, if they can increase aggression, seem no different than any number of other media.

Growing up as I did in the late 80s and early 90s, there was a major crusade against sugar in soda. Juice manufacturers loved it. They pitched soft drinks with more sugar, more chemicals, more problems. This looks like it's specifically looking to unreasonably target games.

Now, hypotheses are fine, but a hypothesis is something to be tested, revised, retested, etc. It's not the end all. It's an educated guess.

Part of the end result here really should be the question of "is this exclusive to video games?"

We've been here before with jazz, rock, metal, comic books, novels (yes, novels), pot (which will cause you to violently kill people because ponies), etc. I'd like to see some evidence that can pass that level of scrutiny.

jollybarracuda:
Seems like pretty valid research. I guess the big issue though has never been "do games make people aggressive" but "do video games make people violent", two very different things, the latter of which is a lot harder to test because of human ethic laws and such silliness (kidding, of course).

But a lot of this research does seem to be pointing to the possibility that someone with pre-existing violent behaviors could, theoretically, become more prone to releasing that violence on people, with an increase in aggression caused by violent video games. Should be interesting to see where this research leads in a few years, and if we'll ever actually see a noticeable decline in violent games in the future.

I like the fact that these studies seem to be getting more acceptance from the gaming crowd. I agree with your issues about the research, but when we look at the bigger picture and see that so many independent studies are indicating this link between violence in games and aggression in people, those who vehemently deny the link begin to sound like smokers who say that smoking doesn't cause lung cancer.
I'm not saying this issue is as clear cut as that. I can't think of a single psychological link that's as concrete as a physiological one, but the field of psychology has made great strides over the last few decades to associate individual behaviour with physical stimuli; it's pretty much the entire science.
Of course, that's not to say we should lose perspective. I think many gamers who deny these kinds of studies fear they stigmatize the whole of gaming culture. And that might be true, but then rejecting large swathes of scientific research doesn't make the community much more outsider friendly.

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