Research Finds Negative Effects in Violent Videogames

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I'm not going to respond to a lot of what you wrote, not because it is invalid or I disagree, but because it's personal or subjective.

FalloutJack:
But if you're going to try and prove it, could you try to at least put REAL work into it that can demonstrate without fail the actual danger of games making people violent? This was somebody's job, not the stuff I do on offtime. Those who get paid to work should be the ones responsible for delivering the goods.

I think this really is too extreme. The study was flawed, but you can't conclude that the researchers didn't put REAL work into it.

I suspect they probably did work quite hard on it. The problem is that in the social sciences there are a multitude of compounding factors that make it impossible to have a flawless study. So long as scientists can't clone people and raise them in sterile, controlled environments that match perfectly apart from the presence or absence of video games, it's impossible to conclusively rule that no other factors played a role in someone's aggression. But that doesn't rule out the question of if video games have an impact, nor does it mean that the question shouldn't be researched. It just means we have to look at studies and judge them on their methodology and logic of argumentation, not by whether or not they tell us what we want to know.

The more I study science (MA grad student in linguistics) the more I see that it's totally inappropriate to expect scientists to produce perfect studies. What we need to expect is for scientists to produce good studies, and then for future scientists to follow up with better studies that correct their mistakes. Or that triangulate a flawed study's finding by approaching it from a completely different way. Some of the most ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting papers in my field are papers that we know are flawed, maybe even that come to an incorrect conclusion, but that point out some phenomenon that was previously unknown.

So rather than seeing gamers lash out at these studies, I'd like to see gamers build from them. Point out their flaws and do better studies, don't just panic because some news reporter who doesn't know anything about science interprets the paper incorrectly. Because if we reject the conversation every time it doesn't say what we want it to, then it stops being an argument of science and starts being an argument of ideology. And we're not going to win an ideological argument except for in a multi-generational grind.

"people who played a violent videogame for three consecutive days"
"once per day, for 20 minutes at a time"

So they play, what one match a day for 3 days and if they act aggressive it's the game's fault? Because everyone knows personality changing induced by a stimulus can occur in a total of an hour.

Seriously this test shows "long-term results" how exactly? All it says is they talked shit when they won. Better stop kids playing hide and seek since they'll tease people for being found easily too then.

I'm also noticing that the non-violent games are all competitive racing games, are you really trying to tell me not one of them talked shit during an overtake or get frustrated losing on the last bend? Or did they just not play those games online and call it a fair test group.

To summarize - these results are invalid, please spend another 5-6 years (going by their game choice) to actually draw up some valid conclusions. Granted the paper isn't out yet but if this is how they summarize it, dear jesus...

after reading this i sat down and wrote a letter

place do not quote. This is not a serious opinion, this is the little know-it-all, smug arsehole that lives on my brain talking.

[1] family and friends are nr 1. there, see, you learn something every day

If anything, this proves 2 things:
1) People engaged in competition like to grandstand their victories when the stakes are higher (fictional life or death).
2) Violence is entertaining, so rewriting a story to include more violence is preferable than having the main character find a pretty flower.

Katatori-kun:
Well, nobody's perfect.

I think what we've proven here, more than anything else, is that the problem is far more complex than the reports we're given, but then that just means I would never be allowed to thoroughly examine the process without full disclosure. The thing of it is that no gamer is going to treat this positively EVER. And not just out of being in opposition to it. Nobody likes to be called out. As soon as you start SAYING video gamers are more inclined to violence, you're going to find that video gamers are more inclined to taking insults personally. The truth is that most of us who like video games have probably haven't been violent, so when you start making accusations basically...it's slanderous.

That's at least what happens when you throw up a sensationalist news blip like this one. If I told you that your favorite something-or-other causes people to eat babies and howl at the moon, you...probably wouldn't believe me. But if I told everyone that, there'd be an uproar and be an even worse one if also did research. The fault lies in part with those who report this stuff in that it tells us NOTHING. No, really. If you want to convince people of anything, you're going to have to remove all doubt and mystery to make anyone even half-inclined to agree. As it stands, nobody will, which is to me probably for the better. This is a post-modernistic world where a good portion of what's true is what people think or make true because it might be a good idea. If video games have any influence to make people violent, it'd be better if those who don't buy into it make it not true by example.

What I think would be most important, would be how long these states last. I bet they are brief. Ones mood will change after watching an intense movie, bad traffic, recently having sex, etc etc. But it's temporary.

This report is a bit misleading. if the only movies you saw or books you read or games you play are violent then of course you will expect the same from other forms of media. They basically just did an allegory of the cave study and are trying to pass it off as new information to get people afraid of video games.

People who are scared of violent video games are just scared of something that they don't understand. Most people don't understand the psychology of murderers and they don't understand video games, but they think they do understand it all and want to ban violent games so people stop murdering, which wont solve anything. Bans have never worked and the fact that people keep begging for them shows just how dumb people can be. We need to learn from our own history, prohibition did not work, and the ban on drugs has fueled soo much gang money and deaths by guns (not overdosing) its ridiculous. If violent games get banned, I'm sure the underground video games that come out will be some of the most grotesque things on the planet.

Honestly i feel that violent games are good for people who could be murderers, because instead of acting on their urges in real life, maybe they just play some gta or call of duty. My logic to this statement is the shooter in conn killed little kids, which you cant do in video games, if only this person had some sort of outlet to murder children in a video game, he wouldn't need to commit the act in real life. I find this argument a lot more sensible than someone playing a violent video game day in and day out, then one day saying "this is so much fun, i just gotta try this in real life".

What happened in conn was tragic, and people trying to use that tragedy to get violent games banned is in bad taste when the studies aren't even there to back up their argument. People need to pray for the victims of the shooting and not praying that they get likes and responses from their facebook posts.

FalloutJack:

Katatori-kun:
Well, nobody's perfect.

That is an absolutely terrible interpretation of my post.

FalloutJack:
As soon as you start SAYING video gamers are more inclined to violence,

That's not what this study says.

Katatori-kun:
SNIP

Actually, that was me responding to what you were saying by going "Well, nobody's perfect". Having a bit of a laugh over that now. Sadly, I should have made the fact more plain, but eh...nobody's perfect.

Anyway, isn't it? That's what it boils down into. "We want to find something in videogames - Yes, it evolved into one word at some point, not sure when. - that links it to violence committed when a violent person appears to like videogames." Let's not be splitting hairs here. 'Negative effects in violent videogames' and talking about people feeling more aggressive because of games. What other interpretation could it possibly be other than to say "Violent video games make you more violent and therefore people who play them are more inclined towards it."? They're not trying to find patterns of aggression because they're merely interested and find this facinating. What is this discussion we've been having if you don't believe that's what it's all about? I just don't know where you're coming from now.

FalloutJack:
Yes, it evolved into one word at some point, not sure when. - that links it to violence committed when a violent person appears to like videogames."

It doesn't say anything of the sort.

Let's not be splitting hairs here. 'Negative effects in violent videogames' and talking about people feeling more aggressive because of games. What other interpretation could it possibly be other than to say "Violent video games make you more violent and therefore people who play them are more inclined towards it."?

Plenty. Aggression != violence. If I get angry because someone cut me off in traffic and call them a blind git, that's aggressive. That's not violence. If I write a story containing violence (exactly as the test subjects did, mind), that's not violence either. There is also passive aggression. There are many ways to be aggressive without being violent.

They're not trying to find patterns of aggression because they're merely interested and find this facinating.

And your evidence for this claim is what, exactly?

Katatori-kun:
SNIP

Oh no you don't. It's YOUR turn. You're the one sticking out now. YOU try proving the point this time. I'm not going to argue about whether or not it's the ultra-violence in a thread that's about the ultra-violence. You give ME the answers now. Why, pray tell, is this even news on a video gaming site if it's not about what exactly what you expect?

FalloutJack:
YOU try proving the point this time.

I have made no claims about the nature of video games and violence, therefore there is nothing for me to prove.

I'm not going to argue about whether or not it's the ultra-violence in a thread that's about the ultra-violence.

Look, if you're going to just make up content for scientific studies that isn't in the study, there's no point in further discussion. The article doesn't claim that violent video games make people violent, and "ultra-violence" isn't even used in the article.

If you want gaming to be taken seriously by scientists, jumping to hysterical conclusions every time the topic is mentioned is not the way to do it. Calm down. Put your indignant rage back in your pocket. Read what is actually written in the study, not what you want to be written in the study.

Katatori-kun:
SNIP

Oh, come on. You mean you didn't note the Clockwork Orange reference, a movie which was entirely centered upon the effects, control, and consequences of unbridled aggression in an impressionable youth? No love for Kubrick? And WHAT indignant rage? You're all over the board with this. I'm afraid you can't get that from text unless I go into an evil shouty voice. Please, start over, because we're apparently talking about two different things and you're off-topic.

Even after reading the linked content, I have many questions.

Many arise over the 'noise punishment' test.
Beyond the basics of 'When the human lost, was it the same length each time for each type of subject?', one must wonder 'What routine motions do these games teach the players?' Combat encounters in Call of Duty whether online or offline, often tend to be one-on-one. Regardless of that being rather poor design, consider the 'non-violent' games in which you play against many independent players. Call of Duty builds a sense of grappling with another person, while the Dirt games are more goal oriented: a racing game player is going to be more focused on actually winning the test, while the shooter player is more after the rewards--conditioned with points and kill streak rewards outside the test.

I find the results to be questionable at best; those conducting the test seem to lack an understanding of game design. Unsurprisingly.

There are a number of flaws with such an argument. First is the experience in multiplayer gaming. If the game has severe problems such as lag or is frustrating then anger tends to follow. Most of these types of games are extremely competitive and have evolved to be more competitive. The ratings for most games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield is "M for Mature" or +18. Meaning that you are mentally and emotionally capable to play such a game and maintain some level of logic and reason. If the idea of frustrating activities and entertainment can go beyond video games then people watching football or going to the local pub to watch soccer should be seen in the same way. After certain moments people watching and playing the sport tend to get out of control. The University of Maryland recently won a sport game against Duke and Maryland students started a riot in the streets as a massive mob. On top of this the sporting arenas and bars than show sporting events offer alcoholic drinks which can impair judgement. Clearly sporting events are proven to be far more important to handle than some kid banging a hole in his wall because he lost one session of a video game. I have seen more violent people in the line of a local Starbucks. In short, it isn't so much the object behind the behavior as the people who use those objects.

FalloutJack:

Katatori-kun:
Well, nobody's perfect.

I think what we've proven here, more than anything else, is that the problem is far more complex than the reports we're given, but then that just means I would never be allowed to thoroughly examine the process without full disclosure. The thing of it is that no gamer is going to treat this positively EVER. And not just out of being in opposition to it. Nobody likes to be called out. As soon as you start SAYING video gamers are more inclined to violence, you're going to find that video gamers are more inclined to taking insults personally. The truth is that most of us who like video games have probably haven't been violent, so when you start making accusations basically...it's slanderous.

That's at least what happens when you throw up a sensationalist news blip like this one. If I told you that your favorite something-or-other causes people to eat babies and howl at the moon, you...probably wouldn't believe me. But if I told everyone that, there'd be an uproar and be an even worse one if also did research. The fault lies in part with those who report this stuff in that it tells us NOTHING. No, really. If you want to convince people of anything, you're going to have to remove all doubt and mystery to make anyone even half-inclined to agree. As it stands, nobody will, which is to me probably for the better. This is a post-modernistic world where a good portion of what's true is what people think or make true because it might be a good idea. If video games have any influence to make people violent, it'd be better if those who don't buy into it make it not true by example.

Yeah, I get slightly more aggressive, frustrated, and competitive after a violent round of a video game. I don't talk trash, or curse, or anything noticeably aggressive.

Give me a few minutes in a different game, or non-voilent activity, and I'm the least aggressive many around. Most people think I don't have a backbone. If I get to the point where I want to act out violent tendencies, I have to laugh at how ridiculous that thought is.

I've been playing video games, including violent ones, for 20 years now. I would say that I enjoy violent and aggressive games less than I did several years ago. I just want to play roller coaster tycoon, diner dash, zelda, etc.

Monster_user:
GOOD

Oh, indeed. And I'm a man who's been playing since Atari and really old computers and I still do the violence schtick, no ill effects. I love Fallout and Destroy All Humans and Saint's Row and MDK and Duke Nukem and all kinds of stuff. And when you get down to it, it doesn't do a damn thing to you in the long run. You know what we need? A real and proper test. I demand a threshold study of what it WOULD take to make a gamer truly violent from a standstill position...made or busted by the Mythbusters. I say we throw up a kickstarter to fund a dedicated episode and let the chips fall where they may.

THERES JUST TOO MANY OUTSIDE FACTORS.
you can't say *points to Hatoful Boyfriend* made me into a violent person because it didn't..... however it DID make me have a affinity of birds

------

OT: why can't these professors work on something worthwhile like Cancer Research or superpowers?

When I read the part the victory noise, that is just someone being an an asshole. Otherwise, solid stuff. However, I know plenty of teenagers who REGULARLY play COD and the like, and are perfectly well-adjusted and socially competent. Really, while this may be viable, I have first hand experience of seeing people who do play these games being less agressive than people that don't. It's genetics, all the games did is bring that out.

How can playing a game for 20 minutes a day over three days be expanded to long-term effects? Wouldn't you get the same result if these same people watched an action movie instead of playing COD? They both stimulate the aggressive side of our personalities but most people will return to normal once the adrenaline subsides. Also how can it be unethical to have these people play these games 20 minutes a day over a much longer period time? There are people who play for hours every day and people don't bat an eye. Maybe its a matter of costing too much money to pay these research subjects or the scientists already know that their expected results would be different once these people got bored with same games over and over. Half-assed research is the reason why society is full of misconceptions.

FalloutJack:

Monster_user:
GOOD

Oh, indeed. And I'm a man who's been playing since Atari and really old computers and I still do the violence schtick, no ill effects. I love Fallout and Destroy All Humans and Saint's Row and MDK and Duke Nukem and all kinds of stuff. And when you get down to it, it doesn't do a damn thing to you in the long run. You know what we need? A real and proper test. I demand a threshold study of what it WOULD take to make a gamer truly violent from a standstill position...made or busted by the Mythbusters. I say we throw up a kickstarter to fund a dedicated episode and let the chips fall where they may.

Mythbusters tends to focus on physical-science related myths. I doubt they have any better capacity to study this psychological phenomenon than any other scientific group.

So why not study it yourself? Why waste your money trying to get someone else to find out what you can find out for yourself? Learn something about psychological research, and then carry out an experiment yourself. If you're more careful about controlling your environment than these guys were, you might be able to get published.

Try this same test with people that read violent books. I bet you the outcome will be the same, if not more severe, because when reading, you are using your imagination and mind a lot more than when playing a violent video game.

BAN VIOLENT BOOKS!!!!111111onoenoenoene

So....

What were the subjects' responses oh, I donno, two to three hours later?

An alternative explanation for the study.

People who play violent video games think violence is more common than it really is.

I mean they didn't ask how they would react.

I just finished playing Serious Sam 3 and I wanna find that professor and... And... And have a calm conversation about why I do not believe his findings are true, debate the experiments over a cup of tea or some mini-golf...

and then kill hobos

"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"

Oh yeah really, maybe it's because thouse lead character are often violet and agressive and there is expectation that they will... Dosent make the person feeling the survey being more agressive and/or violent -_-

You know what else would give you increased aggressive behavior and potentially violent tendencies? Being forced to do ANYTHING for three days straight.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Tanis:
All I'm saying is...

Hilter, Stalin, Mao, Khan...

None of THEM ever played a video game.

That's a pretty stupid argument. Things other than video games can make people aggressive, thus games are harmless? ...?

No, but the worst mass murders in history never touched a video game...so why are so many folks focusing on them?

Where's the focus on cuts to medical programs for the mentally ill or better treatment for folks with various brain problems?

Blaming video games for school shootings is like blaming spoons for making people fat.

Tanis:
Where's the focus on cuts to medical programs for the mentally ill or better treatment for folks with various brain problems?

Blaming video games for school shootings is like blaming spoons for making people fat.

This part of your argument is sound.

Tanis:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Tanis:
All I'm saying is...

Hilter, Stalin, Mao, Khan...

None of THEM ever played a video game.

That's a pretty stupid argument. Things other than video games can make people aggressive, thus games are harmless? ...?

No, but the worst mass murders in history never touched a video game...so why are so many folks focusing on them?

This part is completely unnecessary.

It's basically like entering a debate about gun control and saying "Well, Genghis Khan never had guns, and he's a mass murderer, so why are we even talking about this?".

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Tanis:
Where's the focus on cuts to medical programs for the mentally ill or better treatment for folks with various brain problems?

Blaming video games for school shootings is like blaming spoons for making people fat.

This part of your argument is sound.

Tanis:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

That's a pretty stupid argument. Things other than video games can make people aggressive, thus games are harmless? ...?

No, but the worst mass murders in history never touched a video game...so why are so many folks focusing on them?

This part is completely unnecessary.

It's basically like entering a debate about gun control and saying "Well, Genghis Khan never had guns, and he's a mass murderer, so why are we even talking about this?".

A weapon is a weapon and a tool is a tool.
Where there is a will, there is a way, to use it in bad ways.

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