President Obama Asks for Research Into Game Violence

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President Obama Asks for Research Into Game Violence

Violent game studies are one part of a 23 step plan.

In a live speech, President Barack Obama outlined 23 executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence, including a statement on violent videogames. After explaining that members of congress historically opposed research into the causes of gun violence President Obama said "I will direct the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce [gun violence]. And congress should fund research into the effects that violent videogames have on young minds." This marks the first time since the renewed conversation in the U.S. on violent games that the president has made a statement. President Obama's order on game violence was the only reference to videogames at all in his speech, the rest of which focused on gun control measures.

President Obama's remarks today reflect the outcome of Vice President Joe Biden's task force on gun violence. In his address to game industry representatives, Vice President Biden said that "We know there's no single answer and quite frankly we don't even know if some of the things people think impact on this actually impact on this or not ... you have not been singled out for help." During his speech today, President Obama followed up his request for CDC research on violent media by saying "We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science on this epidemic of violence." Between the two remarks, it seems that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden are prepared to move forward on any legislation or executive action regarding violent videogames without further research.

The comments on game violence formed a minute section of the speech with the majority focusing on executive orders that President Obama would also sign. Beyond his executive orders, President Obama outlined other actions he hoped members of congress would undertake, including implementation of universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

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I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Science has repeatedly shown that video games do not contribute in any non-trivial way to real violence. This shouldn't worry any gamer.

Okay this year is off to a great start....

You know what? I have no problem with this. So long as the study is unbiased (which, well, isn't actually that likely) I see no issue in further study on this particular subject. Keep in mind people, he hasn't actually criticised video games in any way; he's merely acknowledging the very real fact that there isn't enough good research on this particular topic, with only 2 or 3 studies both supporting and opposing the idea that video games cause violent behaviour, almost all of which don't really seem reliable.

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?

Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

I think the more research we have on the subject is better, We as gamers know we're non violent (for the most part) so we should welcome any unbiased study into the effects of videogames, if they do it right and find no links, then we as gamers have a nice very official study to point out to the detractors and Jack Thompsons of the world

DVS BSTrD:

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?

I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

Because the last assault weapons ban worked so well right? And I have to agree that I wish they wouldn't throw our money around so much during this "recession"

Fappy:

Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!

How do you know they don't give a fuck? I'm as cynical as the next guy, but do you not think in the face of such a tragedy, Obama might be just a little sincere.

I don't see how actual credible research into violent videogames is a bad thing. Practically every single study done so far has been hampered by poor methodology, inconclusive findings and general wishy-washyness. If Obama is able to use his clout to instigate research that's actually worth a damn, then even us gamers should applaud that. We shouldn't feel the need to shy away Smeagol-like as soon as anyone actually thinks of shining a light on our hobby. We should be there, holding it out for them to shine a light on.

More information is never a bad thing. If this new study actually turns up some conclusive facts about violent games using professional, consistent methodology, then I will welcome it. To shy away from such research because of our own insecurities about the medium is to simply concede that our opponents might actually have a point.

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

I agree with you whole heartedly. In the last 4 years we've already invested in a ton of stupid projects that didn't pan out, we don't need to invest several million more dollars into a study which people already have an answer for. It's not the president's buissness to mess with this sorta shit.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

In other words, a ban on magazines over 10 rounds and anything else that looks scary to people.

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

I'll agree to some extent.

This is almost as stupid as the Mythbusters episode they did where Obama asked them to redo a myth they already busted. All that one proved was if you throw enough people at it with mirrors, you can start to make things smoke and maybe burn, which is what we all knew from that first time already.

And I don't see the point in doing "more" research into a subject that has had far too many contradictory studies made into it to begin with. All it is going to do, of course, is prove that once again "Correlation is not Causation".

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

First off, I don't totally disagree with you, forward thinking is always a good thing, and without starting a political debate, I would like to say that I don't trust the research no matter what is conducting it. A majority of gamers are underage kids currently playing online and screaming curses and even making threats over their mics right now. How many good conclusions can be drawn from that? People like you and me might not be represented, we will never know. At least they are acknowledging games as part of culture. Also I'm a loose Republican, and I would like to say that while unfortuneatly there are a lot of angry vocal people in our party, we are not all idiots. The parties are just too polarized, but that's a different issue. This isn't a "blame game" by any means. Everything is about trying to push legislation through these days.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Fappy:

Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!

How do you know they don't give a fuck? I'm as cynical as the next guy, but do you not think in the face of such a tragedy, Obama might be just a little sincere.

I don't see how actual credible research into violent videogames is a bad thing. Practically every single study done so far has been hampered by poor methodology, inconclusive findings and general wishy-washyness. If Obama is able to use his clout to instigate research that's actually worth a damn, then even us gamers should applaud that. We shouldn't feel the need to shy away Smeagol-like as soon as anyone actually thinks of shining a light on our hobby. We should be there, holding it out for them to shine a light on.

More information is never a bad thing. If this new study actually turns up some conclusive facts about violent games using professional, consistent methodology, then I will welcome it. To shy away from such research because of our own insecurities about the medium is to simply concede that our opponents might actually have a point.

Don't get me wrong. I think Obama is sincere about the tragedy and what he's trying to do. Most everyone involved is. What I question however, is their sincerity regarding violent video games and their involvement in all this. It's clear to me that they've only been made a target because gun supporters are pointing fingers and the Obama administration wants to play nice (well... as nice as possible with the NRA anyway). Funding research as a part of this is really just a token gesture to comfort the masses while avoiding the real issues: ethical journalism (though that's damn near impossible to legislate), mental healthcare and (arguably) gun control.

I have absolutely no problem with people doing legitimate research regarding video games and it's affect on mental health, but I don't feel it should be funded by federal taxes and I am disappointed that it's existence is basically being fueled by blind fear.

Fappy:

DVS BSTrD:

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?

I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!

Oh Obama cares it's just that he cares about appeasing the Republicans more.
As much I like him, the man just does not have a fucking clue when it comes to actually leading.

The real tradegy is we have tons of data already covering this in some good detail. And its all easy to look up, this is we are going to spend 10s of millions of dollars we do not have on studies that have already been done to find out that the old studies are still valid.

so we can talk about level heads and so on its all B.S. it is b.s. in relation to video games and it is b.s. in relation to gun "control" all meaningless b.s. that is made to sound good on paper but do absolutely nothing but make it harder for people that care about these things to buy some stuff, and that government talking about doing "something" is bad for everyone, but especially bad for your tax dollars and your individual rights.

17 trillion in debt, social security and medicare going bankrupt to the tune of 4 or 5 trillion dollars, the midwest aquifer going bone dry in the next 30 years, and our government printing money like it is paper, which is darn close to being.

but spending money to study video games and to ban guns that are already illegal in this nation. yep yep we sure do have our priorities straight.

Simalacrum:
You know what? I have no problem with this. So long as the study is unbiased (which, well, isn't actually that likely) I see no issue in further study on this particular subject. Keep in mind people, he hasn't actually criticised video games in any way; he's merely acknowledging the very real fact that there isn't enough good research on this particular topic, with only 2 or 3 studies both supporting and opposing the idea that video games cause violent behaviour, almost all of which don't really seem reliable.

100% agree with this. I think his actions are pretty sensible as hes publically organising an official research into the matter. Assuming the results aren't manipulated or biased in anyway it should help subdue the long standing argument for sometime!

Videogames have been accused of bringing about or influencing some of the recent tragedies, Obama is ordering the concept to be checked out. Cant really argue with that.

Fappy:

DVS BSTrD:

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?

I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-

Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.

Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!

Oh Obama cares it's just that he cares about appeasing the Republicans more.
As much I like him, the man just does not have a fucking clue when it comes to actually leading.

JonB:
"I will direct the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce [gun violence]."

So gun violence is a disease now?

Sure have been a lot of stuff about guns lately. I hope this whole thing blows over soon.

Blindrooster:
snip

Holy shit a (loose) Republican on here! Finally, maybe there will be a little less overall bias on these forums.

DVS BSTrD:
-Snip-

Good leadership skills were revoked as a prerequisite for presidency a long time ago. Now you just have to act like a leader while your party pulls your strings. This isn't just Obama. This has been a problem since before I was born.

on the one hand, it could "prove" that violent video games arent turning you into a manchurian candidate or a beserker and you can use it to rub it into ignorant and irresponsible persons faces.(except the "truth" seekers..)

on the other hand, it will just waste money and not give the "desired" result, forcing other scientists to claim they need more time and money to get proper results.

eiher way, its a damn good time to be a scientist.

scorptatious:
Sure have been a lot of stuff about guns lately. I hope this whole thing blows over soon.

Blindrooster:
snip

Holy shit a (loose) Republican on here! Finally, maybe there will be a little less overall bias on these forums.

I'm a moderate who leans more towards the Libertarian party than anyone else (though I am definitely not in 100% alignment with them).

There is more variety around here than you would think! ;P

Cade Aponte:
Science has repeatedly shown that video games do not contribute in any non-trivial way to real violence. This shouldn't worry any gamer.

...or even if it does turn out that video games can or do contribute to real violence (even just in some subset of the population), we're all better off understanding how and why that is the case.

I have to give the government some credit on actually appearing to go about this sensibly by pushing for research rather than blind censorship or ignoring the possibility that entertainment media could negatively influence behavior.

All I see is people getting afraid and a government edging a little closer to taking away liberties as a result of that. I can't believe people are so shallow.

Fappy:

scorptatious:
Sure have been a lot of stuff about guns lately. I hope this whole thing blows over soon.

Blindrooster:
snip

Holy shit a (loose) Republican on here! Finally, maybe there will be a little less overall bias on these forums.

I'm a moderate who leans more towards the Libertarian party than anyone else (though I am definitely not in 100% alignment with them).

There is more variety around here than you would think! ;P

I'd imagine there would be, but I haven't seen very many people that are as vocal about it.

I personally consider myself mostly a Libertarian. Although I was raised in a mostly conservative family, so I can never truly bring myself to hate on those who happen to be Republican.

Fappy:

scorptatious:
Sure have been a lot of stuff about guns lately. I hope this whole thing blows over soon.

Blindrooster:
snip

Holy shit a (loose) Republican on here! Finally, maybe there will be a little less overall bias on these forums.

I'm a moderate who leans more towards the Libertarian party than anyone else (though I am definitely not in 100% alignment with them).

There is more variety around here than you would think! ;P

See you've got it right! People are too 100% agree with everything their party does and defend it to the death, and, honestly, they all make mistakes. It's not all black and white.
Captcha "Skid Row" Youth gone wild ya'll.......

Fappy:

Don't get me wrong. I think Obama is sincere about the tragedy and what he's trying to do. Most everyone involved is. What I question however, is their sincerity regarding violent video games and their involvement in all this. It's clear to me that they've only been made a target because gun supporters are pointing fingers and the Obama administration wants to play nice (well... as nice as possible with the NRA anyway). Funding research as a part of this is really just a token gesture to comfort the masses while avoiding the real issues: ethical journalism (though that's damn near impossible to legislate), mental healthcare and (arguably) gun control.

Thing is, Obama and Biden have already gone out of their way to assure developers and those involved at the industry that this will not be a witch hunt.

I don't think this is something solely caused by Sandy Hook. That was no doubt the last, and perhaps most prominent factor, but this is something that has been building up for a while. Videogames and violence have been reported day in, day out in the media, and yet the actual credible study done on it has been pitifully scarce. Regardless of whether a shooting happened or not, this sort of federal attention was going to happen sooner or later. If only because videogames are now one of the biggest revenue creators in the entertainment sector, and that always brings with it closer attention.

I have absolutely no problem with people doing legitimate research regarding video games and it's affect on mental health, but I don't feel it should be funded by federal taxes and I am disappointed that it's existence is basically being fueled by blind fear.

If you want research done without bias or preconception, tax-funded research is the way to go. If you want proof- every single government funded study on drugs done here in the UK has resulted in the scientists involved arguing that some, if not most, drugs need to be legalised. The government subsequently chose to ignore them, but that's neither here nor there. Tax funded research has accountability.

You know who funds most private research? Companies with an axe to grind, or an agenda to promote. Climate change research done by oil companies. The effects of medication research done by pharmaceutical companies. The research done thus far on vidoegames has largely been done by private companies, and therefore it has mostly been highly suspect as a result. If a group with a name like Mums For A More Moral America (or similar vapid title) come out with a study on games and violence, the bias is already there for all to see. A tax-funded study at least has the chance for accountability, for even-handedness, and therefore for actual conclusive results.

And it's not as if research is all that expensive. America is currently still fighting two land-wars in the Middle East, and trading with most of the known world. You can afford one scientific study.

Well, it's good to know that they're not treating games as the only thing on the agenda.

The thing is, it won't really do anything. Like the birthers movement, the "Video games make people into killers" crowd doesn't care how many times we hand over proof, they won't be satisfied until there's one that agrees with their warped perception. There could be a hundred, a thousand studies that say no, but as soon as one says yes, in their minds it'll be vindication.

I look forward to see what kind of methodology this study uses though. Perhaps let someone play Call of Duty for an hour then give them a chocolate bunny and base the data on whether they bite the head first.

Funny how you can't criticize gun companies, auto makers, oil companies, etc. in American politics because ermagerd jerbs, but video game studios are fair game (unintentional pun).

OT: One needs only look at crime statistics to see an upsurge in violent video game sales hasn't materialized into a massive crimewave in America or any other country. Studies are fine but to review the same thing over and over until you get the result you expect is bad science and a waste of money.

Fair enough - maybe this will be a little more even-handed than studies commission by politicians that already had anti-game industry legislation all set up. Obama has no incentive to want incriminating results and the Center for Disease Control consequently has no incentive to skew the results either way.

You know what? I'm kinda glad this is happening, because we all know that games do not cause violence, and this can be an official report to tell the ignorant why they are wrong.

First they take our guns, then they take our yerrrrbs!!!

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