Majority of Americans Believe Games Contribute to Violence

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Lets see here, sensationalist bordering on dishonest title, horribly moronic study with no info given about the composition of the (far too small) sample size, comments instantly devolve into "huurrr americunts" hmmmmm

image

GAunderrated:

MiskWisk:
I understand that they've extrapolated the data to say this, however 2278 out of 3 hundred million (rounded to nearest hundred million) is not really a good test in my eyes. Really, all you've said is that 58% of the 2278 Americans are idiots.

Thank you for being one of the only few people to notice that the SAMPLE SIZE is amazingly small and honestly this is just ANDY doing more sensationalist journalism again.

I am getting really sick of him misrepresenting information in titles. It should read something like, In a recent poll of 2278 people, 58% believe game violence contributes to violence.

Instead we get this sensationalist garbage that frankly makes me not want to visit the escapist. If Jim sterling or yatzee ever leave the escapist I would be hard press to come back.

/angry rant

To be fair, statistics, REAL statistics as in the crunching of numbers and the use of complex algorithms, can say a lot of things about a population sample. Granted, I'm skeptical of things like data analytics when it comes to things like business (past performance isn't a guarantee of future potential, etc.), but when it comes to simple yes/no questions I think there's an element of truth.

Remember, even if it were true, that still doesn't mean that people are necessarily right, it's just what they believe. I wouldn't metaphorically shoot the messenger here. I kind of wish they had asked another question in parallel, such as 'Do you believe the moon landing was faked?', or 'Do you believe Obama is an American citizen?'. THAT would have been eye opening.

Ah sensationalist journalism. Did you wake up and read the National Enquirer today?

Azex:
another piece of evidence showing the majority of america is stupid

Justify why apartheid only ended nine years ago in your country. Go!

Who did they survey again? The parents who say they're responsible, but don't even look at the box that lil' Timmy is holding up that "Blood and Tits 4: Murder Simulator" when they buy it for them?

Or, Was is the daily audience of sensationalist news channels like Fox or MSNBC? The networks that focus on a few second sex scene that was censored in an M rated game. All because they know ratings will go way up for something about a supposedly controversial game even if it was meant for adults.

As a US citizen, I know a lot of people here really are stupid. But, There is plenty of decently intelligent people to negate the mass of fools. The problem is the media always pays attention to the idiots far more than smart people. The corporate devils know they can sway their opinion. Then they use that mass hysteria to prove their (false) point. It's disgusting.

Why don't we stop letting people watch these police and courtroom dramas. There is some dimwits who think that they can use what's said on CSI as legal advice and end sounding like grade schoolers first learning about Social Studies. Or, they think that CPR entails pushing lightly on the chest and breathing mouth to mouth, then paramedics arrive to find out our CPR "expert" could have helped that person in trouble IF they didn't learn Hollywood CPR. Maybe if the government start passing laws restricting games, they should also pass legislation that makes movies and TV depict real live scenarios better or have them state a disclaimer saying something like "The Miranda rights and CPR tactics used in the this program are Bull because the writer couldn't be arsed to do any research. Do not attempt any action seen on this program except for breathing." If they treat the grown audience in one industry like babies; They should do the same to the rest.

Is this entire world full of idiots who can't think for themselves? Or just some of varying levels who make the stupid choice of being lazy and not researching the subject past watching a piece of fiction on screen, with a few really unstable loons out there that would have harmed others anyway and video games or movies just gave them the names and basic demonstration of some weapon choices?

Frostbite3789:

Azex:
another piece of evidence showing the majority of america is stupid

Justify why apartheid only ended nine years ago in your country. Go!

Hahahahaha!

What the hell has apartheid got to do with anything?

Meh, statistics are pointless usually, and people will interpet them any way they want. I have one guy I decided not to derail a threat by argueing with me defending Obama's 3% victory at his second term of popularity height (7% of at the height of his first term) as being "knocked victory out of the ball park". Which can be made to see more impressive when you go with electoral votes (which are not indicative of actual support) or by trying to use that 3% by saying "X million number of people" without pointing out how trivial that actually is in comparison to the overall numbers of people being discussed.

Not that I'm going to argue politics at the moment, I'm just using that kind of thing as an example of why statistics are annoying, you can make something seem more or less impressive entirely in how you present it. For example here we are dropping the name "Harris Poll" but few details on how it was conducted or where they found the people from. It's also an odd number... 2278... which has me instantly question things since I'd expect a legitimate poll to use a more rounded number of people.

That said, one thing I'm going to agree with here though is that the ESRB is garbage, there is no way around that, it is. Trying to express faith in a system that badly borked does nothing to help the case of those defending video games.

See, the reason why it's borked is that the gaming industry has too much control over things. Something which it ironically winds up using to over-rate games. Basically someone looking to make a game that should be "T" rated will oftentimes just go along with putting an "M" rating on it to "be safe". This leads to a lot of "M" rated games having content nowhere near deserving of it, which in turn leads to people becoming unusually shocked when they run into a game that actually warrents the rating. Parents can't really tell what's in a game under the current system, and might very well review a lot of "M" rated games and find them to be okay for their kids, because they were all "T" rated content only for there to be a problem when they buy something that they never would have otherwise bought going by what the labelling lead them to think is okay.

To be entirely fair movies tend to be a lot more accurate with their content ratings, and you even see movies like "Scream" making jokes about it back in the day "No, I won't have sex with you, but I can give you the PG-12 version" (shows tits).

To put this into context, pull a bunch of "M" rated games out of your library, and tell me what exactly is in those games that warrents an M rating? A Grim/dark storyline involving demons, bad things happening, etc... okay that's meaningless even with indirectly relayed information. Every PG-13 horror movie has the same crap, and goth kids eat it up. It shows titties bouncing around uncovered an skimpy costumes? Again PG-13 tops, you can find that in movies/comics/etc... that don't have an adult rating, blood and "graphic violence", well the question comes down to "how graphic" but if it's just people being shot and stabbed, especially in combat, that's again more "PG-13" fodder plenty of action movies rated that way. Let's not forget we've watched people get dismembered in Star Wars. None of this crap is something a parent is going to worry about because it's all stuff your going to find in the movies kids watch anyway, and it doesn't warp them any more than it ever did (though people have argued about it with other forms of media as well, movies and comics have been under fire just like games before). To really be "M" rated you need deeply graphic content, like watching "erotic thriller" sex scenes, or drawn out depictions of torture and mutilation. Shooting someone in the head and seeing them fall to the ground in a pool of blood is not "M" rated material, but sticking a plastic bag over their head and restraining them while they choke to death (like say Manhunt) is. To hit X/AO territory the only thing that does it is showing actual sex, as in "you can see the penetration" rather than having it implied by two people playing naked twister under a sheet while growning, or the use of shadow so you don't actually see Part A fitting into Socket B.

Hollywood is guilty of over rating too for purposes of safety, people do not push for lower ratings like the system is designed to expect, but the gaming industry does the same thing to a far worse extent. As a result the guys setting the ratings need to be more assertive in properly setting ratings for them to matter. That means pushing some things carrying an "M" rating because the company making it doesn't want to fight, down to a "T" rating so consumers actually have a better idea of what they are getting.

JPArbiter:
a majority of Americans also believe in angels. the Majority is allowed to believe things that been proven to be false. it will not make them right though.

Er, I don't believe you can disprove heaven and angels. But nice try, regardless.

FizzyIzze:

GAunderrated:

MiskWisk:
I understand that they've extrapolated the data to say this, however 2278 out of 3 hundred million (rounded to nearest hundred million) is not really a good test in my eyes. Really, all you've said is that 58% of the 2278 Americans are idiots.

Thank you for being one of the only few people to notice that the SAMPLE SIZE is amazingly small and honestly this is just ANDY doing more sensationalist journalism again.

I am getting really sick of him misrepresenting information in titles. It should read something like, In a recent poll of 2278 people, 58% believe game violence contributes to violence.

Instead we get this sensationalist garbage that frankly makes me not want to visit the escapist. If Jim sterling or yatzee ever leave the escapist I would be hard press to come back.

/angry rant

To be fair, statistics, REAL statistics as in the crunching of numbers and the use of complex algorithms, can say a lot of things about a population sample. Granted, I'm skeptical of things like data analytics when it comes to things like business (past performance isn't a guarantee of future potential, etc.), but when it comes to simple yes/no questions I think there's an element of truth.

Remember, even if it were true, that still doesn't mean that people are necessarily right, it's just what they believe. I wouldn't metaphorically shoot the messenger here. I kind of wish they had asked another question in parallel, such as 'Do you believe the moon landing was faked?', or 'Do you believe Obama is an American citizen?'. THAT would have been eye opening.

I can understand your point and to be honest I agree with it to an extent. My only problem with this article is the misrepresentation it presents. That poll while a small sample could reflect the average American's true beliefs. However, there is no real statistical proof or clarity I see from either the article or the source.

Yet despite the lack of information people are going to be quoting it as a REAL statistic when it is clearly a small sample size. The spread of misinformation for the sake of sensationalist journalism is something that really disgusts me.

How many of them actually play video games? I know plenty of people (who don't play them) claim that they are bad just because of the media. Just like how some people who know nothing about guns other than what they see in Hollywood think that one laying on the counter will randomly go off and shoot their baby a mile away.

Side note, at one point, 100% of the population believed the Earth was flat.

Oh god, the Facebook comments on this one are just fucking awful.

A poll of what people think is important for gauging public response, but not for scientific inquiry. Because you need facts to, well, prove facts.

I can ask if American's think god exists. And a majority of them may say yes. But that doesn't mean that god exists - and its certainly not something you can flaunt as a fact other than "American's believe God exists."

The only importance this has is it gives leverage to law makers to rush through legislation without looking at the facts or reviewing them. The science, which has shown time and time again, shows that it causes aggression.

Aggression is caused by tons of things. And its not indicative of violence. And most of these studies have people playing multiplayer shooters. It doesn't test you in Single Player, in puzzle games, it doesn't observe your brain patterns during a regular day to see if you're an aggressive person.

If you want some facts, 47ish% of Mass Murderers read books. Less than 20% play videogames.

I'll quote a famous advertiser here - "If you can prove everything, does that mean you can prove anything?"

Take statistics with a grain of salt

According to the linked Gamesbeat article, the Harris Poll will be released on Wednesday. Until then, the details of the poll remain unknown. It is probably a better idea to wait for an update to this article before jumping on either the "BULLSHIT!" or "SCIENCE!" wagons. See y'all on Wednesday.

For those of you claiming the sampling number is too low (2278 people), and therefore gives biased results...what sampling size would be enough? 2278 seems like larger number than I am used to seeing on a poll like this.

I completely realize that any poll is biased because of method in which it is taken. If there were volunteers with clipboards standing outside Luby's restaurant, you're going to get a way different response than on online poll at The Escapist website. The Nixon / Kennedy debates were observed as a huge win for Kennedy if you watched the debate on TV and a huge win for Nixon if you listened to it on the radio.

SecretNegative:

Frostbite3789:

Azex:
another piece of evidence showing the majority of america is stupid

Justify why apartheid only ended nine years ago in your country. Go!

Hahahahaha!

What the hell has apartheid got to do with anything?

The guy is from South Africa and accusing Americans of stupidity. It's the old "why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?"

major_chaos:
Lets see here, sensationalist bordering on dishonest title, horribly moronic study with no info given about the composition of the (far too small) sample size, comments instantly devolve into "huurrr americunts" hmmmmm

image

Now now, threads like this are good for 1 thing.

It shows which members of this forum are willing to jump onto the bandwagon without actually checking into it themselves. In other words, the people who jumped on the opportunity to point the finger and laugh are doing the exact same thing as the morons who took that poll.

*beep*....*Beep* *Beep* *Beep* *Beep*

(In 1950s reporter voice) This news just breaking....Kids are immature...Also....Majority of people stupid.

News and sports at 11

major_chaos:
Lets see here, sensationalist bordering on dishonest title, horribly moronic study with no info given about the composition of the (far too small) sample size, comments instantly devolve into "huurrr americunts" hmmmmm

image

^
Yup, pretty much this

What's with all this sensationalism?

Anyway, how many people believe in something is irrelevant. It's the scientific evidence that is relevant. Once upon a time the majority of people believed that our planet is the center of the universe. That should give you some idea how relevant people's opinion really is.

axlryder:

The guy is from South Africa and accusing Americans of stupidity. It's the old "why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?"

Still feels rather bizarre when you're dealing with generelisations of entire nations (Rhyme! Ten points for me!). It makes it so that you can't critisize any country for anything, because obviously your country (a country of millions) have done something bad in the past.

SecretNegative:

Frostbite3789:

Azex:
another piece of evidence showing the majority of america is stupid

Justify why apartheid only ended nine years ago in your country. Go!

Hahahahaha!

What the hell has apartheid got to do with anything?

Just making a point of stones. Glass houses. Etc.

PS: WHO WANTS A PIECE OF DA LAMP?

Andy Chalk:

a survey of 2278 Americans found that 58 percent believe videogames contribute to real-life violent behavior in teenagers.

Yes, and do you know what people used to think made teenagers violent? Pool, loud music, TV, and pretty much every new invention teenagers liked.

Hmm.. so people feel that a slightly different rating system with no more legal power than the ESRB system would be better for games abd yet a staggering number admit to just letting their kids play whatever they want without care for the ratings that already exist anyway. Yeah, that makes sense.

So let me get this straight. These parents believe that violent videogames increase violence in teenagers. Then WHY do you buy/allow your teenage spawn (under 18) play them. Maybe they should do some, oh I don't know, PARENTING instead of letting various entertainment media be their babysitter. While they're at it maybe they could judge their offsprings mental health and lock up the guns and ammo making sure their kids can't get at the key.

what the majority beleives and what is real or ture are two very distinct things.

Parenting fails yet again! Why can't we simply tell us Americans that we fail at parenting? I HAVE NO IDEA. NOT AT ALL.

major_chaos:
Lets see here, sensationalist bordering on dishonest title, horribly moronic study with no info given about the composition of the (far too small) sample size, comments instantly devolve into "huurrr americunts" hmmmmm

image

Oh that gif. Such an appropriate one for this occasion. It seems that these days, sensationalist titles ARE the news. There's no more honest (as much as can be) reporting lately, and it pisses me off.

I defer to our good friend (with a stained relationship...) Ayn Rand!
"The majority has no right to take "a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority, and the smallest minority on earth is the individual"

People who think ESRB ratings do nothing to keep mature games out of the hands of kids are probably right - that is because parents of those kids don't bother with educating themselves on what those ratings mean. Maybe it's because they work two jobs. Maybe it's because they are selfish consumerists who had children to complete a lifestyle package because their friends / family / a magazine article told them that was the next step. I don't know, I don't care.

Rating systems only work when they are enforced. Stores (around me and in many other areas according to various research I've done over the course of a few papers - no I am not digging them up to copy past foot notes so don't ask) enforce the sale restrictions; parents bypass those restrictions every time they go with their kids and buy them a mature game.

Bottom line: it's the parents fault if its anyone's that their kids are playing violent video games they claim to ardently disapprove of and the only fix for that is for them to become better, more educated, more vigilant, more involved parents.

Despite years of research finding zero correlation between the two, a survey of 2278 Americans found that 58 percent believe videogames contribute to real-life violent behavior in teenagers.

First off, 2278 out of 300,000,000 isn't a good representation no matter how you extrapolate the data. I think the survey needed more people in order to get a good estimation. Also, can we get some info on these 2278 people surveyed? Like age, race, gender, state they live in, etc. because that data can show if the survey was rigged (in other words, was the survey random or did they target certain demographics).

Furthermore, a whopping 47 percent said they are not at all confident that ESRB ratings will "keep mature games out of the reach of kids," yet 38 percent claimed they knew nothing about videogame ratings and 33 percent said they just let their kids play whatever they want.

First group: well since the ESRB rating system is the most stringently enforced media rating system in America that really says more about you doesn't it? Second group: Well now you know. So get educated on it. Third group: If you aren't gonna accept the responsibility of raising kids why'd you have them in the first place?

Respondents also expressed greater confidence in the MPAA rating system to protect children from mature content than ESRB ratings, 49 percent to 32 percent, despite the FTC consistently finding that ESRB ratings are adhered to far more stringently than any other media rating system in North America.

Of course they do. The MPAA system has been around longer, so it's obviously better right? ...right?

This whole thing just rubs me all wrong. On one hand I know my country is this stupid as a group. But on the other there have been so many biased studies about this I want to see the demographic info before I judge whether this survey is biased as well or if it's legit (though still a little inaccurate; again the 2278 out of 300,000,000 thing).

synobal:
I know battlefield convinced me that I needed an Rocket Propelled Grenade for personal safety. Thanks to the NRA though I was able to get one fairly cheap, now if anyone steps on my land and I don't like it I can blow up them and the piece of my land they tainted with their presence.

I'd of totally been on the fence about getting an RPG if it wasn't for Battlefield, it let me practice using one, and get a feel for it. So now I can feel confident about hitting something with it with out having to waste lots of ammo practicing with it.

RPG ammo is expensive but Battlefield saved me a lot of money by letting me trained in it's perfectly simulated virtual killing environment.

I laugh at your puny money savings on firecrackers.

Meanwhile, within a month of training, I now ace various combat helicopters, tanks and even jet planes. I will sign up with the military for air-support role in a near future. Showing them my K/D ratio sure will look good on the CV. For the low low cost of 49.99, you just can't go wrong. Thanks DICE and EA!

SecretNegative:

axlryder:

The guy is from South Africa and accusing Americans of stupidity. It's the old "why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?"

Still feels rather bizarre when you're dealing with generelisations of entire nations (Rhyme! Ten points for me!). It makes it so that you can't critisize any country for anything, because obviously your country (a country of millions) have done something bad in the past.

I'm just conveying his point. Though I do think that generalizing an entire nation's population as dumb because a majority of a relatively small, anonymous sample group happen to believe that a medium which simulates violence might perpetuate violence is silly. It has been shown that video games at least affect people psychologically, so the reality isn't even all that far off from such a conception. If you don't know much about video games or the studies surrounding them (and I'm guessing the sampled group didn't) then it's a pretty understandable conclusion to draw. It's hardly something that a normal person with bills to pay and a family to feed would bother concerning themselves with beyond what they see in the news. That doesn't make them idiots. What's more, the individuals who let kids play whatever they want are likely the ones who don't think video games perpetuate violence. Those who don't understand the rating system might not even have kids or are just answering questions off general impressions. so the supposed inconsistency some people are referencing in relation to the article may be fabricated.

I also think apartheid was stupid, but I don't think it would justify me saying "South Africans are dumb".

double post, whoops. Ignore please.

I've got an idea that we can think-tank in these comments.
Apparently, comic books and video games are completely interchangeable, because Big-Whigs made this same argument in the 50's with comics being the source. Thus, all we have to do is think of another big pop culture thing and plug it into this tiresome argument. People are foolish enough to believe it, too.

Speaking as someone who just finished a game of scrabble with his two nephews less than an hour ago I'm going to have to disagree.

Hutzpah Chicken:
I've got an idea that we can think-tank in these comments.
Apparently, comic books and video games are completely interchangeable, because Big-Whigs made this same argument in the 50's with comics being the source. Thus, all we have to do is think of another big pop culture thing and plug it into this tiresome argument. People are foolish enough to believe it, too.

What about the media? I'd love to see a news presenter giving a report that claims the majority of the country blames the news for violence.

I also think the title of this article is kind of misleading, unless there was a mass exodus of Americans lately and the population now stands at less than 2300. I don't really think the poll is that significant at all, I wouldn't be at all suprised if the poll was taken by mostly (if not all) non-gamers. Plus 2300 out of the former 300 million population isn't exactly the greatest sample size.

RhombusHatesYou:

Andy Chalk:
Furthermore, a whopping 47 percent said they are not at all confident that ESRB ratings will "keep mature games out of the reach of kids," yet 38 percent claimed they knew nothing about videogame ratings and 33 percent said they just let their kids play whatever they want.

Translation: "I can't be arsed parenting my own children, make the government do it."

"And I want to give to government less money to pay for roads, police, etc., but I want more of those things."

We have such a firm grasp of politics and economics in this country.

I would first like to point out that they did not poll all Americans, so of course anything that speaks of the majority of Americans is always bullshit. Second, the media treats it like it's a given, so many polled would believe that as they are force fed data with no actual scientific underpinnings. Third, anyone who believes that Politics in any given situation is not a popularity contest are the worst kind of morons. Politicians are inherently always fighting a really short clock. The only way to win against that clock is to listen to idiotic polls that are inherently slanted towards an agenda.

I said it before and I'll say it again. I love people! Haha.

You know, sometimes I'm not fond of America. This is one of those times.

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