CDC's Gun Violence Research Probes Videogame Link

CDC's Gun Violence Research Probes Videogame Link

Bulletstorm Demo

The Institute of Medicine, at the request of the Centers for Disease Control, is preparing to launch a new round of research into the influence of videogames and other media on gun violence.

In January, U.S. President Barack Obama directed the Centers for Disease Control to look into ways to reduce gun violence, and called on Congress to "fund research into the effects that violent videogames have on young minds." To that end, the CDC has asked the Institute for Medicine and the National Research Council to "convene a committee tasked with developing a potential research agenda that focuses on the causes of, possible interventions to, and strategies to minimize the burden of firearm-related violence."

It's a marvelously bureaucratic approach that covers a lot of ground, as explained in the "Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence" report brief released yesterday. The plan is to look into such things as firearm-related violence as a public health issue, risk and protective factors, the impact of gun safety technology and, of course, the influence of videogames and other media.

"While the vast majority of research on the effects of violence in media has focused on violence portrayed in television and movies, more recent research has expanded to include music, videogames, social media and the Internet - outlets that consume more and more of young people's days," the brief states. "However, in more than 50 years of research, no study has focused on firearm violence as a specific outcome of violence in media. As a result, a direct relationship between violence in media and real-life firearm violence has not been established and will require additional research."

Previous studies have examined the link between videogames and violent behavior in general (and have both found and not found a connection, depending on who you ask), so the specificity of this research is unusual and interesting. It's also necessary; an appalling 105,000 people were injured or killed in firearm-related incidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone, according to the brief, which I would say is a powerful sign that it's time to lock this issue down once and for all and then get on with actually dealing with the problem.

Source: Institute of Medicine

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Back in the 30's and 40's research proved violence was caused by comic books.
In the 50's it was proven to be rock and roll.
In the 60's and 70's it was LSD and Weed.
In the 80's it was heavy metal.
In the 90's it was rap and goth music.
Now it's proven to be video games.

Amazing how popular interests a majority of youth enjoy, and the previous generations don't, are "proven" to be something different every decade or two as an explination for a problem that always existed.

image
I'm sorry but I have long since ceased to care what any of these "studies" conclude.

Nurb:
Back in the 30's and 40's research proved violence was caused by comic books.
In the 50's it was proven to be rock and roll.
In the 60's and 70's it was LSD and Weed.
In the 80's it was heavy metal.
In the 90's it was rap and goth music.
Now it's proven to be video games.

Amazing how popular interests a majority of youth enjoy, and the previous generations don't, are "proven" to be something different every decade or two as an explination for a problem that always existed.

You are wrong on all those points.

You failed to mention that these studies also concluded that they were tools used by the devil to lead the children astray from god and corrupt their immortal souls to such impure thoughts as homosexuality, rebellious attitudes towards parents, murdering others and drug use.

You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

I honestly think that at some point we just need to round up all of the old people and just give them a continent of their own. Like Australia or something where they can nag and complain to each other without us noticing.

I know I've been saying EA is poison for years, but this is a bit much. Really the CDC?

105'000!? As in one every five minutes?! Wow.

It's an interesting brief, but with all these things how do they get from the abstraction of media to the action of reality? That's the tricky bit, it's not like being high, drunk or having a huge brain tumor where the effect is obvious and usually traumatic, it's subtle at most.

As interesting as the study sounds, it seems like the typical ignoring of the elephant in the room, what causes gun violence? People with guns...

1337mokro:
You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

Well, it would have but I could never afford all the material components for my spells. It was hard to come by large amounts of powdered ruby on my allowance.

Andy Chalk:
It's also necessary; an appalling 105,000 people were injured or killed in firearm-related incidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone, according to the brief, which I would say is a powerful sign that it's time to lock this issue down once and for all and then get on with actually dealing with the problem.

Let's put that into context. The real count for firearm related deaths in 2010 is 31,672, and sixty percent of those deaths were suicides. The trend is suicide going up, homicide going down.

Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2010.

I get that this sort of thing is necessary, but I can't help but laugh at the fact that investigating the potential entertainment/homicide link is a, "priority." I'm reminded of the autism/vaccine scare, but at least in that case there was some uncertainty.

1337mokro:

You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

To be fair, that was mostly due to the Catholic Church, and recent evidence seems to indicate that they mostly don't like it due to it being a form of birth control.

It's good to see the Obama administration finally doing something substantial about the causes of gun crime, not just "BAN TEH SCARY-LOOKING GUNS!!!".

I expect the majority of gun crime is gang related, so there will be very little correlation with video games at all.

RaNDM G:

Andy Chalk:
It's also necessary; an appalling 105,000 people were injured or killed in firearm-related incidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone, according to the brief, which I would say is a powerful sign that it's time to lock this issue down once and for all and then get on with actually dealing with the problem.

That's a fabrication. The real death count was 31,672, and sixty percent of those deaths were suicides.

The real trend is suicides going up, homicides going down. But anti-gun freaks want to make you think firearms are the bane of our existence.

Here's the CDC report. Next time I suggest you do some actual research rather than posting some bullshit number.

If you read the text you quoted, you'd see that it says "105,000 injured or killed".

DVS BSTrD:
I'm sorry but I have long since ceased to care what any of these "studies" conclude.

That's the cool thing about science and reality--it is what it is, regardless of whether you care about it or not. It's sad that much of the gaming community seems to be against any research that is of pretty obvious relevance.

@bravetoaster: Yeah, I fixed that before you posted.

bravetoaster:

DVS BSTrD:
I'm sorry but I have long since ceased to care what any of these "studies" conclude.

That's the cool thing about science and reality--it is what it is, regardless of whether you care about it or not. It's sad that much of the gaming community seems to be against any research that is of pretty obvious relevance.

Yeah because it's not like this issue has already been done to death and each new study contradicts the last one.

No you're right, I'm TOTALLY down with dignifying the people who use gaming as a a scapegoat with a response YET AGAIN.

Researchers are always trying to find a scapegoat, this time it's gaming. Not exactly convincing now isn't it? Pointing finger's at something diffirent every damn year.

I don't think there any real connection between media and violence. I thinks it much more likely that people who are already prone to violent behaviour are attracted to violent media rather than the media causing the violent behaviour personally. I do on the other hand think that studies should be done on the areas of the influences of media on behaviour occasionally, even if its just to reiterate the point that theres little relation or to debunk a previous theory.

1337mokro:

Nurb:
Back in the 30's and 40's research proved violence was caused by comic books.
In the 50's it was proven to be rock and roll.
In the 60's and 70's it was LSD and Weed.
In the 80's it was heavy metal.
In the 90's it was rap and goth music.
Now it's proven to be video games.

Amazing how popular interests a majority of youth enjoy, and the previous generations don't, are "proven" to be something different every decade or two as an explination for a problem that always existed.

You are wrong on all those points.

You failed to mention that these studies also concluded that they were tools used by the devil to lead the children astray from god and corrupt their immortal souls to such impure thoughts as homosexuality, rebellious attitudes towards parents, murdering others and drug use.

You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

I honestly think that at some point we just need to round up all of the old people and just give them a continent of their own. Like Australia or something where they can nag and complain to each other without us noticing.

I think you may have misread what he was saying. He simply pointed out that when the older members of a society aim to find something they don't like to contribute to a social problem, they always do... essentially that they "prove" it but not really.

Haha, also, what you are saying is remarkably close to an old science fiction series called Logan's Run. It's some crazy future where people live inside these domed utopias, but as soon as a member of said society reaches the age of 30, they are sent to a place for them... which means they are secretly executed.

OT: It will be years before anything comes of this. Putting together a committee is the first in a long series of steps that bureaucracies go through in order to solve a problem. It's more than likely this will never ever amount to anything, so everyone should just stop pretending like this is going to reach some sort of conclusion. It's just naive to think so. It's also jumping the gun to report on it at this point. It could be months before that committee's members are finally decided on.

Speaking as somebody from a country lucky enough to get rid of that shit as soon as possible, I have been playing violent video games my whole life and i've never felt an incentive to get a gun. Even paintball sounds like a real pain in the ass.

So maybe they should study what kinds of effects there would be on gun violence if they confiscated all guns and made them illegal.
How many victims of gun violence would there be if there were no guns?

Rex Dark:
So maybe they should study what kinds of effects there would be on gun violence if they confiscated all guns and made them illegal.
How many victims of gun violence would there be if there were no guns?

Don't be daft, clearly then the government would be able to shoot everyone and impose their facist-communist-theocratic-obama-muslim government on us because loyal American civilian-patriots wouldn't be armed to stop them anymore!

Guns are a constitutional right and that makes them just as important as freedom of speech! If we don't have our guns it means our freedom of speech means nothing as well! And other circular logic!

I just hope they find the relationship between poverty and crime is directly proportionate to gun crimes. I also hope they do not consider suicide to be a "crime".

Rex Dark:
So maybe they should study what kinds of effects there would be on gun violence if they confiscated all guns and made them illegal.
How many victims of gun violence would there be if there were no guns?

Do not be absurd, why bother doing anything about the real guns when you can focus attention on the pixel guns instead?

Baresark:

1337mokro:
-

I think you may have misread what he was saying. He simply pointed out that when the older members of a society aim to find something they don't like to contribute to a social problem, they always do... essentially that they "prove" it but not really.

Haha, also, what you are saying is remarkably close to an old science fiction series called Logan's Run. It's some crazy future where people live inside these domed utopias, but as soon as a member of said society reaches the age of 30, they are sent to a place for them... which means they are secretly executed.

OT: It will be years before anything comes of this. Putting together a committee is the first in a long series of steps that bureaucracies go through in order to solve a problem. It's more than likely this will never ever amount to anything, so everyone should just stop pretending like this is going to reach some sort of conclusion. It's just naive to think so. It's also jumping the gun to report on it at this point. It could be months before that committee's members are finally decided on.

No I got it I just wanted to pile on some more ridiculousness. Because back in the day people really thought comics could get children doing drugs. It's what basically led to that ridiculous PG at all times rating comics were stuck with for such a long time. Based on nothing but falsified research by one man who "wanted to do good".

You also get bonus points for mentioning Logan's Run. Whilst I didn't intend any reference to it, with me not wanting to kill my grandma and all :D, it's still nice to be reminded of a slightly cheesy 70's flick. It's definitely instantly recognizable as a 70's movie but still nice.

Now that you reminded me of Logans run you also reminded me of Space Truckers which means I am going to watch that now :D

Yeah, I know it's tiresome to hear about this again but that's because most studies conducted are by private institutions which means people will tend to ignore the ones they don't like, once the CDC gets this over with and rules out videogames then we won't have to worry about politicians as much trying to be dicks about it.

I personally think that maybe the government should fund research into the possible effects on violence caused by the hopelessness and despair of the average American due to:

Ever-widening gap in pay between the average worker and the guys at the top...

Record-breaking profits for corporations while also firing large amounts of employees cause "we can't afford them"...

Minimum wage not seeing an increase in decades...

Education costing more and more, even to the point of becoming a life-long debt while also becoming more pointless as more and more jobs requiring those educations are moved overseas or are harder to find...

Banks and corporations gladly receiving government welfare (bailouts and subsidies) while doing everything they can to block the poorest Americans from receiving that very same welfare...

Record poverty levels...

U.S. having the "Best medical care in the world" while only a tiny fraction of Americans can actually afford that care...

Watching millions of average Americans get imprisoned for possessing & using weed, destroying their futures, while at the same time having several Presidents openly admit to having used weed yet nothing happens to them...

Private prison system which rewards corporations with more and more profits for throwing more and more people into prison who also have been caught giving kickbacks to judges as rewards for sending more innocent people their way...

Rise in obvious police brutality, caught on camera, with no punishment for those cops who committed the crimes...

50% of the U.S. Budget (more than the next top 13 countries COMBINED) being spent on wars or "defense" even though we're not being attacked...

U.S. Government waging a "War on Terror" while at the same time being one of the largest perpetrators of terrorism in the world...

Deadlock in government caused by our 2-party system, which parties actively and forcefully block every attempt for 3rd parties to be involved in debates and elections...

Etc., Etc., Etc...

I wonder how much all those things contribute to people flipping their lids and acting violently.

I'm surprised by all the negativity towards this study that I'm seeing here. I would have thought people would be more pleased that we're finally going to have a reputable, well-known, and quite serious institution working to finally put this issue to rest.

Yes, there have been lots of studies. Yes, they either conflict with one another or prove to be poorly carried out; but isn't that exactly why we need a white house sanctioned study done by the CDC? I mean, regardless of how you view the other studies, the CDC simply carries more weight than every other organization that's looked into this before.

It won't teach us anything new, we already know the answer to this question, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people don't.

I hate being naggy about this but, why bother? I mean, you could have a big study that "proves" either point, but new media will always bring a group of people with the strong belief that violence is not caused by mental, social or religious problems, but by something that happened to be the hobby of a mass murderer who had a child at 13 years old and was neglected by authorities and/or close relatives until too late.

I've seen some TV shows dedicated to this with flashy images of teenagers being angry at frikkin' controlers and sad stories of children killing a random dude, but fail to say that the same "videogame addiction victim" was allowed to play 42 hours straight and had terrible issues that were ignored until too late.

Yes, please. Do a study and finally show just how inconsequential it really is. Oh, except it doesn't stop there, does it? You have to do more studies, until a study does show there's a link, and with vague phenomena like this that's bound to happen, at which point you can say "this study concluded there was a link between playing videogames and willingness to kill real people", ignoring all the inconclusive and contrary studies.

I'm really fucking tired of it. It doesn't matter what the outcome is. Maybe this is the most reputable one done to date, which is a point in its favour, but even so, it's not going to change any minds. This whole issue is trench warfare, with conservative parents who don't even play videogames and the gun lobby looking for something to blame violence on/on videogames, and people who play videogames trying to defend their right to do so and somehow managing to contain their homicidal urges in the mean time. Ridiculous.

fix-the-spade:
It's an interesting brief, but with all these things how do they get from the abstraction of media to the action of reality? That's the tricky bit, it's not like being high, drunk or having a huge brain tumor where the effect is obvious and usually traumatic, it's subtle at most.

Well you see, back in the seventies the US government secretly acquired a 99 year lease for some land on the outskirts of Valhalla. They've been using it ever since to train their most secret and deadly soldiers; the ones responsible for all the horrible shady things that don't add up in giant disasters.

For this particular research venture they'll be using a time distortion device, which was looted from Hitler's bunker during the invasion of Berlin (the Russians let us borrow it from time to time), which will allow a test subject to experience twenty uninterrupted years of being exposed to nothing but CoD, GTA, and Tarantino films on a loop; from the researchers perspectives this will only take about three days.

Afterwards they'll release the test subject into a simulated environment much like what we saw in The Truman Show. (Fun fact: The production designer for The Truman Show was granted an opportunity to tour this facility while researching for the film) It will be populated by a large number of disaster actors, like the ones featured in the Aurora Colorado and Sandy Hook fabricated massacres. Now at this stage all the researchers have to do is sit back and wait to see if the person eventually snaps and goes on a murdering rampage through the simulation. Yes, some of the actors will die, quite gruesomely I might add, but it's Valhalla so they'll just come back to life the next day.

Assuming that they conducted their selection process of test subjects correctly (by which I mean selected subjects with no signs of mental instability at the outset) then they will have unchallengeable proof that the root of gun violence is video games, movies, and whatever else they think does that we don't care about. The test subject will be, sadly, unfit to re-enter society; a monster of the government's own making. To safely contain the threat the subject will be tranquilized and quietly transported to Guantanamo Bay where they can be dealt with without anyone knowing.

It's all quite elementary and routine to be honest. They conducted a similar experiment on Michael Jackson as part of Regan's now failed initiative to turn all minorities white.

I'm confused. The Center for Disease Control has what to do with guns or video games?

1337mokro:

Nurb:
- snip -

You are wrong on all those points.

You failed to mention that these studies also concluded that they were tools used by the devil to lead the children astray from god and corrupt their immortal souls to such impure thoughts as homosexuality, rebellious attitudes towards parents, murdering others and drug use.

You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

I honestly think that at some point we just need to round up all of the old people and just give them a continent of their own. Like Australia or something where they can nag and complain to each other without us noticing.

You say he's wrong? I say you are... WRONGER... yeah, how could you forget Pokemon? Pokemon ARE the devil, and them kids looove the devil!

KeyMaster45:
It's all quite elementary and routine to be honest.

I lol'd, well played.

Antari:
I know I've been saying EA is poison for years, but this is a bit much. Really the CDC?

At least the CDC can probably be trusted to do things properly and not fuck the maths up, compared to 'Parents Against Satanic Videogames' or whatever.

You know what? The CDC is likely to come up with actual academic research, rather than telling people what they want to hear. Let them do the study. I'm reasonably assured it will say there's no causal link, and would be interested in any study that says otherwise.

1337mokro:

I honestly think that at some point we just need to round up all of the old people and just give them a continent of their own. Like Australia or something where they can nag and complain to each other without us noticing.

Give 'em Florida. We've already screwed it up and old people don't take up much space. We can probably stack 'em like kindling.

Grabehn:

1337mokro:

Nurb:
- snip -

You are wrong on all those points.

You failed to mention that these studies also concluded that they were tools used by the devil to lead the children astray from god and corrupt their immortal souls to such impure thoughts as homosexuality, rebellious attitudes towards parents, murdering others and drug use.

You also forgot to mention that research proved D&D was secretly teaching your children Black Magic spells and Devil Worship!

I honestly think that at some point we just need to round up all of the old people and just give them a continent of their own. Like Australia or something where they can nag and complain to each other without us noticing.

You say he's wrong? I say you are... WRONGER... yeah, how could you forget Pokemon? Pokemon ARE the devil, and them kids looove the devil!

What do you mean?

Pokemon is a wholesome game where children learn how to raise animals for the purpose of making money! They learn that making money and getting what you want comes above the happiness of these creatures, their subjugation is necessary for the dominion of man so to speak.

This is the most wholesome christian values game I ever saw!

"So maybe they should study what kinds of effects there would be on gun violence if they confiscated all guns and made them illegal.
How many victims of gun violence would there be if there were no guns?"

Yeah that's worked out so well in so many places in the world where people's right to defend themselves has been denied by the government. I am sure all these utopias listed on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history did some major studies on how to reduce gun violence. It took them a little while to get the ball rolling but by and by gun violence went down. As did the population of people not allowed to defend themselves.

Pardon me, but since when does the Center for DISEASE Control have a section to handle {A} what is purely a psychological thing and {B} involves electronic media? I'm not sure you can get any farther away from possible contagions than locking down and playing video games all day, short of also making your room hermetically-sealed and growing your own food from pre-treated soil.

In short, WTF CDC? This isn't even your territory! What exactly do you intend to prove? Short of testing if extended game-playing makes you sick, you got nothing. Why not leave it to the usual schlubs to embarass themselves?

 

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