New Study Dismisses Link Between Violence and Videogames

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New Study Dismisses Link Between Violence and Videogames

Only a Game cover

A report entitled "Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won't Stop Gun Violence" claims that research showing a link between videogames and real-world violence is seriously and fundamentally flawed.

There are studies that claim to prove beyond any doubt that videogames can cause violent behavior in young and/or impressionable people, and studies that claim with absolutely certainty that no such link exists. A new addition to that milieu, "Only a Game: Why Censoring New Media Won't Stop Gun Violence," acknowledges that videogame content can be "ugly, frightening or even immoral," but argues that research claiming a connection between videogames and violent behavior in the real world are "highly controvertible," and that where such links have been found, "they are negligible and short-lived."

Three "key findings" of the study, as listed on the Media Coalition website, are that while videogame consumption has gone up, violent crimes rates have gone down in the U.S. and other nations; that studies of research showing a link between gaming and violence, carried out in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Sweden, have found them to be "flawed, flimsy and inconclusive"; and that the videogame industry's self-regulation has repeatedly proven an effective system that accommodates the First Amendment protections recently extended to videogames by the Supreme Court of the United States.

"Media Coalition takes no position on the content of videogames (or other media). Some people may be fanatic players; others may detest them. Some may find them appropriate for their children, others not. A majority of Americans may believe that fictional violence leads to violence in real life. But common sense and objective research does not show it," the report concludes. "What we do know is that judgments about 'good' and 'bad' violence are matters of taste and individual morality. And as the majority in Brown wrote, under our Constitution 'esthetic and moral judgments about art and literature . . . are for the individual to make, not for the Government to decree, even with the mandate or approval of a majority'."

The "Only a Game" report is available in full from the Media Coalition.

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This is not a new study. This is a summation of old studies and things we already knew.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. Besides, in two weeks, someone will have a new study that confirms the link between violence and video games, and two weeks after that it'll be disproven again.

Covarr:
This is not a new study. This is a summation of old studies and things we already knew.

P.S. Thanks

It's called a Meta-Analysis, and it is a kind of study actually.

This can only lead to good things, though I hope the CDC hurries up with their own research so we can conclusively dismiss this notion that video games promote violence.

Unfortunately the only point of data that detractors of this study need is "Won't somebody think of THE CHILDREN!?!?!?"

Study disproven, link between new things and Satan confirmed.

How long before this one gets debunked and over-reactive morons are banning games again?

Now in a week we will see a study that shows video games definitely cause violence.

Gearhead mk2:
How long before this one gets debunked and over-reactive morons are banning games again?

Its a meta-analysis, as such, its a study of the studies, and its conclusions are pretty solid. That said, this is science, so things aren't guaranteed.

Rainboq:

Gearhead mk2:
How long before this one gets debunked and over-reactive morons are banning games again?

Its a meta-analysis, as such, its a study of the studies, and its conclusions are pretty solid. That said, this is science, so things aren't guaranteed.

I know what a meta-analysis is, I've read Bad Science. Awesome book. What I mean is they'll come out with this, and there'll be a few people who go THEY'RE JUST GAMES or THAT WAS BIASED or TINC UF TEH CHELDRAAAAAANZ and everything will go back to normal. It will have been like this was never published.

Gearhead mk2:

Rainboq:

Gearhead mk2:
How long before this one gets debunked and over-reactive morons are banning games again?

Its a meta-analysis, as such, its a study of the studies, and its conclusions are pretty solid. That said, this is science, so things aren't guaranteed.

I know what a meta-analysis is, I've read Bad Science. Awesome book. What I mean is they'll come out with this, and there'll be a few people who go THEY'RE JUST GAMES or THAT WAS BIASED or TINC UF TEH CHELDRAAAAAANZ and everything will go back to normal. It will have been like this was never published.

Pretty much. In the veritable avalanche of scientific studies it's rather easy to ignore one whenever it doesn't suit your agenda.

Covarr:
This is not a new study. This is a summation of old studies and things we already knew.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. Besides, in two weeks, someone will have a new study that confirms the link between violence and video games, and two weeks after that it'll be disproven again.

newsflash: Link found between video games and the sudden increase of farmers found!

some say it's just a video game, but players of the ever popular Farmville had taken their fictitious green thumbs and put them to the real world. "I would sit in front of my computer every day planting virtual crops, so that trained me to become a great farmer!" said one player who would only give OpTiCx N0sc0p3 420 BLAZE as their name, "I'm making mad points by using what I learned in video games!"

While the increase of food production is being felt around the world, people are wondering how far is too far?

"we have long standing regulations and work hours, but now you get these kids out here working 36 hour days and completely destroying the lands making 'art'" says one local farmer, "the worst part is they keep knocking on my door every few hours with something, saying it's a gift if I help them with their farm, I'm getting tired of sending them away, and their damn cows keep pooping all over the lawn!".

But when will it all end? will these gamers who cant tell the difference between reality and fantasy end up creating a farm that covers the entire US? will we see groups forming together to raid Mazes and Monsters? will there be a sudden increase of pro football and basketball players?

signs point to yes.

Stay tuned to Sarcasm Daily, up next we have why your cats are secretly plotting to kill everyone you know and why the Mantis Shrimp will be the end of the world.

This is all well and good, but we (gamers) pretty much already knew all about this. What's really important is who will this study reach? If this doesn't reach government officials it probably won't do much.

Kalezian:

newsflash: Link found between video games and the sudden increase of farmers found!

some say it's just a video game, but players of the ever popular Farmville had taken their fictitious green thumbs and put them to the real world. "I would sit in front of my computer every day planting virtual crops, so that trained me to become a great farmer!" said one player who would only give OpTiCx N0sc0p3 420 BLAZE as their name, "I'm making mad points by using what I learned in video games!"

While the increase of food production is being felt around the world, people are wondering how far is too far?

"we have long standing regulations and work hours, but now you get these kids out here working 36 hour days and completely destroying the lands making 'art'" says one local farmer, "the worst part is they keep knocking on my door every few hours with something, saying it's a gift if I help them with their farm, I'm getting tired of sending them away, and their damn cows keep pooping all over the lawn!".

But when will it all end? will these gamers who cant tell the difference between reality and fantasy end up creating a farm that covers the entire US? will we see groups forming together to raid Mazes and Monsters? will there be a sudden increase of pro football and basketball players?

signs point to yes.

Stay tuned to Sarcasm Daily, up next we have why your cats are secretly plotting to kill everyone you know and why the Mantis Shrimp will be the end of the world.

image

This is going on my inspirational facebook quotes. Thank you, good sir. You remind me of why I visit this site in the first place.

When people comment on games, i just say, what about sports? Way more violence caused by football. But you never here the call to ban football.

It's weird how games keep getting blamed for violence even though games are equipped with the most amount of ways to stop children playing particularly graphic games.

Ah well gotta blame satan and something I guess, but hopefully this study helps in someway.

If certain countries have done live-action Starcraft and NOT tried to overrun other nations, video game violence isn't enough to cause real violence. Anyway, cheers on this.

That is the beauty of statistical studies. They can be written in a way that they can prove anything... anything. Videogames causes cancer? Check. Videogames doesn't causes cancer? Sure. Cancer produces video games? All right.

I am not saying that study is biased, but I am pretty sure it is. So, another study proving the opposite is just as likely to appear...

Why do you care if people think video games cause violence? Idiots gonna idiot.

I think if ANY study is done on "violence and video games", they should preface their studies with this little tidbit from history:

Before ANY video game, or video game console for that matter, was ever created, the atomic weapon was invented, constructed, tested and used. TWICE.

And people wonder about the reasons I choose to be anti-social sometimes.

Covarr:
This is not a new study. This is a summation of old studies and things we already knew.

It's a meta-analysis, a valid line of study.

P.P.S. Besides, in two weeks, someone will have a new study that confirms the link between violence and video games, and two weeks after that it'll be disproven again.

I don't think you understand how this works. It's not going to be "disproven;" at best there will be some new sensationalist study that says that games...I don't know, lead to baby eating.

Evil Smurf:
Why do you care if people think video games cause violence? Idiots gonna idiot.

Because those idiots spread their beliefs and try to legislate based on them.

In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.

Covarr:
This is not a new study. This is a summation of old studies and things we already knew.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. Besides, in two weeks, someone will have a new study that confirms the link between violence and video games, and two weeks after that it'll be disproven again.

This is what we call a 'Meta-Study'. As in, it looks as many other studies as possible and analyzes their findings, as well as reviewing their research methodology.

Granted, this one has basically only confirmed what a lot of us already suspected about anti-videogame studies, but still. Progress is progress.

A Meta-Study is useful for finding out what the generally accepted conclusions are, as well as identifying holes in research being performed.

Yes, but don't forget that sexism in video games causes rape in real life. I know this is true because it are fact. It sez so on my Tumblr.

Kalezian:
newsflash: Link found between video games and the sudden increase of farmers found!

some say it's just a video game, but players of the ever popular Farmville had taken their fictitious green thumbs and put them to the real world. "I would sit in front of my computer every day planting virtual crops, so that trained me to become a great farmer!" said one player who would only give OpTiCx N0sc0p3 420 BLAZE as their name, "I'm making mad points by using what I learned in video games!"

While the increase of food production is being felt around the world, people are wondering how far is too far?

"we have long standing regulations and work hours, but now you get these kids out here working 36 hour days and completely destroying the lands making 'art'" says one local farmer, "the worst part is they keep knocking on my door every few hours with something, saying it's a gift if I help them with their farm, I'm getting tired of sending them away, and their damn cows keep pooping all over the lawn!".

But when will it all end? will these gamers who cant tell the difference between reality and fantasy end up creating a farm that covers the entire US? will we see groups forming together to raid Mazes and Monsters? will there be a sudden increase of pro football and basketball players?

signs point to yes.

Stay tuned to Sarcasm Daily, up next we have why your cats are secretly plotting to kill everyone you know and why the Mantis Shrimp will be the end of the world.

That is the best post I have seen today...
My hat's off to you, friend!

Kargathia:
Pretty much. In the veritable avalanche of scientific studies it's rather easy to ignore one whenever it doesn't suit your agenda.

Although any scientist worth their salt would consider opposing opinions before even considering publishing to a peer-reviewed journal, even if they need to come up with it themselves or completely contradicts their own line of thinking. That's the beauty, and the fault, of science: there's no real way of knowing, 100% if something is right. Pretty sure that science has had their own problems yet they have, in the end, mostly corrected them, ie homosexuality being in the DSM III and there-after no longer considered a mental disorder. It's not perfect, and science still has a new set of problems to figure out, but science itself is not at fault.

OT: The study looks to be a decent read but I've read better metas on this subject five years ago than this one. They've been doing research on violence and video games since the early '90s (at least), which many studies also include violent TV, and most came up with no correlation.

Then again, try to teach politicians about correlation because I'm sure that brings in the money. Oops, I meant voters.

Then there's the people who want to tax violent video games, like that will stop people from buying them? It's amusing how every form of medium has to go through this witches trial till it's proven guilty, as it cannot be innocent.
What causes violence? Elvis and those uncontrollable hips of his!

Excellent stuff, I was just wondering about finding myself a decent study I can bookmark for source purposes. Ta! :D

This study confirms my previously held beliefs.

I shall now hail it as correct and irrefutable, despite knowing virtually nothing about how its data was gathered and studied.

I would hope this would be the definitive blow in the long, tiresome argument. But I know the truth, and it is that this will simply be discarded by those in opposition to the gaming-markets. Largely because there isn't much of debate in the whole matter. It's an unending cycle of finger-pointing by people who aren't comfortable with facts that deflate their points. Their answer has always been to disregard anything counter to their beliefs. You can lead a horse to water, but ...

Furioso:
This is all well and good, but we (gamers) pretty much already knew all about this. What's really important is who will this study reach? If this doesn't reach government officials it probably won't do much.

THE MEDIA COALITION was founded in 1973. It represents most of the booksellers, publishers, librarians, periodical distributors, recording and videogame manufacturers, and recording and video retailers in the United States. Its members are:

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
Association of American Publishers, Inc.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Entertainment Merchants Association
Entertainment Software Association
Freedom to Read Foundation
Motion Picture Association of American, Inc.
Recording Industry Association of American Inc.

Pretty hefty list of members. I would expect that they make themselves known.

It's a vicious cycle isn't it? Somebody calls out games on violence, a study is released negating the ever-loving-shit out of it, rinse, repeat.

Retardinator:
It's a vicious cycle isn't it? Somebody calls out games on violence, a study is released negating the ever-loving-shit out of it, rinse, repeat.

In some ways, yes, but you can take heart in knowing that the other side keeps falling back onto the same tired arguments. There's no real methodology on the detractors' side, only the collating of face-value claims made by convicted saprophytes who aren't stupid.

I mean, think about it. You're caught red-handed after murdering your folks or your neighbours or whoever else. The insanity plea won't stick for whatever reason, but the 21st century comes with a new escape clause - the "GTA Made Me Do It!" clause. That way your pride takes a massive trampling and you pass for the kind of guy who can be pushed into extreme actions with the slightest of prods - but hey, your sentence is probably going to be reduced because you've "obviously" proven that it isn't your fault!

It'll be a long while before things really start evolving. I'd say our generation needs to outclass the baby-boomers before that sort of mentality changes, because they and their parents still look to our hobby with the kind of vaguely revulsed attitude their own parents had during the Hippie and Rock and Roll eras.

Looking at the games industry from their point of view, I can almost understand: we're pushing forty in some cases and I'm starting to hear about your first few cases of sixtysomething Skyrim players. We're mature adults and yet we're engaging in something that feels even more fruitless and non-productive than the previous generation's rigmarole of starting bands, gathering to listen at records or smoking weed.

Try explaining the concept of player engagement to one of your grandparents if you've still got one or two alive. If you're lucky, they'll get it. If you aren't - like me - anything you might bring up as being something that fosters a sense of implication will be ignored.

image

A valid question and something never answered from the camp that first blamed Heavy metal but now games for peoples short comings.

IamLEAM1983:

Retardinator:
It's a vicious cycle isn't it? Somebody calls out games on violence, a study is released negating the ever-loving-shit out of it, rinse, repeat.

In some ways, yes, but you can take heart in knowing that the other side keeps falling back onto the same tired arguments. There's no real methodology on the detractors' side, only the collating of face-value claims made by convicted saprophytes who aren't stupid.

I mean, think about it. You're caught red-handed after murdering your folks or your neighbours or whoever else. The insanity plea won't stick for whatever reason, but the 21st century comes with a new escape clause - the "GTA Made Me Do It!" clause. That way your pride takes a massive trampling and you pass for the kind of guy who can be pushed into extreme actions with the slightest of prods - but hey, your sentence is probably going to be reduced because you've "obviously" proven that it isn't your fault!

It'll be a long while before things really start evolving. I'd say our generation needs to outclass the baby-boomers before that sort of mentality changes, because they and their parents still look to our hobby with the kind of vaguely revulsed attitude their own parents had during the Hippie and Rock and Roll eras.

Looking at the games industry from their point of view, I can almost understand: we're pushing forty in some cases and I'm starting to hear about your first few cases of sixtysomething Skyrim players. We're mature adults and yet we're engaging in something that feels even more fruitless and non-productive than the previous generation's rigmarole of starting bands, gathering to listen at records or smoking weed.

Try explaining the concept of player engagement to one of your grandparents if you've still got one or two alive. If you're lucky, they'll get it. If you aren't - like me - anything you might bring up as being something that fosters a sense of implication will be ignored.

I know, but it's about goddamn time this whole stupid and pointless argument is put to rest. I can't bear listening to it anymore (and I'm certainly not the only person who feels that way). The problem with the "GTA made me do it" plea is that it almost instantly gets dismissed in court (at least I hope), but the media then picks it up and runs with it because they're being fucking idiots, as usual, as well as the people who listen to them.

I have a neighbor who's 70+ and plays FPS games (specifically WW2) because he hasn't got much else to do with his time, being 70-something years old. It's an excellent way to spend time for a pensioner. I just wish more older people shared his view. I was blown away when he first came up to me and said he needed help getting through a level in MoH. Then a couple months later he said another one of the neighbors (also in the 60's or 70's) needed some help with getting CoD to run. It was completely inconceivable from my perspective, but it turns out that it might be a bigger thing than I thought.

As for your fruitless and productive argument, I don't think so. It's the same now as it is in your example, come to think of it (a bit easier with the Internet at hand). Some people would just gather to smoke weed and listen to records, some would smoke weed and start producing their own music, maybe become something more than just a garage band. It's the same with games, I think. Some people just want to play, but if you actually want to make something, you can absolutely do that too. There are so many SDK's, editors and engines out there that if you really want to make a game, a mod, a level, anything really, you can. Maybe someday you'll become something more than a "garage modder", so to say. So it doesn't feel all that fruitless and non-productive, IMO.

Retardinator:
Very good points.

I agree that none of this is counter-productive, but what I'm trying to get at is that working on a level or a mod still doesn't quite feel like you're actually doing something the wider world would consider to be worthwhile. Those of us who are in the know wouldn't care if you announced you were working on something based on the Unity engine - because it's more or less commonplace now.

Still, you'd probably run into the usual dismissive arguments. "You're developing a *game*? Why don't you do something more constructive with your time?"

It's just hard to make certain types understand that working on systems of play and general gameplay mechanics can be and absolutely is an engaging and rewarding activity.

IamLEAM1983:
Still, you'd probably run into the usual dismissive arguments. "You're developing a *game*? Why don't you do something more constructive with your time?"

If I was ever confronted with that question, my response would be: "Well, what's so constructive about the way YOU spend your time then? What's the most worthwhile thing YOU have ever accomplished?" Simple yet effective, because it brings out the hypocrite in them and makes them ponder their meager pointless existence, which every existence is essentially, so

Horrifying, but true. Life is but finding the right measure of not giving a shit. ;)

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