Poll: 61 Percent of Britons Believe Games Cause Violence

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Poll: 61 Percent of Britons Believe Games Cause Violence

Effects of games poll

The YouGov poll indicates that "older" Britons are far more likely to believe in a connection between videogames and violent behavior, while younger respondents see it as a "useful outlet" for aggressive urges.

A recent poll conducted by YouGov in cooperation with Dr. Andrew Przybylski of the Oxford Internet Institute indicates that 61 percent of U.K. respondents "with an opinion on the matter" - which is to say, those who did not respond to the question with "neither" or "I don't know" - believe that videogames "can be a cause of real-world violence and aggression." It's a disheartening number, given the complete lack of evidence to support any such connection.

Digging a little deeper, however, it becomes clear that that opinion is far more likely to be held by people aged 60 or more - 79 percent - than by young adults. Looking at it from the opposite end, 73 percent of respondents aged 18-24 agreed that games "can be a useful outlet for frustrations and aggression," while only 49 percent of people aged 60 or older shared the belief.

Females were also far more likely than men to agree that games can cause violent behavior, while those who reported having no experience playing or watching violent games being played were more than five times more likely to believe in a connection than those who are familiar with them.

It's not a terribly surprising gap, ignorance being rather well-known for leading to fear and mistrust, and it's also worth mentioning that aggression and violence aren't the same thing and don't even necessarily share a connection. Regardless (and also unsurprising), the study suggests that the "mixed views of electronic games" will fade with time and their growing ubiquity. "This ambivalence might be temporary as the population at large becomes more familiar with games," it concludes. "It is possible that concerns about games could fade away in much the same way that fears about rock music, comic books, and radio dramas dissolved when these forms of entertainment gained wider acceptance."

Source: YouGov

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Yeah because we all know Hitler started World War II by playing Wolfenstein. (sarcasm)

Older folks tend not to be as techno savvy as younger folks, so this distrust of technology is no surprise. Hopefully hey'll educate themselves, then listen to some biased preacher, to form a much conclusive answer for themselves.

Berny Marcus:
Yeah because we all know Hitler started World War II by playing Wolfenstein. (sarcasm)

Older folks tend not to be as techno savvy as younger folks, so this distrust of technology is no surprise. Hopefully hey'll educate themselves, then listen to some biased preacher, to form a much conclusive answer for themselves.

Wow, a Godwin on the first post. Impressive. At least they stated that this "mixed view" is likely to disappear with age.

Wow first America then Britain you guys need to get your crap together. Also no need to do such a study here in Canada, nope, we're totally not that naive here. Come on guys let me revel in our seeming superiority for another week. Fine 3 days.... One? Lalalala not listening.

RADIO DRAMAS. How do they get a free pass in this day and age? Everywhere I go, it's nothing but delinquents with their portable phonographs...

It's a near certainty video games will be as widely accepted as, say, books, but to be honest I'd prefer that these archaic opinions die before the people that hold them do.

JamesBr:

Berny Marcus:
Yeah because we all know Hitler started World War II by playing Wolfenstein. (sarcasm)

Older folks tend not to be as techno savvy as younger folks, so this distrust of technology is no surprise. Hopefully hey'll educate themselves, then listen to some biased preacher, to form a much conclusive answer for themselves.

Wow, a Godwin on the first post. Impressive. At least they stated that this "mixed view" is likely to disappear with age.

Well I wanted to make a comparison to my post, and Hitler was just there so lol.

Eh I hope this scape goating and mixed view die off over time.

Can we all agree, fifty years from now to look back at what's going on here and not complain about kids and their holophonic mind links?

Probably the same assholes who don't abide by the rating system of games..

I had a customer today in work purchase GTA for a 5 year old. FIVE. I am sorry, no matter what side of the fence you sit, that is messed up.

Oh, how quaint. If it were America, people would be all over bashing the country.

Still, it doesn't surprise me that people are misinformed, especially the alarmist elderly.

I've seen that poll in effect, too, and I mentally facepalmed so damn hard.

This last saturday I was at work having a conversation with the manager and a part time volunteer who brought up the recent release of GTA 5 and then went on a brief (thankfully) tangent on how her son gets annoyed at being interrupted or whatever whilst gaming (Wonder what happens when he jumps up and down in front of whatever tv show she likes to watch?) and how her daughter, who only played a few flash games here & there on her PC was more reasonable.

I'll probably convince her over time that violence and games have no correlation whatsoever. Everyone there that I've worked with before knows what I'm like about games and how I've not once beaten any of them unconscious for looking at me the wrong way.

I think the problem is that the people who answered the poll think, if even for that brief moment when they answered it, that every player of a violent game is just looking for something destructive or vicious to do 24 hours of the day, as if no one in the world has the ability to act in different ways. Some of the most dangerous people in the world have been as calm or nice as the next man.

"I'm against things I don't do!" - Everyone
"Everything that I didn't have growing up ruins lives!" - Old people
"I don't think any of you know what 'cause' actually means." -Scientist

That's a weirdly worded question, and I'd actually agree with both of those statements. Of course video games can be a cause of violence, I mean that's provably true. People have been mugged over video games, and people have fought over loaves of bread. It means nothing.

Even assuming it means only the actual content of a game directly causing aggression, that's still almost certainly true. People can become angry at a game in the same way people can be angered by certain scenes in movies or books. I'd be very surprised if this sort of anger had never once in history led to physical violence on someone else.

In related news, 61% of bretons answered 'yes' when asked if magic users caused the oblivion crisis.

This survey isn't worded very well.

In order to answer no to the question of whether video games "...can be a cause of real-world violence and aggression" you have to believe that video games can never be a contributing factor of any sort to any violence or aggression, even in those predisposed to violence. Whereas changing the wording to whether video games "...are a cause of real-world violence and aggression" would likely have far fewer respondents for 'yes' since it's a more strongly worded statement.

So at least 61% of Britons are irrational and illogical and have no idea what the words correlation and causation mean. It's sad.

Esh, after the title I was ready to type something witty about how you Yanks have to stop taking a poll from The Sun seriously and posting it as news. Oh but then it comes from a decent enough source... There does my digs.

Ah well, just old people being old and the question itself is too vague and open ended for a simple yes/no, it's not really going to go anywhere. Problem solved gg can I go back to shooting people in the face now?

Britisheagle:
Probably the same assholes who don't abide by the rating system of games..

I had a customer today in work purchase GTA for a 5 year old. FIVE. I am sorry, no matter what side of the fence you sit, that is messed up.

This. As long as video games are held in the public view as something designed only for kids (and man-kids), yet simultaneously as horrible things that will drive you to murderous acts, this ignorance will only continue.

In other news, 61% of Britons are naive, gullible sops who will believe everything they're told.

Out of the 15 people they polled for this, I wonder how many actually had "an opinion on the matter" (these sort of surveys always garner their results from a comparatively small pool of people). It's like those ads you see for products (usually health/grooming products) that say 9/10 of all [insert demographic here] recommend this product, out of a whopping 125 people surveyed. But yeh, whatever. The people that hold this sort of view are a dying breed anyway, it's not like well have to put with this sort thing forever.

Honestly, the more accurate headline might have been "Only 4% more people think video games could be dangerous than think they could be useful".

Also, that graph in the original article seems either deliberately badly done or naively created. The y-axis is cropped as to make the bars for "agree" seem considerably bigger than "disgree". If the entire axis was show one would see a 57/43 difference in one of the cases, which is somewhat close, rather than a bar that appears twice as tall as the other.

61% of Britons Believe Games Cause Violence - says sample size of 7.

I know that there were more people but 2000 people don't speak for the millions. My home county, nay, my small town that I live in has more than 2000 people .

Adam Jensen:
So at least 61% of Britons are irrational and illogical and have no idea what the words correlation and causation mean. It's sad.

Chimpzy:
In other news, 61% of Britons are naive, gullible sops who will believe everything they're told.

And at least two people in this thread a incapable of interpreting information beyond a headline.

61 percent of U.K. respondents "with an opinion on the matter" - which is to say, those who did not respond to the question with "neither" or "I don't know"

If 75% of people responded with "I don't know", then that means that the data represents 25% of people. Meaning the actual number of people who think games can cause violence is 61% of 25%, which would be around 15%, not 61%.

Being rather a broad statement - 'can be a cause of real world violent and aggression' - it's rather difficult to definitively say 'no'.
I mean, if there is anyone in the world who has hit their keyboard or banged their mouse after a bad game, or thrown a controller at a friend after a match... then the statement is true - it CAN be a cause,
Even ignoring such casual violence and aggression, there's been numerous reports of gaming related assaults and murders in retaliation to online arguments whilst playing games, or robberies to obtain games.

I personally imagine the odds of becoming violent due to gaming vs say... driving a car is far less, but the statement only asks if it 'can' be a cause, in which case -yes- it can be.

As with all internet polls, this is a misleading survey, an abuse of statistics. Only people who felt strongly about this issue will actually respond to this poll, and while an ambivalent person who doesnt really think video games cause violence will shy away from this survey, those who think videogames are behind murders and mass shootings will definitely voice their digital 2 cents in the form of an anonymous internet poll.

they've said this about every outlet for entertainment, computers, TV's, radio, newspapers, etc, etc

the older generation will never understand the new generation of entertainment thus sticking to ignoring facts

there was a comic that pretty much illustrated this very point but i can't find it : /

I have to say, as a "Briton" its not a terribly uncommon view that video games make you a murderer, especially among people like my parents (aged 50+) and my boss (female non gamer aged 26).

I'm probably one of the most laid back people you will meet and gaming has been my primary hobby since the original release of the PS1.

Since last Tuesday I've been playing alot of GTA V and the most aggressive thing I did all week was write a slightly snarky email to the office staff because they were being useless.

Tonight my regime will consist of watching youtube subscriptions instead of TV then playing a bit of GTA V and Kingdom Hearts then I will NOT go out and go on a rampage and murder a bunch of people for making fun of my accent like Trevor in GTA V and then likely go to bed. Go figure.

llubtoille:
Being rather a broad statement - 'can be a cause of real world violent and aggression' - it's rather difficult to definitively say 'no'.
I mean, if there is anyone in the world who has hit their keyboard or banged their mouse after a bad game, or thrown a controller at a friend after a match... then the statement is true - it CAN be a cause,
Even ignoring such casual violence and aggression, there's been numerous reports of gaming related assaults and murders in retaliation to online arguments whilst playing games, or robberies to obtain games.

I personally imagine the odds of becoming violent due to gaming vs say... driving a car is far less, but the statement only asks if it 'can' be a cause, in which case -yes- it can be.

There are short-term causations, has been tested multiple times. The same "short-term effects" every sport or movie has that is "arousing".
But those effects usually wear off in 15-30mins after the test subjects stopped play a game / watching the movie / playing a sport.

So basically if you're "in the zone" while doing something you can get worked up. News at 11.

Also they noticed that frustration is a bigger factor than arousal. So Mirrors Edge is more likley to cause short-term violent behavior than Serious Sam. Go figure.

Andy Chalk:
The YouGov poll

... and thus all credibility is lost. That's one of those sites that only cantankerous old NIMBYs actually bother with.

Britisheagle:
Probably the same assholes who don't abide by the rating system of games..

I had a customer today in work purchase GTA for a 5 year old. FIVE. I am sorry, no matter what side of the fence you sit, that is messed up.

How the hell do you buy GTA for your damn kid. Someone needs to get their ass kicked seriously and take the damn kid away. I believe violent games can cause violence in YOUNG and NAIVE children who see that and may think its cool do try to find daddy's gun and play with it. + You can't say that it doesn't when you have all the 7-16 year olds on games screaming and cussing at everyone.

Title is misleading. "Can cause" is very different from "cause".

Also, surely it's not whether or not games "can cause" violence, but it's if they can do so more than, say, books or TV?

bliebblob:
In related news, 61% of bretons answered 'yes' when asked if magic users caused the oblivion crisis.

Hahaha. And that's how our boring old world was born!

OT: What can I say other than what all gamers say when presented with a thread like this? "No! This is most certainly incorrect! Vidya gaems cause no more violence than any other media!"

Blah blah blah. Same-old same-old.

Playing Pac-Man made me diabetic.
Playing a hentai game made me into a tentacled monster.
Playing Plant's Vs Zombies made me into a gardener.
Playing Cooking Mama made me a mama.
Playing Ace Attorney made me a lawyer.
Playing Need For Speed made me a race car driver.
Playing Mr. Mosquito made me a malaria spreading insect.
Playing Dance Dance Revolution made me a dancer.
Playing Metroid made me think I could roll up into a ball.

Literally, each one no dumber than "Playing violent video games made me violent."

I still don't understand why they make these questions poll questions. It doesn't seem like there's an opinion based answer on this. It's not voting for a new president or a governor, the answers are fairly binary. Either video games do cause violence, or they don't. Preliminary research leans it more toward the latter answer, but the point I'm trying to make isn't which answer is correct. The asking of the question itself seems flawed. It's akin to asking a poll on people if they think the world is flat.

Doesn't color me surprised. If we had a poll if Football season, or heck the Superbowl causes violence I would assume many would vote 'Yes it does.' I do wish to ask though, have these people who've voted tried playing violent video games? Have they subjected themselves to see firsthand if it affects them in any manner?

Over 7 million people (or least how many copies were bought) played Black Ops 2 including myself and you haven't heard about a million people going around shooting up places or trying to go all crazy upon one another in real life.

The problem isn't video game, nor is it the movies, the books, the TV, the radio, the music, the internet, ect. It's people.
People who were already having issues, being unstable, or wanting desperate attention used these social devices/concepts to their advantage in harming people. For example, The Dark Knight Rises movie massacre. Was it because of the movie itself that caused an innocent soul to just snap? Crap no, he planned this even before the movie was out. Ordered a gun, had the entire scheme laid out, got into the movie theater only to exist the back and bring forth chaos when reentering.

Some people just want to watch the world burn. We can't always assume something is the source of the problem... we must accept that people are the main source of all these evil actions and unless we deal with the people and mental illnesses first hand, then I bet you that we can't put the blame on video games let alone toys that could be encouraging kids to 'throw daggers at their siblings because it came with a little sword'.

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