'Massive' U.K. Study Finds No Link Between Gaming and Behavior

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'Massive' U.K. Study Finds No Link Between Gaming and Behavior

A "massive study" out of the U.K. has found no connection between playing videogames and bad behavior, even among young children.

The Millennium Cohort Study followed approximately 11,000 children born between September 2000 and January 2002 "to explore how time watching TV and playing electronic games at age five years each predicts change in psychosocial adjustment." Does playing games cause bad behavior in children, in other words, and the authors of the study, carried out by the University of Glasgow, seemed to expect that it would.

"Games may have more powerful effects due to active user engagement, identification with characters and repeated rehearsal and reinforcement. Gaming's interactive and absorbing qualities may substitute for interpersonal relationships and increase social isolation," the introduction to the study states. "Such isolation may provoke anxiety and depression, or, if coupled with reduced empathy (from exposure to violent games) may depress prosocial behavior."

What it found, however, is that games don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all. Watching three or more hours of television or videos on a daily basis did correspond with "a small increase in conduct problems between the ages of five and seven years," but the study "did not find associations between electronic games use and conduct problems," nor was there "strong evidence for effects of TV or electronic games use on attentional problems."

The authors of the study called for more research into the matter but concluded, "Our findings do not demonstrate that interventions to reduce screen exposure will improve psychosocial adjustment. Indeed, they suggest that interventions in respect of family and child characteristics, rather than a narrow focus on screen exposure, are more likely to improve outcomes."

Source: Games and Learning

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Maybe this study will help to finally put those skeptics about gaming to rest.

Or maybe they'll just ignore it and continue to preach their garbage day in day out.

Andy Chalk:
Indeed, they suggest that interventions in respect of family and child characteristics, rather than a narrow focus on screen exposure, are more likely to improve outcomes.

Damn... must be quite the degree these guys and gals have got to come to this conclusion.

Who'd have thought? Behavioral problems being more complicated than just exposure to games?

MIND = BLOWN

Andy Chalk:
Indeed, they suggest that interventions in respect of family and child characteristics, rather than a narrow focus on screen exposure, are more likely to improve outcomes."

Or in other words, if your kid's misbehaving, TALK TO THEM!!! Be a bloody parent and do your freaking job!

I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

loa:
I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

It means game addiction isn't caused by games.

It means game addiction is caused by other factors.

You don't spend all your time with nothing but video games because those games are so utterly amazing. You spend all your time with nothing but video games because the rest of your life is so utterly shit.

loa:

Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

"If you disagree with me then you must be wrong"

Compelling argument.

loa:
I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

The study was only done on 11-13 year olds. The type of behavioural changes that can be brought on by gaming and other addictive activities probably doesn't manifest itself until after adolescence.

It's one thing to say gaming doesn't affect an 11 year old when there's isn't really much for an 11 year old to do, but when that same person is 7 years older and dictates their own timetable, but is still heavily gaming at the expense of education, a job, a social life and other responsibilities, then you can make a more accurate statement on the effects of gaming on behaviour.

I agree that the study was doomed to begin with, mostly because of the narrow age range of subjects.

Hagi:

loa:
I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

It means game addiction isn't caused by games.

It means game addiction is caused by other factors.

You don't spend all your time with nothing but video games because those games are so utterly amazing. You spend all your time with nothing but video games because the rest of your life is so utterly shit.

Not to mention that this was a study done over the general population, and (even allowing for games to be possibly addictive in their own right) anyone who could possibly described as "addicted" would be a statistically irrelevant minority.

You're doing the equivalent of debunking general sexual health research on the basis that sex addiction exists. Except that, y'know, sex addiction actually is confirmed to exist.

Jamash:

The study was only done on 11-13 year olds. The type of behavioural changes that can be brought on by gaming and other addictive activities probably doesn't manifest itself until after adolescence.

It's one thing to say gaming doesn't affect an 11 year old when there's isn't really much for an 11 year old to do, but when that same person is 7 years older and dictates their own timetable, but is still heavily gaming at the expense of education, a job, a social life and other responsibilities, then you can make a more accurate statement on the effects of gaming on behaviour.

I agree that the study was doomed to begin with, mostly because of the narrow age range of subjects.

I'm not entirely sure whether I agree here. It's entirely possible that you're right, but any correlation between excessive gaming and failing at life would require some creative research methods before it can be called causative.

It's a bit hard to call whether somebody is pissing his life away because of games, or whether gaming is simply more convenient than alcoholism.

EDIT - Oh, and to OP: a study concluding that "further research is needed" is merely scientist-speak for "please keep funding us".

Hagi:

loa:
I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.

It means game addiction isn't caused by games.

It means game addiction is caused by other factors.

You don't spend all your time with nothing but video games because those games are so utterly amazing. You spend all your time with nothing but video games because the rest of your life is so utterly shit.

I have to concur: I played more games when I was distraught or depressed so that I would get away from those problems.

Upon entering college though, I play less because even though the workload is somewhat amplified, I feel less out of place and in general happier.

That is not to say that "Don't play games=happy", but just that I require escapism less to get away from problems and more just to have fun now.

Gaming compulsion(as physical addiction is impossible regarding games) is always to do with something you miss in your life, be it attention, love, recognition, respect, a sense of community or well-being, as games can easily provide all of those: it is why people defend this medium so, as it truly can help people with their lives.

If you're interested, check out Extra Credit's episodes on Game "Addiction", as they can explain better than I can.

I can already see the nay-sayers on the horizon preparing to stick their fingers in their ears to make the bad bad go away. I am suprised to hear that there was no effect though, I would have thought there would be at least a tiny one.

CriticalMiss:
I can already see the nay-sayers on the horizon preparing to stick their fingers in their ears to make the bad bad go away.

You don't need to look to the horizon, it's alive and strong in this comment thread. People really, really want to believe that video games are bad for you.

MXRom:
Maybe this study will help to finally put those skeptics about gaming to rest.

Or maybe they'll just ignore it and continue to preach their garbage day in day out.

Not likely, like every issue there are at least two sides with their own beliefs and research. In general you find that one person who believes in an early study or theory, is going to dismiss later ones as being conducted improperly, or simply being political or business related constructs. This is why very little is resolved when it comes to big issues involving a lot of people like gaming (which has to do with mass media), gay rights, "racism", etc... expect polarization to continue no matter how many studies are pulled out.

That said, I'll be honest in saying I'm wary of a study on this subject using 5 year olds, and what's more as much as I want to agree with it, to play devil's advocate the claim of how games of this sort effect the youth tend to involve tweens, teens, and young adults, more than concerns over very young children.

To put things into perspective, a lot of titles, especially "M" rated ones tend to include narratives about morality, how the world works, relationships, etc... woven throughout them. More so than any acts of sex or violence, that tends to be the problem according to the opposing studies. A character in such a game does a lot to make you empathize with them and sell their position and way of thinking/viewing the world, and what is considered right and wrong. It is however pure fantasy and no matter how "realistic" or "relevant" such a message might seem, it's not intended to have any bearing on how someone thinks or acts IRL. An adult can generally make that distinction fairly easily, but kids, well, less so. To be fair to the studies I myself have run into people during video game discussions who have mentioned how one game or another had a huge impact on them and how they see the world... and that's kind of the issue. Half the problem allegedly being that the kids with the problems do not think they themselves have a problem or have been influenced.

The point is this battle is going to continue, and really I don't see this resolving much. Especially seeing as your not going to find too many games of the sort the other side is talking about that are played by five year olds, and if they can, the odds of them being able to figure out those "problem messages" that are supposed to be doing the warping to have any influence are minimal.

This is likely to go on for a long time, to be honest the anti-video game elements seem to be even more fanatical than similar groups who have attacked comics and music. I suspect this battle won't really be over for another 70 or so years when most of these people are dead and buried.

Pyrian:

CriticalMiss:
I can already see the nay-sayers on the horizon preparing to stick their fingers in their ears to make the bad bad go away.

You don't need to look to the horizon, it's alive and strong in this comment thread. People really, really want to believe that video games are bad for you.

I am one to dismiss studies going either way because I'm a hipster. Seriously though, I argue that it's actually quite complicated, the research group is tiny, there's no ground for comparison and I was ready to roll my eyes at this article. However I was surprised, 11000 kids isn't a lot on world basis, but for research purposes I am impressed with the amount, they compared it to TV in order to see if they could observe any variations and they actually did.

For once I am impressed with a study on gaming and behaviour. I still think it's too complicated for anything conclusive, but they even covered that. However you're right, people will still dismiss this and they already have in this comment thread. We need a scapegoat to explain why we're screwed up or why our children turn out as maladjusted adults.

So when a study says games could cause harm we dismiss it, but when they say they don't people just go "well duh". WEll, it's not just "well duh". It's complicated.

For my psychology degree dissertation (which given that this is the internet, you can feel free to believe or not believe that I actually have a degree), I actually studied something videogame related, and part of that involved looking at the research into whether games can cause aggression or violence. now, I'll admit that I never saw anything that convinced me that playing violent games could cause long lasting damage, but on the other hand I haven't seen much that disproves the idea either.

In the end of the day, the media that we consume CAN have an effect on some people. Is GTA going to turn people into crazy murderers? Probably not. Certainly not psychologically normal people. But if they don't have any effect, why don't we just scrap game ratings and sell CoD straight to 5 year olds?

That study is such bull. Back in the day when I was playing Doom on PC, when i finished playing I jumped through a portal to Hell and started shooting cybernetic demons, and I only did that because I played the game.

Now if only we could get all these people who make the same presupposition about how consuming other media makes people X then I would be happy. Seriously tired of seeing books where their argument is because of some television show that people honestly believe that people are X(whatever their agenda is or theory). They get praised for being "intellectual" when all they are relying on is for people to give them the presupposition because some television show is popular that there is some new movement or wave.

razer17:
So when a study says games could cause harm we dismiss it, but when they say they don't people just go "well duh". WEll, it's not just "well duh". It's complicated.

Yes. Yes it is.

Which is why, when a study shows that there's not a single defining factor the response is indeed "well duh".

Exactly because it's complicated do we dismiss studies finding that it's all because of one single thing.
Exactly because it's complicated do we see studies finding that it's not all because of one single thing as obvious.

It's complicated. That's why this study is "well duh". Because that's exactly their conclusion, that it's complicated.

razer17:

In the end of the day, the media that we consume CAN have an effect on some people. Is GTA going to turn people into crazy murderers? Probably not. Certainly not psychologically normal people. But if they don't have any effect, why don't we just scrap game ratings and sell CoD straight to 5 year olds?

Because people are easily manipulated and frightened. There is a sucker born every minute. People would be more than happy to trade their freedoms for security. Some people would rather have the government do all the parenting for them so they don't have to life a finger.

The issue comes down to when you actually have to go up against the people who would enforce their morality and standards upon society. The sad truth is, those that will get upset because of those issues are the ones that will not only run for office and write laws but also the most active voters. You create some outrage in a democracy and you damn well bet it won't be the people who support a measure to vote for the measure, but the people who are angry or think it is an affront to their way of life will be the first person at the polls.

If you want to know why at least we have the ESRB is because the video game industry actually had the experience to draw from both the comic book industry and the music industry when it came to governmental censorship. Basically those people who want to enforce their morality upon society caused government intervention on the content in comic books and caused music(when they were being sold as CDs) to have a swear free version and a version where it was the actual lyrics. These were cases that went up to the Legislative branch of the US Federal Government. In order to prevent such enforcement the video game industry created the ESRB to pre-empt such complaints and while certainly effective it did stop those special interest groups from actually trying to limit the content within games and who they are distributed to.

I mean hell most arguments or thesis when it comes to the behavior of video games and how it affects people have literally been the same. Playing video games causes people to be violent. Except crime has actually decreased. Playing video games causes people to be sexist. Except the laws that have been passed have only increased equality of opportunity. Video games at the end of the day just a hobby just like anything else. It is always going to be those who like to enforce their morality upon others that will always try and cause a ruckus and cause damage to society and the medium in order to self-gratify themselves thinking they made some big difference.

Hell there are video game "reviewers"(most of these people are just freelance writers) that actually called games pornography despite having ZERO nudity or sexual intercourse. Yet they called it pornography because of an awkward mechanic to try and build relationships with other characters. You have so many people out there that don't understand the fundamentals of game design and just take the lazy way out and scream how the game violates their morality instead of actually analyzing the game on what it does right and what it did wrong.

razer17:
So when a study says games could cause harm we dismiss it, but when they say they don't people just go "well duh".

We know, empirically, that video games don't cause the sort and degree of social harm that's blamed on them precisely because the rise of videogames has coincided with a outright decrease in criminal violence. If videogames were anywhere near as bad as some people try to claim they are, we'd be living in a very different world, right here and right now.

So, yeah, when a small and indirect study claims that games "could" cause harm we DO dismiss it, and when a large study comes along and says that they actually, in practice, do no such thing, we go "well duh".

loa:
I call bullshit.
Game addiction is a very real thing.
Saying games "don't seem to have any meaningful impact on behavior at all" only proves that your study is borked to begin with.


I can't imagine a much more foolish thing to post in response to _this_ thread on _this_ website.

OT: I doubt any major network (*cough* FOX) is going to make a point of publicising this news to counteract the damage they've previously done by suggesting the opposite is true. Seriously though nothing short of a worldwide study of the effect of gaming on behaviour would satisfy some people. Not just the media either, this will undoubtedly get ignored by some people in order that they can retain their nice easy scapegoat for all of their child's problems rather than making the effort to actually help them.

Pyrian:
If videogames were anywhere near as bad as some people try to claim they are, we'd be living in a very different world, right here and right now.

We'd also be living in a world where buying ice cream causes shark attacks... something that has a stronger correlational relationship than videogames and societal levels of violence do.

There is one oversight this study made I'm afraid...

Gaming

image

Behavior

hon Hon Hon!

What is dis?

So much for for a certain feminist claiming that video games reinforce sexist behavior..

Or violence, or any other negative behavior trait.

Thought playing online might actually improve your reportuire of colorfull insults.

Yeah yeah i know the whole issue is alot more complicated then that but honestly... the people who claim that videogames affect your RL behavior do so by painting them as being the same as drugs.

You know.. video games are just like cocaine or crack... once you tried it it will change you forever (not in a good way mind you) and all that jazz.

Thought even on tested on age groups that are most likely to get influenced by media there was no corelation...

So yeah.. videogames dont make you violent or sexist or racist or anything else.. its your surroundings and social live that does... or lack thereof.

Therumancer:
To be fair to the studies I myself have run into people during video game discussions who have mentioned how one game or another had a huge impact on them and how they see the world... and that's kind of the issue. Half the problem allegedly being that the kids with the problems do not think they themselves have a problem or have been influenced.

I would dispute the claim that this is a bad thing. We have heard cries for "Games being form of education" for long time, yet whenever game makes you think (and mind you, games dont brainwash people, they make them think, and thinking sometimes make you change your opinion. you know, how discussion works) they cry that its evil. If a game presents a moral problem and makes you think about it and make a decision, then no, its not bad that it changed your way of thinking. If anything, thats a possitive thing!

razer17:
So when a study says games could cause harm we dismiss it, but when they say they don't people just go "well duh". WEll, it's not just "well duh". It's complicated.

No. when a study is clearly biased, does not use scientific methods, have no population representation (ive seen studies claiming games are evil based on seven people), and would get laughed out of any half-decent scientific community we dismiss them. If i looked though a window and saw it was raining, then claimed it rains everywhere, thats not a study, thats just guessing.

razer17:
In the end of the day, the media that we consume CAN have an effect on some people. Is GTA going to turn people into crazy murderers? Probably not. Certainly not psychologically normal people. But if they don't have any effect, why don't we just scrap game ratings and sell CoD straight to 5 year olds?

Hah, you know, there are people like me who do think we should scrap ratings because people shouldn't be aggregated by age, right?
How about parents do actual parenting and know (not make up, know) what can be accessed by their kids instead of having some group of individuals dictate what everyone can and cant watch?

Tenmar:
Now if only we could get all these people who make the same presupposition about how consuming other media makes people X then I would be happy. Seriously tired of seeing books where their argument is because of some television show that people honestly believe that people are X(whatever their agenda is or theory). They get praised for being "intellectual" when all they are relying on is for people to give them the presupposition because some television show is popular that there is some new movement or wave.

with other media its kinda the other way around. its not that show X makes you dumb, its that you have to be dumn to watch show X to begin with.

Why do you keep calling it "Massive study" instead of Study or Massive Study (it has 11.000 participants)?.

American does a study regarding video games: They're evil, and the source of all our problems!
Britian does a study regarding video games: Can't see a real problem, but would like more money to study it more!

Conclusion?
Don't let Australia do a study!

putowtin:
American does a study regarding video games: They're evil, and the source of all our problems!
Britian does a study regarding video games: Can't see a real problem, but would like more money to study it more!

Conclusion?
Don't let Australia do a study!

Too late by about 2 or so years, the previous Australian Federal govt commissioned a meta-study and the conclusion was that the poor quality of the research, especially in the case of many studies claiming to show negative affect from games, made the whole mess inconclusive and despite many claims in the media to the contrary no peer reviewed study (the only ones worth taking note of) has shown games to have a greater influence on behaviour than other forms of media.

I am surprised they didn't find a slight positive effect given the effect games can have on nightmares and general trauma:
http://www.livescience.com/6521-video-gamers-control-dreams-study-suggests.html

But I read that there was a study of 50 children, and the ones with an informed and not observed history of nonspecific gaming were less likely to pick up a pen dropped by the interviewer, so I GUESS THE SCIENCE IS STILL OUT. :D

Honestly. It doesn't matter how large a study is conducted. Some people are just fucking idiots.

RhombusHatesYou:

putowtin:
American does a study regarding video games: They're evil, and the source of all our problems!
Britian does a study regarding video games: Can't see a real problem, but would like more money to study it more!

Conclusion?
Don't let Australia do a study!

Too late by about 2 or so years, the previous Australian Federal govt commissioned a meta-study and the conclusion was that the poor quality of the research, especially in the case of many studies claiming to show negative affect from games, made the whole mess inconclusive and despite many claims in the media to the contrary no peer reviewed study (the only ones worth taking note of) has shown games to have a greater influence on behaviour than other forms of media.

RhombusHatesYou:

putowtin:
American does a study regarding video games: They're evil, and the source of all our problems!
Britian does a study regarding video games: Can't see a real problem, but would like more money to study it more!

Conclusion?
Don't let Australia do a study!

Too late by about 2 or so years, the previous Australian Federal govt commissioned a meta-study and the conclusion was that the poor quality of the research, especially in the case of many studies claiming to show negative affect from games, made the whole mess inconclusive and despite many claims in the media to the contrary no peer reviewed study (the only ones worth taking note of) has shown games to have a greater influence on behaviour than other forms of media.

Rhombus! That was far too intellectual for a Tuesday! (jk)
But let be honest here, I don't think there's been a fully independent survey/study into the issue, and as you've said the Australian survey's conclusion was inconclusive, the American study from last year was headed by a guy who hates video game and this British study said there's no link but it should be studied more.

In other news, biologists have confirmed bears actually defecate in wooded areas, and the Pope has reaffirmed his commitment to Catholicism.

Andrew_C:
In other news, biologists have confirmed bears actually defecate in wooded areas, and the Pope has reaffirmed his commitment to Catholicism.

Pics or it didn't happen!!

On Topic:

It's a difficult thing this with research that has with human behaviour to do.

Everyone is different, from our neighbourhood we grow up in, to our friends to our genes. We are all different and different things have different effects on other people. So one thing might have someone react in one way while the other one might have a completely different reaction.

This is always going to be a debate!

MXRom:
Maybe this study will help to finally put those skeptics about gaming to rest.

Or maybe they'll just ignore it and continue to preach their garbage day in day out.

Yeah, probably this. People may not realize it, but there ARE studies out there that have confirmed that, yes, Gaming, as a whole, will not destroy the world. People will find some excuse to parade their (now just really tired and stupid) crusade against the evils of video games.

Strazdas:

Therumancer:
To be fair to the studies I myself have run into people during video game discussions who have mentioned how one game or another had a huge impact on them and how they see the world... and that's kind of the issue. Half the problem allegedly being that the kids with the problems do not think they themselves have a problem or have been influenced.

I would dispute the claim that this is a bad thing. We have heard cries for "Games being form of education" for long time, yet whenever game makes you think (and mind you, games dont brainwash people, they make them think, and thinking sometimes make you change your opinion. you know, how discussion works) they cry that its evil. If a game presents a moral problem and makes you think about it and make a decision, then no, its not bad that it changed your way of thinking. If anything, thats a possitive thing!

.

That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is situations where a game goes around preaching alternative morality and using that as the basis for it's story. A few examples of this would be "Gang" games like some of the Grand Theft Auto games and say Saint's Row earlier on. Nobody is likely to start going on criminal rampages IRL or anything like that because of those games, but the problems are a bit more subtle when you see the discussions about right and wrong and how the "good" guys justify themselves within the storylines. This can be applied to a lot of different games, not just ones based around crime. In a case where your looking at a moral choice and are told "do the right thing, or not" isn't a problem, it's when you have an entire game that is based around justifying the wrong thing as the right thing.

See, when your dealing with people that are still developing it's better to instill the proper values, for the real world, before worrying about things like "alternative or contextual morality". This arguably being why many games are "M" rated more than the actual sexual and/or violent content.

As I said, I don't entirely agree with it, but that's the gist of a lot of the criticisms. A lot of gamers like to go off about how say playing Grand Theft Auto hasn't made them go running down the street shotgunning people, but really the critics are more concerned with less overt things, more like how a kid growing up with heroes like say CJ from San Andreas, or whatever else are more likely to be disrespectful to authority beyond typical youthful rebellion, lipping off to teachers, being increasingly resentful of orderly conduct, and similar things.

To put things into perspective, the guys doing your typical study on this kind of thing are not usually concerned about over the top incidents of violence, but rather trends. Understand that even before the more famous school shootings we saw the need for schools to have security guards and such put into place, and for generations that was never even an issue. There are cases that don't make national news of things like students threatening teachers over grades and the like with the justification that "well if this can affect my entire life, whether I earned the grades or not, I'm taking the person that makes that choice about me down if I'm going down". In many cases the students in cases that generallty get lumped into catagories like "threats against faculty" and are oftentimes handled still without involving the police (though police involvement is becoming mandatory), don't think they did anything morally wrong and were in many cases protecting themselves "against the system" or whatever. One has to ask how kids are being lead to think this kind of thing is okay, and really in a warped kind of way it's similar to some of the alternative morality espoused by anti-heroes in fiction, albeit applied to the real world, as opposed to in a fantastic context with over the top stakes.

I'm mostly just explaining it, more than trying to sell it. I have mixed opinions on the subject, tending to think that the problem with video game studies is that if your going to analyze such things it needs to cover a wider array of media. After all music, print, comics, television, movies, etc... all cover a lot of the same concepts nowadays, and indeed it's increasingly common for an IP to span all of those things. You can't isolate video games and blame them for a problem. I generally tend to think that there might be SOME validity to these overall claims, but if there is it comes down to needing to be more strict about enforcing ratings, and to put "alternative morality" into the same category as sex and violence for purposes of giving an "R" or "M" rating... IF it could ever be proved, which I'm not sure of because honestly nobody has ever properly performed the studies... which would honestly be something that would have to span a decade or more before any conclusion could be drawn, as opposed to something that could be churned out by the usual research groups who want to get a paper or article out there for some press. Such a project would also probably require special dispensation to conduct surveillance since when your trying to find out the truth of what people do, think, and say, it's not going to be about what THEY tell you especially when they know it's a study, for the most part it comes down to what happens when they think nobody else is around.... privacy is a touchy subject when it comes down to needing to determine the truth where people are involved.... but at any rate I'm rambling. The point is that the kind of evidence that would be needed to convince to take an absolutist position on this subject in either direction simply does not exist... and I pretty much disregard what either side says when their study involves 5 year olds. For the most part I'm an adult, as long as people leave my games alone, and I have no problem finding adult content in those games when appropriate, I don't care. Youth culture is something that the current generation of adults is never going to sort out for long, and scapegoats will always be dragged out to blame.

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