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Video Games Linked To Child Aggression

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the zomg-this-makes-hulk-smash dept.

PC Games (Games) 500

the4thdimension writes "CNN is running a story this morning that explains new research showing a correlation between video games and aggression in children. The study monitored groups of US and Japanese children, asking them to rate their violent behavior over a period of several months while they played video games in their free time. The study concludes that it has 'pretty good evidence' that there is a link between video games and childhood aggression." Stories like this make me want to smash things.

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So, beat it out of them! (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612561)

What's wrong with parents these days?


Re:So, beat it out of them! (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612951)

I tried but I couldn't reach him, and we were about to beat the crap out of Illidan. Illidan for god's sake!

Re:So, beat it out of them! (5, Insightful)

TheSovereign (1317091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613143)

In all seriousness the Wussification of the American male has to be discussed, in my youth we would go at it like a mongoose and cobra at the drop of a hat, whenever we felt threatened. The winner walked away proud and the loser walked away bloodied and humiliated but a little wiser for the wear. Now the world of filled with "emo" cry babies who demand attention by shooting up their schools and whatnot. obviously the aggression hole in these kids lives is not being filled. To quote someone famous "testosterone causes homicide." if that is true then we have to work the aggression out of these people before they grow up and become repressed fiends hell bent on vengeful murder. Let them play the damn games. Let them get into fights. Let them fall off their bike. when its all said and done. tell them to walk it off and accept life. I swear to you. if people thought about this before the hijackers took those planes, 9/11 would have never occurred. because i know that if the people on that airplane hadn't been wussified no idiot with a box cutter would have stopped a mob of angry passengers. -TheSov

Re:So, beat it out of them! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613331)

The antidote to stupidity is not a different kind of stupidity.

Re:So, beat it out of them! (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613403)

I wouldn't call it wussification, and it applies to both males and females; each gender manifests their symptoms in their own ways.

It may be attributed to the wussifications of parents in general. My pappy once whooped my ass I put my hamster in a bowl of water and when I shot my sister in the ass with my slingshot.

Up to a certain age, spanking(used sparingly as appropriate) shows the misbehaver that savage behavior will be responded to with savage behavior.

Later on in life hitting becomes excessive and redundant so other measures(i.e. grounding or taking the car away) should be implemented.

It seems that, recently, parents will do whatever they can to shift the blame away from them and their children, and that's why being an educator for 12th grade and below sucks - teachers are expected to be babysitters as well as educators(my dad has been teaching high school for over 20 years), and they're expected to do it with one arm tied behind their back due to spineless administration living in fear of frivolous lawsuits from "Power Parents" who breed latchkey kids who do whatever they want without supervision because the old folks are too busy with their careers and trying to relive their own youth.

parents are becoming afraid to discipline (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613259)

Think about hit, pop little Susie on the butt for mouthing off to you at home and she tells her teacher. Well the law requires the teacher to report any hints of abuse and next thing you know child services is at your door.

take my friend's day care experience, no more time out, no more quiet area, and no more telling kids they are "bad", anymore as that hurts their self-esteem. So what happens? They call the parents EVERY TIME the kid acts up. Now it is suddenly the parent's problem if the kid acts up as the care center will no longer discipline. So when the kid won't behave the parents are told to not bring them back etc yet the center doesn't put any bounds on the kids and wonder why.

The problem is that we are a knee jerk reaction society. People cannot yell, spank, or otherwise discipline their children in public places because some do gooder will freak out and claim its abuse. They lose the ability at home because what many may perceive as mild punishment is child abuse to some fanatic with the backing of government. The news is replete with stories of the government agency overreacts, fails to protect children it places, and more, yet parents don't stand a chance against a group who can use police powers to take your children let alone put you in jail.

When people started relying on others to discipline kids and took the rights of their parents and even schools to set bounds it removed any inhibition. There is a natural reaction to being punishment when it comes to children, they learn where the threshold and correct the behavior to stay on the nice side.

Re:parents are becoming afraid to discipline (5, Interesting)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613401)

I have 5 kids, went through the age where they believed we could not touch them. During one heated argument, they said they would call the police. I said, tell you what, let me do it.

So I called our local police, and the office came in and told the kids what I could do and what I could not do. And they also said if I needed it, they would taze them a few times for me, so I would not get in trouble ...

Discipline problems went away after that.

Re:So, beat it out of them! (1)

Cyner (267154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613351)

So might there be a correlation unsocial activities and aggression in kids (or any age group)? Might the video games simply be one small part of a larger explanation?

I like violent music... (1, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612609) that I don't have to be violet physically. Nothing like Pantera after a long day. However, Pantera is _passive_ aggression. Video games are _active_ aggression, and that's why I stopped playing them at about age 12 or so. If a 12 year old could identify that video games were making him (me) aggressive, what is the story here?

Re:I like violent music... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612659) that I don't have to be violet

I'm more a fan of the blues myself.

Re:I like violent music... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613341) that I don't have to be violet

I'm more a fan of the blues myself.

Violet is ok, it's that ultra-violet music you want to keep away from your eyes and skin.

Re:I like violent music... (5, Interesting)

nevurthls (1167963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612895)

Could you clarify this distinction you make between the passive aggression of listening to pantera and active aggression that video games 'are'?
Does this mean passively watching violent movies is also passive aggression? And killing a mosquito is active aggression?
It sounds more like personal preference to me, clad in nice sounding terms.

It's been shown in many sound social psychological studies over decades that in children there is a strong correlation between watching violent tv and aggressive behavior, between playing violent video-games and aggressive behavior and between listening to aggressive music and aggressive behavior.
Go google (google scolar) yourself or look it up on wikipedia.

--There has never been any study proving a causal relationship between these (with behavior being the dependent factor) where the effect lasts for more than a few minutes. --

The catharsis theory ("I go to martial arts school so I don't have to be violent at home", "I listen to pantera once I'm at home so I can be more calm when I'm at work") is a Freudian theory disproved ages ago as well. I'm sure people can peruse the relevant social and personality psychology literature themselves on this. (journal of personality and social psychology, etc. )

Re:I like violent music... (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612979)

This article smells funny like every other similar article. There are depictions of violence other than video games that children are exposed to:

First is imitation; children who watch violence in the media can internalize the message that the world is a hostile place, he explains, and that acting aggressively is an OK way to deal with it.

That's because the world is a hostile place.

When I was about 10 years old the first gulf war was going on and even though I was a NES addict, the war(especially the fact that we were the "good guys") inspired my violent thoughts. I remember drawing pictures of shit blowing up under titles like "Kill Saddam Hussein" etc.

I'm fortunate in that I could have grown up with seeing 9/11 and living in fear of imaginary terrorist bogeymen without having the experience and the maturity to see through it. The fear tactics of public service commercials during the Reagan era were bad enough.

Games for me were a method to blow off steam, not store it until my head 'sploded!

Re:I like violent music... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612919)

Playing advocate of Satan, of course, and with all due respect ...

If today you need to play aggressive music to prevent you being physically violent (most of us do not) perhaps you're not the best data point for proving that X makes you agressive? Maybe you're just aggressive to begin with?

Now, don't bite my head off ... ;)

Re:I like violent music... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613061)

So nonphysical (music) is different than nonpyhsical (computer)? What are you doing to your computer, installing Vista/Windows 7? Won't someone think of the poor purple barney PCs?

Re:I like violent music... (1)

Sithdemon (1257398) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613095)

That is assuming all Video games are wholey violent. Even in something like battlefield 2, with a medic, your worried about keeping your team mates alive, thats not a aggressive focus. Then there's RPGs, where combat is part of the game, but large parts while related to combat, making crafting armour or potions, are clearly not agressive ways of spending time.

Plus haven't we heard things song and dance with, comics, watching wrestling, rock and roll/rap. And it's not that I doubt that a child looking at those things might be driven to a violent action because of what they saw or heard, but with any kind of actual guidance from a parent they should be able to distinguish entertainment and expression from appropriate action.

Re:I like violent music... (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613405)

Stop and think about what you just said. Yes you're trying to keep your team alive, but the method of doing that, to quote Patton, is by "killing the other bastard before he can kill you". That's aggression. And of course the same applies to RPG activities like crafting weapons... you're not crafting stuff just for fun, but to kill somebody else in battle. More aggression.

I've seen studies showing most people when watching television cannot mentally-distinguish the fantasy from reality. They know consciously that it's not real, but their brains react as if the events are actually happening. Their brains think it's all real.

It makes sense that games, which are displayed on television, have that same affect. So killing on the screen becomes "reality" to most people's subconscious brains.

Re:I like violent music... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613389)

I can't agree more. I find playing a violent video game like GTA is a great relief of tension and stress.

Didn't we figure this out already? (4, Insightful)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612637)

I don't get why they keep beating this horse...

I played violent games all my life, I haven't killed or hurt anyone.
I will agree that sure if that's all kids see and they don't get any parental direction, then sure.

Kids do copy what they see, but a 6 year old kid shouldn't be playing GTA 3. Then again it depends on the kid.

It's just not something you can put to statistics.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612681)

What's the opposite of PRO....CON. What's the opposite of PROgress...?


Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612727)

I don't get why they keep beating this horse...

Perhaps it is aggression induced by the video games?

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (3, Interesting)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612733)

This is one of the stories that is good to throw out there if you want a quick bit of fame. It's easy research because it is kind of like a "duh" type of thing. You will feel more aggression psychologically, but that doesn't mean you are more likely to kill or hurt anyone.

While there is likely a link, it does not mean that playing violent video games means you kill people. Many will try to jump to this conclusion, many will fail.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612841)

I agree with your main idea, but I do not agree with your argument. Giving your experience as an individual doesn't help.

I think the main issue here is what to do with this 'evidence', if it really is valid. So, should we allow the government to 'protect' our children from this? Or should we do it ourselves?

I think this question can be answered by the great Frank Zappa [] .

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612865)

Statistics are much more enlightening than anecdotal evidence.

Of course, they don't seem to link to the study, so I can't comment on its quality. I do notice, though, the article attempts to address most of the I-didn't-read-the-article Slashdot responses:
* brings up the problem of causation
* attempts to properly show causation, not just correlation
* conclusion is advice for parents

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (2, Insightful)

mauddib~ (126018) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612881)

Hmmm, so your 'statistical' analysis with N equals 1 'proves' that it cannot be put to a statistical test since your own 'research' has already shown otherwise? Common, get a grip.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612943)

I don't get why they keep beating this horse...

I played violent games all my life, I haven't killed or hurt anyone.

I love this superficial analysis. It is like family members who tell me that they have never work seat belts but have never gotten hurt in a wreck. (Ya always need a car analogy to make a point)

I don't know what the reality is about video games and violence. Is there no causation at all? Are there at-risk kids who should not be playing? Are there age limits and maturity limits? Do violent games combine with other influences to increase violent behavior? Should violent games be avoided altogether?

The fact is I don't know. I have my suspicions that it lies somewhere between my first and second question, but that is only my gut.

And this is why we fund studies. I believe strongly in science to help us progress as a society. I also believe that you must base your beliefs on facts, not your prejudices. Fifteen years ago I would have told you that porn causes objectification of women and leads to violence against them. A number of studies have indicated otherwise, and I have abandoned this viewpoint.

I am open on the violent video game issue as well. Let the studies continue, wait for the evidence to point one way or another. But if you are already closed to answers different that your preconceptions, then you opinions are worthless.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (1, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613125)

The problem is that the studies are all crap. Their conclusions are always "violent video game playing and real-life violence look linked" and could as easily be explained as "violent people play violent video games" and "violent video games cause violent behavior".

Looking, however, to vilify games, they always choose to present the second viewpoint, which is why people get so frustrated with these studies.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612955)

My grandpa just took aspirin after a heart attack, he died minutes later. I guess there's no evidence linking aspirin to living longer after an MI, because I have a counterexample. See the obvious fallacy.

We no longer are slaves to strict 'if/then' causal models when we have probability, well-designed experiments, blinding, randomization....

Welcome to the 1900s!

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612963)

Um. You do realize when the findings are based on on statistical correlations right? That means there are often people even a majority of people who do fit into the rule. However it shows that that action is somehow linked to the reaction. It may not be direct say banning video games will fix the problem, may be the wrong approach it may be the kids may play theses games more when they have more violent tenancies. However there is a link, And saying Hey I play violent video games and I didn't kill people yet isn't a good response.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613299)

Okay, you do understand that correlation is not causation right? If correlation was causation, then x thing could automagically be associated with y attribute, irregardless of if they make sense. It could be something like "all people are apples". See the fallacy?

Just because you can somehow correlate that people are happier on days when the sky is blue doesn't automatically mean that the statement is correct. Thus the tag.

Meanwhile, a judge put it well, maybe I can find the link later. He basically said without these things we are left unprepared for life in general, as these topics do exist whether or not people like them. It is far more positive to outlet your violence or even general frustration/any negativity through a video game (if you can do so) than take it out on someone.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (1)

alccode (1007021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613065)

If you RTFA, you will see that the point is not that after playing GTA you'll go out and kill someone. The point is that after playing violent games, a subtle shift in your attitudes will take place, a desensitization to violence and a growing attitude that it's OK to be violent towards others.

You may never actually kill anyone (and probably won't), but the effects of playing violent videogames will instead surface in how you address your loved ones, how you treat strangers who cross you the wrong way, how you deal with impatience towards others. You may not get the urge to pull a shotgun and blow their heads off, but you will undoubtedly have a greater tendency to belittle those who annoy you, to be verbally aggressive towards them, and yes, even to be physically aggressive.

It may take a lot of desensitization -- and indeed a lot of other factors too -- before someone who plays violent games would as a result go on a shooting spree, but that does not mean that playing violent games has no effect on one's psyche.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613089)

I played violent games all my life, I haven't killed or hurt anyone.

Me too!

Although I quite often *want* to hurt people, but that might have more to do with other people than me in the current political climate.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (5, Funny)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613109)

Kids do copy what they see, but a 6 year old kid shouldn't be playing GTA 3.

You're absolutely right, GTA 4 is out.

Re:Didn't we figure this out already? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613189)

They are beating this dead horse because they want to find "scientific proof" to justify the nanny-state laws the article clearly mentions, laws which would limit sale of these games. Said laws get challenged and often rejected for the anti-freedom bunk that they are.

This is similar to how creationists/IDists keep looking for tenuous scientific proof in order to justify teaching the subject as part of biology.

It's not about science or psychology, it's about agenda, and this one goes across party lines. You can't vote it out so easily.

Maybe it's just me (5, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612655)

But all video games can bring out the worst in me.. even playing monopoly online :). When someone routinely lands on the luxury tax square instead of my hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.. I start dropping F-bombs like they are going out of style! I've been known to throw a pen accross the room also...

Maybe I should seek help ;)

Obligatory (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613153)

As long as you don't start throwing houses, hotels or even chairs around, we're fine.

I was born in the 80s. (5, Funny)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612669)

So the only aggression I have is this unexplainable urge to jump on people's heads and punch bricks.

Re:I was born in the 80s. (5, Funny)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613015)

Maybe so, but try explaining that to the little girl next door who misses her turtle.

Lack of activity and aggression (5, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612691)

As a parent of a five year-old and a nearly ten year-old, I find that a lack of activity and too-quick transitions tend to lead to aggression. When my son has been playing video games for longer than normal and we immediately yank him off, it causes frustration and acting out. If he's been active that day and we give him warnings that his time is coming to an end, things seem to go more smoothly.

Good parenting is more than a series of yes/no decisions.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612785)

That's exactly my experience [] . It has nothing to do with violence in video games and everything to do with sitting on their butts while getting more and more excitable.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (3, Interesting)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613105)

Agreed. I used to be surly, irritable and aggressive. Thankfully my parents are both teachers, so we'd go on 6 week long summer holidays in a caravan without a computer.

I remember being restless and agitated for the first couple of weeks of the holiday and then when the brain fog cleared I realised that computer games were doing something weird to my head. It wasn't necessarily about the level of violence in the games themselves, but maybe more something to do with the mental processes involved.


Re:Lack of activity and aggression (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612901)

This is just good advice for kids in general. Give them warning about what is going to happen in the future. I have a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old. If you turn off the TV without telling the kid that it's going to get turned off, or if you just say, "we are leaving the park now", the kid will get cranky and wine. However if you tell them 10 minutes before hand, and remind them at 5 minutes and 2 minutes, you tend to get a much better reaction out of them.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (1)

CannedTurkey (920516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613031)

Agree 100%, my 4 year old is the exact same.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (2, Funny)

orzetto (545509) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613097)

the kid will get cranky and wine

Mmh, I see, so your strategy is getting them drunk so they will not fight back? Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (0)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613177)

Well, duh. Nothing gets a woman crankier than when you "finish up" inside her with no warning whatsoever. It's just human nature to react as such with unexpected changes.

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613245)

How to tell if you spend too much time on /. Reason #255
  - Your two year old child is 2.5 years old.
CAPTCHA: belted

Re:Lack of activity and aggression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613111)

Nobody has an "immediately yank him off" joke?

Aggression or mimicry? (5, Interesting)

Rurik (113882) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612715)

Video games are violent, per the majority. For most, the point of a game is to kill other people. I'm an avid game player of Xbox and Wii, and my four year old has his games that he plays (Simpsons, The Bee Movie game, Kung Fu Panda). Last year we noticed that when I was playing Zelda on the Wii, he loved to mimic my actions. He started collecting "swords" and "shields" out of anything at hand and would play fight. Every now and then we watched me play Lost Odyssey, where the characters run up to the mob, attack, and run back (and that's how he named the game - "the one where you run up and hit the bad guy and run back"). When I fought, he would orchestrate himself fighting our chair with a sword.

Even when the game is over and unplayed for months, he would still act out those movements. Is he aggressive? He's a child, and he does have aggressive tendencies like all other boys. The point of this article: can it be pinned on the games? I doubt it. Just as young boys are attracted to guns, army guys, and fighting, he is attracted to games that have him fighting people - even if it's just jumping on their heads.

Correlation doesn't imply causation, IMO.

Then again, I think there are many parents out there who expect their kids to be little adults. They want them to shut up, sit down, be quiet, and follow strict rules. And, when the kids act like kids, the parents stretch for something to blame for them being "unruly". When ritalin isn't helping, let's blame the video games. IMO

Consistent with my own experience (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612719)

The results are consistent with my own experience. When my older son was younger, I provided him with access to an NES emulator so that he could play the old Nintendo games I had sitting in the closet. (I was missing cabling and didn't find them until later.) What we noticed is that if he was allowed to play video games for too long, he became a) lazy about doing anything else and b) very temperamental and difficult to deal with.

About that time my wife instituted a time-limit for games each day that my son could spend at any time during the day. when he wasn't playing games, he was required to find some other activity to do. (e.g. play with Duplos, ask to go to the park, etc.) This change was very effective in smoothing out his behavior.

The problem does not appear to be the violence in video games as Mr. Thompson, no longer esquire, would have you believe. The problem appears to be that playing games for a long period of time results in a lot of pent-up energy. That energy is tempered by a reduced desire to perform any task besides play video games. In result, the energy ends up expended via a behavior route.

Re:Consistent with my own experience (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613193)

It's inevitable that some games will also desensitize some people (not just children) to violence, if only in the abstract, much as some movies also do the same.

That doesn't mean games or movies are a catalyst for violence, but having had the pleasure of seeing someone break every bone on their right hand after driving it through a car window because "it looks so easy in the movies", in my experience this tends to mean people are more likely to hurt themselves than others.

Of course it takes a special kind of special to do something like that.

The "REAL" problem (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612729)

We have too many "electronic baby sitters." It is precisely a lack of authority and discipline that leads to problems such as these. When kids know their place and behave accordingly, they are generally happier, healthier and a lot more well adjusted.

Let the kids play video games... as long as the parents play WITH them! People said the same thing about television. The real problem is lack of parental participation that drives children wild.

This is bogus (1, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612737)

Video games do not make people violent. On the contrary, I find video games to be a good way to wind down after a good killing spree. Video games train you to concentrate on a single task for a long period of time, which is an invaluable skill when you have to bury the bodies deep enough to evade those pesky corpse-sniffing dogs.

I find that far from being more aggressive, video games have made me more focused. Before, I was so aggressive I would get sloppy in my work, and often leave incriminating evidence behind. Now, with the help of video games, I can calmly clean up the scene, making sure not so much as a stray hair is left. This has made me so difficult to track that I can send off taunting letters to police secure in the knowledge that they'll never find me. Thanks, video games!

Common Sense prevails (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612753)

I'm not a psychologist but it seems to me there isn't anyone I know, adult or child, that doesn't get frustrated when interrupted from doing something they enjoy or not progressing like they want while playing a video game. The only difference is that a child isn't mentally equipped to deal with the frustration, which is just pent up aggression, so they express it directly. Do we really need these studies? If your kid gets out of line, take his/her "stuff" away and beat the stew out of them, game over. My kid is an avid gamer and she knows if she crosses the line she's going to meet my belt on the other side.

Re:Common Sense prevails (0, Troll)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612941)

My kid is an avid gamer and she knows if she crosses the line she's going to meet my belt on the other side.

Yes, I find that beating people is a great way to curb aggression. If they can't get it through their thick heads that violence isn't okay, they just need to be slapped around a little more.

Re:Common Sense prevails (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613141)

I'm sure beating in this context refers to a form of punishment that has been successful for 500 years but has just recently in the last 20 years been frowned upon which is "whipping" children when they misbehave.

Yes, whipping a child will adjust their behavior just like whipping a puppy will adjust its behavior. Children will continue to test their boundaries until they find them.

How do you plan to adjust behaviour? A hug? A "Awwww.. It's OK.. He's just a kid"? The post is correct, common sense prevails.

Expand your research. (1)

Digital Jellyfish (1399385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612763)

Does this study account for the absence (or presence) of aggression reducing activities like playing outdoors or recreational sports? My guess is no.

I play a lot of video games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25612767)

and I can say unequivocally this article is a load of fucking horsecock and the author should print 10 copies of it, roll it up into a tight cylinder, turn it sideways and shove it up his fucking ass.

Maybe.... (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612775)

Maybe kids predisposed towards violence seek out violent games, rather than the games forming such tendencies.

we already knew that. (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612787)

First, correlation is not causation.

Second, aggression is not violence.

Third, this applies to all violent media exposure, not just video games.

Fourth, we have known about these links for more than a decade.

As a long-time gamer... I believe it. (2, Interesting)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612821)

I've always believed that violent games cause agression in children. No doubt about it. Hell, I can tell that I'm more agressive after a marathon of gaming violence.

The problem is that these kids aren't taught what to do with that agression, and so they bring it out into the real world. Kids need to be taught that, in real life, hurting someone and looting their stuff isn't okay.
And parents and teachers are, more and more, not doing that.

Aggression, or over-excitement? (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612825)

Having a couple of young boys myself, I have observed that, for instance, watching a fast moving exciting film can make them over-excited quite easily. It's not really aggression, it's just that kids have much greater and more readily available energy than adults. Unfortunately these days adults often mistake this for a defect in their child.

The correct response is of course to fight back! There is nothing little boys like better than pretend fighting, and they tire very quickly.

Correlation may not be causation (4, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612837)

But that does not mean there is not a problem here.

My mom has taught 1st graders for ~20 years. Back when Power Rangers used to be the shit, she would talk about how these kids would get all riled up playing Power Rangers during recess. When they got back into class, they were still all keyed up from their "fighting" between each other and would always get in trouble.

Does this mean Power Rangers causes violence in children? Of course not. But it does remind us that children can be excitable and impressionable, get caught up in the games they play, and sometimes don't realize when it's time to stop, or take the game too far. What they are doing before they exhibit this behavior is really immaterial: they might do this with a video game, a movie they see, a cartoon, or a couple of sticks they find in the gutter and play "sword fighting" with.

You have to set limits for children. Limit their diet of video games, TV, and other media, and let them know when their behavior related to this media consumption becomes unacceptable. Parenting 101.

Disney also causes violence (2, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612839)

Next door there are two teenage boys with a younger sister, she is mad for High School Musical and they like rock. So far we've had raised shouting, a TV being ripped for the wall and one son actually throwing himself out of a window (no injuries) to get away from the music.

Now you could say that they are just being older brothers and mocking their sister's taste, but I say its proof that High School Musical causes violence in teens and so should therefore be banned.

Some would further say that this is evidence of "appropriate" for groups and how the horror movies that the boys watch aren't appropriate for their younger sister while HSM is not appropriate for the boys. You'd almost think some sort of certification should be placed on movies and games to give an idea of what is appropriate (Harry Potter - both sexes and aged 7 to adult, HSM - girls between the ages of 7 and 11).

Re:Disney also causes violence (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613025)

"You'd almost think some sort of certification should be placed on movies and games to give an idea of what is appropriate (Harry Potter - both sexes and aged 7 to adult, HSM - girls between the ages of 7 and 11)."

Gee, like the ratings systems everyone already bitches about?


Re:Disney also causes violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613085)

Troll hint of the day:

When being sarcastic in a post make sure that first the post you are replying to isn't itself being sarcastic, otherwise you end up looking like a twonk.

Re:Disney also causes violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613133)

I've heard something similar to this before..

A response when confronted with a statement similar to "I don't think violent music causes violence."

"I would have to disagree, Listening to NickelBack makes me want to kill NickelBack"

-Brian Posehn

Re:Disney also causes violence (2, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613287)

one son actually throwing himself out of a window (no injuries) to get away from the music

If we're talking about High School Musical then I suppose I totally agree with that approach.

Wait a minute (2, Funny)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612883)

I thought Jack Thompson was disbarred? Why are we still hearing about this crap?

Violent Video Games Lead to... (1)

Richard.Tao (1150683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612913)

So these kids were asked to track their own violent behavior when they played video games? People have been ingraining in society the idea that video games are bad, and that kids would be more apt to consider themselves violent, or would in general consider themselves more violent when playing a violent video games. The media needs to find something else to hyper focus on.

This article makes me so angry.... (2, Funny)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612927)

That I feel like punching children.

I know I get VERY angry! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612939)

When I am playing Halo online and some snot-nosed 10 year old starts playing cheap and stuff, it makes me REALLY angry and aggressive at those kids... so maybe there is something to that...

This is definately true.... (1)

Redvision_500 (1399369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612967)

......IF you've ever played Mario Kart.

Gee, no shit tag needed for this story (4, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612977)

I have three kids. Boys.

Yes, violent cartoons and video games cause aggression.

Let your kids watch He Man, Popeye, Halo, etc. Games or videos. Children mimic what they see. Bottom line.

It's like, DUH. If a child grows up watching his Daddy beat his Mommy because she talks to much, said child will grow up to beat his wife for talking too much, as well.

Little common sense here. Children are a product of their environment. Give them a loving environment, and they grow up loving (in general, and the facts are there to back this up, and any parent worth a shit can attest to this)... Let them grow up with parents that hate, don't give a shit, or whatever, and that's the way the kids will grow up.

I let my 3 and 4 yr old watch Kung Foo Panda a couple months ago. THAT was a great movie. And my kids, for about a week, thought Kung Foo on each other was A-OK.


Re:Gee, no shit tag needed for this story (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613163)

Peer group is at least as important as family. Probably more.

Re:Gee, no shit tag needed for this story (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613343)

Excuse me, but this is slashdot, and it appears that you thought before posting. The correct response to this subject is, well, I guess I don't really need to tell you. Nearly everyone else has already toed the party line correctly. Now, stop thinking rationally and join in the fun!

Moderation (1)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612985)

Maybe they should do some research with a separate group of children who spend at least half an hour or so of that time every couple days playing video games with their parents or with some other responsible adult? They say your kids can watch pretty much any kind of TV as long as you watch with them and talk about it... I bet the same is true for video games too. Although if the parents become more violent, we may have some heavier findings on our hands.

Control groups? (1)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25612997)

It would've been interesting if they'd has a control group of kids playing non-violent games, or even educational games. I wouldn't be surprised if simply sitting there in front of a screen for hours leads to violent behavior--sedentary activity, physical stress (hands and poor sitting posture), visual stress--these are all possible confounding factors. Not to mention facing potentially frustrating challenges, whether they contain violence or not.
What's more, video games (as I'm sure many of you know) can be quite addictive. Complete a level or challenge, receive a quick burst of endorphins, develop a "need" to complete the next challenge. I'm not saying this always becomes an issue, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if some kids acted out simply because they were away from their favorite source of easy victory.

It's interesting... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613033)

I think it's interesting that the article doesn't mention that the man behind the research, Dr. Craig. A. Anderson, Ph.D., was part of a "summit" conducted by the pressure group National Institute on Media and the Family [] :



Could it be that a politically motivated study by a political activist psychologist would come up with a conclusion that he had already decided on?

Remember, this is an organization that declared violent video games to be "Killographic Entertainment" and which claimed that Stubbs the Zombie was promoting cannibalism in our nations youth.

Sadly, the soccer-mom (or is that hockey-mom now?) audience for this anti-boy (notice the anti-male-children comment in the article "About 90% of Americans ages 816 play video games, and they spend about 13 hours a week doing soeven more if theyre boys." Even more, now that's precise, isn't it?) will read it uncritically happy that it confirms their biases.

Re:It's interesting... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613169)

Hmm, mangled that quote, it should be, "About 90% of Americans ages 816 play video games, and they spend about 13 hours a week doing soeven more if theyre boys."

Also, there seems to be two versions of the same article up, I pulled that quote from here: []

But thats actually the article linked to from this one: []

(Click on Health from the CNN article to get to the other version.)

wall of fire anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613039)

I've been playing violent video games all of my life and have never felt the necessity to be violent at all... Who knows? Maybe I'll end up going on a killing spree by casting wall of fire and bone spear... You know... because video games are real life right?

There have been several studies on this type of thing and they are only starting to come up with a bit of correlation now? It is likely that this behaviour is caused by something else, such as bad parenting... Correlation does not imply causation!

No way!!! (1)

Digitalman65 (1352303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613043)

Hell, I've been playing games since I was ten back when Pong was first released on a home system. Sure I've beaten the piss out of a few tennis players now and then but they deserved it. But this doesn't mean I'm going to go around smacking up gorillas, plumbers, or busting ghosts. Common! Man this just urks me. That's it, I'm gunna find me some dinosaurs and do some damage!

Think before you freak out, guys. (1)

Phasma Felis (582975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613069)

If you RTFA you'll find that it addresses a lot of the concerns here. (Parental supervision, correlation vs. causation, etc.) Seriously, every time geeks hear the words "violence in video games" they fly into a frothing rage and completely ignore the actual discussion. It's not all about people trying to oppress you, guys. If someone *does* find actual experimental correlation, we need to know about it.

I call BS... (1)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613093)

Seriously, video games have absolutely no eff... MOTHER FUCK I JUST RAN DOWN A 1 SQUARE WIDE HOLE ON MARIO 3.

Wrong way? (1)

ItsColdOverHere (928704) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613139)

So, why must it necessarily be that violent games -> aggression. Why not aggression -> violent games. You know; feeling aggressive -> go pummel/kill something in a computer game rather than pummeling/killing in a game -> go pummel/kill something in real life.

I think... (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613187)

I can be able to coralate violent behavior amongs geeks to kernel panics, BSoD and syntax errors.

Correlation perhaps (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613195)

But correlation does not imply causality.

So the question remains, do aggressive children just naturally want to play more aggressive games, or does playing games actually cause aggression, or is there another factor that causes both?

The *obvious* has been left out (1)

Mindragon (627249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613223)

In all of these studies and research, I am shocked by the fact that the obvious truth has been left out.

In our quest for "purity" through social aestheticism (teenage pregnancy "linked" to sex on tv and now video games "linked" to violence) we have left out the obvious fact. We are members of the animal kingdom. Our species is "human". We have all the same characteristics of other animals in the kingdom. We "hunt" for food at local food sources (the store). We adapt to social orders of things similar to other apes (we call it voting). And for all this, we call ourselves more "advanced" when we try to root out things that took evolution hundreds of thousands of years to program into our genes.

When are we going to accept the obvious truth? Instead of denying that it exists, we must accept that it does exist. We do not have hundreds of millions of murderers out there. Humans evolved through a clan-like experience. As recently as a thousand years ago humans were hunting bears, deers and god knows what else that is now extinct in the forest. They didn't just wake up one day and learn how to hunt. This was a learned skill and largely a group experience.

So when little kids are practicing Jackie Chan moves I think about the fact that evolution is a pretty grand thing. It is better instead, to teach children the difference between right and wrong and to teach them how to think. It would be near impossible to guard all children from the fact that evolution is at work even today.

Video Games Linked To Child Aggression (1)

mcai8rw2 (923718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613225)

What; again?

Exercise (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613235)

The problem isn't video games, the problem is a lack of exercise. Schools by the tens of thousands are doing away with recess at the elementary level. At the middle and senior high school levels, lunches have been cut from a period ( 55 minutes ) to about 20 minutes.

When I was in school, we boys were always running out side to play some football, kick ball, dodge ball, or just to chase the girls.

Of course now you can't even chase the girls or that's harassment.

However, all this lack of exercise has got to build up excessive energy that has got to go somewhere - usually it's anger or aggression.

Video Games, TV, or Parents? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613281)

I saw this story this weekend, and am concerned with how it is being framed. I think that one side is saying, "This stuff is hazardous to children and must be controlled by the government." The other side often says, "This stuff is not necessarily hazardous to children, correlation is not causation, etc."

I think both sides are wrong. I think the correct answer is, "This stuff probably is hazardous to children, and parents should be just as careful about this stuff as they are about movies or playing in the street."

The right answer is not to make streets without full-length railings illegal. The right answer is to facilitate parents in understanding the issue and making the right decisions for their children. Sure, this stuff probably does have an effect on children's psychological development - what doesn't?

That doesn't mean this stuff is bad. It is art, like music and paintings. Some of it, like Dostoevsky or some of the creepy sections of The Bible, can have a negative impact on a child's world view. So good parents have to be involved in their children's consumption of it. But it will never be an appropriate place for the government to interfere. The government is too general and clumsy a tool to decide what specific instances of art are good or bad.

"Pretty Good Evidence" (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613283)

Woohoo ! That works for me. Coming next week..."Mildly convincing data", "Almost believable sources" and "A report that didn't suck too much ass".

Good! (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613321)

In a post-9/11 world, every child should be aggressive. Because there are terrorists who want to hurt them, and they need to be mentally prepared to respond to that threat.

From Experience (1, Interesting)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613327)

This is somewhat true. Basically we took our 5 year old off games, and it helped somewhat. Games would make him increasingly more frustrated, inevitably leading to angry outbursts and crying etc. If, upon hearing this, I went and turned the game off, the he'd usually go ballistic, but really because I hadn't interceded earlier. I'm not talking about violent games (which we don't let him play), I'm talking about ANY competitive game.

So cutting out games does help, but here's the interesting thing - if his lego set (and what's more wholesome than lego?) keeps breaking and his frustration level increases and he would eventually become almost as upset...though not to the same extent as a game might.

So the real solution here is PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT. If I see that he's not in a mood conducive to playing reasonably, I need to remove the trigger before it becomes an issue.

Now there's no way I'd let him play graphically violent video games, period. That's just stupid. Like if he sees a tame movie with fight scenes you've just put it in his head to try punching and kicking his 1 year old brother, even if there's no malevolence behind it. And it seems to make him hyper. And exposing him to simulations of shooting people over and over, may or may not have long term effects. I'm inclined to think that there's at least some negative side effects. Heck I can play some racing games long enough and when I get i the car, there's just that tiny hint of unreality, quickly expunged by my rational mind. But if he finds a gun or something when he gets older and he's not grown up, what do you think the logical progression is going to be? Plus hurting virtual people constantly will probably retard his development of empathy over time.

But again, we can't just let him do whatever he wants all the time it leads to unhealthy (or heck downright dangerous) situations. So if I just sit back and let him play and play and go ballistic (while I play my own video games heh), the fault is not the game, it's my parenting.

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613329)

Stories like this make me want to smash things.

Do you play a lot of video games? :P

Other studies show the exact opposite (1)

mkraft (200694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613335)

Various studies recently have shown no real link between violent video games and aggression. So we have one study that shows it does and various other studies that show it does not. Which one should we believe?

Here's just a few other studies that conflict with this study: [] [] [] []

Videogames train you to kill? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613349)

Here' smy challenge to anyone who claims that videogames train you to hurt or kill other peole (I'm lookin gat you, Jack Thompson!!!)

Take any sports game you like, preferably a single person sports (which you've never practiced before of course) as team sports would be harder to test individual performance. Boxing or skateboard are goo das they are very technical sports with an easy to establish baseline of success.

After playing a hundred hours or so, you should be a master at that game. Now dress up in your best sports gear and hop in aboxing arena or hop on a skateboard and start shooting ramps and sliding rails. If your theory holds water, you won't end up on "Attack of the Show" as the daily Epic Fail.

Article was fairer than most (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613357)

At least they mentioned the cause versus effect bit.

But even it continues to allow 'vague' definitions of violent behavior to count.

They don't want to admit that all their studies do crappy things like call 'talking back to the parent' as aggression. Or my personal favorite "refusing to quit playing the game" is 'aggressive' behavior.

Kids playing teh violentz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25613367)

If parents wouldnt buy their kids M rated games we wouldnt have so many little kids on Halo 3 talking trash and getting mad. Realize that most of the people getting mad at games are young kids. If parents would follow the rating system that ESRB has put out maybe we wuoldnt have this problem. The aggression is only going to get worse with the realease of Gears of War 2. Oh well any kid stupid enough to kill over a video game needs to get some help anyways

Hey you kids, get offa my lawn! (1)

Grokko (193875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613369)

Every single study like this overlooks one very glaring fact: History.

I was a kid before video games existed. We did a lot of very violent things like beating each other up a la "Fight Club", throwing rocks at each other, and playing Robin Hood with sticks and trash can lids. I had a friend that would literally upend a chess board if he noticed he was losing, in order to force a tie.

Our competitive survival instinct is what is driving this. It doesn't matter if it's a video game, board game, or mind game. Some people use learn from their losses to improved their wins. Others get frustrated and lash out at their losses.

huh (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25613383)

Why is this story tagged "correlationisnotcausation"? That was the point of this study, they say it's a causative relationship.
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