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Violence in Games, Once Again, Not That Compelling

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the chickens-and-eggs dept.

Games 191

One of the great arguments of the digital age has been over the effects of video games on aggression — especially if you have ever heard the name Jack Thompson. A recent study suggest the counterpoint once again, that violent video games really don't have that much impact. "The authors performed six studies in total, but they were in broad agreement, so we'll only discuss the more compelling ones here. For the experimental portion, these involved playing an essentially identical game with different degrees of violent content. One group of participants was randomly assigned to play the game House of the Dead 3 on the different extremes of its gore settings, while a second was split between those who played the normal version of Half-Life 2, and a those who played a modified version that turned the adventure into an elaborate game of tag. In both cases, the primary influences on enjoyment were the sense of competence and satisfaction, along with the immersive nature of the game. Generally, females rated immersion as more important, while males went for competence (and consistently rated their own expertise very highly). Violence didn't register when it came to enjoyment, even for those with pre-existing violent tendencies."

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191 comments

Violence in games (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490415)

NIGGERS.

Re:Violence in games (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490451)

I'm sorry, the correct answer was NAGGERS.

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490421)

"Generally, females rated immersion as more important, while males went for competence (and consistently rated their own expertise very highly)."

There's a joke about sex in there somewhere, I'm quite sure of it.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490449)

I'm glad I don't have a whole country full of deceitful, greedy kikes [resist.com] stealing all my water and land anywhere near me. Fucking Jews [resist.com] can't just live in peace. They have to steal other people's land. Our [resist.com] national economy is collapsing from the Jew [resist.com] banks doing their usual Jew [resist.com] thing. You see, with Jews [resist.com] , you lose. That's how THEY win. They WIN by making YOU lose. So let's lose the Jews [resist.com] .

Global warming could be swiftly solved if we incinerated all of the Jews [resist.com] . Their ashes would be ejected into the upper atmosphere, where they would block some sunlight from hitting the earth. The economy would improve thanks to the absence of Jewish [resist.com] predatory lending, and it would buy us time to deal with climate change. Two birds, one stone.

Fun with Facts:

  • Isreal [resist.com] has a Jewish population of 5,309,000.
  • America [resist.com] has a Jewish [resist.com] population of 5,275,000.

Guess who really owns America [resist.com] ? Hint hint, it isn't the Americans [resist.com] .

Re:Hmm... (1)

MrKane (804219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491013)

Wow. I feel more stupider havind done reading that...

Re:Hmm... (1)

eat here_get gas (907110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492311)

is isreal real?

Re:Hmm... (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490551)

If it were sex, it would be males who were more concerned with immersion, and females more concerned with competence.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490591)

Patriotism is bigotry.

This is a lie. You are a liar.

Re:Hmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490651)

You are a bigot.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490769)

Show absolute proof, or you're admitting that you're lying again. Those are your only possible choices.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490869)

Show absolute proof
No such thing as absolute proof.

or you're admitting that you're lying again.
Show absolute proof that I'm admitting that I'm lying again or you're lying.

Those are your only possible choices.
This is a lie. You are a liar.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491617)

No such thing as absolute proof.

Yes, there is. And without it, any claim that I am a bigot can only be a lie. And that lie can only be rooted in impotent rage over having been called out for your bullshit.

Show absolute proof that I'm admitting that I'm lying again or you're lying.

You claimed that I am a bigot. You had absolutely no reason of any kind to think that I am a bigot, as you have never, ever seen anything to indicate bigotry from me. You therefore could only have pretended to have a reason, and therefore you decided to make a claim based solely on what you're pretending is true, even though you know for a fact that it is not. That proves beyond all possible doubt that you are a liar. It is literally impossible for this not to be the case. That is absolute proof that you are lying.

This is a lie. You are a liar.

No, it isn't. Proof or confession - no other alternatives were possible. If they were, you would have named them. Now that you've had that inescapable fact rubbed in your face like the dogshit it so closely resembles, you'll backpedal and try to construct some other possibility. You'll fail. You chose confession, and you know it.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491969)

Yes, there is.
Prove it.

And without it, any claim that I am a bigot can only be a lie.
This is a lie. You are a liar.

You claimed that I am a bigot.
And rightly so.

You had absolutely no reason of any kind to think that I am a bigot, as you have never, ever seen anything to indicate bigotry from me.
Other than an apparent show of patriotism.

Oh, and by the way...

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492079)

I haven't been trolled at all, and I certainly haven't lost. You're just trying to cover for your own failure.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492105)

Oh, but you have. You took the bait. You have been trolled. Have a nice day.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492347)

Even though he took the bait, it doesn't make you any better, you know?

Re:Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490805)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

And as far as violence in gaming goes, I'm sure B. Hussein Obama doesn't give a rat's ass. For my part, I give violence in gaming two thumbs up.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490637)

If it were sex, it would be males who were more concerned with immersion, and females more concerned with competence.

This statement was obviously written by a man.

Women are more interested in immersion into a mental state of connection, while men are more interested in how well they performed the act, and the joke is that these desires are completely incompatible with one another, and therefore we have the war of the sexes still raging today, getting worse and worse until the women win. Do not kid yourself -- they will win.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490681)

Do not kid yourself -- they will win.

Not if my boyfriend and I have anything to say about it.

(And no, I'm not a Mac user. Shut up.)

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490877)

so the gays are ganna win? how long to you suspect your victory will last? 40 years or so? :P

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491007)

Gays can't exactly win the "war of the sexes" considering "gay" isn't a sex. Fortunately, we can't "lose" to a somebody of the opposite sex either, we just have some nice even ground on which the both of us can enjoy one another's company.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491303)

If it were sex, it would be males who were more concerned with immersion, and females more concerned with competence.

This statement was obviously written by a man.

This statement was obviously written by someone who totally missed the joke.

Re:Hmm... (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491839)

getting worse and worse until the women win. Do not kid yourself -- they will win.

If they do, they will find that they have lost, too, because the sexes need each other. Fortunately, most women are smarter than you appear to be, and already realise that.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491921)

You have lost the game.

Re:Hmm... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492051)

therefore we have the war of the sexes still raging today, getting worse and worse until the women win. Do not kid yourself -- they will win.

Seems to me the power women have over men is the power to get a group of men to single out and attack an individual man. If men ever became so jaded that they decided it wasn't worth sticking up for women, the war would immediately be over.

Re:Hmm... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491175)

If it were sex, it would be males who were more concerned with immersion, and females more concerned with competence.

Yes, girls know there's more than just knowing how to use the joystick to playing the game...

Warcraft - No Joke, in a Nutshell (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490605)

I hear what you're saying but I think they are looking at gender roles in games. Physical gender, and mental makeup are two separate things that should be addressed separately.

For the purpose of understanding gaming, understanding the physical gender is less important than understanding the mental states a particular player will gravitate towards.

Separate the terms masculine and feminine from men and women.

In World of Warcraft, both masculine and feminine players trend in the direction of an eventual end-game raiding PvE experience, while only typically masculine players trend towards PvP. A mixture of players trend towards goofing around in the game and not aiming towards the competitive raiding or PvP environment.

Well then.... (2, Funny)

xmarkd400x (1120317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490441)

How do you explain the fact that the Columbine kids along with multiple other child criminals played video games?!?!

ITS FOR THE CHILDREN!

Re:Well then.... (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490627)

Not only that, but as recent news has taught us, kids these days are so dumb that they'll kill their parents and expect them to respawn.

Clearly there is no way to make smarter kids, and there's a lot more political opposition to banning certain people from having kids than to censoring games, so banning videogames is the only way.

The current study, with its "facts" just makes the only option more difficult.

Scientists these days are so lazy (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491179)

I have yet to see one decent long-term experiment to this day that truly checks if video games should have to suffer the scrutiny of parents. I'm talking about one lasting decades checking on the same patients from a very early age, setting up multiple controls, and then having multiple upbringings with different video games played routinely to rule out any other factor that may contribute to the future behavior of the child. It should be one where the patient does not know he/she is being observed, and one that does not allow for any biased results. Up to date, no one has come ANYWHERE NEAR. Please prove me wrong if I am. Until then, please stop talking out of your ass and STFU. The government is not responsible for taking care of your kids.

Re:Well then.... (4, Funny)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491483)

Well, if children are accessing inappropriate material, and killing parents, then I have a better solution. We'll ban kids. Get to it, people! =p

Re:Well then.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491973)

as recent news has taught us, kids these days are so dumb that they'll kill their parents and expect them to respawn.

Citation Needed.

FINALLY a workable solution! (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491103)

How do you explain the fact that the Columbine kids along with multiple other child criminals played video games?!?!

How do you explain the fact that the Columbine kids along with multiple other child criminals drank milk?!?!

While we're at it:

How do you explain the fact that the Columbine kids along with multiple other child criminals breathed air?!?!

THAT'S IT! If you cut off all children's access to air you'll completely end school shootings!

FINALLY a workable solution!

Re:Well then.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492081)

I know that post is PROBABLY sarcasm but for those of you who think its actually true(parent included), its because almost every kid alive today plays video games. Personally, I would like to see the stats showing the percentage of criminal children who play violent games vs the percentage non-criminal children who play violent games. I suspect you won't really see that big of a difference. My guess would probably be a couple percentage point difference.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490511)

Nigger's [goatse.fr] have larger than average penises.

Well... (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490559)

Violence in video games may not have a damn thing to do with violent acts, but seeing stories like this one over and over again throughout might life could one day make me snap and kill some fucking people.

Missing the Point as Usual (4, Insightful)

spiedrazer (555388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491205)

These studies do not say that the violence does not effect a player's aggression level. They had a completely different focus! The results show that the enjoyment of the players was not impacted by the violence level in the game!!! So, a good game is enjoyable no matter how much violence it contains. Why, then, do certain game publishers keep pushing the limits of violent content?

Re:Missing the Point as Usual (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491913)

So, a good game is enjoyable no matter how much violence it contains. Why, then, do certain game publishers keep pushing the limits of violent content?

Variety. You could say the same thing about romcoms - a good romcom is enjoyable despite not containing any violence, but that doesn't mean that people only want to watch romcoms.

Re:Missing the Point as Usual (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492049)

For the same reason that ice cream shops sell rocky road ice cream. Sometimes, your second favorite is what you want at the moment. Sometimes your 10th favorite is what you want. Then there is the fact that since man has started telling stories, violence has been used as a way to generate interest. Have all stories contained violence? No. But many have. Some publishers of other media also push the limits of violent content. Video games are just not that different than other media when it comes to violence.

Re:Missing the Point as Usual (1)

dwarg (1352059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492247)

I'm glad someone brought this up. It's sad how often people misinterpret the results of a study to make them say what they want to hear.

That said, the reason game developers feel the need to push violence isn't to make the game more fun but to help market the games. It's no secret sensationalism sells.

Thinking about it that way really makes you wonder about all the free publicity Jack Thompson helped generate for violent games. He was their best friend in reality. Of course he did it to draw attention to himself more than anything, so I don't suppose he really cared.

As Compelling As (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490593)

the violence committed by the world's MOST dangerous person [whitehouse.org] .

I hope this help the war crimes indictments.

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout [exiledonline.com]

Try the same experiment with film. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490597)

It won't work. People actually do fetishize violence. It's the best explanation for the continued success of splatter films and torture porn. (I admit that some of these films are good, but not necessarily the commercially successful ones.)

Re:Try the same experiment with film. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490933)

continued success of splatter films and torture porn

How many millions of people saw Saw? How many thousands of them proceeded to chain people up in dirty bathrooms with nothing but a rusty hacksaw blade? Hundreds? Tens? Can you even show a 0.01% correlation?

The funny thing about "correlation is not causation" is that "causation requires correlation". If you claim that X causes Y and you have millions of X and not one single Y, you're going to have some explaining to do.

Re:Try the same experiment with film. (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491199)

I prefer splatter porn...

Look at PROPERLY violent games... (3, Interesting)

skyride (1436439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490629)

Well, Im a fairly keen player of Team Fortress 2 (an HL2 mod) and not one for violence in games. All of the quake based games are the properly violent ones, and even then, they aren't really what you'd call violence in comparison to many films today. So lets take the properly violent games, for example, Mortal Combat. If you aren't familiar with the game (even with its extremely catchy theme tune from the original) then it bassically consists of smashing as many virtual bones as possible in your opponent through means of some extremely reddiculous kung-fu style moves and then "finnishing them" by some extremely gruesome means involving the map. For example one map involves kicking them off the side of a rock a couple of hundred feet and them landing speared on rock. And despite its rating, its clearly aimed at rowdy 8-12 year old boys, AND their parents are happy to buy it for them. Now please explain to me what makes games such as HL2 (which is actually one of the more inteligent and thoughtful games currently out) are a disaster for children to have?

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490685)

"finnishing them".....
hahahahaha!

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491665)

crazy violent Fins... down with Finland!

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490757)

Some parents. Mine weren't. And I actually thought they were rather gross (at least the killing off part).

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (1)

skyride (1436439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490815)

Ye, Well personally I don't like the game for its pure reddiculous-ness (if thats even a word). Im talking about the sort of boys who get excited over, well, things that age of boys get excited about. Like general destruction, etc,,, Now whether it actually just fuels them at that age or actually has any long term psychological effects is open for interpretation (i personally feel the former), its certainly far worse than kids playing with proper teamwork in CSS, TF2, etc,,,

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490975)

I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make there... I'm not sure if you didn't even read the OP, or you're just confused.

The experiments didn't have ANYTHING to do with showing that HL2 is violent, it was merely used in a test.

As for "properly violent" video games, well, that's a very loose term... one could say that Mario (any of them) are "properly violent" - you run around jumping on turtles and firing fireballs at other creatures.

To me the issue isn't that there's a problem with violent video games, it's a problem with the parents'. Maybe if instead of using the computer/gaming console to baby sit them they spent time with them, actually connected with them - at least then, if there is an obvious mental issue it can be treated rather than being left to fester and manifest itself in a murder-suicide bloodbath.

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (5, Interesting)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491271)

I'm not sure if I would agree that either Quake or Mortal Kombat are actually violent games (though I know this is a little out there). They are both certainly gory, but I'm not sure gore = violence. Way back when, I had a discussion with a friend about the difference between violence and "action" in film. I made the argument that most "violent" action movies are actually more choreography and dance then they are violence, even if they are gory. I referred to it as "dances with guns".

To bring it back to video games, take Mortal Kombat. In Mortal Kombat you can graphically disembowel your opponent, but it is more of a flourish, an exclamation point at the match, a demonstration of skill. The character isn't shown suffering, comes back the next round, and the player doesn't really receive much of a sadistic thrill. Compare this to the original Perfect Dark, or GTA IV where you have the option of slowly torturing the NPCs to death, and they stay dead.

To take it a step further, imagine a game based on the movie Hostel (which I would argue is an extremely violent movie) where the object of the game is to earn points and unlock levels by torturing your victim to death in ever more imaginative and gruesome ways. That would be what I would consider to be violent as its intent would be to arouse sadistic impulses and draw pleasure from the dominance over another person, or pleasure from causing them to suffer. Another example of a violent game could be a puzzle type game which casts the player as an WW2 SS officer, who's job it is to exterminate the greatest amount of prisoners with the least amount of resources; an act which would require the player to either insulate himself/herself to the deed being done, or take pleasure in the suffering he/she inflicts.

If you compare the above idea to Quake or Halo, where players just hope around and blast each other, I think you can see the difference. While Halo might awaken tendencies for competition or aggression, its more akin to those awakened by sports such as soccer or football, no matter if the opponent splatters or not when defeated. I wouldn't hesitate to let my (hypothetical) teenager play a game like Halo, Quake, or Mortal Kombat, but I might have reservations if I saw them playing the hypothetical "Hostel" or "Holocaust" I outlined above. The former rewards emotions and behavior that are healthy and useful in society, the later would train them to be actually violent, or sadistic (or maybe would actually be an outlet for natural sadistic impulses, I defer to the experts).

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (1)

Areion Paulse (1409719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491809)

Now please explain to me what makes games such as HL2 (which is actually one of the more inteligent and thoughtful games currently out) are a disaster for children to have?

HL2 is in first person and Mortal Combat is not.

Re:Look at PROPERLY violent games... (1)

skyride (1436439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492069)

Its a game...

Heh (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490631)

Doubt this will ever be on the news networks, though.

No no, folks. Video games baaaad. Hating video games gooood. They'll keep broadcasting how video games clearly caused x-murder or y-crime, and never bother with something as trivial as evidence.

This is like saying "Well, you own a kitchen knife, so you therefore have a tendency towards stabbing people".

Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (5, Interesting)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490635)

Come on, folks, admit it. You only believe this study because it concludes what you want to conclude. If it concluded the opposite thing, you'd all be selectively trotting out that good old line, "correlation doesn't imply causation," and holding it up to standards that you won't hold this one up to. (Because, after all, what kind of evidence does imply causation? Don't all experiments, because of their own nature, demonstrate nothing more than correlation?)

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490747)

Um...I believe it because 99% of video game owners do not go on killing sprees.

In fact, before the news networks started telling us about as much killing as possible, there were video games in circulation, and an arcade game where the object was to run over pedestrians. We never saw anything stating that these were times of mass murders caused by 15 year olds who believed the game was real.

In fact, in most of these overhyped 'video games made them do it' cases, you can see a clear correlation: poor parenting. Columbine kids? If their parents gave half a shit, they would have noticed the kids were miserable. 9 year old saying he knew how to drive because of GTA? Where were the goddamn parents, when they decided to buy him an M for mature game? Kid believing his parents would revive after being shot? Doubtful (and certainly his pastor father telling him how heaven is better than Earth, and that Jesus revived after a brutal death could not be to blame).

But of course, it must be that video games cause violence. There are more deaths by automobile; maybe we should ban driving as it is clear that owning a car means you are prone to killing.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490907)

Um...I believe it because 99% of video game owners do not go on killing sprees.

But that is (a) a correlation, (b) doesn't demonstrate anything. Suppose that 99% of video game owners don't go on killing sprees, but 99% of killing spreeers own video games.

Yes, yes, "correlation doesn't imply causation," but the point is that "99% of video game owners don't go on killing sprees" is completely irrelevant to the hypotheses about video games and violence, in more than one way. ("Killing sprees"? What about just being more likely to hit somebody?)

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (3, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491811)

Something that isn't repeated often enough when this meme crops up: it's ALL about correlation. Only correlation can tell you whether your hypothesis is predictive or not.

Here's the problem with studies that make violence a cause of videogames:
- the statistics don't show that
- the causal mechanism is very suspicious

The fact that 99% of all videogame owners aren't any more violent than anyone is important, because it means that it has the same predictive capability as saying that eating bread or drinking milk causes people to be violent.

Seriously. This meme of correlation is not causation is trotted out by people who don't understand how statistics are used to support hypotheses. The meme a complete tautology when used properly, and a straw man when used improperly.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492211)

"But that is (a) a correlation, (b) doesn't demonstrate anything. Suppose that 99% of video game owners don't go on killing sprees, but 99% of killing spreeers own video games. "

Well if 99% of the people that age also own video games then you can conclude nothing. If 1% own video games at that age then you can conclude that Killers prefer video games as a hobby.

Thank you for your attention. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492295)

I beg you to read the paragraph after the one you quote, and to think about it, before you endeavor to educate me.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490955)

If it were 99%, I'd disagree with you. 1% of people who play video games is a hell of a lot of people going on killing sprees. But we're talking 1/300,000,000 people or so. Maybe one killing spree a year, even fewer that can be 'tied' to video games. Hell, that's just a product of having a ton of people... you get that large of a sample set, an outlier will eventually show up.

Um, what's up with "killing sprees"? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491027)

Why are we talking about "killing sprees"? When did "number of killing sprees" become the standard for judging video games' contribution (or lack thereof) to violence?

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (2, Funny)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491057)

There are more deaths by automobile; maybe we should ban driving as it is clear that owning a car means you are prone to killing.

I wonder what makes old people especially so bloodthirsty about this? Did they have Doom on the abacus back then?

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490753)

And a study between two groups, BOTH having likely been exposed to days of tv shows and related violence, saying that VG don't make a difference, is kinda ridiculous. It's like kicking around a guy for a bit, then punching him. The punch is not likely to make lots of difference.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490765)

I think part of the reason people accept it is: "six studies in total, but they were in broad agreement". Most of the counter-video game crowd cites purely anecdotal evidence (i.e. Johnny LOVED Street Fighter so he beat the hobo to death). So this one has 6 more controlled studies going for it than those...

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490819)

Most of the counter-video game crowd cites purely anecdotal evidence (i.e. Johnny LOVED Street Fighter so he beat the hobo to death).

And most of the pro-video game crowd perform flawless experiments, right?

So this one has 6 more controlled studies going for it than those...

...and those studies are of course completely flawless... and there are no studies linking videogames to violence anyway... and the ones that exist are, of course, flawed... right?

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490963)

There actually aren't any studies that positively link videogames to actual violence. Violent feelings, maybe. But none whatsoever that link it to violence, and many that show evidence against violence in light of video game playing, not to mention just looking at the overall violent crime rate juxtaposed with the popularity rise of video games (hint: violence goes down as video game play goes up).

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491837)

And most of the pro-video game crowd perform flawless experiments, right?

No one's saying that. They are, however, significantly more rigorous in their approaches.

It seems to me you are more interested in a flame war than an actual discussion. Feel free to quote the actual studies in question, but at this point, you're running with platitudes that have no foundation in reality.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492309)

Dude, I'm just highlighting the group-think that pervades this site. It goes from the story submissions (both the selection of stories to submit, and the way the stories are described), the selection and comments by the editors, and the reception by the commenters.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490813)

+1

Of course we all like to believe what agrees with our own beliefs... but you're right, still. One study links the two and the other study distances the two, and most will just choose (based on no study) which one is valid and which one is invalid.

Of course, with this study, there's the interesting idea that someone may be over-analyzing themselves. If someone asked ME what I liked in a game, I wouldn't say "VIOLENCE DUDE, I LOVE KILLING PEOPLE!!!" I'd probably be quite geeky and say "Well, I like a game that I can get good at, that I become proficient in, that lets me do things based on my abilities that I've earned. I also like getting into the game like in an RPG, I love story-driven games."

But that doesn't explain why some games are very popular even though they aren't all that great (IMO) graphically, immersively, etc. Games like Halo come to mind immediately ("it's the multiplayer options!" .. oh, multiplayer isn't available on most games?).

I'm not saying everyone IS thinking they love violence... but I think it's a bigger part than most people actually like to admit.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490983)

Halo is popular because it appealed to fratboys with their new Xboxes. It's nothing groundbreaking, it's more of a "right place, right time, decent execution" thing.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490921)

Come on, folks, admit it. You only believe this study because it concludes what you want to conclude. If it concluded the opposite thing, you'd all be selectively trotting out that good old line, "correlation doesn't imply causation," and holding it up to standards that you won't hold this one up to. (Because, after all, what kind of evidence does imply causation? Don't all experiments, because of their own nature, demonstrate nothing more than correlation?)

You make a fair point in that people will be biased in favor of results that they agree with. However, the good old 'correlation doesn't imply causation' doesn't apply here . The reason is that these studies show a lack of correlation! A lack of correlation is a very strong indicator that there is no causal relationship.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491167)

However, the good old 'correlation doesn't imply causation' doesn't apply here.

Of course. It applies in the case where a study seems to show that video games make people more violent.

The reason is that these studies show a lack of correlation!

No, the authors of the studies say that the studies show a lack of correlation.

A lack of correlation is a very strong indicator that there is no causal relationship.

A lack of correlation, taken out of context, doesn't indicate anything, because the experiments may be measuring the wrong thing. We're talking about social science here; The objects of study (e.g., "violence") can often not be given any precise definition, and carefully defined proxies must be used (e.g., "violent crime statistics compiled by the FBI," or, for a truly bad one, "incidence of drunken killing sprees with nail guns"). You can easily and subtly fail to pick a correct proxy for a correlation that, for the sake of argument, we assumed to exist.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491353)

I wonder why, after I shoot a guy in the head in sniper mode in Far Cry 2, and he is injured but not dead that I feel compelled to then walk over and set him on fire with my flame thrower and then get annoyed if he doesn't roll around screaming. Also it seems to me that people would swallow conflict diamonds and that I should have to look for them by dissecting with machete all the corpses.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491363)

Because, after all, what kind of evidence does imply causation? Don't all experiments, because of their own nature, demonstrate nothing more than correlation?)

I'm pretty sure if I drop an apple a thousand times, it will hit the ground a thousand times. Correlation is not the right word for something that happens (very almost) 100% of the time.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491379)

However, LACK of correlation DOES imply a LACK of causation.

Don't all experiments, because of their own nature, demonstrate nothing more than correlation?)

By controlling for variables that might confound the result.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (1)

JoshHeitzman (1122379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491463)

Evidence generated from observations were all of other the variables have actually been held to with-in a measured small margin of error, so that the variable concluded to be the cause is the only thing that varies between different results. In so called social "science" it isn't possible to hold all other variables with-in a measured small margin of error as it isn't even possible to measure of the variables when dealing with people.

Re:Studies show 99% of studies are B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491867)

Retrospectives studies can only show correlation -- take 1000 players, poll them for how much they play violent games and whether they have criminal records, and maybe you'll show a correlation.

PROSPECTIVE studies can establish causality -- take 1000 players, divide into two groups having equal averages for previous game violence and previous real violence, have 500 play very violent games and 500 not, then see if in the following years the newly-violent gamers are more violent in real life compared to the control group.

Yahtzee... (4, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490657)

I like Yahtzee's stance on this:

Controversy and the games industry go hand-in hand like Ico and Yorda, if you'll forgive the incredibly nerdy analogy. And like Yorda, the controversy tends to stay focused for an average of about eight nanoseconds before getting bored and drifting off to do something else. But when it does get focused it can get very exasperating, such as when youthful paragons of self-control are called nasty names and decide that murder would be the wittiest comeback, and then is found to have stood next to a videogame sometime in the past. Then the media generally start drooling the usual uninformed questions as to whether wholesome, boyish pretend violence has any correlation with the real world. Short answer: No. Long answer: No, and go fuck yourselves, you ignorant, scaremongering cockbags. [Text in review: No, and I consider your argument misinformed.]

Source [escapistmagazine.com] -- Transcription [wikiquote.org]

Frist ps0t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490663)

I don't get it... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490673)

From the summary, this study does nothing to address the general issues of violence in games. From my understanding, the issue has never been that video games make children enjoy violence. The issue is that violence in games desensitize children to violent acts as an acceptable form of conflict resolution. Most people don't play violent games simply because they are violent. This study seems pretty worthless to me.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491127)

I think your point is right but you expressed it wrong.

This study DOES examine the effect of violence (and several other content aspects) on the player. But it's measuring how they affect the player's reported enjoyment of the game, not their tendency to out-of-game violent behavior.

Finally! It's definitive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490709)

Everyone knows that videogames cause nerdrage, not violence.

And this whole argument is akin to saying that Microsoft boardrooms cause violence. I think the reality is that some people are just born to throw chairs.

Splish, splash. I was taking a blood bath. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490739)

I'll ask here. What about people's higher tolerance for auditory violence like say the sound of guts splashing on the ground vs actually seeing it in a game?

Ah, the joys of talking to the irrational. (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490851)

Well, let's see, what other kinds of video games are there...

The Sims. Which made me believe that everyone has a diamond floating over their head that indicates how happy they are with life. Watch for red diamonds on bridge overpasses.

SimCity. Which firmly convinced me that every city will be attacked by Godzilla at least once should they decide to fight pollution by using nuclear power. Also, hurricane Katrina was due to someone misclicking the interface. Also, New Orleans could have been saved if they had built more FDs and PDs near the water front.

Doom. It taught me that green and red glowing tiles are bad to walk on. For this reason, there are some dance floors I will never go on. Also, if you kill someone, their corpse will disappear within a few minutes. This is why murder is so popular.

Leisure Suit Larry. Well, where do I start... Changing your gender is a simple matter of having sex with a dozen women and then stepping into a machine that makes a funny noise. Also, changing sex invariably makes you better looking. ...
But of course violence in video games is different... It's a unique case. All that other stuff you learn in video games (wouldn't it be nice if everyone you killed dropped gold and treasure?) doesn't stick. Nope. Only violence. Because it's special. Well, if you find someone arguing this position, shoot them in the head. And remember, it takes at least three shots to kill them. And they rarely drop anything useful.

Re:Ah, the joys of talking to the irrational. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491785)

you win... all praise girlintraining... no arguing, he/she wins that's it. So decrees Anonymous Coward

Comment / Tag Disagreement @ 23:27 16/01/09 GMT. (1)

MrKane (804219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490861)

I'm not sure the terms "redundant", "enoughalready", and "republican" accurately summarise the situation. Some groups, like mediawatch-uk (a continuation of the Mary Whitehouse created NVLA), still use quotes such as: "If violence is shown as normal on the television screen it will help to create a violent society". They are neither redundant, as they constantly petition UK Government, and so have the potential at least for having a noticeable effect (and were in fact big movers in actioning / responsible for a number of legislative actions regarding social decency), or Republican. All be it, I do retract my belief that "enoughalready" is useful in summarising the situation. ;) Thank you, MrKane.

not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490881)

I am a 21 yr old male who enjoys occasionally playing video games. That includes fps and other violent genres. I do however also hold the belief that these games can (and do in more susceptible people) alter peoples perception of violence and make it seem more of an everyday occurrence and somehow less horrific and more acceptable. This can only be a bad thing. For me a good immersion story line and environment defiantly make or break a game. And nothing takes away from the heartbreaking images of real violence we see in todays media.

Republicans? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26490893)

Why is this tagged Republicans?

If you think it's only the Republicans censoring things, do us all a favor and quit voting.

not so bad (1)

li0nh34r7 (1374247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26490995)

it seems that video games do make you more aggressive but not enough to warrant the way people talk about it. They are about as aggravating as heavy metal

measuring the wrong thing (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491037)

The text seems to be trying to measure if people like violent games, because of their violent content. That looks to me to be a dumb question to ask (unless of course you're simply trying to justify adding violence to video games). I would suggest that only a psychopath would say they were attracted to a game because of it's violent content.

The people who dislike violence (not just in games, but in general media) say that being surrounded by it in TV programmes, films, games, and a lot of other aspects of modern life, makes people more prone to acting violently themselves and to being more inured by violent acts in everyday life. Merely adding or removing a few violent scenes from a single game won't make one jot of difference to this. Plus, given the coarseness of measurements available to social experiments, any change in behaviour won't be measurable - leading to the conclusion that adding violence makes no difference to people's behaviour.

However, removing the violent content from all our media might, just, start to come up with the sort of result that common sense tells us is obvious (i.e. that we are affected by what we see, hear and experience - how else would advertising work?). Now, if this study actually believed in it's own results, it should be possible to remove all the violence without affecting the players' enjoyment - which raises the question, why then have it in the first place?

Re:measuring the wrong thing (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491371)

I and many many many other people enjoy watching body parts flying in several different directions in Fallout 3 but that doesn't make me a psychopath, or that I'll attempt to re-create the scene in real life.

There's a good reason why -most- non-puzzle games fall into the violent in one way or another category. That's also why most movies are framed with large components of violence and/or sex. We respond to it, but it doesn't mean we'll outwardly act upon our stimulus, which is really what video game conservatives are afraid of.

Then again, it all comes down to public opinion/perception. If it didn't, alcohol & tobacco would have been made illegal long ago. Considering that alcohol makes people more aggressive, and tobacco has too many possible health consequences to mention.

its a philosophical schism (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491217)

are human beings:

1. vessels of purity which are corrupted?
2. vessels of filth which are tamed?

i think a lot of people think children are corrupted by something in their development, and that something can be videogames. i haven't the faintest idea where these people come from, why they believe this, or why so many do think this way. i think it stems from an inability to accept something about their own human nature (which is not just bad, its good, bad, and ugly)

however, there are two good arguments against this "vessels of purity being corrupted" view of human nature and childhood development:

1. look at the behavior of humans during say, the time of the roman empire. violent and bloody and brutal. not many videogames, nevermind movies, or even books, or much of any media outside of a few rooms of scribes and wandering minstrels. flute music makes people axe murderers maybe?
2. look at the behavior of a group of toddlers for five minutes, many years away from playing their first game of gta. its not love and happiness, its hitting and punching and crying and screaming. its pretty much humanity without the frontal lobe. which, developmentally, is exactly what a toddler is. we're all pretty much a few neurons away from feces flinging monkeys with a superego grafted onto our foreheads

it all goes to show, if anyone has any problems with violence, its organic, its not something that is taught. nature versus nurture is a huge fountain of debate in human psychology, but when it comes to violence, to me at least, its pretty obvious that nature holds the balance of responsibility

of course, this doesn't stop unsavory people from trying "the devil made me do it" defense. its a just a same so many well-meaning but clueless people buy this defense

if you play 5 years of ultraviolent videogames every day, and you are psychologically normal, you have exactly 0% more chance of commiting a violent act in real life. meanwhile, if you are psychologically damaged in a certain way, and you never see a violent videogame in your life, you will still probably commit a transgressive act in your life. the presence, or lack thereof, of violent media, for either person, makes no difference at all

Grrr (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491227)

This is ridiculous. If anything, I'd say video games promote conscientiousness. It took me ages to kill all the hookers and children in Vice City, but I persevered. As soon as I've finished raping everyone in Leisure Suit Larry, I'm gonna kick these ignorant fucks' asses. Then torture them a bit for the XP.

murder simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491541)

Yess!! I can keep playing my video games, uh I mean murder simulators.

I contend (2, Funny)

cyberfunkr (591238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491881)

I contend that video games do not cause violence.

Hearing Jack Thompson talk about video games on the other hand... THAT pisses most everyone off.

Lousy gamers violent? (1)

sjdude (470014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491993)

I wonder if any claim that video game violence causing someone to commit a violent act has examined whether the person committing the real violence was, in fact, very good as a game player?

Perhaps real game related violence is correlated with people being very frustrated because they suck as gamers!!

Not enough data (1)

SignalFreq (580297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492151)

Apparently, teenagers were never violent or moody before the development of video games.

Does anyone really know how many teenagers committed violence from 1900-1980ish (the period prior to violent video games)? No, because it was such a social taboo that it was not reported, was covered up, or word never traveled beyond city limits. Modern global media records every minor violent event in every town of America with more than three people.

How many teenagers took part in the World Wars and committed violence?

If you were a violent teenager in the pre-video game era, you had an outlet for your violence. War and to some extent protests.

I suppose the violent video game of Tetris caused the Menendez Brothers to kill their parents in 1989?

Bottom line, we cannot establish a trend because we don't have the data to create a trend (prior to the 80s)!

How far back can we trust the data to reliably contain all teenage violence?

FBI Report of crime statistics in 1995 *1:
Murder/Nonnegligent Manslaughter: 21,597
1995 Offenders under 18: 2169

FBI Report of crime statistics in 2007 *2:
Murder/Nonnegligent Manslaughter: 17,040
2007 Offenders under 18: 1063

So apparently, the video games in 1995 were more violent than the video games in 2007.

*1 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/Cius_97/95CRIME/95crime2.pdf [fbi.gov]
*2 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_03.html [fbi.gov]

Video games vs Driving (2, Insightful)

rentmej (775047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492153)

Can we have a study where one group plays violent video games and the other drives in rush hour traffic?

Then we can compare which group has an elevated level of aggression and which one wants to kill all humans.

The issue should be reseated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492263)

In my opinion, the things which you choose to place in your mind effect the way your mind functions.

Anyone who has ever played a game or even worked on a project for multiple hours or multiple days has probably begun to see the world through the lens of that thing. To argue otherwise is to argue your brain can't be trained, which is silly.

I do not wish to argue against those who oppose "bad media" on the grounds that "it's really not that bad", and it frustrates me that this is the path the debate is taking.

It should not matter how bad any piece of media is, since it is the free choice of consumers (and the parents of consumers) to choose the material they place within their minds.

The issue should be about freedom and responsibility- the freedom to consume what we choose and the responsibility to make that choice and deal with it being in our brains. It should not be about deemphasizing the importance of what you put into your brain.

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