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Study Finds Gamers Prefer Control, Competence Over Violence

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the making-pixels-bleed dept.

Games 219

Science News reports on a new study which found that the violence in video games was not a significant contributing factor to players' enjoyment. Instead, the feelings of control and competence the games engendered were closely linked to how fun the players found it. Quoting: "... the researchers extensively modified a popular first-person shooter video game called Half-Life 2 to have less gore. Half the people in a group of 36 male and 65 female college students were instructed to dispatch adversaries as the original game intended, 'in a thoroughly bloody manner,' says Ryan. The other half was instructed to tag enemies with a marker. 'Instead of exploding in blood and dismemberment, they floated gently into the air and went back to base,' Ryan describes. An extensive survey of the two groups showed that the exclusion of violence didn't diminish players' enjoyment of the game."

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Control vs. violence (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852029)

"They may not be in it for the blood. They're in it for the fun."

Unfortunately, violence is the ultimate form of control.

Re:Control vs. violence (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852407)

Unfortunately, violence is the ultimate form of control.

I love Ghandi quotes!

Oh, wait...

Neanderthal.

Re:Control vs. violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852499)

No it's not.

Re:Control vs. violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852541)

Not uh

Re:Control vs. violence (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853211)

no u

Re:Control vs. violence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853297)

Unfortunately, you are wrong. Violence is the absence of control.

Tage "!news", please (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852037)

Surely no one could ever have seriously doubted this?

Surveying is not the best method (4, Insightful)

Yath (6378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852047)

An extensive survey of the two groups showed that the exclusion of violence didn't diminish players' enjoyment of the game.

I hope they did more then just ask them how much they enjoyed themselves. People can be unreliable when asked such questions, for any number of reasons, such as not wanting to appear like bloodthirsty savages when questioned by authority figures.

Re:Surveying is not the best method (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852369)

Since there's no reason for either group to know what the other group was doing I can't see how that would matter.

Re:Surveying is not the best method (2, Informative)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852525)

I know that any real study would be studying brainwaves during both sessions, and would be videotaping the entire thing, and recording demos of their actions in-game for analysis.

Hell, the psychological studies at Pitt that I just went through as a class requirement sound more in-depth than this one, which is full of holes. Surveys do very little in this situation.

Re:Surveying is not the best method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852779)

If they would simply ask people, they (we) would say the same thing, experiment or not. I bet most feel like i did with GTA. It's not the blood, it's control, and exploring without immediate limitations.

Re:Surveying is not the best method (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853207)

If that's the case, than how do you define happiness? What if the survey was anonymous and written (or even scantronned)? Are you saying that people are not good judges of their own happiness indicies?

65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (5, Funny)

IanDanforth (753892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852059)

Researchers have also have discovered that Laura Croft's breast size does not significantly change the appeal of the character, Animal Crossing is just as fun as GTA, and female night elves are rarely created in WoW.

Re:65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852137)

Researchers have also have discovered that Laura Croft's breast size does not significantly change the appeal of the character, Animal Crossing is just as fun as GTA, and female night elves are rarely created in WoW.

Jack Thomson, is that you?

Re:65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852331)

No. That's Ian Danforth.

Re:65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852361)

Honestly, that comment doesn't make much sense, Thomson would argue the opposite (regardless of the facts). Furthermore, I think sarcism is a bit above him.

Re:65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852527)

> Animal Crossing

The TV spot for that makes me want perform unspeakable acts of cruelty upon small fluffy animals, punch the guy in the face and make out out with the girl. This fluoxetine-imbued, saccharin shit is easily the most emotionally confusing and disturbing thing I've ever seen on TV.

If there was a top secret government program to convert non-violent, law abiding citizens into serial killers... the animal crossing ad looping constantly for 2-3 days would be all they needed.

The article casts some light on this! (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852643)

FTFA:

In a different study of avid gamers, a group of 39 males who were, on average, 19.5 years old and played video games for 7.5 hours a week were asked to play the game The House of the Dead III with a low violence or high violence setting. [...] As before, violence did not affect playersâ(TM) enjoyment of the games.

Even if we're talking about males-only, and the fairly young variety, violence seems to not matter.

Chipping in with my own anecdote: my (by far) most violent wii game, Mortal Kombat Armageddon, is the one I find the least fun. The one with no violence at all, Guitar Hero III, is the one I find the most fun. The second-most violent is probably Twilight Princess, almost-tied with GH3 for fun. So there's no clear relationship. By the way, I'm male and 25.5 years old on average ;-)

The real test is none vs. some (2, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852751)

I think there is something like "enough" of the naughty stuff, and it applies both to gore and the Lara Croft example in GP's post. Beyond that, more just means less believable and it gets old fast.

Personally, one of my favorite games is Day Of Defeat with moderate "blood effects". I find that removing them completely would detract from the game, but excessive gore would not improve it. The same goes for breast size of female MMORPG characters, I like those but don't push the settings for boob size to the maximum.

Re:The real test is none vs. some (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853181)

Well, then again, we're not all 14 year olds that get turned on by that...right?

Re:The article casts some light on this! (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852889)

I really think it's bollox.

We're talking about a game that's designed to be interesting (HL2), no matter if there's violence in the game or not it's a cool game.

Meanwhile, if you take something like Saints Row 2, GTA IV, or any of the ultra-violent games out there the study would have completely different findings. Seriously, would it be as much fun to either:

a) Beat a pedestrian to a pulp and take their cash

or

b) Ask nicely and have a random chance of getting a small amount of cash

I'd rather go with option a). Why? Well, these games are fun because the whole game is about being an ultra-violent thug.

Really, these "findings" are made on such a narrow scope with so many factors not taken into account that it's just pure bullshit. I'll keep playing my games for what they are, be it violent, story driven, puzzle or whatever based. They are entertaining because of what they are made for, not what you want to see in them.

Re:The article casts some light on this! (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853267)

Really, these "findings" are made on such a narrow scope with so many factors not taken into account that it's just pure bullshit. I'll keep playing my games for what they are, be it violent, story driven, puzzle or whatever based. They are entertaining because of what they are made for, not what you want to see in them.

The study would have to be a lot bigger otherwise [wikipedia.org] . # of participents (that's science-speak for human guinea-pigs, BTW) doubles every time you add another game or other degree of freedom (since you either have to check on the effect of the confounder or remove it entirely or normalize [wikipedia.org] it, in which case you're not finding how this relates to particular games.). HL2 is a good compromise between a totally violent game and a nonviolent game.

Re:65% Women? Yeah that's accurate. (3, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852683)

Researchers have also have discovered that Laura Croft's breast size does not significantly change the appeal of the character...

True, True...butt,

Well, actually we are watching for a realistic bounce and jiggle on the oversized jugglies....and a nice butt....and a skimpy costume...and
Uhmmm....gotta go....more research needed here...

signed,
Researchers

Before the tags come out (0)

yali (209015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852063)

Before everybody starts tagging this story "correlationisnotcausation," let me just point out that this was a randomized experiment.

Carry on.

Re:Before the tags come out (1)

Who Is The Drizzle (1470385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852243)

Sorry, but your conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. It being a randomized experiment has nothing to do with the fact that they could still have only found a correlation between the two things and not necessarily a causal link.

Re:Before the tags come out (0)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852415)

If the randomization was done correctly, yes it does. Whether it is done correctly can be debated, but I'm not getting into it here. This study's not significant enough to think much about.

In this case, the "result" seems to be that there is no correlation (between violence and satisfaction), as self-reported so it doesn't matter anyways whether the correlation (which is zero) is causal or not...

Of course, this is sort of (although not exactly) like asking someone "Did you prefer cereal X because it was more delicious, or because it had 15 more grams of sugar?" The point is, it doesn't matter what they say (or even think) if statistically they are more likely to buy the cereal with more sugar (which they are).

Re:Before the tags come out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852781)

no, you retard. It could also mean that the similarly sized populations enjoy violent v.s. non-violent video games. It could also mean that their survey (the use of the term survey indicates severe methodology problems, but we'll ignore that) wasn't well designed. For example, the survey might not have quantified how much they liked it, just whether or not they liked it. You, sir, are a fucktard and fail statistics.

Re:Before the tags come out (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852827)

As I said, the methodology could be criticized. We could spend all day coming up with stories. As I said it's not worth it; my time is apparently better spent responding to reasonless trolls. :-/

I pointed out that the self-report was a problem (although since I didn't use any obscenities or ridiculous personal attacks, you may have gotten confused reading all six sentences of my post).

As for "similarly sized populations enjoy violent v.s. [sic] non-violent video games", I am afraid that I have no idea what you're trying to say here. It's vague to be generous, and more likely just nonsense. What are you trying to say, which isn't said in "There is no correlation between violence and satisfaction."?

The buzzword criticism here isn't "correlation isn't causation", it's "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Re:Before the tags come out (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853273)

Are you all quite done?

Knockback in City of Heroes (2, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852067)

City of Heroes and City of Villains make extensive use of PhysX to impliment ragdoll physics for humanoid characters. When you, as a super-powered character knock the tar out of an enemy, they can go flying across the room or high into the air.

With some skill, it's possible to use knockback as the ultimate crowd control device. You keep your enemies knocked down or penned into a corner where they can't hurt you.

In my opinion, this is far more entertaining and far more visually stimulating than any other method of defeating your enemies.

Re:Knockback in City of Heroes (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852239)

In my opinion, this is far more entertaining and far more visually stimulating than any other method of defeating your enemies.

I respectfully disagree. Serious Sam had this one perfected. There are few things more satisfying than watching a monster bleed flowers when you shoot it.

Re:Knockback in City of Heroes (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852505)

Firing a fully charged cannonball at a horde of enemies you've carefully lined up and leaving a bloody smear along the ground with chunks flying all over the place

Let me be the first to say... (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852095)

Bullshit!

I'm sorry, I didn't know what came over me. I just blurted it out! I won't do it again -- I swear.

More research needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852129)

FTA:

Bartholow cautions that the new study did not take subjects' past exposure to violence into account. Ryan and colleagues note in the paper that more behavioral data, such as tracking video game choices and purchases over time, would add to the initial findings.

While I'm cheering and hoping that this study is eventually confirmed with more data, there's still a subset of people that is impressed by violence and blood. They're the ones who keep gore sites in business.

Oblig. HSPD quote (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852141)

Colonel: And that dim sum fighting in the warehouse yesterday?

Topper: I just do that for the extra money. And to satisfy my male cravings to kill and win.

Re:Oblig. HSPD quote (1)

jerep (794296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852809)

Long live the hot shots.

Hussein: Now I will kill you until you die from it!

Colonel: We'll settle this the old navy way; The first guy to die, LOSES!

IANAL (1)

doyoulikegoatseeee (930088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852143)

IANAL

Study Finds Gamers Prefer Control, Competence O... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852153)

GREAT! I'M GOING TO SMASH A HOLE IN MY DICK!

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

In related news! (1, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852163)

Air is what people breathe! Pain hurts! Ice is cold!

Seriously. What a waste of a study - I recognize the value of it, but they're really not trying very hard, huh?

Re:In related news! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852385)

Like that study which showed that male monkeys orgasmed faster when the females made noise. [google.com]

Re:In related news! (1)

Anon1072 (1444945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852595)

Seriously. What a waste of a study

- I recognize the value of it

Well, which is it?

Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games... (4, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852181)

...but in combat situations in Half-Life 2, Fallout 3, or Metal Gear Solid 4......it is.

The mood of Half-Life 2 is a doom and gloom apocalyptic atmosphere where soldiers and aliens are enslaving mankind. In Fallout 3 the world is a desert of death and nuclear radiation, violence, chaos, it's part of the atmosphere, part of the immersion. In Metal Gear Solid 4 you are dropped off in the middle of a bloody war between private soldiers for hire and nationalists guerrillas, violence, gunfire, explosions, nanobots and killbots (with preset kill limits), are part of the world that is the turmoil enveloped earth.

If was playing any of those games and there was no violence, no blood, no swearing, no aggression of any kind, I would probably not even play the games in the first place. They are rated M, they are adult games, made by adults for adults. No need to strip them down and make them for children.

Are they honestly trying to say that something like Grand Theft Auto would be fun without in game crime, violence, or swearing? Maybe it would be...but that's not the point of GTA. It aims to be violent to create an atmosphere of crime. Just like crime movies and TV shows, Training Day, The Sopranos, also portray violence. It's realistic within the context of portraying criminal behavior with a reasonable creative license.

Why not conduct a study to say that all R-Rated movies are unnecessary? Or that violent TV shows should be toned down to exclude violence? Surely Saving Private Ryan (Rated R for graphic violence) and Band of Brothers (rated TV-MA for the same) could have been just as effective as cinema with a complete lack of violence and cursing. Is violence necessary in those movies? No. It is necessary to make the movies compelling and also historically accurate? Yes.

"A common belief held by many gamers and many in the video game industry -- that violence is what makes a game fun -- is strongly contradicted by these studies," comments Craig Anderson, a psychologist who directs the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University in Ames.

What empirical data is he possibly referring to? I have yet to see the survey where significance testing was passed that conclusively shows that 'many' gamers think violence is solely what makes games fun.

This is just another barely scientific study where the researcher wants to get water cooler points with his colleagues and say "hey I got published about video-game violence!" and while in the short term this research might turn a few heads, another book like Grand Theft Childhood will put this study in the negative in the history books.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Childhood

Violence, maybe, but not gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852229)

From the summary, it sounds like the only difference between the two versions was the presence/absence of gore when someone died. I personally wouldn't miss that from FPSs; as the title says, the fun is in beating your enemies and winning the game, not seeing animated blood.

I don't see how they could make a FPS without violence, anyway, given that the nature of the game.

Re:Violence, maybe, but not gore (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852337)

Portal.

Re:Violence, maybe, but not gore (4, Insightful)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852647)

Portal has violence, it's just all happening to you instead of your enemies.

Re:Violence, maybe, but not gore (2, Interesting)

cibyr (898667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852771)

Portal is not an FPS, it's a puzzle game played from a first-person perspective and with traditional FPS controls.

For an FPS without violence, digital paintball [digitalpaintball.net] comes to mind.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (5, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852247)

Are they honestly trying to say that something like Grand Theft Auto would be fun without in game crime, violence, or swearing? Maybe it would be...but that's not the point of GTA. It aims to be violent to create an atmosphere of crime. Just like crime movies and TV shows, Training Day, The Sopranos, also portray violence. It's realistic within the context of portraying criminal behavior with a reasonable creative license.

I think it would just be a different type of fun. Take a look at the The Simpsons Hit & Run game. It uses the same engine as GTA 3 and you more or less do the same thing: do quests, get into cars and drive around, talk to people, etc. However, you can't kill anyone, there's no swearing, etc. And yet, it's still a fun game.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852851)

And which one of the games has sold orders of magnitude more than the other? You did all the hard work of proving your own point wrong.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852903)

You did all the hard work of proving your point, and when you look at the sales numbers you see that you actually proved the opposite. I'm sure Simpson's was fun, but it's more than apparent that GTA is MORE fun. Why, that's another matter, but we can all agree violence does not make games any less fun, at least by society's standards.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853179)

Sales numbers don't prove fun. You might as well be arguing that Brittney Spears is a great singer because she sells so many albums.

GTA sold the amount it did on name alone.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

antic (29198) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853333)

Yeah, because The Simpsons has no worldwide brand strength whatsoever... ;)

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853389)

It wasn't advertised nearly as much as GTA was.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853327)

FYI it is definitely not the "GTA3 engine".

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852275)

I think you missed the point. It's that the violence, on it's own is not an attractor.

Let me give you an example. In Fallout 3, there's a perk called something like "Bloody Mess", where when you kill someone, they explode in bloody gore. I was told not to get it, that it was annoying, but I tried it anyway. Not too long after, I used a console command to remove it and replace it with something else.

Why? Because it was annoying and jarring. It didn't fit the atmosphere of the game. I even grabbed a mod that made dismemberment and exploding body parts less frequent and more tied to the weapon used. A single bullet, in general, will not dismember someone. The bloody violence was not adding to the game, and detracting from it.

That said, if you go too far the other way, it is equally jarring. After shooting someone with a sniper rifle, it shouldn't be like "tag" and force the super mutant to walk to the penalty box.

Also, one of the best games ever, Portal, has no bloody violence or killing of others at all, and the game was an absolute blast.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852943)

Naah, Portal just had a sadistic computer trying to get you to kill yourself. Still, it's a threat of violence, even passive violence.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853413)

Exactly, the study is about the effect of blood and gore, not violence

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

Rand310 (264407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852479)

However, I've always been intrigued by the freedom of GTA. I personally have little desire to engage in the plot - but the intricacy of play is appealing. Though I agree, that makes those games, mightn't it be possible to make a game where such freedom is allowed (even to kill) but the direction or tone was not so obviously violent?

I would really like to play GTA, but I honestly am turned off by the missions I must willfully accept. I have great fun with the feeling of control - the ability to get in cars, travel around a huge map, and explore.

The control and competence is what makes that game appealing to me, not the gore or plot. And I think that is what is interesting - that a game can be fundamentally appealing for something outside of it's plot, theme or story.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853039)

I never finished the first GTA 3--I did play through a few of the missions, but not that many. I spent loads of time screwing around in it, though.

Vice City I finished. Easily my favorite GTA. Great story, great atmosphere and the missions were usually fun.

San Andreas had promise but I eventually quit because I got sick of the "defend your turf" crap. That stuff wasn't fun, and it took up way too much time. However, it is probably the most fun one to just put in codes and go crazy in. My favorite is putting in the code to give the pedestrians weapons, then the one to make them attack each other randomly. What do I do during the resulting chaos? Why, do Taxi missions while dodging rockets, of course :)

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853169)

It's pretty clear that they're not trying to say Half Life 2 would be as good without violence. They're measuring the appreciation of the basic gameplay mechanics with and without gore.

In fact, Ryan came in with a bias that violent kids played violent video games for the violence, and this study challenged his belief [rochesterhomepage.net] . It did what you wanted it to do, not what you believe it did.

"I'm amazed because I really thought that violence and videos was a direct result of the violence in our kids," said Dr. Richard Ryan, a motivational psychologist at the University of Rochester co-authored a new study on video games.

The study was also co-authored by a researcher from video game industry research think tank Immersyve [immersyve.com] .

Reckless extrapolators look bad on both sides of an argument. Please don't act like the kind of person that you don't like.

Re:Violence isn't necessary to have fun in games.. (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853329)

If was playing any of those games and there was no violence, no blood, no swearing, no aggression of any kind, I would probably not even play the games in the first place. They are rated M, they are adult games, made by adults for adults. No need to strip them down and make them for children.

It seems like the aggression was still there in the "tag them" version, as you were still trying to get them before they got you. It's the same aggression and adrenaline rush as playing football or tag; real war just has a different set of consequences. Furthermore, it's unlikely that the aggression felt by most gamers is the same level as that felt by real soldiers.

And, honestly, you must have missed out on a whole generation of games. Have you never played Megaman? Legend of Zelda? Both had lots of violence, and I would certainly feel aggression while trying, but there was no blood, swearing, or even a hint of tits, even in the most modern of versions. (Well, Megaman Zero had some blood that was removed for some versions, and honestly it didn't diminish the game at all.)

I'm not saying that we should throw out M-Rated games and enjoy the next Grand Theft Balloon, but you can certainly have an aggressive and fun game without swearing and buckets of blood. Jet Force Gemini (does green blood count?), the aforementioned Zelda and Megaman, Street Fighter, and more. Even Half Life 2 didn't have much blood or swearing, from what I recall.

And who's going to buy the pansy version? (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852187)

So, then, you're 13 years old and in the video game shop in the mall with your buds... gee, let's see, which game do I want to buy here, think the guys would be impressed by some flag-football where the most dexterous player wins, or chainsaw arena football.... hmmmm.... tough one, right?

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852333)

I get it. You make a homophobic joke. Fuck off bigot.

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (4, Insightful)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852703)

In your rush to be offended, you seem have missed a couple of things. First off the OP's original framing of the question in terms of 13 year olds justifies judging things using terms such as 'pansy'. Even assuming that the post had a homophobic element (which I'd dispute), acknowledging that homophobia exists doesn't make you homophobic.

The next thing you're forgetting is the actual history of the term. From wiki [wikipedia.org] : "The word "pansy" has indicated an effeminate male since Elizabethan times and its usage as a disparaging term for a man or boy who is effeminate (as well as for an avowedly homosexual man) is still used." All of this can be discussed in terms of masculinity rather than sexual preference.

So yeah, maybe save your outrage for things that actually matter.

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852911)

I was referring to the implied "fag football" which would have been perfectly fine left out.

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (1)

bacon volcano (1260566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852439)

Holy crap, is Chainsaw Arena Football 2009 out already?? I totally missed it!

In all seriousness though, my favorite sports games were the old "Mutant League" series for the Sega Genesis. There was something very fulfilling about having the option for your team to kill the referee

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852901)

The Super Nintendo owners, that's who.

Re:And who's going to buy the pansy version? (1)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853073)

Yeah I am a big fan of the Twisted Metal games!

interesting (5, Funny)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852285)

My studies showed that my tetris addiction was directly linked to the violence of the game, I'm now going to have to go back and look over that paper, see where I went wrong.

The real reason for the gore... (1)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852327)

The gore from shooting a victim works into a story plot line much better than having the victim float back to base.

Well perhaps an extreme game involving harpoon guns with cords attached to large helium balloons.

Hmmm... perhaps I should talk to someone at EA

Repost.... (0, Offtopic)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852347)

This is a rehash of an item about this, what, a week ago?

Violent games stopped me from playing (3, Interesting)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852375)

I stopped playing first-person shooters at Quake II. I had enjoyed previous FPS games quite a lot, and I gave Quake II a good try, but the bloody chunks with the flies buzzing around them were the limit for me. Similarly, I didn't like that in Age of Empires II committing war crimes - killing enemy peasants to take out productive capacity - was the best way to win. Nor that an apparent flaw with uprisings in CivIII meant that the best way to take over cities was a bit of ethnic cleansing by way of starvation. I still played those games, but it bugged me. I never traded slaves in Elite.

This is why I liked Tony Hawk and Jet Set Radio so much. They are about being cool instead killing things.

I won't make grand claims about the effects on anyone else, but I know I don't want my 3-year old son playing violent games. I am kind of pissed off that many games I might otherwise enjoy are effectively wrecked by violence. Who knows who else is put off by violence? The people like me who are put off don't play, so they don't figure into many statistics.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (0, Flamebait)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852543)

You're an idiot. Not because you dislike violence, but because you're ignoring the reality that killing off civilians really IS the most effective way to stop someone's production capacity and in the eras that AoE2 takes place in (and even AoE3) they actually DID do that. And because if it bothers you that much in age of freaking empires then you're having some serious issues telling the difference between fantasy and reality and I suggest you don't watch your 3 year old son play with his friends just in case you ever forget that cops and robbers isn't REALLY about stealing and murdering people.

If you don't want to kill people don't play violent games, but don't insult everyone else's intelligence by claiming that the violence is "wrecking" the game.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (1)

Rand310 (264407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852549)

I think reality has it's part. I think in a game of conquest, to lack the ability to commit genocide is unrealistic. In the same way that a game set in post-apocalyptic-wherever where everyone is a marine probably involves some blood. As do war simulations.

But again, those are more choices of genre. However, the concept of detail/control do not traverse genres very well currently.

One must be careful, when talking about such issues, to not confuse the genre of the game, and appeal for the genre, with the mechanisms used by designers to make things fun. True, they overlap, but a detailed/control-oriented game doesn't always need to involve exploding body parts. (conversely, a war game does).

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852621)

The gp is just asking for a game where the massacred peasants gently float off to peasant heaven, while he gets to keep their shit.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (3, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852939)

You aren't the only one to talk about realism in your response (though the others weren't so polite). It is certainly true that history is bloody and unjust, far more than we usually recognize. Hell, the present is bloody and unjust too, with historically high levels of slavery, for example.

Personally I think realism in games is generally a red herring. Games are no less fantasies than are most Hollywood films. At best, they have only a passing acquaintance with reality. We play games to escape from reality, not to replicate it. It is too easy to pursue "realism" as a design objective, perhaps because it's easier to imitate reality than to come up with original fun.

To take Age of Empires as an example, in a realistic game we might expect to enslave conquered populations (or at least their women and children), commit religious genocide and cope with serious problems of deforestation and soil degradation. I doubt many of us would want to play a game in which our civilization suddenly and unexpectedly got wiped off the map a disease that kills a third of the population (the Black Death) or 90-99% (the Americas following first contact with European smallbox).

Not that I mean to hold up AoE as a terribly violent game. It really isn't. What bothered me is that a small feature, so easily changed, was actually incredibly brutal. Attacking an enemy's productive capacity while building up my own is the sort of approach I am inclined to take, as opposed to frontal attack. Historically, though, I suspect that conscious economic warfare is a recent phenomenon, reflecting more of a WWII mindset than an ancient one. The wars in the former Yugoslavia or Rwanda would be more representative: genocidal attacks on other groups not in order to stop them from producing, but to take over their territory and resources. During the Middle Ages in Europe, the people simply went with the land so there was no need to kill them (though that happened anyway) - it wasn't until part way through the Hundred Years War that nationalism started to take root as a consequence of military brutality.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853351)

"Laying waste" to enemy territories has always been the way of war. Trying to alter this to make games more "original" would make them illogical and meaningless.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852617)

Respectfully, I think you're missing the point.

Games generally aim for a cinematic experience, and thus immersion. If you're creating a game about building a civilization, there's generally going to be some sort of path that rewards violence and genocide because such events are absolutely prevalent in history. Even in the US, our society has reaped the benefits of slavery and the near genocide of the indigenous populations. I'm not putting down a moral judgement here - I'm simply stating that without the advantages that the US gained at the expense of marginalized groups, it would not be the country that it is today.

It's not fair to criticize an empire building game for being bloody, or immoral by our modern standards, because we have to remember that this world has a long and bloody history, and things like slavery and genocide have existed and still exist today.

As for criticizing Quake II for being too gory... Really? Gore is such an integral part of that franchise, what were you expecting? It's not like the original Quake was sugar coated either. Don't play a game where the premise includes running around gothic deathtrap filled levels while blowing up monsters and then criticize it for being too bloody or violent.

I can understand where you're coming from, but with the current layout of game genres it seems a bit difficult to create nonviolent games without sacrificing a large degree of realism.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (1)

crazybilly (947714) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852639)

Wierd. I never thought of killing somebody's economy in AoE being a war crime, nor did it ever both me (except the extremely pitiful animation of the trade carts dying where the guy pitches forward face-first out of the cart).

Jet Set Radio on the other hand, bothered me a bit more...illegal graphiti and all that.

Weird how different people are.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852825)

I won't make grand claims about the effects on anyone else, but I know I don't want my 3-year old son playing violent games.

I'm sure there will be other obvious points made, so instead I'll say I agree with you on this one completely. By a certain relatively early, say pre-teen, I think most minds have a solid enough grip on reality vs fantasy and right and wrong to be able to handle normal levels of violence in movies and video games. Very young children are such blank slates though that they really can be influenced by just about anything.

My younger step brother was a huge Power Rangers fan when he was in the 4-5 range. He got into the very unfortunate habit of kicking and punching people in emulation of the show. He thought it was great fun. He kinda didn't understand the difference between kung-fu on screen and punching his dad in the leg. So needless to say that show was banned. Only a few years later, he understood real vs pretend violence well enough to participate in tae kwon do classes.

To me half the problem with the whole "do video games cause violence in children" debate is that people use "children" to include everyone under the age of majority. Sorry, but if your high schooler goes out and steals a car because they played GTA, then they were already a delinquent. But children children? Yeah, I am totally on board with being careful about what they're allowed to consume for entertainment.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853009)

You do realize that "Age of Empires" was set in an historical time period when killing or enslaving peasants was a very much accepted tactic, and not considered a war crime. I'm sure you found it distasteful, but trying to ignore or forget history is very dangerous. It's how we keep ourselves as a society moving forward.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (1)

Dravik (699631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853241)

The uprisings "flaw" in CivIII isn't a flaw. Historically, ethnic cleansing/genocide by starvation, slavery, and or slaughter was the most effective way to control a newly conquered area. Genocide works, dead people don't revolt. Killing all the males and raping all the women wasn't done because they were barbarians, it was done because it prevented uprisings for a generation and then diluted those eventual revolts since a non-insignificant portion of the men would be related, sons of rapists, to the conquers. For a direct historical example, Carthage became one of the three most important cities to the Roman empire after the Romans burned the city, sowed salt into the earth, raped and/or enslaved the women, and slaughtered or enslaved the men.

Re:Violent games stopped me from playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853291)

Playing war games and then complaining they are violent is just.. stupid. I hate to ad hominen but really thats the best i can describe it.
What do you want? a nobel peace prize for not killing virtual peasants?

This is why I liked Tony Hawk and Jet Set Radio so much. They are about being cool instead killing things.

I hope you don't teach your 3 year old to be a hipster yuppie consumerist whore too. If only everyone just spent all their time being cool and shallow we could have world peace! Fucking bullshit armchair humanitarianism makes me rage almost as much as sea kittens.

PWNED!!! (1)

rmdyer (267137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852461)

(control)
duh

Duh, no shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852523)

It's always been about control, control over their own little playground where they can be the bully instead of some asshole being the bully. If you ever listen to any gamer, the first thing they talk about when it comes to a game is handling. They spend more time complaining about how the fucker on the screen can't fucking jump, shoot, or doing any god damn mother fucking thing. They second thing they focus on is if it looks good. Basically, not if the graphics are awesome but whether everything is where it should be. Everything has to be in its specific place, if not it will not make any sense. Third complaint, storyline. If I'm going to spend all fucking day doing repetitive tasks I want some sense of reward. If not, I am wasting my fucking time. What does this all add up to... Control. How fucking complicated was that. Did you take years of law school just to make yourself feel better about yourself or did you do it so you can bully on people like it was all just a game?

You know the people that do complain about the bullshit violence in the games are the real violent people in this world. They build laws to oppress those that either don't care or don't have no sense about them outside of their own little world. They fuck with people because in their mind they think they are doing the world a fucking service and really all they are doing is a form of internal masturbation that when found out, everyone turns on them. I'm all about establishment but geez, you motherfuckers really need to reevaluate your priorities. Fuck you for your incompetence and wasting taxpayers dollars on something so obvious it hurts. Assholes... Had to add that in.

I'm not a bad person, but... (2, Informative)

EZLeeAmused (869996) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852555)

When I play Half-Life2, in the places where you can set undead with head crabs on fire, I definitely try to do that. But then I do feel wrong when they stagger around on fire, moaning.

Really? (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852631)

I can't speak for anyone else but I play video games so I can shoot people in the nutsack.

Re:Really? (1)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853065)

I can't speak for anyone else but I play video games so I can shoot people in the nutsack.

That's interesting, because in most games you're supposed to shoot the head.

Portal FTW (1)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852637)

I believe that Portal is one of the best things to happen to the gaming industry. I really, really hope Valve continues the series and expands it.

Re:Portal FTW (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853037)

And I think dieing horendous hillarious violent ways in portal is one of its most appealing features. Portal is incredibly violent the violence is just mostly directed at you. I also enjoy N+ and find getting hit by a rocket and exploding hillarious and frustrating.

It should be mentioned again "This study is not about VIOLENCE it is about GORE." The title is bad. All they concluded was that in most games gore is not a factor in its enjoyment. Which is kind of "Duh". I find TF2 with confetti even funnier than bloody TF2. But it still means I find stabbing someone in the back thoroughly enjoyable.

Man... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852641)

I just wanna shoot people who think video games make me violent.

Survey != Study (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852673)

Yes, most people prefer control to violence, but if I'm playing Call of Duty when I'm in a war, I don't want people to just "faint" get transported back to base, etc. People die in wars, people bleed in wars, heck, people even swear in wars. I don't want to hit someone with a grenade and them just to be transported somewhere. On the other hand, I'm not sure if I would like it if whenever Mario stomps on an enemy for blood to be gushing out of it because it doesn't fit the mood.

I, for one, ... (4, Informative)

Strake (982081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852701)

prefer rows of eliminated blocks in Tetris to explode into blood and gore and fire.

Re:I, for one, ... (2, Funny)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852823)

Prefer that the rows of Tetris blocks explode in an orgy of gore and fire - with extra points if it's somehow sexualized.

mod 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26852727)

Yet another BS study (4, Insightful)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852819)

They surveyed 101 people and expect to draw a useful conclusion from that? In my high school probability class we did surveys with more people than that. Besides the flawed sample, choosing more women than men in a hobby hugely dominated by males. The sample size is smaller than my recently removed left testicle.

Sex ratio? (0)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26852987)

So they did a study of gamers...and had twice as many female participants as male? While I agree most studies lowball the percentage of female gamers out there, there is no way there are twice as many as male gamers. It's also safe to say that the two sexes would potentially have very different responses to a survey like this, as well.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26853105)

What is this, game design 101 class? This was already figured out in like 1970.

Why half-life 2? (4, Insightful)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853347)

Half-Life 2 is hardly violent. There is a bit of blood and people dieing and that's it. There is no such thing as "Exploding in dismemberment" in that franchise. So they took a low violence game and made it even less violent. Big deal.

It's the developers fault. (2, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26853373)

One time, a friend and I tried to actually be helpful in a World of Warcraft battleground (Arathi Basin) without doing a single point of direct damage to anyone on the opposing team, with a level 31 Undead Warlock and a level 32 Undead Priest. Lowest level toons for the ranked Battleground(think "cannon-fodder").

Short of fearing everyone repeatedly(just pissed everyone off, and the first guy with a trinket would kill us) or simply kiting them around to waste their time, we only found ONE method of actually killing someone without doing direct damage.

I'd park my succubus right next to the flag at the lumbermill, have her go invisible and then just stand there. Then I'd go and hide behind this rock real far away, but close enough to see the flag. The Priest would do the same, but closer in.

I'd wait for some unsuspecting soul to walk up, start to take the flag, then seduce them with the succubus(WTF!?........), then have my buddy the Priest come out of hiding, race up to them, cast mind control, then run the poor slob right off the towering cliff next to the flag. I could usually run up to the edge of the cliff just in time to see them hit, far below.

It wasn't us that killed them, it was the landing!

But seriously, MOST games are based on doing damage to something. This study just says that MOST game developers are simply ignoring a possible playerbase-- the ones that don't really care about doing damage to something.

Think Portal.

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