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Gamers Are More Aggressive To Strangers

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the xbox-live-proved-this-years-ago dept.

Games 227

TheClockworkSoul writes "According to NewScientist, victorious gamers enjoy a surge of testosterone — but only if their vanquished foe is a stranger. Interestingly, when male gamers beat friends in a shoot-em-up video game, their levels of the hormone plummeted. This suggests that multiplayer video games tap into the same mechanisms as warfare, where testosterone's effect on aggression is advantageous. Against a group of strangers — be it an opposing football team or an opposing army – there is little reason to hold back, so testosterone's effects on aggression offer an advantage. 'In a serious out-group competition you can kill all your rivals and you're better for it,' says David Geary, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, who led the study. However, when competing against friends or relatives to establish social hierarchy, annihilation doesn't make sense. 'You can't alienate your in-group partners, because you need them,' he says."

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227 comments

AArgh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590741)

Can I be the first to say:!*(&^$*&^@!(&*)%&*)%&*1!@&
For the love of DEITY$ when will researchers stop doing stupid research!

Killing people in a game is practice... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591021)

Killing people in a game is practice for killing people in a war. Everything you do is practice for your future. Do you plan to kill people on command of some general, in a country you can't find now on a map, to help Cheney's friends make profits from weapons?

Not a troll, a real opinion. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591149)

Is it really a troll, or do you just disagree?

Re:Killing people in a game is practice... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591391)

Kill them all take their oil, its the American way!

Re:Killing people in a game is practice... (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591937)

If you want to be really technical, most current day sports started out as a kind of stylized practice for either war or hunting. It's not something specifically attached to video games, although the testosterone spike is probably easier to measure with video games, because an awful lot of things cause testosterone to go up to varying degrees, and they're easier to control for in that environment.

Re:Killing people in a game is practice... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592289)

This could be a problem.

Exactly what tile filled future have all these Scrabble games been practice for?

Re:AArgh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591027)

I'm suspicious that the researches doing these studies purposely don't bring up the correlation =/= causation thing because that might lower their pay packets.

Re:AArgh (5, Interesting)

DragonMantis (1327751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591263)

I tend to agree, but it makes some sense about the difference in even a scrimmage for an athletic competition against another team (again, even if it is not an official game) and within the squad. The concept is certainly related.

Re:AArgh (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592253)

I coach youth wrestling and see something similar. There are some kids who just cannot take practice against a teammate seriously - they joke around, their attention wanders, and the ADD kids become downright dangerous. But in a match, against a stranger, it's like their doppelganger stepped onto the mat - very focused, executing moved with speed and precision they never showed elsewhere. And the ADD kids change to - now they hyper-focus, which isn't very good from a coaches standpoint.

But then there are the other kids that, if anything, are harder on their friends in practice than they are in a match - they enjoy inflicting pain, but in a match they would be DQ'd. You know - sociopaths. And when you talk to their parents about it, you find out exactly where the kid gets it from.

Why do so many people...? (5, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591103)

Can I be the first to say:!*(&^$*&^@!(&*)%&*)%&*1!@&
For the love of DEITY$ when will researchers stop doing stupid research!

Am I the only one that hopes you are also the last to say that? You know, for a "News for Nerds" site, there seem to be quite a few people who pop up for stories like this that seem to be against research for the sake of research. You'd think such a thing would be valued on this site. These are people trying to figure out what makes human beings tick, and this research seems to be showing a correlation between the intensity of an unconscious physiological response (hormonal, in this case) to nearly identical behavior (i.e. the game) in differing social situations. That may not be a big deal to you, and in the long run it may turn out to be a very small thing in our understanding, but it still helps to expand our body of knowledge and possibly provide directions to be looking in future research. How can you call such a thing "stupid"?

And here I thought nerds were the type of people who would support the seeking of knowledge and the establishment of data. :-/

Re:Why do so many people...? (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591331)

I think this research is actually quite interesting. It shows that our aggression is different towards people we are close to vs people who we don't know. This has implications in real warfare.

Re:Why do so many people...? (5, Interesting)

boaworm (180781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591547)

I guess that the OP simply thought this should be bleeding obvious to everyone, even without actually doing any research. The alternative/inverse would be that we are as likely to do harm to our beloved/friends as to a complete stranger, and that you "bond" tighter with friends than with strangers.

The Swedish king Karl XI has this figured out already in the 17th century when he organised his forces so that people would fight side-by-side with brothers, cousins and people from the same region as you are from. This improved morale and made people less likely to flee the battlefield as you knew you could depend on, and wanted to support loved ones.

Homosexual Lovers Make Better Warriors (4, Interesting)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592515)

The Swedish king Karl XI has this figured out already in the 17th century when he organised his forces so that people would fight side-by-side with brothers, cousins and people from the same region as you are from. This improved morale and made people less likely to flee the battlefield as you knew you could depend on, and wanted to support loved ones.

See also the Sacred Band of Thebes [wikipedia.org] --

"Plutarch records that the Sacred Band was made up of male couples, the rationale being that lovers could fight more fiercely and cohesively than strangers with no ardent bonds .... The Sacred Band originally was formed of picked men in couples, each lover and beloved selected from the ranks of the existing Theban citizen-army. The pairs consisted of the older heniochoi, or charioteers, and the younger paraibatai, or companions, who were all housed and trained at the city's expense."

And let's not forget that it was the death of his "bosom friend" Patroklus [wikipedia.org] that send the sulking Achilles into a murderous vengeful rage ....

Re:Why do so many people...? (3, Interesting)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592561)

The Swedish king Karl XI has this figured out already in the 17th century when he organised his forces so that people would fight side-by-side with brothers, cousins and people from the same region as you are from. This improved morale and made people less likely to flee the battlefield as you knew you could depend on, and wanted to support loved ones.

That's interesting because the British did a similar thing in World War one and it proved to be a disaster. Men from the same communities were encouraged to join up together, in the same regiments, called "The Pals" I believe. The problem was that they were posted to the same parts of the front line. While they got to spend time with their close friends, they all went over the top together and thus an entire village could lose all of its men between the ages of 17-40 in the space of one minute.
This I guess is illustrative of something else that had changed in warfare by 1914.

Re:Why do so many people...? (2, Interesting)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591669)

I can imagine it's something that's hard-wired into us as living animals, think of it like this:
If you take advantage of someone you know (and will see again), it is likely that it will come back to bite you in the future.

While if you take advantage of someone you will never see again, there will probably be no consequences in the future.

An infinitely better explanation can be seen by Richard Hawkins in 'Nice Guys Finish First': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6rgWzYRXiI [youtube.com]

Re:Why do so many people...? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591381)

And here I thought nerds were the type of people who would support the seeking of knowledge and the establishment of data. :-/

Knowledge, yes. Data, no. Data is something you'll lose if you don't have backup. Knowledge is information you can use to obtain more knowledge or useful things. We don't need research to tell us what we already know, we need research to tell us new things.

Re:Why do so many people...? (5, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591445)

Knowledge, yes. Data, no. Data is something you'll lose if you don't have backup. Knowledge is information you can use to obtain more knowledge or useful things. We don't need research to tell us what we already know, we need research to tell us new things.

You cannot do science without data, and by data, I very specifically mean empirical observation. Anecdote has never been and will never be the singular of data. Common knowledge should never be mistaken for data unless it has empirical backing.

As for not needing research to tell us what we already know, I'm sure people said the same thing when Galileo took a heavy object and a ligher object up the tower of Pisa to drop them: "Look, Galileo. This is obvious. We know this. A heavier thing will fall faster than a lighter thing. Why are you wasting your time?" The history of science is filled with people seeking data to show empirically what we "already know" and then finding that what we "knew" was wrong.

I'm sorry if it bothers you or if you think it slows our progress or wastes our time, but we simply cannot draw scientific conclusions or increase scientific knowledge without DATA. Even for things that are "obvious" or things that we "already know".

Re:Why do so many people...? (3, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591423)

And here I thought nerds were the type of people who would support the seeking of knowledge and the establishment of data. :-/

We do, but this study is neither.

This is a pop/junk science questionnaire with only the filmiest pretense of rigor. Remember, people in the soft "sciences" cannot simply make claims and dress them up with rhetorical argument anymore. They have to be "scientific". This means that they dress up in white coats, conduct "studies" and present a few graphs, equations and/or statistics(Once again see . Apparently, this is enough to convince some that they are in fact contributing usefully to human knowledge. However, in almost all cases, you will find that these studies are politically or ideologically motivated and funded, with the intent to push or "prove" a point of view.

This study has successfully managed to push the point of view that "gamers are aggressive to strangers". This is what is being reported on Slashdot and countless other sites. Do you imagine that the author's are ignorant of this? Do you imagine that they will seek to correct this "misconception". I doubt it. I imagine the entire purpose of the study, from its inception, was to denounce and mischaracterise people who play video games. See how anti-social they are? They are meaner to strangers. This was more than likely the ultimate aim of the study.

Look who conducted this study. And evolutionary psychologist. People who spend their time coming up with all manner of ridiculous rationalisations for how we have "evolved" our various cultural behaviors; a premise logically flawed from its very outset. They are among the worst kind of cargo-cultists, debasing and perverting scientific methods in an effort to gain legitimacy for a field of study on par with phrenology. Sometimes I think that if phrenology has been discovered today, it would likewise be an accepted "scientific" practice.

Granting legitimacy to these people simply because they throw out a smattering of statistics is no better than doing so because they wore a white lab coat. This isn't science. It's science theater. A pantomime whose aim is convince the onlooker that rigor is being applied to the study, not to obtain rigor itself. The lay public is smarter than they are given credit for and legitimizing these studies damages public support for science is the long term. If we ask people to accept junk as science, then we shouldn't be surprised when they conclude that all science is junk.

Re:Why do so many people...? (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591589)

Wow. Did we read the same article and same abstract? (I admit I have not read the full study because I don't have access to the full text of the paper -- if anyone has access and wants to email it to me, I'd appreciate it) Because you are drawing conclusions that I didn't see, aside from the crap opening paragraph of the article (and I hate how NewScientist often does that -- it's like they are catering to be posted on Fark or something). The talk of the research itself suggested no such thing as "Gamers are mean to strangers", at least based on the abstract. What it seemed to show is that gamers appear to show an increased testosterone response, which may be tied to aggression, when *competing* with strangers. I.e. Gamers are more aggressive in their competition with strangers than with friends and acquaintances. I'm not sure how you or anyone else draws the general conclusion that "gamers are aggressive to strangers" from that, but the authors of the original paper do not appear to draw anything of the sort.

It's interesting how different people draw different conclusions from the same information. If only there were some field of study which might address this. But, no, I guess we have to ignore because it isn't hard science. :-/

Disclaimer: yes, I understand that psychology is often "soft" science and doesn't always have an empirical basis. I also think that people who actually do research in psychology understand this and make their conclusions that much more tentative (remember: all scientific conclusions are tentative). However, to equate it with pseudo-science is a disservice, and with advances in neurology, psychology is getting closer and closer to completely "hard" science every day. In the meantime, those who are studying it do the best they can with the means they have available.

Disclaimer 2: I am not a psychologist. I am a marine biologist with a general interest in all science.

Re:Why do so many people...? (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591919)

However, to equate it with pseudo-science is a disservice, and with advances in neurology, psychology is getting closer and closer to completely "hard" science every day.

I disagree. I have seen no reason to believe that any of those professions have made any progress whatsoever towards rigor and objectiveness. In fact, they've probably moved even farther into the depths of pseudoscience as time has gone by. Sloppy studies are still with us [slashdot.org] , and the softer sciences have done little and less to deal with them.

Ask yourself; how did intelligent design manage to convince so many people that it was a legitimate scientific discipline for so long? The answer is not to be found in fancy PR campaigns, prominent proponents or actual studies done. The truth is, it managed to masquerade as a science for so long because that's just how low the bar for modern science has sunk. This is the path we have set for our society, and when the homeopaths and astrologers start showing up in university departments we will have only ourselves to blame.

So, does Slashdot count as a "game"? (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590747)

If all y'alls weren't such retards, you'd have asked that question already. Suck it, LUUUUSERS.

Re:So, does Slashdot count as a "game"? (4, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591097)

THATS IT!

If you start fucking with me, you get what you deserve. My SimCity 2000 server is up, join it bitch and I'll crush you!

Re:So, does Slashdot count as a "game"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591265)

SimCity is for fags.

Re:So, does Slashdot count as a "game"? (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592403)

(heard in a game of Hearts)

YEEHAAW! Eat that black spade bitch you noob! And here are some hearts to flush her down with!

Anthropogists the world over (2, Insightful)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590769)

pause for a moment and say, "And you're just now realising this?"

Re:Anthropogists the world over (4, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590865)

I play with my co-workers at lunchtime. I can tell you I get no satisfaction from killing them... none at all *looks shiftilly around*

*STAB STAB STAB STAB*

Re:Anthropogists the world over (2, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591047)

No, it's just news because it finds some way to make video games seem tied to bad behavior.

Anthropological endocrinology? (4, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591129)

And psychologists and endocrinologists are responding to that by saying, "If you knew this, then show us the data you have correlating testosterone response to a near identical stimulus in varying social situations."

I wasn't aware that there were people out there studying anthropological endocrinology. Feel free to link to the studies upon which they base their knowledge. Because otherwise, this "common knowledge" had not yet been established as data, and history shows many examples of common knowledge failing in light of actual empirical observation.

Even if this particular study isn't complete or perfect (I haven't read the actual paper, but only the abstract, so I cannot say), it is a start at establishing data and helping us gain an empirical understanding of how we function.

Re:Anthropological endocrinology? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591165)

I suspect that while no one has studied gamers for this reason before there have likely been studies showing that among many mammals (including humans) these responses exist in similar situations, just not when playing WoW/Quake/CS/Whatever, and I believe this is what's making everyone "How is this news?".

/Mikael

Re:Anthropological endocrinology? (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592327)

It is still useful to test to see if the same response happens in a different situation. This further establishes the manner in which our brain responds to different stimuli, and again shows that our brain has a degree of difficulty in determining the difference between things actually happening in the real world, and bits of colored light on a screen.

Call it useless all you want, but science thrives on testing every possible angle so as to extract the maximum amount of truth from reality. There have been numerous times in science where things differed greatly from the expectation -- the double slit experiment is a great example of this.

It would have been extremely easy to say that particles behave as waves, end of story, and that obviously our observations will have no impact on it. When we decided to observe the particles as they passed through the slits, however, we discovered that they behaved as point particles again.

Re:Anthropological endocrinology? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592697)

It seems you're assuming that I'm one of those "stop wasting money on pointless research" nutjobs, I'm not.

All I'm saying is that this isn't really news, and it sure isn't "news for nerds" just because the research involved video games. I'm actually fairly certain that, just like with lots of other seemingly boring and uninteresting research projects, these results will be very useful to a small set of researchers but it just isn't very newsworthy (there are tons of studies like this where the results are basically "yup, just as we expected from previous research" and I for one would rather hear about exciting basic research that could be described as "Controversial theory regarding the formation of stars shown to be accurate" but instead we get "psychologists get further proof of previous theory holding water, also here's a story about a phone that you can water your plants with!").

/Mikael (a bit cynical about science/geek news lately)

Re:Anthropological endocrinology? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592559)

Slashdot should hire you and the parent to make similar posts every time a study-related story is posted so people might catch on faster.

another failed "common knowledge"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592623)

People also thought it was common knowledge to catch the rhinovirus during the winter, hence its nickname the "cold", but there hasn't been any data to support this claim.

I for one, have a cold as I type this and I live in the very south of the United States where it's in the high 80s during the day :(

Bad feelings about killing teammates (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590773)

I find that I feel bad if I kill someone on my own team by accident.

Then I feel better when I teabag them anyway. Laughter is definitely the best medicine.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591213)

That's one reason why I probably would not make a good soldier. I once watched a news item about a US pilot who had accidentally attacked British ground troops (I think this was in Iraq). They played a cockpit recording of the incident where the pilot was told to abort a seccond attack. You could tell from the pilots voice he was shaken, he said "my God, what have I done". My first thought was how could he not feel the same way when attacking Iraqui troops too. These would also be men with families, probably enlisted without choice. Many of them would have little interest in the politics of the region. Some wife and kids would be left to grieve. When I said this I found that only one other person present thought they would feel the same way as me (fortunatley that was my wife!). I am not a pacifist but I think that most recent wars are unjustified. Even in necessary defense I would find killing other people very hard.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (4, Insightful)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591273)

Indeed, ever notice how such a big deal is made over "civilian" casualties, but soldiers, they almost don't even count. Oh well, 10k soldiers died, but HOLY MOLY! You killed a CIVILIAN!!!

I think I'd make just as bad a soldier as you.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591451)

Killing soldiers is considered fair game because they are (or should be) prepared to die. We call those that attack civilians "terrorists": see 9/11. I don't value soldiers' lives less, it's just a different level of wrong.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (4, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591543)

Killing soldiers is considered fair game because they are (or should be) prepared to die. We call those that attack civilians "terrorists": see 9/11. I don't value soldiers' lives less, it's just a different level of wrong.

You do realise that not so long ago that it was considered normal for soldiers to rape and pillage in conquered lands? Indeed, some have suggested that the coalition's failure to carry out reprisals (e.g. decimation) on civilian populations in Iraq and Afghanistan suspected of sheltering guerillas is one of the reasons why the insurgents continue to receive popular support there.

I don't agree with them -- I'm pretty certain there are viable alternatives -- but it makes you wonder.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592045)

Eh. I agree to some extent, but there is a clear difference. First of all, the soldiers have some expectation that they're going to die. Secondly, the civilians aren't shooting at you. It's the same with police. If the police shoot someone who's aiming a gun at them - no big deal. They're just doing their job. Hell they might even be called a hero and/or given a medal in some situations. But if the police shoot someone who's entirely unarmed, it's fairly big news. They might lose their job over that one.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592125)

Possibly, that's because the *aim* is to kill the soldiers. If they don't want to be killed they can surrender or just not show up.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592539)

Because getting shot at is sort of in the job description of being a soldier, and you cant exactly be an effective soldier if you have a break down every time you fire on an enemy squad?

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591641)

Exactly why wars work for want of a less sick description. You feel solid camradirie with your fellow soldiers on the same side, that's what the leaders want, that's makes it work. I have to agree with what you said, I would never voluntarily sign-up as I couldn't face the fact of killing people and leaving others to face the mess I have made. I find it hard to justify any war, they always seem so pointless, you have a right to defend yourself against attack, but then to go out and find the attacker in their own land and kill them, their comrades, their families anyone they spoke to anywhere else, just seems so childish.

Just like the Peter Gabriel song, world leaders just fighting like kids round a sandpit.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (2, Interesting)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591651)

Part of military training is to counter people's natural tendency toward empathy. It's no good asking someone to kill another human being when they view them as the same or similar to themselves. Dehumanisation of the enemy is a fundemental requirement when training an army.

It always make me wonder, when I hear people here (in the UK) saying all these ferral youths and ASBO kids would be better human beings if they were subject to National Service, what exactly they think military training is really all about. Like we need kids who can garotte you with their shag-bands.

Then again, when you have governments and societies (like the UK (broadly)) which say that murder is bad, knife and gun crime is a horrendous thing, and that street crime should be stamped out hard, but they also train people to kill other human beings all the while calling them 'Heroes', you can't exactly expect joined-up-thinking.

Kill for yourself, you're a psycho, a murderer, a blight on society. Kill for your government and you're "our brave boys and girls" and a "hero".

Humans are crazy. *tap*tap*tap*tap*

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591879)

Indeed, there's something rather spooky about the willingness to kill a person you've never even met, simply because you've been told to do so by authority. To blindly accept the "us and them" rationale, to truly believe that all "us" are moral and just and all "them" are immoral and unjust. To ignore the obvious truth that wars are started by the elite who control government, rather than your team who holds the actual weapons, let alone "the people" back home who are barely aware of what's going on.

It's almost un-human. Group think in its most alarming form. Imagine the mental leap one must take to convince himself of the morality of the situation. I suppose the alternative (being a pawn for the wealthy elite) is just too disturbing to even consider.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592215)

That doesn't sound "un-human" to me. Sounds exactly how I would expect an animal that spent most of its history in tribal (and family) groups to behave.

The ones who do what they are told by the elite will survive better than those that do not, since even if the decisions aren't optimal the group focusing on on a suboptimal goal will do better than a group pulling in all different directions.

And of course those that kill their own group tend not to have a group that succeeds and multiplies whereas those that kill other groups have less competition and can multiply to fill more space.

Once you get past subsistence survival things change but it's all hard wired by then... Though of course now the people who don't have that "kill or be killed" outlook don't end up getting killed by those that do as much so societies view slowly changes.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591883)

I am of similar nature. However, I had been pushed before and exploded in a rage and caused some serious injuries to another. During the rage I didn't think about anything except that I had to hurt him permanently, if not worse. Everyone agrees that he provoked it, but in hindsight, I did go too far. It was only years afterwards that I felt the, "God, what have I done?" feeling. The thing is, even though I realize that I had gone beyond self defense, I felt a certain glee in the damage I'd inflicted. And sometimes I still want to laugh and say that the bastard deserved it. And I think that I'm a modern, civilized human.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592351)

You could tell from the pilots voice he was shaken, he said "my God, what have I done". My first thought was how could he not feel the same way when attacking Iraqui troops too.

My first thought was that he was a big Talking Heads fan.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591931)

I find that I feel bad if I kill someone on my own team by accident.

In counter-strike, I used to feel bad if someone killed me and used my old gun to kill my teammates.

Re:Bad feelings about killing teammates (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592389)

I play DOD:S often as a machine gunner. Anytime my position gets overrun and they take my MG and turn it on my teammates... i feel like i'm somehow responsible for friendly deaths. Should have fought harder!

Fist-Pumping competition? (3, Insightful)

Darbacour (1606895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590787)

Nowadays, there too many jocks passing themselves off as "Gamers"

Re:Fist-Pumping competition? (1)

Phoe6 (705194) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590947)

Not to mention, how many of them are passing themselves off as "Researchers" doing interesting research on those "Gamers".

Re:Fist-Pumping competition? (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591099)

Nowadays, there too many jocks passing themselves off as "Gamers"

Huh? Aren't games based on pro sports among the most popular/best-selling video game categories? Would it not stand to reason that the more detailed and realistic these games become, the more interest they will hold for people who play the games in real life?

And come on, let's face it... what does it take, really, to "pass oneself off as a gamer"? Videogames -- and especially casual video games -- have become a multi-billion dollar industry. It's not like it's 1978 and you're meeting in your friend's basement to toss around 20-sided dice; entire Hollywood movie franchises are being built around videogame characters. Face it -- it ain't geekery anymore, it's mainstream... just like pro sports.

But a nerd trying to pass himself off as a jock... Now, That's Entertainment!

Re:Fist-Pumping competition? (3, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591395)

Would it not stand to reason that the more detailed and realistic these games become, the more interest they will hold for people who play the games in real life?

No. It's at least as reasonable to expect an uncanny valley effect whereby the more realistic the game becomes, the more its unrealistic aspects jar for people who are familiar with it in real life.

Re:Fist-Pumping competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591401)

Yeah right. The geek/nerd types are some of the most aggressive raving douchebags on the Internet.

I wish I could find that cartoon of the "regular guy" who becomes a lunatic asshole when put in an anonymous situation.

At least... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590815)

... they infer there have been studies about this regarding male interaction with strangers in other situations (war and sports). I'm curious how the results would have changed if they couldn't have heard their opponents at all. Or perhaps a different game. A PvP situation in an MMO? Maybe hardcore Tetris action. Either way, it's curious if they can work on harnessing these responses as part of a planned anger therapy or some such. Blow off steam nuking folks online to be civil IRL.

Hold on there... (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591017)

I think the conclusions they reached are pretty obvious, but of course "obvious" does not mean "scientifically valid", and I'm finding myself somewhat put off by their methodology here... rather than testing new variables as you suggest, I'd like them to start by eliminating the biggest confounding variable I noticed: is it possible they've just shown that victory as part of a team results in different testosterone levels than victory as an individual? WHY would they mix in such an obvious factor?!? How hard is it to just test both scenarios as 1v1... shooting your friend in the face vs. shooting some stranger in the face.

Re:Hold on there... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591045)

Well, maybe they'll use this study in the next grant application to demonstrate the need to investigate the other variables.

Correlation, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590913)

What I'd really like to know is whether the surge of testosterone comes from actually killing someone who isn't a friend, or because you're playing against a relative unknown and you, on winning, gain elation at being greater skilled than them. Perhaps, against friends, people can't really feel they've outplayed them so they don't feel the elation.

Yet when team members played one another, the highest-ranking males tended to produce less testosterone than their defeated teammates.

A real interesting thing would be if one of these testosterone on kill guys gain godmode or play against incredibly dumb bots. See if the fact that it's basically shooting fish in a barrel will cause the testosterone surge to be repressed. It could just be the highest rankers just know exactly how to play against their former compatriots so they don't feel it's much of a challenge thus giving them less testosterone on kills.

Not where i come from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590915)

"However, when competing against friends or relatives to establish social hierarchy, annihilation doesn't make sense. 'You can't alienate your in-group partners, because you need them,' he says.""

No I beg to differ!! annihilation will show them who is boss!

Sample Bias? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591049)

It sounds like they are counting gamers as 'people who play games online' which naturally biases the sample towards people who enjoy beating strangers. I enjoyed LAN gaming a lot, but never got in to online FPS games because beating some random person who may or may not be a bot (or using various cheats) didn't seem as satisfying as beating someone in the same room (and, conversely, being shot by someone in the same room gave you a chance to express disbelief at their skill, or complain about their camping tactics). People who had the same reaction as me would not have been counted as 'gamers' for this study.

Re:Sample Bias? (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591567)

Why is this funny? Did a mod mis-click, or am I missing the joke?
I have to agree with you. And being able to hit the person next to you for being an asshole (team killing for weapons, etc. The sort of thing that gets you killed and teabagged by everyone else in the game) is another bonus.

I wonder... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591069)

I wonder how long until we find this study (mis)quoted in another of those 'Video Games Turn Innocent Children Into Violent Killers!' type articles.

Gamers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591163)

Gamers are people without survival instincts... The evolution will catch these guys sooner or later

Re:Gamers... (2, Funny)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591583)

Yeah, whatever... Take a group of seasoned Pen & Paper gamers and they'll fuck you up with a 10-foot pole and 50 feet of rope.

Internet tough guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591193)

http://205.158.108.67/stuff/toughguy_magazine.jpg

Without fear of a retorting beatdown, people get all aggressive. ... jerks

That is why... (4, Funny)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591245)

If every soldier got to personally know their enemy, there would be no war.

The lack of communication, and the alienation and dehumanization of the foe are what justifies violent recourse. If only saddam hussein hadn't denied Bush's friend request on facebook...

Re:That is why... (2, Insightful)

Firemouth (1360899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591367)

Even if soldiers knew their enemy, there would still be war. Soldiers aren't necessarily the ones who decide to fight. Case in point, the American civil war. Families were split on the issues and consequently were on opposite sides of the war when war broke out.

Re:That is why... (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591473)

Sorry but that's just utter BS. History is filled with examples of people who knew each other going to war against each other. The US Civil War is one good example, as is almost every other Civil War in history. The American Revolution is another. Knowing someone doesn't mean you won't kill them if you are given the chance and situation to do so.

Re:That is why... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591605)

How are civil wars an example for this? Do you know everyone in your country? I certainly don't. I could fight in a war against the next town and never meet an enemy soldier I knew, let alone a war against different parts of the country hundreds of miles away.

Re:That is why... (2, Interesting)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592677)

There are many stories of soldiers on both sides of the American civil war putting down their guns on Christmas and socializing, just to go back to killing each other the next day. You don't have to know the person as an individual- if you connect culturally you already know them fairly well without having to talk to him.

Re:That is why... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592293)

Despite the talk of brothers fighting, most soldiers in the civil war didn't know very many people on the other side. In the case of smaller civil wars, it's often that you know them, but you have specifically relegated them to an out-group. Like Democrats vs Republicans.

Re:That is why... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591505)

bah, dueling says otherwise. I know that if it were legal, there are at least 3 people I'd have already challenged. As it is, I had to find other outlets to express my displeasure.....

Re:That is why... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591579)

Do you know Germany's largest trading partner prior to WWII? How about Japan's? A lot of times, being closer to your enemy just makes you the first target.

Re:That is why... (1)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591601)

And they also say wars between brothers are the bloodiest. Mostly refering to civil wars. They, after all, know most about you, can hit you where it hurts most

Re:That is why... (5, Funny)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591713)

Sorry but that's just utter BS. History is filled with examples of people who knew each other going to war against each other:
  • Professor Charles Xavier vs. Magneto
  • Spiderman vs. Green Goblin
  • Superman vs. Lex Luthor
  • Batman vs. Catwoman
  • Peter Petrelli vs. Sylar
  • God vs. Lucifer

Knowing someone doesn't mean you won't kill them if you are given the chance and situation to do so.

Re:That is why... (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592575)

Mmm...if those examples are representative of what you truly believe, then I don't "history" means what you think it means.

What about reality? (2)

T'hain Esh Kelch (756041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591301)

Either gamers only play with their friends or they all look like Arnold. But geeks don't have friends and they certainly doesn't look like Arnold! The mystery begins..

So basically same as sports (2, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591405)

So it does the same as e.g. football. So it's the same as sports. So computer games are no more or less dangerous than sports in this aspect. So I hope anti gaming advocates don't conclude something to their advantage from this.

Re:So basically same as sports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591495)

I totally agree. this would amount to any competition. Even poker most people feel bad for clearing out a friend, as opposed to someone you don't know.

Re:So basically same as sports (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591597)

You could do an experiment; compare fans' driving before and after a race.

--

Avoiding secondhand sigs.

Partly useful (2, Insightful)

insomnyuk (467714) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591529)

Indeed, very often the thing about good science is that what they discover may seem obvious in retrospect; in this case the notion that in social situations or warfare men treat enemies or strangers differently than friends and family is directly correlated to testosterone levels. Certainly the concept of social cooperation and distinctions are made between different groups of people is not new. However, coming up with data to show a cause for why this is so can be very useful, it can provide a model for making predictions, and can perhaps be applied to other areas of research. I think it's interesting that the video gamer's social interactions through the digital medium were just as 'real' to their bodies as it would have been to someone in a physical setting.

WTF (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591611)

This just shows that people are really competitive by nature, but not as much with a group they consider their friends; but even amongst friends you still can have a high competitive nature and a friendly game either it is video games or any regular sports friends can become enemies for a short time; it all depend on how serious the individual and their friends are. This to me just seems like who ever doing this study just like to prove games induce violent nature in people, but to me all it prove is that people are pre-wire to competitive.

Primal response (1)

erogenizer (1592175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591633)

In war, after you defeat the enemy, you rape the women. It's been going on since the Stone Age. I'd be interested in knowing the pros and cons of why we (men) do that. Also, and I did not RTFA, do women get a testosterone boost too?

so if i sympathize with the zombies (1)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591643)

it won't be as satisfying when i blow them to pieces?

dead uncle chester is going to regret leaving me that 12 gauge

Blogging as well (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591835)

On several of the sites that I will post to, I will go nicer on a postback to ppl that I know. If somebody that I consider a friend zings me hard, I tend to assume that they are having a bad day. OTH, if a stranger hits me, OR if I decide to take time and check their history and find out that they are on the negative side, then I hit harder.

My guess is that this is true of everybody here, if they think about it.

Family Kill Fest (2, Interesting)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591915)

I find this to be quite different. I've watched my husband, nephews, step-sons and brother-inlaws attempt to annihilate each other just for the shits and giggles of it all. Of course the best deaths are the most funny. But they are brutal to one another.

I guess I can chalk it up to that fact that they are a close knit set of men in one family and they are all talking on the XBox head sets when they play together. Interestingly enough though, if you watch the teenage boys who are rather skilled, the general observations is they tend to get mad really quickly if their older less skilled counter-part family members have a good game and kick their butts. That's when I've seen or heard the aggression. They don't like to lose to family.

But when it comes to strangers, I don't often get to observe thatm that much, but what little I have seen is aggression just to win. And when they don't it the language of sore loser that I hear. Rarely do I hear "...that was an awesome match".

"Thous" vs. "Its" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592113)

I think this greatly supports some of Joseph Campbell's work where he discusses that it is much easier to kill when we reduce the target to an "it". When we have some sort of connection or reverence for the life of something else it becomes a "thou" and is difficult to kill without somehow justifying yourself. The same thing happens in the media during a war. In order to get people to accept a war you must first turn the "thous" into "its". Does anyone recall the reports of Nazis throwing babies out windows or Iraqis killing Kuwaitis in their cribs. I'm not denying the possibility of these things happening but just saying the reports are necessary in fueling sentiment for the war.

China knows this... (2, Interesting)

GigG (887839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592175)

China learned this little tidbit of human nature at Tienanmen Square. The tank unit that wouldn't roll over the guy was a unit made up of troops from Beijing. They've since fixed that by assigning units from the outer provinces to the city.

Intresting result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592511)

I find it very interesting how gamers react so such studies. First they imply the study revealed that gamers are more aggressive, which is no implication of the study. Then they talk like they want to disintegrate these scientists right away (which sounds very aggressive). But I guess the whole thing is, when you loose in a game (online, a offline board game, or soccer/football etc.) you always get a little bit depressed while the winning team will be happy. This is obviously a normal reaction. However, it is not normal to ran than out with a gun and kill some stranger. But this has a complete different cause. Isolation, absent acceptance by society and other species-inappropriate environment settings. And that has nothing to do with the result of the study.

 

Not surprising (1)

NYMeatball (1635689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592533)

I could have told you this for free. Only study required is you to sit in my car while I'm stuck in traffic and make games about how I can "beat" the guy next to me.

My personal favourite is "Change lanes with him every time he tries to pass me"

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