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Tracking the Harm Games Do

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the correlation-something-something-causation dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 118

Every so often, video games are accused of causing all sorts of negative behavior in children, teens, and adults. These accusations are typically predicated on statistics that sound much more damning than they actually are. In that vein, gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun did their own tongue-in-cheek statistical analysis, complete with pretty charts and graphs. Quoting: "As part of my research I thought to compare the sales of each GTA game with what the divorce rate must have been when each came out. As you can see each new GTA game has been directly correlated with an increase in divorces. ... An often ignored statistic (and you have to ask why it’s being ignored by the games media, don’t you?) is the sheer volume of PC games being released. We’ve all noticed the British population is abandoning the church, turning instead toward shopping, DVDs and knife crime. But few have thought to check for a connection between PC sales and the numbers of people attending their local Church Of England church on a Sunday. When you look at the data there’s little doubt left that as the publishers continue to release more and more PC games each year, our nation’s faith is being increasingly eroded. And at what cost? If only a graph could tell us that."

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Correlation doesn't imply causation. (-1, Redundant)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120492)

Just in case somebody doesn't realize that TFA is written as humor.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120528)

goatse

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120536)

Thank you captain obvious!

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120564)

Also, tongue-in-cheek means it's satirical or sarcastic.

Further, satire is making a mockery of something with prose by use of irony or sarcasm.

Irony is a way of conveying a meaning opposite to the the literal meaning of the statement.

To convey is to communicate or impart knowledge to another person.

Knowledge is facts gained through study or investigation.

I'm just trying to clarify things here, just like the parent.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120598)

You mean knife crimes aren't a popular pastime in the UK? Damn, there goes my next vacation plan.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (2, Funny)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121008)

Oh, they are. They just are not linked to Video Games.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (0, Flamebait)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120626)

Really. You needed to bother typing that?

The summary states it is humor and it would be obvious even if it didn't.

Yet, you seriously thought it was necessary to mention that.

You really think other people are stupid, don't you.

And some idiot moderator considers that insightful just to really put the bar low for the expected intelligence level of a slashdot reader.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120718)

You're just put out that he corrected your initial impression of TFA.

Re:Correlation doesn't imply causation. (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120776)

Even though, I liked the part where the number of games released correlates with less people attending church(maybe becoming irreligious). I hope that if it's actually the cause(I know I know, correlation doesn't imply causation) that games publishers release more games, nothing will make me more happy than seeing organized religion in demise...

The only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120538)

The only harm they've ever done me is distract from something "important" I should be doing.

Re:The only (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120766)

Apparently you never used one of the old Atari joysticks.

Macintosh has no games! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120930)

http://typicalmacintoshuser.com/ [typicalmacintoshuser.com]

Correlation =! Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120586)

I masturbated myself today a bit more than yesterday and way less than i will tomorrow, just as the earth is said to be heaten itself due to global warming. Hopefully that doenst mean that Im the one after global warming and if i would stop masturbating we would all freeze to death but.. i just... won't stop... just in case..

Re:Correlation =! Causation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120986)

if i would stop masturbating we would all freeze to death but.. i just... won't stop... just in case..

I thought I was *the one*...

Thank you sir, you keep just on going..

I can finally quit. The weight on my shoulders has been too much.. Now I can finally wear some pants, walk in the park.. read a bit.. play with the children of my siblings... be in public (I felt so misunderstood, nobody would understand how I was saving them!) and finally let my chafing wounds heal..

I CAN LIVE AGAIN! Thank you kind sir.

Re:Correlation =! Causation (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121642)

I masturbated myself today a bit more than yesterday and way less than i will tomorrow, just as the earth is said to be heaten itself due to global warming.

With all that rubbing, it's no wonder the Earth is warming. I'm surprised your willy doesn't burst into flames.

Re:Correlation =! Causation (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#33125344)

Hello Captain Redundant!

I masturbated myself today

Church of England (0, Offtopic)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120630)

I've often wondered why anyone would feel loyal to, or even want to attend, a church that was started by a not-particularly-holy king over a divorce spat. Although I've never been able to figure out why anyone would want a king either, maybe there is some relation.

Re:Church of England (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120742)

Although I've never been able to figure out why anyone would want a king either

To smite other Kings. Duh.

More seriously, a King is just a head of state, and no different by role than having a President. The question we ask is why would anyone want to have *another* politician in charge rather than a King

Re:Church of England (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121726)

Well unless the monarch is largely powerless, as the Queen is today, I can think of a few reasons why you might not want to choose your head of state on the basis of which member of a single inbred family is lucky enough to be born first. Having said that, I quite like that the power resides with parliament and the monarch we do have is pretty much a figurehead, I can't imagine the UK with a president.

Re:Church of England (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33125214)

I can't imagine the UK with a president.

Unfortunately I can. Just say "President Blair", "President Brown" and "President Cameron".

It makes you see the point of the monarchy.

Re:Church of England (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121132)

I've never been able to figure out why anyone would want a king either

Go ask the Catholics and their Pope.

Re:Church of England (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 4 years ago | (#33124616)

Why would they know? Pope, king, completely different concepts! /sarcasm

Re:Church of England (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121170)

Although I've never been able to figure out why anyone would want a king either, maybe there is some relation.

MORTICIAN: Who's that then?

CUSTOMER: I don't know.

MORTICIAN: Must be a king.

CUSTOMER: Why?

MORTICIAN: He hasn't got shit all over him.

That's incentive enough for me.

Re:Church of England (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121296)

> why anyone would feel loyal to, or even want to attend, a church

It's because they're human beings. Human beings believe whatever the hell their parents do (by default). Muslims have Muslim kids, Hindus have Hindu kids, Catholics have catholic kids.

On and off for a couple decades, right after Henry made the new church there were various burnings and hangings, the type of thing that got you to go to the church you're told to go to (nobody wants to burn). I also think Queen Liz was about as popular as a monarch can get and she dug the new church her dad made. I think it follows that it'd get some followers (because, really, what difference does it make what church you go to anyway?) and the kids of these followers would *naturally* be CoE followers like their parents before them. It's the default.

Re:Church of England (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33125110)

My family are all Catholic, I have been an agnostic (verging on atheist), and am now a Christian again. My wife's parents are Buddhist, she is Anglican. Her father's family are mostly Christians, as are two of her sisters. MY mother's ancestors were probably Eastern Orthodox Christians.

I know some Buddhists whose parents were Christians.

It may be common for people to follow their ancestors religion (or lack thereof), but it is hardly invariable. Most people also follow their parents politics, and lots of their other ideas, but that does not explain why the Church of England has survived for so long, and the answer is that it is more than just Henry the Eight's idea - lots of more sincere people used the break with Rome to push other changes.

Re:Church of England (2, Informative)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121536)

Yeah the CoE broke off from from the RC Church under Henry VIII, but it was really under Elizabeth I that it became a separate church. She made a lot of changes and made it a protestant church, with priests allowed to marry, the removal of confessions and indulgences, etc. So the reasons for the CoE is the same reason for the reformation in the rest of europe, with a bit of nationalism thrown into the mix (it is called the Church of _England_ after all).

The reason for having a King? In feudal times, the most powerful warlord became the King. His subjects didn't have a choice in the matter. In modern times its because, for some reason, people like the whole pomp and circumstance and all the ceremony that goes a long with it. In the US, the President has to do all the ceremonial stuff along with actually running the executive branch. In England the Queen does all the ceremonial stuff while the prime minister can focus on actually running thing. Sort of a an extra branch of government... you got the judicial branch, legislative branch, executive branch and ceremonial branch.

For example some people in the US are now bitching over how Obama didn't make an appearance at some boy scout meeting. This is the sort of thing you have a king or queen for.

It's also pretty common (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122470)

If you look, there are more than a few countries who have a head of government separate from the chief of state. The head of government actually runs the government, as the name implies, and is the chief of the executive branch. The chief of state is the figurehead, the chief diplomat as it were. The particulars vary nation to nation (in some cases the chief of state has more power) but the general idea is quite common. While the US is not unique in having a single person serve as both the head of government and chief of state, it isn't precisely the way everyone does it.

Re:Church of England (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#33123938)

For example some people in the US are now bitching over how Obama didn't make an appearance at some boy scout meeting. This is the sort of thing you have a king or queen for.

No, this is the sort of thing people just need to get the fuck over.

Re:Church of England (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33122550)

According to the theory of Divine Right [wikipedia.org] , the King had a God-given right to rule the country. So, he was never an entirely secular figure. Besides, the Church of England was always able to point at the Bible for justification of their beliefs and practices just like the Catholics and the other Protestants.

Re:Church of England (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33123584)

I've often wondered why anyone would feel loyal to, or even want to attend, a church

Probably to avoid eternal damnation.

Re:Church of England (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33124244)

What makes it any different than the Church being run by the Pope in Rome, who sent many Christians to their death in fruitless crusades to Jerusalem?

It's easy to claim that the Church of England isn't a real religion when you look at the entirety of King Henry the 8ths character, but then you can't just turn a blind eye to everything the Catholic Church has done and claim it's all that holier.

All the different sects that form just show the power of human rationalizing. We pick and choose what lessons are most important to us and make sure we abide by them. For some people, they draw the line at abiding commandments, other people, believe that devout faith is required.

The Church of England didn't just come around because Henry wanted a divorce, it also offered some progress from the dogmatic views of the Catholic Church. It's not hard for people to attend a church that makes itself easier to attend.

Grand Theft Auto Causes Marriages To Break Down (3, Funny)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120634)

An analyst reported that the effect was attributed to husbands drinking too much Hot Coffee.

Eh (3, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120710)

There is actual research on the subject [umich.edu] , if you are interested.

Here's the abstract:

Numerous studies have shown that exposure to media violence increases aggression, though the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. One theory posits that repeated exposure to media violence desensitizes viewers to real world violence, increasing aggression by blunting aversive reactions to violence and removing normal inhibitions against aggression. Theoretically, violence desensitization should be reflected in the amplitude of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP), which has been associated with activation of the aversive motivational system. In the current study, violent images elicited reduced P300 amplitudes among violent, as compared to nonviolent video game players. Additionally, this reduced brain response predicted increased aggressive behavior in a later task. Moreover, these effects held after controlling for individual differences in trait aggressiveness. These data are the first to link media violence exposure and aggressive behavior to brain processes hypothetically associated with desensitization.

Doesn't seem so far fetched.

Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120880)

"Oh well this could maybe hypothetically desensitize people and cause problems, etc, etc." K, but that doesn't fit the actual data that violent crimes in the US have been trending down since around the time that videogames came out. The question shouldn't be "Can we try to find a contrived way that shows that video games might be related to perceptions of violence." The questions should be "Does playing video games make people more prone to act in a violent manner." If the answer is no, then who the fuck cares? There is no reason to be worrying about something if it isn't actually harmful.

As I said, first thing you have to account for in any of these cases is why violent crime has trended down. Just because it has doesn't mean that videogames might not increase violence, but you sure as hell have to account for that fact. You have to show that it would be even lower if video games were not around. You need to show that people who play violent video games are more likely to commit violent crime than those that don't.

Basically, if the only research out there is reaching extremely far to try and show minor differences in brain ERPs, then you've got nothing to go on. While that might be of academic interest, it is nothing to make any policy or law on. Only if games are actually causing more violent behavior, specifically illegal violent behavior (sports are violent but perfectly legal) is there a reason to have concern with regulating them because of it.

Re:Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122164)

>, specifically illegal violent behavior (sports are violent but perfectly legal) is there a reason to have concern with regulating them because of it.

This is an interesting and much overlooked point. Those who decry video games generally are in praise of sports- even very violent sports like football, wrestling, boxing and martial arts. If seeing fake violence on a screen will make you a more violent person - surely actively trying to beat somebody unconscious must have a much bigger effect - and worse - come with the skills training to make you much more effective at it.

Seriously - anybody who thinks you can learn to shoot from a video game - where guns have no REAL recoil, where you don't go death without ear protection, where your targets don't REALLY get to move in a full 360 degree angle around you has either never played a video game, never shot a real gun, or both.
But somebody who has boxed damn sure knows how to hit for maximum impact.

You can't even say that he social aspect of teamsports is what counteracts it because most modern video games are ALSO team based - and what's more - the most violent sports like wrestling and boxing are at their most crucial points, really a solo thing.

So basically - everybody who boxes in school should end up with an arrest record for violent crime - maybe one in a thousand exceptions... since that's not true - it's silly to even consider the idea that video games will have any measurable impact on behavior at all.

The real problem with all this so-called research is that they all forget the single most basic fact about people. Humans are individual and their responses to stimuli are individual as well. Anything beyond the very basic "touch a hot plate, yank hand away" is highly individual, shaped in a context of personality, genetics and past experience - and thus utterly and completely impossible to predict.
The moment you have something that cannot be predicted and in fact on which you cannot even draw general rules - you have something on which science cannot, shouldn't and and will not give an answer - because there IS no answer to give.
Ipso facto - no laws or policies should exist for such things as there is nothing substantial or verifiable to base them on. This is just as true of video games as of porn.

We've all heard that "exposure to sexual material at a young age can cause harm"... but until not very long ago humans lived in single room buildings. Kids slept next to their parents in the same beds where their siblings were made. Frankly - THAT seems to be what we are actually naturally designed for. I know a number of parents who make absolutely no effort to hide their porn from their kids, and in fact encourage them to watch along and many others who insist this MUST be harmful - I think neither side is right. What's right is that a parent should know how his PARTICULAR child will respond to a particular thing -and GUIDE the introduction of this stimuli (whatever it is) to ensure that the potential good effects are there, the potential bad effects averted and above all that those kids do no grow up to be adults utterly unprepared for a world that doesn't sanction all the stimuli they can reach.

There seem to be utterly NO place whatsoever for the government to be involved in that system at all.

Re:Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122808)

Martial arts training usually comes with lessons on how to prevent violence. All dojos i know employ a policy where students getting into brawls will get expelled.

Re:Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122940)

>Martial arts training usually comes with lessons on how to prevent violence. All dojos i know employ a policy where students getting into brawls will get expelled.

So do most gun training. It doesn't stop anybody freaking out over gunclubs does it ?

The people who freak out over video games are not being rational - that's the whole point.

Re:Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33124222)

In the martial arts, at least, the skills training comes along with a culture opposed to using them indiscriminately.

You don't study martial arts to learn how to beat the hell out of someone, you study martial arts to become a better person.

Re:Problem is it is all intellectual wanking (2, Insightful)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122616)

"Oh well this could maybe hypothetically desensitize people and cause problems, etc, etc." K, but that doesn't fit the actual data that violent crimes in the US have been trending down since around the time that videogames came out.

Correlation isn't causation. And violent crime != violent behaviour. Furthermore you would first have to prove that aggressive/violent behaviour incited by consumation of violent video games/media (VVG/M) causes more violent crime before demanding that studies concerned only with increased aggressive/violent behaviour through VVG/M should first explain this correlation of yours.

Real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121448)

And in the real world gang related crime went lower with the spreading usage of gaming. Youth violence is not increasing, it has been decreasing. So those study *pretending* to find that violent video game have such an impact on us, better explain that factoid before trying to generalize to the whole population. Just sayin'.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121512)

In other news, people become increasingly aggressive as they stand behind the driving wheel. Maybe they should compare their results to other activities, like competitive sports. Aggressiveness != Prone to violence.

Re:Eh (1)

DickeyP (1651593) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121768)

Could the same be said when comparing reactions of people with different childhood experiences? Say, an upper class suburban experience vs. a country ranch or farm experience? I don't know jack about the measurement techniques cited (amplitudes of different components), and since it's 6am here I'm not inclined to look it up. Regardless, I would expect similar results from a test in which the above subjects were shown a certain scene from Old Yeller. If studies ignore such common differences, while focusing on one in particular (violent video game use/exposure), how can the results represent direct correlation? I run around on COD and BFBC2 shooting people in the face, knifing them whenever the chance presents, or even nuking the entire map. Whether the reaction is measured in brain waves or chemical levels, I don't think I am any more inclined to shoot someone, knife them, or drop the Tzar Bomba over San Fran. The only thing I think I could be missing is if the mentioned "aversive motivational system" is shown to directly help override logic and reason. Of course, there is likely much more that I am missing....I just hope that people and organizations that use statistics from these studies are asking the same questions I am, and many more.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33122166)

" though the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. "

Bullshit. (and I know I'm quoting this from the abstract, not the parent poster -- but this is not far from what the average idiot on /. thinks when they get defensive about gaming without realizing that no one wants to tuk yer gams!)

The effects have been shown over and over in a number of studies.

Banduras showed effectiveness of social modeling on the effects of violence in children. A kid that was shown violence toward an inanimate object was more likely to incite violence towards that object, and to remain hostile towards others (noninanimate) for a time afterwards. Unfortunately, the effects of IRB and Human Subjects testing doesn't allow for us to raise pairs of children randomly to see if we can create one peaceful and one violent.

Many models show that one can learn to imitate things and incorporate them into their life. Vygotsky showed that one can scaffold a behavior on to others by aiding with the beginning stages of a behavior without having to be around for the latter stages. If I wasn't dying of the flu right now and had a brain that functioned, I could name a dozen other theorists that have pretty much proven these techniques (and here is the problem, idiots like to look at the terms 'theory' and 'theorist' as say "but its just a fuckin' theory" as if that means anything...a fuckin' theory in the science world is a scientists way of saying "look, we've examined this as far as we can go and everything points to this, but we aren't egotistical enough, nor stupid enough to say it is absolutely right...but we are sure a good chunk of it is on the right path"...where as the term "hypothesis" is the term that one should be looking for as the laymans term for "I got an unfounded idea based on shit I think I know but never proveded, arite?")

The theories as to why violent video games shape beliefs and behaviors is really not that hard to follow if you are not biased.

Personally? I believe in Jung's idea of the shadow...we need to engage our shadow to become full functioning humans. I believe kids need to have interactions that play towards the darker side so that they can play act what is right...and sadly, the games really don't focus on doing what is right -- simply to incite violence upon others. I also think that a lot of the violence is SOOOOO over the top and simplistic in the games that kiddies play that it might not relate to anything more than tag did for my generation. My complaint is when kids start playing the games that require one to take a moralistic standpoint -- and only given one option to advance -- that it starts to reward the negative sides. I also see that a good parent can easily overcome these with appropriate parenting skills. However, too many parents do none of this and use these games as a default baby sitter.

By the time you are in your teens? You are pretty much who you are...you become shades of what you were previously (even while trying on new personaes and otherwise...you still retain much of your moral compass...you might realize smoking isn't going to kill you TOMORROW and sex isn't going to throw you to hell, but you aren't going to beat someone up in an alley simply because VIDEO GAMES MADE YOU...you were already there, just waiting for an excuse).

So as an almost psychologist (if I ever decide to finish that dissertation...well and take the licensure exam)...I could care less if teens get games. I might not want a violent kid playing them, but I'm not going to blame the game for it...I'm going to blame the game for rewarding already present behavior. However, I certainly as fuck don't want a...ok...maybe I don't want a 13 year old playing...but maybe...younger? Fuck no. There is a clear path to learning violence...in today's absence of parents, I don't want any video game raising a kid...even a good one.

Posted anonymously because I really don't fucking care and most likely won't look at this again...most people here already have their mind made up because the cognitive dissonance associated with admitting something that they know is true but also realizing that it might be used against them by todays version of the PMRC (The hockey mom association? Where Sara Palin can kill anything that moves, but if you put it in a videogame its wrong...Jesus only likes why you kill real people...when struck, strike back with an AK47 like it says in the good book? Fuck these people). You know games affect you, and I know games affect you more than you want to admit.

Re:Eh (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#33124246)

...and sadly, the games really don't focus on doing what is right -- simply to incite violence upon others.

I'm calling you on this statement. Nigh ever second video game revolves around the player saving the world, people, countries, etc. And I don't mean this in a Machiavellian sense. Often the narrative of the game makes it very clear who the wrongful party is and it's generally not the player. Video games in general take their morals from comic books, World War 2 films, and Revisionist Westerns--violence included.

In fact, you have to go far and wide to find a video game where the player plays a truly amoral character. Even the ultra-violent rage-quest of God of War at times portrays the lead Kratos in a tragic light and paints his foes as petty and undeserving. And if you're referring to multiplayer games, particularly online ones, even these generally provide some fig leaf of a story and setting which gives some motivation and/or rationalization for what is going on.

Again I don't mean to say that the story of setting necessarily justify the typical madness that is goes on in video games; but to state that games focus only on inflicting violence is a gross misrepresentation. If you want to see a running scale of violence in video games, play in order; Ico, MGS3:Subsistence, and God of War 3. These will give you some understanding of the gamut of violence in the medium, and the focus on it within individual games.

Junk science (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122346)

Doesn't seem so far fetched.

Lots of things that "don't seem so far-fetched" aren't actually true. In this case, while the author cites the 'numerous studies' that support his claim, he didn't cite the 'numerous studies' that don't.

In fact, I could argue the reverse with just as much analytic rigor as the quoted article. By providing a healthy outlet for aggression outside the confines of actual social interaction, people with tendencies toward aggression are able to find a non-destructive release for their urges.

Note also that while the study seemed to control for many external variables, they completely whiff on the obvious: namely, I think it's far, far more likely that violent people with violent tendencies are more likely to play violent video games than some mechanism by which violent video games corrupt otherwise angelic children. One needs to control for causality. Perhaps a longitudinal study of children who have not yet been introduced to these games?

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33122622)

Look, I watch violent shows all the time. It doesn't affect me. Pseudostudies like this make me angry enough to go kill someon.. oh, wait.

Funniest popup in a while (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120774)

"You need Adobe Flash Player 8 (or above) to view the charts. It is a free and lightweight installation from Adobe.com. Please click on Ok to install the same."

(Emphasis mine.)

Re:Funniest popup in a while (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120890)

lightweight in more ways than one -- including security and reliability.

Re:Funniest popup in a while (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121798)

Don't forget performance. I love how a single web ad can hose a modern dual core CPU.

Re:Funniest popup in a while (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122712)

That was a typo, what they meant was "lichtweight".

Reference for "Licht": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licht [wikipedia.org]

The 29 hours that the opera lasts is about the time it takes to debug a system and get it working again once you've infected your system with Flash Player.

Shouldn't this be under Idle? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120786)

n/t

No bitch (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33120800)

If Jack Thompson gets to be on Games instead of Idle, then so does this. It's hilarious and relevant to gamer nerd interests.

Re:No bitch (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121828)

Shut up! Shut the fuck up! Do NOT say that name.

He's like Beetlejuice.

Re:No bitch (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122410)

Jack Thompson...Jack Thompson...Jack Thompson!

Re:Shouldn't this be under Idle? (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121958)

Yes, it should.

New media is EVIL!!! (2, Insightful)

funkatron (912521) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120814)

Irrational numbers, art about subjects other than god, romantic novels, TV, rock and roll, disco, heavy metal, video nasties, hip hop, raves, computer games......

Isn't this getting a bit old by now?

Re:New media is EVIL!!! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121104)

I agree that these were all silly - except perhaps the one about disco. I personally am hoping that the 70's never ever come back.

Re:New media is EVIL!!! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121670)

I agree that these were all silly - except perhaps the one about disco. I personally am hoping that the 70's never ever come back.

I'm keeping my platform shoes and Nik-Nik shirts though, just in case.

Re:New media is EVIL!!! (2, Funny)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121974)

You can add schools (it can't be healthy for the children to think all day), newspapers (what, and remove the social function of the town crier, people will get socially isolated) and writing (if people could just write things down, they will get forgetful) to that list. (http://www.slate.com/id/2244198)

There is also a correlation (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120842)

There is also a correlation with global warming, illegal immigration and the number of natural disasters in Pakistan. We should ban all games immediately.

Re:There is also a correlation (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121106)

Yep. Just remember the science is settled!

Re:There is also a correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121192)

What's this? Illegal's cause global warming now? I knew it!

Re:There is also a correlation (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121272)

What's this? Illegal's cause global warming now? I knew it!

Blah Blah ...coming over here and bringing their tropical climates with them ......

Re:There is also a correlation (2, Informative)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121498)

We both know that the warming of earth is caused by the decrease in pirates. The name change from global warming to climate change was obviously needed when the number of pirates started to increase again after Somalia dedicating their GDP to combat global warming by investing in more pirates and hence the earth is now cooling.

Re:There is also a correlation (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122560)

So I guess you could say my download of GTA IV is actually helping the world in the long run.

Re:There is also a correlation (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121424)

I think that you're looking at that backwards illegal immigration, global warming and the number of natural disasters are causing our society to create and play video games. People video games are not the answer to your problems why don't you try something more constructive like drugs or alcohol.

Re:There is also a correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121752)

And piracy! How could you forget piracy?

Re:There is also a correlation (1)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121906)

No, global warming is caused by the decreasing number of pirates.

Violence inducing media (3, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120902)

Does anyone else find it ironic that the loudest people who trumpet violence in the media as a source of inspiring violence in others tend to be religious groups and they are always calling for games and films that allegedly teach people aggression to be banned.
I would graciously accept the ban of all violent films, games, music and books if they would first pave the way by banning their own hatred and violence inducing holy book.

Re:Violence inducing media (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120950)

For religion to be strong, religionists must ration sex and guide violence.

In strongly religious (= viciously primitive) societies, those who violate sex taboos are punished with violence, sex partners are rationed by the religious hierarchy, and "enemies" are infidels to be attacked.

Violent games VS Amount of pirates in the world (2, Informative)

Calabacin (1358875) | more than 4 years ago | (#33120980)

Everytime a game like GTA comes out there are less pirates in the world. Graph please!!!

Also, I'm almost sure that every time a violent game comes out, God kills a kitty, but I would also need a graph to be sure.

Re:Violent games VS Amount of pirates in the world (1)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121544)

LESS pirates? You might want to search news.google.com for "somalia".

Re:Violent games VS Amount of pirates in the world (1)

Calabacin (1358875) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121574)

LESS pirates? You might want to search news.google.com for "somalia".

Have you checked the amount of pirate attacks after the publication of each GTA game??

Also, since Pirate attacks are CLEARLY related to global warming, probably GTA releases are related with global warming!!

Re:Violent games VS Amount of pirates in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33122644)

No no, every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten. Though we've tied that to global warming, trends in pirate population, and violent video games...

Oh... oh my. It's all coming together now. Every time a pirate's deity pleasures himself over a violent game, a kitten dies from heat stroke. Brilliant!

Coward #1478744 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121028)

There is a correlation between the weather and video games.
Perhaps the Nation Grid can provide data to support the claim that bad weather increases the number of consoles switched on, thus perpetuating global warming and more bad weather.
A vicious circle really. Ban the console. Now.

How a about a study without a predetermined result (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121174)

One thing that bugs me with all this study non-sense and the counter arguments is that they always have an extremely narrow field of view. It is either "they cause harm" or "they don't influence us at all", both are likely complete non-sense (even when done for humorous purpose as here).

What about general studies that simply discuss how child behaviour has changed over the years in more general terms instead of splitting it into good vs evil? Did video games cause less reading of books? Less watching of TV? Do people visit their friends more often due to the Wii or less often due to XboxLive? Or just how many hours spend kids with video games today compared to 10 or 20 years ago? How much of their allowance goes towards video games? How much power does a kid today use? Do they have a more realistic picture of war or a more twisted one? Did Google Earth improve geography skills and what not.

There are plenty of interesting questions that could be asked, where you could actually get at least some interesting result and people wouldn't all jump into defensive stance for their video games.

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121756)

See, now you are entering the realm of science. We are talking about statistics here.

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121762)

You show me a scientist/statistician that doesn't have some pre-conceived notion about the result of his experiment and I'll show you a robot.

Let's be reasonable. I'll settle for open minded.

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121852)

And that's before the media gets their hands on whatever the actual story may be and polarises it for the gratification of their target audience. The first casualty of mass-market journalism is objective reporting.

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122638)

> One thing that bugs me with all this study non-sense and the counter arguments is that they always have an extremely narrow field of view. It is either "they cause harm" or "they don't influence us at all", both are likely complete non-sense (even when done for humorous purpose as here).

The thing that bugs me is people criticizing studies without even bothering to read them.
How is the following abstract of the study polarized in the manner that you've said? :

"Numerous studies have shown that exposure to media violence increases aggression, though the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. One theory posits that repeated exposure to media violence desensitizes viewers to real world violence, increasing aggression by blunting aversive reactions to violence and removing normal inhibitions against aggression. Theoretically, violence desensitization should be reflected in the amplitude of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP), which has been associated with activation of the aversive motivational system. In the current study, violent images elicited reduced P300 amplitudes among violent, as compared to nonviolent video game players. Additionally, this reduced brain response predicted increased aggressive behavior in a later task. Moreover, these effects held after controlling for individual differences in trait aggressiveness. These data are the first to link media violence exposure and aggressive behavior to brain processes hypothetically associated with desensitization."

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122766)

Where is the study that without a doubt shows that there is more violence among gamers then among non-gamers? Unless you have shown that there is an effect it is rather pointless to look for the cause of that yet to be shown effect.

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#33123940)

Once this became a political issue, it became a guarantee that people would take ideological stances. I think you have a great point, but the point of whether we should be looking at the effects of exposure to violence is also worthwhile, so long as it is done scientifically, by a group with no agenda, other than the truth. (And I am naive enough to believe they exist.)

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33124038)

It's funny because it's modded insightful. it's like a tounge in a cheek within a tounge in a cheek

Re:How a about a study without a predetermined res (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#33125114)

What about general studies that simply discuss how child behaviour has changed over the years in more general terms instead of splitting it into good vs evil? Did video games cause less reading of books?...

Yeah, from my own experience with video games, I think it's not very likely that they make us more violent or less violent. They might lead to less books and less time watching TV, but I suspect that in all these cases, the most powerful effects are the most subtle. Books, for example, train you to think of reality as something that is encoded in language. TV trained us all to be passive observers in life.

Games train us to look at reality as something which is not immediate. I don't mean temporally immediate, but that the world of games is mediated by the screen and controller. You don't interact with anything directly. Also, they train us to look at the world as something filled with distinct rules and directives. There are cheats and glitches, but there's a definite way that you're supposed to go about things, and there are explicit goals.

I suspect that those kinds of things, along with more and more culture moving online, will have a tremendous effect on how future generations see the world. Will it be good or bad? I don't really know.

Furthermore (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121268)

An increase in game sales led to a decline in piracy, which indirectly contributed to global warming.

Pacman (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121678)

If Pacman had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive music.

Re:Pacman (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121700)

If Pacman had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive music.

You mean going to raves? Oh wait, we do.

what did we ever do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33121718)

What did we ever do, before we could blame video games for violence, did we have to just blame human nature, and a minority of crazy people?

Re:what did we ever do? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121938)

Before video games it was certainly "video nasties". I can extrapolate from that that before then it was likely TV, rock and roll, radio, cinema, music hall, newspapers, books, the theatre, humming, gathering around the fire to tell stories... essentially any form of entertainment that distracts people from the daily drudgery (cynically I'd say anything that makes life on earth more enjoyable makes the promise of a better afterlife less of a reward for, and therefore incentive to accept the status quo of said drudgery).

Think of the cats! (1)

DMorritt (923396) | more than 4 years ago | (#33121908)

When I was growing up we had several cats, one of the cats (called Pirate) wouldn't tolerate the others, and used to hiss and attempt to attack them if they got too near.

After reading the reports I can clearly see how clearly video games were affecting Pirate, if only we would have known sooner (she's now dead)! All along I thought it was just something harlmess like ADD, instead it must have been caused by those hours asleep on the foot of my bed, while I was playing video games and programming her unconsious feline thoughts towards savagery.

So games are a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33122172)

After all they keep people out of church. The church has started countless wars and promotes a belief system that is completely irrational. They also stopped scientific progress and slowed down the develeopment of the human race like no other institution in history.
If games help to further reduce the power those crazy people have over mankind I'd say that's a very good thing.

This isn't science, it's tabloid trash (1)

gearsmithy (1869466) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122682)

"Grand Theft Auto Causes Marriages To Break Down", "PC Games Lead To Decline In Church Attendance" How exactly did this guy go from correlation to causality?

Re:This isn't science, it's tabloid trash (2, Insightful)

HelioWalton (1821492) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122908)

I take it you didn't RTFA, or even the summary? This is satire...

No, the cat does not, in fact, "got my tongue." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33122698)

But few have thought to check for a connection between PC sales and the numbers of people attending their local Church Of England church on a Sunday

Hmmm. An hour of excitement and reinforcement of how awesome you are, or being told you're bad and worthless during the equivalent of an hour-long, mind-numbingly boring cut scene?

Correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33123100)

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.

Abandoning Archaic Nonsense is Not "Harm" (1)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 4 years ago | (#33123528)

Escaping from the oppressive influence of religious tradition is not a bad thing.

People no longer feel threatened enough by the dirty old men in robes to suffer through boring church services and unhappy marriages. Good on them.

Re:Abandoning Archaic Nonsense is Not "Harm" (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33124836)

The divorce rate statistic that I would like to see compared is the divorce rate vs. domestic violence. I have a pretty good feeling they would be inverse of each other. Unfortunatly, we would never be able to see that as domestic violence was massively under recorded in the past, and is now over recorded.

Yuo 7ail it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33124058)

fellow traveelers? corpse turned over correct network at this point BSD's filesystem towels on the floor
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