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If Video Games Make People Violent, So Do Pictures of Snakes

timothy posted about a year ago | from the what-about-drones dept.

Science 161

New submitter phenopticon writes with this nugget from an intriguing piece at Gamasutra that adds another voice to the slow-burn debate on the psychological effects of video games: "For nearly thirty years we've been having this discussion, asking the question: do violent movies, music or video games make people violent? Well according to Brad Bushman and Craig Anderson of Iowa State University, yes. Based on the results of their research they concluded in 2001 that video games and violent media can make people aggressive and violent. Based upon their data and their conclusions, however, it's safe to say that photos of snakes, crispy bacon, or a particularly rigorous game of chess can also make people aggressive and violent."

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Motherf**king snakes! (5, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | about a year ago | (#43125635)

Obligatory: "Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherf**king snakes on this motherf**king plane!"

Re:Motherf**king snakes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125699)

I agree with banning snakes.

Re:Motherf**king snakes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125835)

Can we still eat them?

Re:Motherf**king snakes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126053)

Plane? It's the snakes in Parliament that I've had enough of.

So yes pictures of those frigging corrupt and wicked snakes could make me feel violent.

News At Eleven (0)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#43125645)

Video Game Developer Defends Video Games, News at Eleven.

Re:News At Eleven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43127113)

Violent movies do not cause violence. Not news at 11.

Crispy bacon (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125649)

I fucking hate it when my bacon's burnt.

patronizing bullshit... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125657)

is what makes me violent!

No shit (3, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43125661)

I'd get mad too if someone wasted good bacon by burning it. Hate crispy bacon.

Re:No shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125965)

Bacon is supposed to be crispy unless you're using it as bait to catch fish, then it's raw. You're not a fish, are you?

Re:No shit (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43126399)

Also. when you're a Muslim, pictures of any bacon (crispy or not) can potentially trigger violet tendencies in you. As far as the game of chess is concerned, well, look at what lifelong exposure of chess did to Bobby Fisher! Not to mention the correlation between being an international grand master and being a Soviet Russian. I'm telling you, those innocent-looking pieces sure mess with your head!

violence study (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125663)

While I don't think playing video games makes the individual violent, I'm curious to see the presence of violence in groups; and to an extent, how it affects or shapes the culture's view of violence. Do we become desensitized or do we accept certain forms of violence to be entertainment (ex.: arantino movies). And from there, does the culture make the individual violent?

Anyways, I have a feeling that violence in media is much more complicated than a cause/ effect test in a lab for a few weeks. We've tried the simple approach before and there's no consensus.

Bacon claim unsupported! News at 11! (4, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43125673)

I checked the original article. It doesn't support the claims about bacon. I guess it's still safe to eat breakfast. At least, safe for my family and friends. Maybe not so safe for my heart.

Re:Bacon claim unsupported! News at 11! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43126299)

Maybe he was referring to crispy snake bacon - you know, like horse beef burgers. It is guaranteed to make anybody violent.

Chess (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125689)

Is nothing but a regicide simulator.

30 years? try 60 (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#43125701)

Sixty years ago it was comic books. Fifty years ago rock 'n roll music.

Back in the 1930s I guess it was talkies, so they brought in the Hayes Code.

Whatever is the "new" media" is assumed to be evil and corrupting.

It might be, but you do have to prove it.

Re:30 years? try 60 (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year ago | (#43126213)

Fifty years ago rock 'n roll music.

And have you seen what have happened? Why since the 1950s, women have entered the job market, contraceptives are freely available, abortion has been legalized, pornography has been legalized, and the blacks have gained civil rights all over the US! I would not be surprised if many of the scare-moralizing people warning of the dangers of rock'n'roll would be appalled.

Re:30 years? try 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126483)

And have you seen what have happened? Why since the 1950s, women have entered the job market, contraceptives are freely available, abortion has been legalized, pornography has been legalized, and the blacks have gained civil rights all over the US! I would not be surprised if many of the scare-moralizing people warning of the dangers of rock'n'roll would be appalled.

You are way off base my friend. It is all actually linked to dancing.

Re:30 years? try 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126403)

Years? Try millennia!

How about draconian or totalitarian public policies. How about abuse of authority. How about war profiteering. How about conquering civilizations. How about the blatant every day injustices.

There are a thousands reasons I could give that lead to violence, and still not touch the latest technological medium or past time. But that's the point, right? They don't want to actually address the things that matter. And what might those be, you say? Pick a just cause. Or any injustice that still persists day after day, year after year.

If we're going to bother with the discussion, let's at least be honest about it.

Re:30 years? try 60 (5, Interesting)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#43126451)

Back in the 1930s I guess it was talkies, so they brought in the Hayes Code.

Actually, the discussion goes back at least 2400 years. It was one of the points of difference between Plato and Aristotle. Plato thought media (theater, poetry and music back then) caused people to emulate what was being presented, while Aristotle was of the opinion it actually helped people release the tension and thus not go around killing, raping and such.

Generation after generation afterwards -- at what amounts to at least 120 generations, give or take -- there have been people arguing for either camps, with no consensual conclusion having ever been reached.

Re:30 years? try 60 (2)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43126971)

Sixty years ago it was comic books

Sixty years ago comics were distributed indiscriminately through news stands, cigar stores, and other outlets. The soft core bondage porn of True Detective on sale a half step away from Archie and Donald Duck.

The hard core stuff sold under the counter.

Crime and horror comics tried to reach out to older teens and adults who had discovered the 25 cent pulp fiction paperback novels of the rough-cut Mickey Spillane --- but it was pretty crude and exploitive stuff, no matter how collectible the cover art looks now.

Interesting correlation. (5, Funny)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#43125705)

90% of all violent perpetrators ate carbohydrates the day before their killing spree. And 95% of all violent perpetrators consume caffeine at least once per week. 99% have been moving on public roads recently.

Re:Interesting correlation. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125821)

And most of them had high levels of dihydrogen monoxide in their body.

Re:Interesting correlation. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125829)

And 80% of the numbers you state on the 'net are made up on the spot.

Re:Interesting correlation. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125887)

Slightly off topic but do you realise that people with more than average birthdays are proven to live longer so having birthdays is really healthy.

Re:Interesting correlation. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126125)

In other news teen pregnancy decreases significantly among people above 20.


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125731)

Makes sense... show me a picture of some crispy bacon playing chess and the rampage is on.


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125969)

Makes sense... show me a picture of some crispy bacon playing chess and the rampage is on.

Playing against a snake, I presume.

Oblig. (4, Funny)

Psicopatico (1005433) | about a year ago | (#43125733)

"If Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
(Kristian Wilson - Creator of Pac-Man - 1989)

[I know this quote is a comedina joke and not an original one, but whatever it expresses exactly my tougths on the subject.]

Re:Oblig. (1, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#43126065)

"If Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." (Kristian Wilson - Creator of Pac-Man - 1989)

Sounds a lot like a rave party.

Re:Oblig. (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#43126339)

Just add glow sticks and you're there. Back in 2001 the snopesters [snopes.com] didn't find any evidence that the quote is bona fide, though.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126603)

Marcus Brigstocke claims to have created the joke, and seems to be more than mildly annoyed that its not generally attributed to him. Although, being Marcus Brigstocke, I'm not sure it's physically possible for him to be less than "more than mildly annoyed".

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43127129)

Being Marcus Brigstocke I do not believe that he could have come up with a joke as that would be a first for him.

Progressives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125747)

socialists, progressives, globalists, nanny staters, multi-cultis, etc. are what make me violent. I don't view any of the aforementioned people as human but rather trash. I feel worse smashing a fly than I would a progressive control freak and I feel nothing when I crush a fly.

Re:Progressives... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43125997)

How are socialists and globalists to be tarred with the same brush?

Socialists are people who think that the government knows better than you do how you should participate in the economy.

Globalists are people who think that national boundaries are artificial, detrimental barriers to trade and that, if two people under two different governments want to buy and sell things, they should be able to do so without interference from their governments.

They're two opposing views.

As a socialist (5, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43126045)

I take offense. Genuine offense too, not silly slashdotter offense. I do not believe "the government knows better than you". I believe you by yourself are simply too weak and ineffective to stand up to corporate oligarchy. I believe power naturally accumulates into the hands of a lucky few as it's passed down generation to generation. I believe that the dark ages are a think to be feared, and that Keynesian economics, which have been proven time and again, are a better answer than the writings of a fellow from the 1800s who couldn't imagine a telephone much less global communications.

It's not that the government knows better, it's more complicated than that. That's the trouble with socialism. It's the complex answer to a complex problem. Libertarianism is the simple answer, the easy one. Simple answers always sound better, but I'll steal a fellow /.er's sig here to end: "For every complex problem there is a simple answer that is also wrong".

Re:As a socialist (4, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#43126359)

That's the trouble with socialism. It's the complex answer to a complex problem.
No it is not. Socialism means public ownership of the means of production and distribution, i.e. state ownership of the industry and central planning of the economy. That's simply what the word means (look it up in a dictionary) and what that ideology was always understood to represent. Just because "socialists" are embarrassed by the utter failure of their system wherever it was tried, doesn't mean you can simply pretend that a word with a clearly defined meaning now means something completely different. It may be that a complex mix of free market and government regulation is the best way (though I personally disagree) but that is commonly called "mixed economy", not "socialism". Btw. Keynes would be insulted if you called him a socialist to his face, and being and disgusting power-hungry evil bully as he was, it probably wouldn't be a good idea.

You're mixing it up (3, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43126601)

with Communism. Again that's where complexity comes in. You're free to own the means of production, but you will pay to maintain a society that can use and enjoy that production.

You're also using a personal attach on Keynes to discredit his economic theories. That's is actually a very sophisticated rhetorical technique for a silly message board like /.. Are you an Astroturfer?

Re:You're mixing it up (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#43126949)

Communism is not an economic theory. In practice it is really a form of government, or if you are crazy enough to believe in it's fairy tales, a form of social order that magically exists without government. In any case, I just find it interesting how leftists change their philosophy depending on what they think works at a given time, and, comically, get it wrong even with the benefit of hindsight.

As for the second part, you are either joking or you are new here. Ad hominem is pretty much bread and butter on slashdot although very few posters manage to transition from criticizing other people's ad hominem posts to launching their very own ad hominem attack quite as quickly as you did. Congratulations.

For the last time, I am not a Communist. (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43126975)

I also don't eat babies. It's not magic. It's very complex and careful social policy. There is no philosophy. Only the Scientific Method. I don't have an ideology, I have a goal. If I want to build a house I don't let ideology get in the way of good architecture. Socialists will change depending on the needs. If we get it wrong, we'll ask ourselves why and try again. What we won't do is leave everything in the hands of Capitalists and hope for the best. We've seen too many cases where that didn't turn out so well.

And I was only half joking. During the last election /. was lousing with Astro turfers. With over $1 Billion in campaign money being tossed around every forum was.

To your last point, there is no minority. We are, in the end, all human. Once we start talking minorities and going down that route it's just divide and conquer time. That's the real goal of the people funding the Libertarians (you didn't think you got national attention for you're well reasoned arguments and your Ayn Rand bumper sticker, did you?). You're at my throat, I'm at yours, and they're laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:As a socialist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126817)

You might want to check that dictionary yourself, friend. Cause you're not right.

Re:As a socialist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126739)

>That's the trouble with socialism.

Now, wait just a second here. The National Socialist German Workers' Party took the horrible Post WWI German economy and started many, um, factories with, um, special workers, and produced a powerful economy. At least until 1945.

Re:As a socialist (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43126771)

"No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
-- George Orwell, "Animal Farm"

Re:Progressives... (2)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about a year ago | (#43126091)

Seriously, that's what you think those words mean? I suggest you read [wikipedia.org] more [wikipedia.org]. The AC you replied to is wrong too of course, so you at least have a point. Globalism and socialism are not opposites, although for some usages of the word globalism they can be opposed.

Re:Progressives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126429)

The idea that socialism is one ideology wherein a government is a major player or even a necessity is a pretty abominable result of the decades of propaganda suffered in the western world. Apparently, nobody has ever heard of P.J. Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Piotr Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, or any of the other countless libertarian socialists whose work has been and continues to be a major contribution to the umbrella of socialism. Just like there are authoritarian and libertarian capitalist schools, there are libertarian and authoritarian socialist schools. Socialism refers to the organization of society and the economy such that the needs of people are placed before the goal of profit, while Capitalism refers to a societal and economic system wherein people serve the goal of profit.

At the end of the day, the bogeyman is authoritarianism. It poisons both capitalism and socialism alike.

Re:Progressives... (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year ago | (#43126525)

In real world, libertarian socialism is an oxymoron. A natural result of liberty is inequality. If you agree with that obvious truth then you have to accept that any system that enforces equality is not libertarian. How do you have equality without transferring wealth by force from one person to another? Now, if you have this idea that all people are the same in terms of ability and that without, as you probably imagine, collusion of evil corporate oligarchs, greedy banksters, corrupt politicians and "1 percenters" in general, everybody would naturally do about the same amount and quality of work, save and invest the same and end up more or less equal in terms of wealth then I would suggest that this is a psychological problem, not a philosophical one.

Re:Progressives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126857)

How do you have equality without transferring wealth by force from one person to another?

If only someone could come up with a solution for short people that didn't involve cutting off the feet of the tall people. That person will become richer than everyone else.

But what is their firepower? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125757)

A violent person with a mouse and keyboard really isn't that much of a killing machine. Add a knife and they can kill unsuspecting people at close range. On the other hand if you add a gun, suddenly they become killbot-5000.

Is it 'people getting angry' that's the problem with America? Or is it 'crazed nut shoots 20'?

Because I'm pretty sure we can't outlaw 'angry' but I'm pretty sure we can outlaw guns. Whatever the Republicans & NRA want to pretend.

Re:But what is their firepower? (0)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43125859)

Go back and do some research and try not to post off topic bullshit to forward your own irrational political ideology. Which is not even based in a firm understanding of morality or ethics. Your fear is irrational. Stop letting it control your thoughts. There are not a million billion crazed gun nuts seeking to kill you. Note that I state its irrational. Not illogical.

I don't think it's gun nuts he's worried about (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43126067)

it's people with mental illness and easy access to firearms. I've known a lot of people with real mental illness. It's a chemical thing. When they have episodes it all seems rational. With the right meds they know better, but getting those meds riight is very, very expensive. We cut funding to their care back in the Reagan era because it was "freedom". It was really because we wanted tax cuts for the rich, but oh well. The upshot is there's out there, and they're surrounded by guns. A lot of us would rather take your guns away than pay for their treatment. The alternative is to get shot to pieces by one of them every so often. Take your pick out of those 3, but you will choose one of them. If only by default. I guess I did leave one thing off, which is just identifying and killing these people, but I doubt you've got the stomach for that.

For the record, keep your damn guns but start making the to 10% pay for these people's care. Socialism. Your taxes go up, but so does your standard of living. Go figure.

Re:I don't think it's gun nuts he's worried about (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#43126735)

About 10% of murders are committed by people with untreated mental illness. Your response does not address the other 90%.

So no firepower then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126097)

"Go back and do some research and try not to post off topic bullshit to forward your own irrational political ideology."
You can be angry, even violent, but ultimately you have no firepower and you can't harm me.

"Your fear is irrational"
No, guns are for killing and they kill more efficiently than a man armed with a banana. Now if I said people who carry around bananas are a threat to life, now THAT would be irrational.

"There are not a million billion crazed gun nuts seeking to kill you."
Me? I don't think the gun nuts are out to kill me, they're out to kill whoever they're angry at at the time.

"Note that I state its irrational. Not illogical."
Cool, logical.

Re:But what is their firepower? (1)

kqs (1038910) | about a year ago | (#43126621)

You make an excellent lack of point in your knee jerk rant. Odd that you refer to firearm owners as gun nuts, but if that is your preferred term then so be it.

It sounds like the GP's point was that a violent irrational person with a knife can hurt a person or two, but the victims can fight back or flee. That same person with a gun can cause much more harm. Given the number of wounds and deaths caused by firearms, this is not a theoretical exercise.

I await your carefully crafted and rational response, preferably one which addresses the argument rather than another frothing screed.

Re:But what is their firepower? (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#43125903)

Because I'm pretty sure we can't outlaw 'addiction' but I'm pretty sure we can outlaw drugs.

Re:But what is their firepower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125943)

Yeah, why haven't we ever tried that? Oh, wait, we have... And it failed miserably with alcohol, IS failing miserably with drugs, what more proof do people need that good intentioned laws don't work on ill intentioned people?

Re: But what is their firepower? (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year ago | (#43126019)

Next we'll outlaw alcohol, so that we eliminate all DUIs.

Re: But what is their firepower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126199)

Surely if you want to eliminate DUI's you simply eliminate driving while drunk as a crime? I means if it doesn't kill anyone, then you haven't taken away anyone else's rights for your selfish habit by driving while drunk!

On the other hand if alcohol doesn't cause you to be a killing machine, but DRIVING while drunk does, then you'd only outlaw the 'driving while drunk' part. i.e. the DUI law.

OK, I understand your point now, fair enough, we only make guns illegal if they have the potential to kill people. Guns *not* designed to kill stuff, we'll not outlaw.
So guns that make the loud bang part without the killing projectile, they're fine. You can enjoy yourself endlessly making loud bang noises, just without the 'bullet' projectile designed to kill and maim.

G.I.G.O. (4, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43125763)

For impressionable minds, GIGO applies, Garbage In, Garbage Out. To have a a young mind exposed to images of violence and expect that they aren't influenced by it would be a ridiculous arguement, imo.

Re:G.I.G.O. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43125869)

I think people always used to be exposed to that sort of stuff, it's just in the relative recent past we've had the option of avoiding that sort of exposure. Between war and just the process of getting that burnt bacon on the table, you'd have to be very familiar with death.

Re:G.I.G.O. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43126239)

So why do we consume the crap we produce? With our social freedoms in the US (relative to the rest of the world), are we letting our primal nature short our long term vision of an everlasting and functional civilization? So far, all indications would point towards 'yes'.

Oh look, Shiny!!!

Increasingly Silly Debate (2)

dcmcilrath (2859893) | about a year ago | (#43125765)

The fact that we're still arguing about this is kinda depressing. I admit that there are some violent, awful games, but I personally could state a list of incredibly good games, games which carry a more powerful message than a lot of books or film, and simply could not achieve that without being at least a little violent and visceral.

This article does bring up the interesting point, that violent media has equal potential to make people violent, no matter what form of media it is (the 2-minutes hate from 1984 springs to mind)

But that said, the debate is still ridiculous because Video Games fall under free speech, and therefore should not be banned, whatever their content, just like we treat books, movies, and tv.

Its About Gun Control (1)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year ago | (#43125849)

Video games, or pictures of snakes is not what the debate is about. Its about gun control. Since there are so many people all gung-ho to trample on the rights of others, people like the NRA are doing to you what you do to them. They are blaming what you like to distract from you taking away what they like, the only difference is they have a constitutional amendment protecting them. Since so many are DEMANDING something gets done, ask yourself what is easier for Congress to accomplish: Banning constitutionally protected right to own gus, or trying to destroy video games. You may think video games is a first amendment thing, but we have been adding more and more exceptions to the first amendment lately and I'm not sure you will be able to argue first amendment protections when someone shows it can harm people but still demand the second amendment be trampled on for the reason that it can harm people.

Its kind of like Mutually Assured Destruction, but with rights instead of nukes. I'm aware of many Supreme Court rulings protecting the second amendment, but I don't know of many protecting video games under the first. Until people turn on the government intrusion instead of the NRA, video games will be under constant attack no matter what research or statements people make.

Re:Its About Gun Control (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43125883)

The difference is that video games don't kill people and guns do. Regardless of what the 2nd amendment folks say, the reality is that guns are more likely to be used to kill the owner than anybody else and that banning them would result in a decreased death rate from them.

I'm not saying that we necessarily want to go that route, but it's more a penis size issue than legitimate defense issue as there's no way in hell you'd be able to overthrow the government with the weapons that are generally accepted to be covered by the 2nd amendment. Nor are you likely to ever need one for self defense if you're not doing stupid things.

Re:Its About Gun Control (2)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year ago | (#43125941)

Nor are you likely to ever need one for self defense if you're not doing stupid things.

Facts [justfacts.com]. Guns are used for self defense about 989,000 times a year around the year 2000 in the US. Guns are used for murder about 10,000 times a year. Don't make up statements that the facts clearly show are wrong.

This is EXACTLY my point, hedwards is litterally making stuff up to deamonize law abiding citizens and claiming they should have no right to protect themsleves. This is the reason the NRA is attacking video games and the movie industry, but people are demanding something gets done and the NRA is providing the least resistance and most likely to be held up in court. They can back up their claims about self defense with guns with decades of facts, but the video game industry has no such history or facts.

Re:Its About Gun Control (2)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#43126325)

The thing about the use of guns for self-defense, additionally, is that there is the possibility of a snowball effect. If the possibility of victims being armed deters crime (the thesis of the gun-rights crowd), then even unarmed people benefit from their peaceful neighbors being armed. I used to live in a shitty neighborhood in Baltimore (and, before that, a shitty neighborhood in Washington); I don't own a gun and don't have the experience necessary to carry one safely, but I would have been happier if some of my neighbors were armed.

Article is a far more interesting read ... (4, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year ago | (#43125767)

The article is a far more interesting read than the misleading headline and summary. A lot of it focuses on the idea that the "... discussion should not focus upon violent video games or violent visual media, it should focus on risk factors that might cause media to affect different people in different ways."

Unfortunately the social sciences are incredibly complex. There are a multitude of variables that are incredibly difficult to control, and any effort to control those variables would be shot down by ethics or create a significant bias in the experimental sample.

While things such as the physiological response of game players is interesting, I would be far more interested in learning about the long term impact on attitudes and behaviours. Alas, the studies that I have seen in the media have not really addressed those issues. As such they tend to be divisive among the general public, who tend to interpret the results on way or another based upon their personal beliefs.

I would also be interested in seeing meaningful longitudinal studies. Yet those have major issues because of the dynamics of technology and society. Even the most graphic violence of video games in the 1980s would border on the implicit violence of modern video games. Part of that relates to the inherent graphical and storage space limitations of the past (restricted storage space limited the ability to tell a story). Part of that relates to the more mature subjects of modern games as the demographic has expanded from children to adults.

Aggressive? (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year ago | (#43125775)

Picture this: having to pay your taxes! It makes me SO DMN AGGRESSIVE..
So: it's safe to conclude taxes are bad.

So, technically, "yes" but... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43125813)

...not any more than anything else. And you know, people have been violent since LONG before current pop culture has and for some reason, I think the violence was actually WORSE than it is today... or perhaps simply more sanitary and remote.

A piece Richard Feynman would appreciate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125871)

Straight out of his cargo cult science (Look that one up if you don't recognize it - yer educashun ain't complete yet.)

So what if they do? (0)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43125899)

My question has always been -- so what if it does? When you have free speech and we accept the obvious -- that you are responsible for your actions -- whether or not something might slightly nudge you in one direction or another is irrelevant. What, because one nutjob out of every 60,000,000 goes berzerk and -- among the billions of variables in his life, having played a video game or watched a movie or listened to a song at some point in his existence is one of those variables -- so what? We're going to dump the most primary human right overboard for that one in sixty-billion-chance person who *might* have had something to do with "consuming media"? Fucking of course not.

So we have to grow the fuck up and accept that bad shit happens, unpredictable shit happens, and nothing we can do is necessarily going to change that. Especially when there is no evidence supporting these claims. This study is one of the rare ones that shows any correlation of violence and even then, so fucking what? The closest anyone has come is scapegoating awful mass murder on videogames because "this guy once enjoyed videogames like every other person between the age of two and fifty" and, therefore, it wasn't the guns or mental health or state of mind or anything else that spurred the person into taking action . . . but "entertainment/media".

Let's move on to more meaningful discussions. These are irrelevant.

A video that induces violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43125901)

"Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger MUSHROOM MUSHROOM!"

- a flash video containing snakes that can induce violence

The Blame game pits us against ourselves... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about a year ago | (#43125907)

Some tragedy happens, perhaps a mass murder like newtown, and people who want power come out and seek to use it to control people who are scared.

Perhaps the first thing they try is to invoke a visceral response to some aspect of the tragedy, the tools used, for instance. "Let's ban guns," they say, then the tragedy wouldn't happen because the perpetrator wouldn't have the tools (conveniently ignoring the possibility that a different tool would be used...)

Some recognize this for what it is - a manipulative power grab by people who desire power, for what checks the power of a government better than a citizenry who can convincingly chose not to consent to be governed. But they can be manipulated as well. They might be tricked into bargaining for their rights, arguing for whittling down rights guaranteed by the first amendment to stave off encroachments on the second amendment. "Oh, it must be violent TV shows and video games that are the cause," they might say, and talk about "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater."

So, now we can't bring water bottles and have to take of our shoes and treated like criminals when we want to travel any great distance quickly and safely, and we're talking about regulating minor tweaks to magazine size (is 7 rounds really all that different from the typical 10-round magazine?), regulating video games and movies (are books next? newspapers? blogs?), and giving law enforcement carte blanche access to our medical records.

We shouldn't put up with any of this. Don't let the bullies divide us up into camps all arguing that this thing is important, so it's ok to concede this "less important" thing to keep it, playing us against each other for their own benefit. That path leads to the irrelevance of the rights supposedly guaranteed by the 9th, 10th, and 13th amendments...

Not really... (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43126089)

I don't see much grand standing going on. Nobody runs on gun control. It's a losing issue. Google Bill Clinton and gun control and you'll find him talking about how he lost congress over it. Pro-Gun people are single issue voters. Ironically you could take away every real freedom they have and so long as you left their guns alone they're OK (that's what it means to be a single issue voter, btw).

The anti-gun lobby is not gunning (pun) for power. They genuinely believe gun control will help. Socialized medicine and treatment for the mentally ill would help more, but they lost that battle when the health insurance lobby spent over a billion dollars to convince you the that health care was a limited resource because, hell, it's not like we couldn't train a 100,000 doctors a year for the price of America's private jets (you do the math, that's what I came up with using very, very conservative numbers).

So the people that want the shooting to stop gave up on treating the mentally ill and they're trying to just control things. I think they'll lose, but on the plus side it's put the corporate bastards on the defensive. I'll take what I can get.

Crap articles on Slashdot make me violent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126055)

Why don't you Slashcretins drink some Drano and spare
us such crap from now on ?

Pretty simple, really (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43126129)

Video games are a form of art. We must be allowed to express anything in the boundaries of art. If someone however mixes up real world with fantasy, and for example gets violent against real people, it's his own fault and he oughta be punished. If someone can not make the clear distinction between the two, something is wrong with the person, not in games.

Not to forget that there's many successful pacific games too, such as the Portal series.

I play Xonotic (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#43126155)

at lot and it relieves LOTS of stress/anger which is caused by me spending anywherre from 1-3 hours of driving to work in the morning. (I usually have to pick up supplies at my wholesalers)

if someone goes out and does violence after playing a violent video game they're already fucked in the head. If kids are spending all of their waking non school hours infront of a game with out sociolizing obviouslt they're gonna grow up to be social retards but thats the parents fault.

Good point (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#43126421)

I think video games today and those of the past are DIFFERENT. I remember enjoying violent bloody games, partially because they were so un-P.C. They had no story, were visually they were abstract, and were not as engrossing... that is, they didn't try to become a movie version of "choose your own adventure" putting you into the role of a main character to role play.

Therapists are trained to use various kinds of role playing to work thru emotional problems; including hypnosis - where you re-live experiences in a controlled environment where you can better deal with them. Having some training in hypnosis, I can tell you that I'm convinced that watching TV really is a semi-hypnotic state for most people. It's impact is proven by the actions of advertisers, propagandists, and the military for generations!

It does not matter what anybody says about media not being influential because in practice it has been long proven otherwise. Does it turn a rabbit into a wolf? No, it is not that simple. Violent Media doesn't MAKE killers; but it also doesn't MAKE you buy stuff.... it DOES however influence you to varying degrees! To be overly simplistic: brand sales cause irrational impulse decisions when somebody's brain is not fully firing (which is more often than you'd feel comfortable with.) It works. Now when somebody is in an emotionally charged situation and not thinking clearly they are doing to be swayed to the irrational "brand" of solution to the situation. You can see this in the form of mindless talking point parrots who are too upset to think rationally in a debate or when somebody reaches for a gun...

I think modern games are too realistic and too close to the role playing a therapist uses making their impact far stronger today than it was in the past. Subtle things can make all the difference how it impacts the gamer; ultimately, it is the gamer who interprets it. A nutter is going to take something safe and twist it around - so going for the strongest emotional impact may win over the largest audience and fuel endless sequels but the nuts are probably going to be strongly impacted in another direction. That being said, I think these things could be designed to create antisocial behavior in "healthy" people... not that anybody is doing that intentionally, yet. It will happen someday. It has already been done with TV/Movies during wartime; hell, that bore the propaganda industry of today.

Real point, nothing unique to gaming (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43126215)

Try sports if you want violence. Can you say Soccer Hooligans or Hockey Fans? People have been killed over a little league game. Can you say the same about video games? The point they try to make is there's something special about video games that make people violent where as there's zero evidence of that. What about banning violent sports? Just try to claim boxing doesn't make people more aggressive? People want an easy answer. Take away guns and people become fluffy kittens. Ban violent video games and school shooting disappear. It's a naive belief given the simple fact the most violent people tend to not play video games or even have access to them. Terrorist don't sit around playing video games all day. Neither do street gangs. It's like saying TV makes us fat. No it's sitting on your ass watching it that makes you fat. Most of these studies are tailored to find a specific result which means they ignore the other factors.

It's all TRUE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126383)

A few nights ago, I must have watched four comedies in a row, totally gluttoning out on comedy. The next day in the street, I saw some guy, and was just immediately filled with the irresistible urge to tell him a joke. The poor bastard just stood there speechless, until I hit him with the punchline, knocking him into a violent fit of laughter. The cops are still looking for me...

I took Bushman's class (1)

danomatika (1977210) | about a year ago | (#43126449)

I took Bushman's Social Psychology class at ISU back in 2001 or so. He's genuine and persuasive on this topic. I didn't think he was explicitly anti-video games but more interested in reminding people about mediation and it's effects. That being said, we come back from class and blast each other on Counterstrike in the dorms ...

former hardcore gamer and parent (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126465)

I'm from the generation that first got called to task for violent video games... Mortal Combat, Splatterhouse, Doom, etc...
I continued on and love to play intense games even today.
Once you have kids, you view of these things change,however.

Some people will change less, some more, but it affects you. You can see it happening inside them. Distancing themselves from consequences. Making aggression be the first response to a situation. In most kids, their response is subtle, and they can "handle it", but the question is should you glorify it?
Video games are an escape... this is true. It is fine for you to escape from consequences, and enjoy fantasy, but it's what you take back to the real world that defines whether you can handle it or not.
Many games are about being a hero and doing the right thing and there happens to be gore and violence along with it. But you are not behaving violent to celebrate it. Your character is being violent because he must to accomplish the task, save the girl, save the planet etc.
Games that turn this on its head are entertaining to those who understand the escape it provides ( who didn't love GTA when it came out? )
However if you are too young and don't have the life experience or morality to offset it, these games server to numb children to violence and do not give them the right skills to manage real world scenarios. It only confuses them.

You may think I am overreacting here, but please read this with a tone of reason. I am not saying violent video games should be banned, or anything outrageous. I do say, however that people should use good judgement and never assume that children are little adults. They do not function or learn the same way as adults. They do not have the maturity to understand and it will affect them.

More studies should be done about this, and I think that the video game industry should continue their classification system and encourage parents to take ti seriously.

I rambled a bit there, but hopefully someone takes something good away from this.

Snakes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126547)

Why'd it have to be snakes?

A uniform and IMMUNITY makes people violent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126809)

There are constant political groups in society that regularly demonise things like comics, rock music, pinball machines, space invaders, computer games, long hair, short hair- anything that young people are currently fascinated by.

These same groups vocally support a police-state, and frequently arrange the circumstances where other nations are invaded and subject to holocaust (see Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya etc., for recent examples). Because these political groups need EXTREMELY violent young people to act as their storm-troopers, getting a uniform from your 'government' always comes with complete immunity for all acts of atrocity carried out in the name of the government.

Think about that. Every act of rape, torture, and mass murder carried out by the filthy genocidal hordes you Yanks call an army in Afghanistan and Iraq carried total immunity from prosecution. Of course, the US military has the right to court-marshal any of its soldiers- which is a completely different principle. For those of you too thick to get it, no war crime carried out by any mercenary in Iraq or Afghanistan has every been punished in court- because the mercenaries too operated under total immunity, and unlike the official soldiers, the mercenaries answer to no military legal authority either.

Pu a young man in a uniform (especially if he has 'volunteered' for service), give him immunity (for official actions, no matter how violent), and the rates of violence from these people will be astonishing. Today, you can watch self-posted videos from Obama's terrorist in Syria, showing them raping, torturing and murdering- happy in the knowledge that Obama has given them complete immunity from future punishment.

The coming American nuclear attack against Iran will rapidly lead to massively enlarged battle-fronts that DEMAND forced service. Britain and the USA are unique amongst the major players in NOT having forced service, but both nations have advanced plans and systems in readiness. The whole "its OK to have gays and girls on the front-line" propaganda is a necessary project that addresses the fact that future compulsory service could not discriminate by the current societal principles in these two nations. If girls and gays couldn't be forced to serve, too many young men would say "count me out too", and the courts would have to back them.

Back to video games. It times of war madness, young people must be demonised, and demonised HARD, if they are not solely concerned with being in uniform and murdering the enemy on behalf of the State. It may seem the height of irony to think their are people who actually say "young people should NOT be playing violent video games, they should be in uniform mass murdering Muslims instead" but that is exactly the message Team Obama's puppet masters pump out daily in their mainstream media outlets.

The vast majority of anti-video games stories are to be found in outlets that Tony Blair's other main propagandist, George Soros, controls. Whereas most of you have heard of Murdoch, few know of the nazi George Soros, and his complete control of most so-called liberal leaning 'independent' media outlets. When a child is terrorised by the school authorities for playing an imaginary game of cops and robbers, he can thank Soros. When a young woman is thrown out of school for refusing to wear an ACTIVE, transmitting radio tag that monitors her every movement, she can thank Soros. When an infant is given a criminal record because Mom occidentally left a butter knife in the lunch box, he or she can thank Soros.

Your kids all need to be on Ritalin? That's Soros. Your sporty, and very active ten-year old is 'fat' according to a government official? That's Soros (and Soros particularly likes this one, because it reminds him of the obsession the original nazis had for measuring and categorising people).

Soros is 'political correctness' and 'zero tolerance'. These were the two massive social themes in the German Heartland when Hitler's power was rising. Post war propaganda is always carefully to NEVER EVER examine the societal structure in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s. Why? Because ordinary people would be shocked and terrified to discovery that Nazi Germany itself was ultra feminist, politically correct and had 'zero tolerance' policies in all the schools. The horrors inflicted by the Nazis were either outside the borders of the Homeland, or in secret.

Free societies are NEVER 'politically correct' (although they do protect the rights of all minorities). Free societies NEVER have policies based on 'zero tolerance', but instead use common-sense and proportionality. Free societies assume that if people are treated decently, they'll behave decently. Free societies were found in many of the post-war European nations that had suffered under the nazis, and knew how much they now wished for the very opposite.

5 minutes of research will show the nonsense of the attacks on video games. 5 minutes of research will also show the vast majority of adults are happy to demonise young people on the basis of video games. The first fact is irrelevant in the face of the second. What propagandists like Murdoch and Soros make people think they know is all that matters in the end. The tyranny of the majority is a real thing, when evil politicians wish to do business this way.

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