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'Boozy Gamer' Researcher Questioned

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the we-only-like-good-beer-at-least dept.

109

Via GameSetWatch, a Gamespy interview with Sonya Brady, the person who ran the research study we reported on a while back. The one that claimed gamers enjoy getting high, drinking alcohol? From the article: "What kind of feedback have I received? My feedback from research colleagues and other older adults has generally been positive. What I find most interesting is the feedback I have received from adolescents and young adults. Some people are interested in learning more about the research, even if they are skeptical of the results. Other people have been very angry."

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angry gamers (2, Funny)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207561)

other people have been very angry

These are the people that would be better off as "boozy gamers" :D

Re:angry gamers (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208961)

That was not funny at all, but I saw it coming. Whoever modded my previous comment +1 funny is a banal dipshit.

Re:angry gamers (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208962)

Well I am a boozy gamer and I keep going up to the other the other gamers playing shaying you are my beshtest mate you are. But then they shoot me. The bashtards. Why aren't I getting any frags? I want some peanuts.

Nah, you got it backwards... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211260)

It's the people that don't have enough sense to be angry that are better off drunk.

Boozy Gamer? (4, Funny)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207564)

When I saw "Boozy Gamer" I thought for a minute I was reading about some future Ubuntu release.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207734)

I took myself out of moderation because I got tired of the whole thing but this is the funniest thing I've seen on slashdot in a while. Then again, you can't please everyone...

Re:Boozy Gamer? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207820)

It's not "Boozy Gamer", it's "Boozy Bomber". Ubuntu code names are cute and fun [ubuntu.com] !

Re:Boozy Gamer? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208237)

I can't wait until they have "faggy farter". They need to spend more time thinking of these names, and less on helping people switch over. After all, you don't need that big of a user base to beat Microsoft.

Re:Boozy Gamer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208440)

No, that other thing. Retarded.

Not as retarded as shipping gnome though.

Re:Boozy Gamer? (2, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207919)

That would be Goozy Gamer, the Ubuntu names have alliteration.

Re:Boozy Gamer? (2, Funny)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209659)

When I saw "Boozy Gamer" I thought for a minute I was reading about some future Ubuntu release.
 
Free as in Beer.

Explain to me... (5, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207582)

...how gamers are any different from other [young] adults, in that they as a group tend to enjoy drinking and experimenting with drugs? For that matter, how are 'gamers' defined as separate from young adults as a general population?

And for the question of the year: Who really gives a shit? Come on, young people are demonized as a matter of course, particularly for drinking or doing drugs. Trying to draw a causal link between games and that sort of behavior is unnecessary.

Re:Explain to me... (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207757)

To the first question: With the average age of a gamer being 27, I don't think you can really call gamers young adults, as that generaly infers the 16-20 age range.

To the second: You're right, no one should give a shit about it. Such a link, even if it did exist, wouldn't be particularly helpful information to anyone except hand wringers.

Re:Explain to me... (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208142)

With the average age of a gamer being 27, I don't think you can really call gamers young adults, as that generaly infers the 16-20 age range.

I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, but I wouldn't consider a 16 or 17 year old a "young adult", I'd consider them a teenager. I'd put the "young adult" label more in the 20-25 range than the 16-20 range. So a 27 year old would be pretty close to qualifying.

Re:Explain to me... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208468)

Yeah, subjectivity is the reason why I bracketed "young" off. I've heard the definition reach down into the tweens and stretch into the mid-twenties. Social habits like drinking, partying, playing games and the like tend to be pretty stable through that long period though, from personal observation at least. The only real differences between the younger and older ends of the set tend to be availability ("let's see some ID") and personal mobility ("Mom, can you give me a lift to Billy's party?").

Re:Explain to me... (2, Informative)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208637)

From the summary that Sonya Brady gave (linked to from TFI): "We randomly assigned 100 male undergraduates aged 18-21 to play a game relatively high in violence, Grand Theft Auto III, or a game relatively low in violence, The Simpsons: Hit and Run." So, the sample population of the study was aged 18-21, which most people I know would consider as (young) adult. The study certainly didn't look at the average gamer.

Re:Explain to me... (1)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209265)

It should also be noted that they're all UNDERGRADUATES... A population with one of the highest percentages of people drinking and doing drugs--they tend to have the free time and the disposable income for such hobbies... or at least the ones who didn't have to work/take out huge loans to pay for their studies...

Re:Explain to me... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207967)

And for the question of the year: Who really gives a shit?

Parents who watched Grandma's Boy [rottentomatoes.com] and figured out that Little Johnny's interest in XBox and gaming magazines is going to a lead to a life of boozing, smoking and unsafe sex with grandmothers.

Re:Explain to me... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207998)

...how gamers are any different from other [young] adults, in that they as a group tend to enjoy drinking and experimenting with drugs?

Yeah. I didn't see the original article, but reading this summary made me think a more accurate title would be "study finds that lifeforms on earth in general enjoy getting high, drinking alcohol."

Re:Explain to me... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208891)

Well, I guess the theory is that if we can find out what activities are funn enough to want to do while drinking and getting high, We can stop people from getting high and drinking by stoping them from doing these activities.

I guess with all that time on thier hands, they should be able drive around and find somethign constructive to do like finding new ways to get high and drink. /chicken and egg sarcasm thing.

It is funny when you think about what people might try with information like this. sometimes the answer is the problem or worse then the problem.

Re:Explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208925)

>Explain to me...
>how gamers are any different from other [young] adults, in that they as a
>group tend to enjoy drinking and experimenting with drugs? For that matter, >how are 'gamers' defined as separate from young adults as a general
>population?

Read the actual study. It shows that people who have just played a violent video game are significantly more permissive in their attitude towards drug and alcohol use. It's not about classifying people as "gamers" or not, just documenting the effects of playing video games.

Stupid headline... (2, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207593)

..makes it sound like he is being questioned by police or academics or something for, perhaps, faulty research - when in fact he's being questioned in the context of an interview! Here I was all excited to join the crowd of people slamming this guy for his anti-videogame-ways only to be thwarted by the english language! Now what am I going to do with my afternoon?

Re:Stupid headline... (4, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207609)

Now what am I going to do with my afternoon?

Get drunk. Play a game.

Re:Stupid headline... (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207627)

Get drunk. Play a game.

Excellent idea!

Re:Stupid headline... (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207664)

Get drunk. Play a game.

Brilliant!

Re:Stupid headline... (1)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209868)

Sorry, that's only for young people!

Re:Stupid headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15210140)

i would but i'm way too high to play games right now

Re:Stupid headline... (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207728)

I know you were disappointed by the FA, but the first paragraph of the article makes it clear that the researcher is a 'she.'

Re:Stupid headline... (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207749)

Heh. Yeah. I noticed that after I hit submit, of course... Stupid too-fast-button-clicking-and-not-enough-proofreadi ng-or-previewing-ing. :-)

Games are media (1)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207626)

They are no different in there purpose than movies, tv, visualizations, or fingers... they are cool and fun... when using recreational pharmacuticles or intoxicating beverages.

Re:Games are media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207964)

Do please enlighten me... what are "pharmacuticles?" Are those drugs you take for your fingernails?

Further research needed (and get better summaries) (4, Insightful)

the_demiurge (26115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207679)

The original research said that a group of people were made to play either GTA or the Simpsons driving game (Hit and Run). The people who played GTA had more permissive views of drug uses than the people playing Hit and Run. Assuming that their methodology for those results are valid, the research still leaves a lot of questions unanswered:

What if they were made to play other sorts of games? What would be the differences between Katamari Damacy and Tetris, for example.

What if they were exposed to other sorts of things? What would be the difference between playing GTA and watching Casino? Or between watching football and watching fishing.

I think more data is needed to avoid making an oversimplified generalization from these results.

Re:Further research needed (and get better summari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207761)

And there's the more fundemental problem of how the results are being characterized. Being permissive about drugs, thinking "Billy" is going to be accused by his teacher could just be examples of valuing personal freedom and understanding narratave (see "Chekhov's gun"). In this case, you could interpret the results as GTA is teaching good values and skills.

Re:Further research needed (and get better summari (1)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208371)

I think more data is needed to avoid making an oversimplified generalization from these results.

Data??? What have you been smoking?!!?!? No data is needed, sensationalist assumptions based on flimsy evidence is all we need! We've proven it: video games are evil and make kids evil!!!

/sarcasm

Re:Further research needed (and get better summari (1)

lord sibn (649162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208527)

While I will admit to being boozy, I am not a gamer (per se, though there was a time I would spend 16 hours per day on such persuits).

I think the better comparison would be between Katamari Damacy and ...Pac-Man.

*ducks*

Re:Further research needed (and get better summari (1)

meregistered (895132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208764)

Exactly.

There are enough poorly structured research cases. We don't need more useless data.
Not only is the 'study' putting an illogical spin on the affects of gaming as relating to alcohol and drugs it is adding to the enormous pile of research that reeks of bad journalism, while obviously being bad science.

-ME®

If you don't lime my study, do your own (1)

Steel Grey Monk (737553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207762)

If people genuinely think that this research is flawed and feel passionate about the issue of whether videogame violence has any negative effects, I encourage them to pursue a career in research and to potentially design their own research studies in the future. Like many other careers, a career in research requires strong mathematical, science, and writing skills. I would like to see people's energy directed towards not only becoming involved in the debate, but also in the science.

So if you don't like the conculsions of her research, go to school, get a degree and do your own. Almost sounds like she has no interest in input from anyone but her peers. Most of which are probably not gamers.

Re:If you don't lime my study, do your own (1)

the_demiurge (26115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207839)

This seems fair to me. You don't dismiss a published study by saing 'nuh uh'. You can either give specific examples on how it's intrinsicly flawed or do your own study. Anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it.

Umm.... blood pressure? (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208167)

As I said the first time this article came out, from the study's abstract, I'm going to go with the blood pressure as the underlying cause behind the differences between the groups. The odd thing is, she does not mention it during her conclusion. Possibly because, when looked at it that way, it's an really just two things we already know: i.e. if you get someone's blood pressure up, they are more likely to be confrontational & not think as much about their actions; and playing a fairly realistic video game (particulary a violent one) is going to raise your blood pressure. Of course, obvious studies (or obvious conclusions) don't get funding...

Wait [popsci.com] , no, I'm wrong.

Re:If you don't lime my study, do your own (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208306)

So if you don't like the conculsions of her research, go to school, get a degree and do your own. Almost sounds like she has no interest in input from anyone but her peers. Most of which are probably not gamers.

However, at the same time, it is kind of like asking a WWI General about how the war is going on in the trenches when you are both sitting in a nice French Chateu sipping on noon tea.

Chances are they are quite educated about the analysis and the subject of war fare, but you are going to get quite a different outlook than when you ask the soldier who is sitting in the mud with shells going off about his fox hole.

The General may go down to the supply area (far back from the trenches) on a sunny day and ask one out of 100 troops his opinion which most of them unamiously agree the war is going great. So the general goes home and writes a letter home to his wife saying the war is going great.

However, two trenches up closer to the main lines, the troops are distinctly aware that they are going to be over run and a severe breakthrough and encirclement is about to happen. Dispite their best efforts to let the general know, he disregards them because they are not his peers. The next day enemey troops kick down the Chateau doors and haul the general out of bed after a very bad route.

The moral of the story is... Just because you are an expert and do polls on a handful of people doesn't mean you know the entire picture and chances are your research did't include the right people.

I'm not sure how this relates to gaming, but from personal experience in the trenches, I've never experienced gaming causing me to get violent or want to murder someone... Expect Tetris... And my drinking habbits stem from work related stress... Not gaming. Of course this is personal experience and all other gamers in the world could have this problem, but if it was a serious issue like he says we'd have thousands of mass murders and alcoholics on the streets begging for change to play at the arcades.

Re:If you don't lime my study, do your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208992)

Steel Grey Monk (737553) says "Almost sounds like she has no interest in input from anyone but her peers. Most of which are probably not gamers."

Why do you assume that succesful researchers with PhDs in psychology don't play video games? Sounds like you have some prejudices...

Going to school to become your own research (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211323)

Where they will train you to be as poor a researcher as she is, and penalize you for "wasting time" attempting how to research for real. Sorry, one would have better results persuading the terrorists to take out the current psychological and mental health cabal.

What's interesting to me is the bias in slashdot (1)

Pinefresh (866806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207767)

You can see it in the title of this story, "questioned" he wasn't questioned, police question. He was interviewed. And 'boozy gamer'...

Re:What's interesting to me is the bias in slashdo (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208652)

Actually, He is a She...

-Rick

People don't like to be questioned (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207782)

If you are slightly older and wiser then your average teenager, you might have seen similar reactions to other studies.

Believe it or not young ones but there was a time when some people claimed smoking wasn't just not bad for you but actually GOOD for you. Boggles the mind doesn't it? You can imagine that smokers having grown up with idea that smoking a good thing didn't react all that well when people started telling them how bad it is.

Even worse when smoking parents were being told they were harming their childeren.

It is a sorta holy war. A constant one is the debate as to who is right when it comes to working hours. The americans with long working weeks or the europeans with short ones. Part of the problem is perhaps that their is no right answer but I think the main reason that such a discussion always becomes a flame war is that each side feels themselves being attacked for a fundemental part of their livestyle.

To test the effects of violent games on gamers lets use another hobby but one where we have very clear examples of the violence it generates. Soccer.

I am sure even americans have heard about violent soccer fans (hooligans) that are a major problem in europe and have been since I was a kid. Almost every match needs a sizable and costly police force to keep things under control. Even with this huge cost to the taxpayer it still frequently goes wrong and you the results are very clear closed of city centers that look like a disaster struck and a constant bill for public transport in destroyed vehicles (and a train costs a lot to rebuild).

Now I challenge you with this. You go on public tv in europe and claim that soccer is the cause of this violence and that restrictions should be put in place to curb the violence. Good luck.

The evidence of violence is very clar as is the link. If a hundred hooligans go out of the stadion and on a rampage it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you forbid audiences at soccer matches you would limit the problem.

Hell, even simpler suggestion. Let the soccer clubs pay for the police presence. They make billions they can afford it. Good luck again.

So, nobody likes to be told that their hobby is the cause of problems. Nobody likes to be told what they should do.

So is that strange that gamers react strongly to being told that their hobby is bad and should be regulated or even banned?

It doesn't matter if the accusations hold water. What matters is that your lifestyle is being questioned. The smoker doesn't want to be told to stop smoking, the soccer fan doesn't want to pay for the soccer hooligans and the gamer does not want to be restricted in the games he can play.

Very normal. But is it helpfull?

Smokers have lost, soccer fans hangon because soccer is a billion dollar industry with a wide fanbase. Gamers? Well, we are not exactly popular are we. We don't have the public on our side.

Does it really help our case of "violent games don't cause violence" if we react violently against anyone who claims it? Isn't that rather like claiming "I am peacefull and will kill anyone who claims that ain't so"?

It is easy to feel attacked in your personal freedom but when you attack your enemy for claiming your violent you are only proving his point.

Worse, perhaps we are like those smokers who claim that smoking ain't bad for you. How many gamers are even willing to consider that the link between violence and gaming could exist? Based on past experience, not many. This is another holy war and both sides got their fanatics.

Re:People don't like to be questioned (4, Interesting)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207994)

I think you need some facts.

Police forces in Britain already send the football clubs a bill for policing their event. The police don't make a profit but they do recoup a big portion of the costs.

Violence between fans at football matches is very rare these days, due to policing and segregation and whatnot. What violence there is tends to take place away from the football ground itself. If a fight happens between rival fans on a train 30 miles away from a football stadium, how realistic is it to blame the football clubs? Come to think of it, if there is some sort of causing link between gaming and violence, it's likely so subtle and tenuous that you really cannot point any finger of blame at gamemakers, or censor them. You can't say speech isn't speech because if you say something to half a million people, two of them might twist your words enough to use them to kill somebody. Pretty much every preacher, politician or rock star in the land would have to be forcibly silenced if that was the case.

Top football matches in the UK are already rather expensive and the football fans rarely complain, except if venal American asset-strippers happen to take over their club.

I am not from the UK (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210412)

I am from holland where the current story is about a match between Feyenoord and Ajax and how the police had to arrest a few hundred feyenoord supporters to keep them from attacking Ajax supporters.

Oh and a smaller article about 2 ADO fans who were caught trying to set fire to a Ajax clubhouse supposdely in revenge for a group of Ajax fans who attacked a ADO clubhouse and beat up the people inside.

Yeah, that sounds like things being under control.

NOT.

As for the police being sent a bill, good for you. Sounds like the UK got fed up with this nonsense. It is still not being done in Holland. In fact the most recent attemps to charge for police presence go out of their way to mention soccer matches and focus instead on arts festivals.

Perhaps I should have mentioned the country in question.

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208107)

Almost every match needs a sizable and costly police force to keep things under control. Even with this huge cost to the taxpayer it still frequently goes wrong ...

In the U.S., such security is universally billed to the event, including all necessary overtime and equipment. The cost comes out of the ticket prices, and so the cost to the taxpayer is nil. Is this not the way it is done in Europe?

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

aliosha (205959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208890)

I cannot speak about *all* of Europe, but for sure it's *not* the way it works in Italy.
I mean, come on, Football Clubs even got tax discounts and what more (it helped that our formed prime minister was the owner of one of the biggest Football Club in the country).
No, everyone pays for the police, the ruined train, the problems.
I'd LOVE to see football matches taxed (and I would not complain if they disappeared alltogether, actually)

            A

Re:People don't like to be questioned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208355)

All I ask is that games be treated the same as all other media, be they movies, TV Shows, Books, newspapers, music CDs, or billboards. If violent games cause people to be violent, then violent movies and books do the same. If violent books and movies are OK, then violent games are OK. GTA, The Godfather, and Catch 22. They all stay or they all go.

Re:People don't like to be questioned (2, Insightful)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210541)

You can imagine that smokers having grown up with idea that smoking a good thing didn't react all that well when people started telling them how bad it is.

Ah, but there is a direct connection between smoke and harm. Everyone who smokes harms his health, and the health of the people around them. However, whether the quoted study is correct or not, it only states that gamers are more likely to drink and get high. So while the smoking study says something about ALL smokers, the gaming study says something about SOME gamers. And those gamers that do not drink or use drugs (such as myself) are annoyed that they are automatically labeled as heavy drinkers and drug users according to the study. Perhaps the study does not say that, but it IS the way it is interpreted by people. As you so adequately demonstrate with the comparison with smoking studies.

To test the effects of violent games on gamers lets use another hobby but one where we have very clear examples of the violence it generates. Soccer.

Very, very, VERY bad example. There is no way to know whether soccer generates violence (as you think is the case), or that violent people use soccer matches as an excuse to go on a rampage. Actually, I personally think it is the latter. If audiences were forbidden for soccer matches, the hooligans would find another place to get together. Maybe they go to tennis matches, or hockey matches, or - who knows - LAN parties. And there will be violence there.

Hell, even simpler suggestion. Let the soccer clubs pay for the police presence. They make billions they can afford it. Good luck again.

Considering that you cannot prove the causal relationship between soccer and violence, while you still want the soccer clubs to foot the bill, it is not surprising that your suggestion is successfully contested. It is the same as saying: "Over 90% of all crimes are committed by men, so why should women pay for a police force? Let there be a special criminality-taxation only for males." This has actually been suggested by several fundamentalist feminists, but, of course, this has never been implemented, because it is not about a distinction between men and women, but between criminals and non-criminals. Just as your suggestion is not about those who visit soccer matches and those who do not, but about those who go on a rampage and those who go home peacefully.

It is easy to feel attacked in your personal freedom but when you attack your enemy for claiming your violent you are only proving his point.

"You are violent!"
"No, I'm not!"
"See? You protest, so you prove my point!"

"You are violent!"
*silence*
"You have nothing to say? I guess that means you agree."

Damned if you do...

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15212037)

"You are violent!"
"Why would you say that?" | "What makes you think that?" | etc
[answer that allows further discussion]

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

marevan (846115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211020)

Well I think you are wrong. If the soccer would be banned, the hooligans would find some other way to cause some havoc. It's not the game that those kind of persons are really interested, it's the violence. So don't go making stupid generalisations, mr Older-And-Wiser.

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211613)

1) Smoking causes cancer.

2) Obviously there is/has been violence at football games (but I doubt the causation between the two is 100%).

3) There is no proof that video games cause violence (at least no more of a percentage of causation than simply being alive causes violence).

Therefore, videogamers DO have a right to protest such a horrible unintelligent study.

Re:People don't like to be questioned (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211635)

Sorry, also put in "doing drugs" along with causes violence.

The truth. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15207826)

There are three types of lies:

1) Lies
2) Damn Lies
3) Statistics

We don't know enough about the study (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207837)

...to properly critique it. In particular I would be suspicious of the way in which the questions were asked, but neither gamespy article talks at all about what steps were taken to avoid inaccurate results, aside from that they "randomly" assigned the 100 students to the two games. In fact they don't even tell us what "random" means in this case. Did they just pick every other one? Or did they assign them all numbers and then pick 50 numbers to figure out who would play one of the games?

I just sent feedback to gamespy.com about their article, as suggested on page 2. Hopefully they'll get back to me, but I'm not holding my breath. Here's what I sent 'em:

Basically no information is given on methodology. Without this information it is not possible to form a rational opinion of the validity of the study.

Following is a series of small excerpts from the one paragraph on methodology, with my questions:

> We randomly assigned 100 male undergraduates aged 18-21

Just how random was this? In particular, what was the method of creating random values, and what was the method of assigning values to students, and thus, students to games?

> to play a game relatively high in violence, Grand Theft Auto III, or a game relatively low in violence, The Simpsons: Hit and Run.

What were the demographics of the two groups? Do they actually indicate that the sample was large enough? For instance, was one group noticably younger or older by average or median? What backgrounds did the members of the groups come from? Did one group or the other have a greater history of drug or alcohol use, or of violence?

> Random assignment means that any differences observed after gameplay should be due to differences between the games rather than any potential differences between the people who played each game.

It SHOULD, but only if the sample is large enough. Was it? We have no way to know.

Re:We don't know enough about the study (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208398)

I think that this study is weak, mostly because you can poke some pretty serious holes in it with only the information we currently have. The things that stick out in my mind are the age of the participants in the study, as well as the conclusions made.

So they chose 100 male undergrads. This demographic has some general qualities that are relevant here. The first is that they often are risk-taking individuals, and this comes from the general mindset of young males out on their own for the first time. More specifically, and this might be a shocker to some of you, a lot of undergrad males drink and use drugs.

This Reuters article quotes Dr. Brady as saying "what this study suggests is that they might increase any type of risk-taking behavior.". Now, I don't know her personally, but she sounds a little out of touch with the people she's studying, and also seems to not understand the scientific method very well. Where is the control group (people who didn't play any games)? Where are the comparisons to general surveys of college males? [reuters.com]

Re:We don't know enough about the study (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208476)

Yeah, that's something I hadn't even thought about; probably if anything playing the game changed their responses and not their minds; after playing a violent video game they were more likely to admit a willingness to use drugs including alcohol.

Re:We don't know enough about the study (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208633)

Maybe the games acted like a drug or calming activity? I guess I could buy into the theory that gaming makes people more laid-back or open.

Re:We don't know enough about the study (2, Informative)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208433)

It also does not address whether the participants were likely to willingingly skew the results.

I mean, c'mon, we are talking about a bunch of immature males that just got asked to play games. I remember when I was in college, I would probably intentionally skew the results if I was in such a study.

Re:We don't know enough about the study (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208631)

This just in: Playing Simpson's Road Rage causes lying among undergrads! VIDEO GAMES ARE EVIL!

Oh please (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208998)

Just how random was this? In particular, what was the method of creating random values, and what was the method of assigning values to students, and thus, students to games?

Random is random. It's very easy to divide 100 people in two random groups. The exact method is not relevant. Sure, it's thinkable that some mistake was made there, but then you might as well question if they added the numbers correctly, and a hundred different things.

It SHOULD, but only if the sample is large enough. Was it? We have no way to know.

We know how large the sample was. 100 people. 50 in each group. The statistical properties of that group size is well known. Unless you (see above) want proof they were not miscounted.

Re:Oh please (1)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210079)

Actually, we do need more info to know whether the difference was significative or not. The article doesn't give us the probability that the difference isn't significative, and we'd have to know (at least) the standard deviations and the averages for the different groups to have a shot at estimating that.

And I ask again (3, Interesting)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15207851)

And I ask again, how is being permissive towards the use of alcohol, sex or even drug use a problem? Alcohol can be used in moderation, sex can be safe when using condoms and some drugs can be perfectly safe when used in moderation, so safe, that many are prescribed by doctors!

This research is like saying "reading books about food will make people hungry" or "reading a wine tasting magazine will make people more permissive towards alcohol use". Geez!

Re:And I ask again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208033)

And I ask again, how is being permissive towards the use of alcohol, sex or even drug use a problem? Alcohol can be used in moderation, sex can be safe when using condoms and some drugs can be perfectly safe when used in moderation, so safe, that many are prescribed by doctors!

The truth is that you're wrong on most counts; alcolhol use does damage to your liver and destroys your brain cells, not to mention adds un-necessary calories to your diet and has a risk of addiction and dependency associated with it. Sex, even with a condom, has risk associated with it; genital warts, crabs, herpies can all be transfered even if you use a condom (not to mention that the condom stands a reasonable risk of breakage). Finally, NO DRUGS ARE SAFE, every drug (in existance) has side effects and risks associated with it, all prescription drugs are determined not to be safe but that the benefits outweight the risks.

Permissive attitudes towards these activities are bad (in particular among younger teenagers) because they're not mature enough to assess the risk-reward ratio of any of these actions.

Re:And I ask again (2, Funny)

JonnyCalcutta (524825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208170)

What you say is true. As is the fact that drinking too much water is lethal. So let's ban water drinking. Or anything with the potential of death. Especially among younger teenagers. Riding a bike could lead to fatal accidents. Even putting on your socks can lead to fatal accidents. Bacon leads to heart disease. Sugar is addictive and is abundant in most cereal based breakfasts. Even going too school carries the risk of being shot by nutbag Goths. Lets all live within giant balls of cotton wool, encased in six inches of lead, buried beneath the ground. However we might still choke on out own tounges so the only chance our children have of not dying or suffering in anyway is for them not to be born (unless we cut out their toungues). So you are right in one respect - sex is risky.

Permissive attitudes towards these activities are bad (in particular among younger teenagers) because they're not mature enough to assess the risk-reward ratio of any of these actions - I propose we ban teenagers, or activities.

Re:And I ask again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208315)

I think you missed my point entirely ...

The orignial poster was saying (essentially) "These things have absolutely no downside to them so why should it be bad if people have a permissive and naive attitude towards them?"

What I was saying is that these activities DO have a downside and that you have to be mature enough to accept the risks in order to take part in any of them. Water does have risks associated with it which is why (regardless of whether it is a lake or a glass of water) young children do not regulate their exposure to it; bike riding does have risks associated with it which is why in many (if not most) municipalities they have created bylaws forcing minors to wear helmets. The fact that by simply watching a movie, or playing a videogame, can influence people to have a more permissive attutide towards these activities implies that these people are not mature enough to actually take part in these activities.

Now to clarify my point further, because people are influenced by comercials to buy candy and junk-food they have demonstrated that they are not mature enough to regulate their exposure to these foods themselves; which is why we have such a massive obesity problem in north america.

Re:And I ask again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208742)

Ahh... the scarcrow defense. You know, cause scarecrows are made of straw...

"These things can be used in moderation" is a far cry from "These things have absolutely no downside to them."

--Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

Re:And I ask again (1)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208798)

Ironically enough, it is a statistical fact that a child is more likely to drown in a pool than to be killed by a gun, even accounting for the number of each. I.e. you can have X drownings per 1000 pools, but it is a lower number of deaths per 1000 guns in the US. Funny, huh?

Re:And I ask again (2, Interesting)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208500)

There are studies that show that moderate use of beer or wine is beneficial. A more relaxed attitude towards sex leads to a healthier happier person. Unless you have a caffeine free life and take no pain relievers, you really should shut up about drugs.

Besides these were not younger teenagers, but adults. They are allowed to vote, die for thier country, and depending on age and jurisdiction drink.

Re:And I ask again (1)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208784)

Actually, on the "moderate use of beer or wine is beneficial" most studies on this subject fail to account for the fact that people that abstain from drinking outside of the study tend to be those with health problems in the first place which resulted in them not drinking. As such, these same studies are inherently biased towards the light drinking population before the study even starts.

Re:And I ask again (1)

Oldsmobile (930596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210417)

I agree, the studies are flawed. However, no-one has been able to show that moderate alcohol use is HARMFUL either. And as the effect of alcohol is decidedly beneficial, in that it causes a person to relax, open up, I would say that makes moderate alcohol use a very good thing.

Re:And I ask again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208868)

There are studies that show that moderate use of beer or wine is beneficial. A more relaxed attitude towards sex leads to a healthier happier person. Unless you have a caffeine free life and take no pain relievers, you really should shut up about drugs.

Much like everyone else you missed my point entirely ...

The original poster made comments like "drugs can be perfectly safe when used in moderation, so safe, that many are prescribed by doctors!" and "sex can be safe when using condoms" which are false statements; sex is NEVER safe, there is always a risk (you may accept the risk, but it is still a risk), and NO drugs are perfectly safe. The drug one really annoys me, because it is the same misguided thinking that leads to billion dollar law suits against drug companies; you get given a drug, with a list of potential side effects but you ignore those and take the drug anyways, you happen to end up with the side effects and you blame the company (you completely ignore the fact that you accepted the risk of having those side-effects).

All I'm saying is that you can not say "how is being permissive towards the use of alcohol, sex or even drug use a problem?" you have to understand that there are risks associated with all of these activities and a permissive attitude is usually associated with a naive attitude

Re:And I ask again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15209230)

Oh, please. Quit it with the glib generalizations. Sex can be perfectly safe. I have sex with my wife many times per week and it is completely harmless for both of us (unless you count skinned knees and a sore jaw :)

"a permissive attitude is usually associated with a naive attitude"

Baseless claim. Want to supply some peer-reviewed evidence on this? Choose from law & policy, sociology, or behavioral psychology.

This last comment shows an obvious conservative bias. A question: do you believe that all humans are born bad, in general? That is, greedy, self interested, and with a tendency to commit moral wrongs if consequences are not applied? Please answer this question so we can write you off.

Re:And I ask again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15209557)

Saying "a permissive attitude is usually associated with a naive attitude" is not a conservative point in the way you're probably associating one with it (as in socially conservative) it is a very realistic point.

When people say "society should maintain a more permissive attitude towards sex" they typically mean "society should be more permissive on non-monogamous, group or casual sex"; and when people say "society should maintain a more permissive attitude towards drugs" they typically mean "society should be more permissive of people who partake in (possibly illegal, but it is not important) recreational drugs." These are both activities which have high risks associated with them and it is naive to believe otherwise.

Basically think about if someone said "society should maintain a more permissive attitude towards smoking" any person in their right mind would say no; we may tolerate the behavior, and accept a person's right to make that decision, but there is no reason why I should accept the behavior as appropriate or allow my children to believe that it is an appropriate path in life.

Booze and videogames is utterly stoopid. (1)

rocjoe71 (545053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208018)

I tried to drink while playing videogames but it was too hard to hold my beer AND the controller.

Re:Booze and videogames is utterly stoopid. (5, Funny)

SpectreHiro (961765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208088)

Drinking while gaming can be very tricky business, so it pays to put a little forethought into your imbibing. The following tips should help:
  1. Choose hard liquor - Drinking beer or wine is too hands on. Try drinks that are effective with quick gulps (whiskey, vodka, tequila, etc). These also lessen your need to visit the piss-bucket.
  2. Choose the right time - The best times to drink are A) During level loads, B) While waiting to respawn, C) Before gaming (pre-gaming) and D) While paused.
  3. Consider technological answers - There are numerous small pieces of equipment that can ease your in-game drinking, from something as simple as a straw, all the way to Camelbacks and those awesome beer-hats worn at baseball games.

And if drinking is too hard... Try drugs instead.

Re:Booze and videogames is utterly stoopid. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208660)

Haha, too funny.

For those curious, the effect of drugs on gaming depends largely on the drug(s) chosen. For example:

-Alcohol: Eventually you can't react for shit, and your ability level drops off rapidly. Losing was never so exciting. Neutral.
-Caffiene: Quickening of reaction time, however games can become frustrating because of load times and deaths from over-twitching. Recommended.
-Marijuana: Similar to alcohol, except without the bathroom breaks, and an insatiable hunger. Hide the cheez-its. Neutral.
-Cocaine: Similar to caffiene, except less frustration, and an increase in gaming confidence (similar to alcohol, only moreso). Highly recommended.
-Psilocybin (magic mushrooms): (or similar psychoactive substances): Game? What game? Wow, the colors. Not highly recommended.
-Amphetamines: Similar to cocaine, but with a greater sense of purpose. My own exposure has been limited to legal ones (adderall, etc.), so I can't speak for others. Recommended.
-Nitrous Oxide: Too much effort without elaborate setup. Also, reation time as if drunk, as well as extreme difficulty deciphering sounds (ringing and echoes present). Not recommended.
-Nicotine: Not much to say really. Cigarettes kill. Not recommended.

Certain combinations are also recommended. Alcohol and Marijuana will tank your ability level though, fyi. Not that I've ever done any illegal drugs myself, of course, but a friend of mine has a real habit.

Re:Booze and videogames is utterly stoopid. (1)

iomanip (775663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208970)

Try MLB 2004 (I think) homerun derby. Only one button to hit so you have a free hand and is tons of fun while drinking.

Re:Booze and videogames is utterly stoopid. (1)

kafros (896657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211414)

I tried to drink while playing videogames but it was too hard to hold my beer AND the controller.

Thats what nintendo revolution will do for you: be able to drink your controller while you use your beer to play...hic!

This guy is off his rocker. (2, Insightful)

kyle (in stereo) (949060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208137)

Of course some people are going to be angry. When you present skewed information and lies as fact you are going to upset someone.

Rhetorical (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208147)

People who enjoy populating alternate realities are interested in narcotic consciousness expansion? Shocking!

four words (1)

Once&FutureRocketman (148585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208161)

Correlation is not causation.

Re:four words (1)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208377)

Not yet, but soon!

Re:four words (2, Insightful)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209462)

Correlation is not causation.


But it is a symptom of causation.

What was the research topic again? Was it where a group of 100 was split into two groups, one playing a GTA game and the other playing a Simpson's game, and the GTA players had a higher level of social tolerance to alcohol? If so, a reasonable person can conclude that the Simpsons game reduces the social tolerance for alcohol. While I haven't played the game in question, I do know that The Simpsons TV show ridicules drunks by the portrayal of Barney: "Haay, com 'n' joine dah partee! *BUUUUURRRRPPPP*"

(For the above, I'm assuming that the results are trustable - which they are not. The correlation study has not included the control group that did not play video games - without this third point of reference, the research can easily be backwards without noticing it. Unless this is really a preliminary study that is intended to lead up to more research, in that case this is okay. )

Bragging? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208168)

As I grew up with games I was actually disillusioned as to how many gamers bragged about drinking and smoking. I really only took about half of it to be truthful and the other half wishful thinking. I myself am a straight-edge and not having read the article I wonder if the data is just gamers lying so they look cool...

Her research is anecdotal at best. (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208213)

"We randomly assigned 100 male undergraduates aged 18-21 to play a game relatively high in violence, Grand Theft Auto III, or a game relatively low in violence, The Simpsons: Hit and Run."

So they used 100 guys 18-21, likely most of which were from one geographic area. They also had no control group, so there is no way to prove that Gamers are any different than Non-Gamers, only that 18-21yr old males who play these games have some difference.

"Those study participants who played Grand Theft Auto III had greater increases in diastolic blood pressure from a baseline rest period to gameplay in comparison to participants who played The Simpsons."

Which is much more likely based on the fact that GTA has much more realism and realistic punishments. Death and prison register in our minds as real possible penalties. Death of a cartoon figure registers as little more then a Saturday morning cartoon with little association.

"After gameplay, GTA III players had more negative feelings, more uncooperative behavior, and thought that using alcohol and marijuana was less harmful to their health than players of The Simpsons."

other then being subjective and with out statistical backing, this is a great result. With only 100 people in the pool, any findings could be easily skewed by a few outliers. Also, there is nothing that states the pool sizes. So if the GTA pool had 65 participants and the TS pool had 35, it would be factual to say that the GTA group had more negative feelings. Also, the result is poorly worded, I highly doubt that everyone in the GTA group thought that "using alcohol and marijuana was less harmful to their health." It is more likely that GTP players were "more likely to think that using alcohol and marijuana was less harmful to their health."

"Among those people who grew up in more violent homes and communities... Among those people who grew up in more violent communities..."

So now, out of 100 people they are making conclusions for the entire male 18-21 gaming community based on a hand full of people. Assuming a third of the participants grew up in a violent house hold, another third in a violent community, and the final third grew up in Mayberry, and then each of these groups was evenly distributed between GTA and TS, you're looking at 16 people to base your research off of.

"Consistent with the results of many other people's research"

None of which appears to be sited.

With no statistics posted, this should outright be tossed as a valueless publication. And judging by their claims and process, any statistically substantial findings they made are most likely due to outliers skewing the results.

-Rick

Well, Du-uhhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208382)

Her primary findings, 18-21 year old males like to get drunk!!

Give her the Obvious Research Award.

Re:Her research is anecdotal at best. (2, Interesting)

wibs (696528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208429)

I'm with you, the study is weak, but you aren't exactly arguing from a fair playing field either. For example...

>> Death of a cartoon figure registers as little more then a Saturday morning cartoon with little association.

That one sentence could have (and probably has had) an entire study devoted to it. Presenting assertions like this as facts, without anything to support it, weakens your argument in the exact same way you're trying to weaken the study's.

Re:Her research is anecdotal at best. (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208644)

True, I should have sited that, but I was on my way out of work. If I get a chance later tonight I'll see if I can't find supporting (or contradictory!) evidence.

-Rick

Re:Her research is anecdotal at best. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15208942)

True, I should have sited that,

BTW, it's 'cited'[1], not 'sited'[2].

[1] "To quote as an authority or example." http://www.answers.com/cited [answers.com]
[2] "Having a site; situated. [Obs.]" http://www.answers.com/sited [answers.com]

Re:Her research is anecdotal at best. (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211956)

So now informative means redundant and totally fucking boring?

Poor control - weak conclusion (3, Insightful)

thestuckmud (955767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208547)

Here's my observation of the way the study is being presented: Playing an intensely violent and realistic video game led students to say that alcohol and marijuana use are less harmful than they would have otherwise.

Where was this published, in the journal "DUH!"? Since when is it a surprise that people reduce their assessment of other risks when confronted with a specific risk? I don't worry about government wiretapping when I'm high off the deck rock climbing. We are, quite simply, wired to deal with the risk we are facing. A real control in this experiment would have put some of these randomly selected students in a risky, blood pressure raising situtaion (climbing could work, ethics guidelines are not likely to allow a simulated mugging), and ask them the same question.

Games like GTA really do induce a "reptile brain" response. I'm 45 years old, and find it kind of scary getting behind the wheel after virtually driving wrong way the length of the Las Veturas strip at full tilt with a mob goon tied to the hood of the car. In that situation, I am hypersensitive to driving risks, and likely not worrying about other things.

Last, somebody needs to point out that you can't reasonably play these games when you are wasted. GTA is freakin hard to play. I assume that computer games provide an alternative to drug use, rather than fostering it as is implied by the headlines.

The next Jack Thompson? (2, Interesting)

DesireCampbell (923687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15208734)

Are we seeing the birth of Jack Thompson's successor? He's slowly falling out of favour, and with continued litigation against him we can be sure few will listen to him. But know we see a "doctor" actually "researching" the subject. She seems much more reputable than Thompson - and this could mean the start of some serious problems.

No duh (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15209201)

Other people have been very angry.

no duh, what if someone did some research and found that people who research the effects of gaming on people were big time drug & booze users?

Would the researchers just sit back and go "yeah he's right, I'm totally a coke feind" or "I love to get loaded before touching those machines" or would they be rather pissed off?

Hell in any relation to anything, would the majority of people feel proud to be called a Boozy high person?

Not advocating, but... (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210678)

Any game with cool visuals can only be enhanced by hallucinatory chemicals.... What the hell, it's not like I was ever actually skilled at playing them anyway...

Is that news from Ubuntu ? (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15210752)

Ubuntu Linux 7.20 Boozy Gamer, new release due in 2007.

The Next Generation (1)

AaronDunlap (953673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15211644)

I believe these kinds of studies reflect the culture as a whole, since it's virtually impossible to isolate root causes and make useful observations in such a chaotic setting. It's worth noting that each new generation reinvents itself, in the context of it's own development, and this process greatly affects the profile of the individuals who compose the group. Observe the evolution of the gaming community from the perspective of the kids, if you want to understand where this experiment is going. I sponsor two gaming efforts focused on youth culture as a web host, & I marvel at how the assumptions I have made as a mature gamer, are challenged by younger ones. http://www.gamecamp.org/ [gamecamp.org] http://www.team340.com/ [team340.com] Don't like how the gaming environment is portrayed? No problem... it's changing in surprising ways.
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