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Another Study Decries Violent Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the where-are-the-studies-that-say-games-are-good dept.

Games 86

FST writes "CNN.com is reporting on a study which found that those 'who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control.' The Reuters article goes on to discuss the study's details, which is fairly typical for these types of inquiries. After playing games, young people were required to do tasks requiring 'processing of emotional stimuli', and concentration. Their brains were monitored for activity, and the findings were presented at a recent meeting of the Radiological Society of North America." The article then gets a little preachy. From the article: "The $13 billion U.S. video game industry, with revenue rivaling Hollywood box office sales, is at the center of a cultural battle over violent content. Lawmakers' various attempts to ban the sale of violent video games to children have been blocked by courts in Louisiana, Illinois, California, Michigan, and Minnesota... Numerous behavioral and cognitive studies have linked exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior." Numerous studies have said just the opposite, too.

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wrong game genre studied (2, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036890)

I admit that after I play a racing game and then drive my Civic I'm tempted to drive a lot faster and, if I have a CD on, even have moments where I forget whether I'm driving a real car. Violent games like Half Life or Resident Evil never make me feel like that though.

Re:wrong game genre studied (0)

TheSam (636870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036964)

likewise, after I spend 5 hours playing World of Warcraft and then I hop in my custom made plate armor, I seldom realize I am not in game. I roam the streets swinging my 7 foot long broadsword at innocent bystanders hoping to gain some Terr'ist faction points and hopefully a few epic drops every day or two. If I play the WoW intro song on my ipod while I'm hacking away, I even imagine the PCP I'm taking to be health pots... ... I agree with this commenter: definitely the wrong genre of study.

Re:wrong game genre studied (2, Funny)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037196)

You should go to the local K-mart after a raid marathon and start yelling "WTS underpants, bind on equip!"

Re:wrong game genre studied (2, Funny)

suparjerk (784861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037078)

Yeah... I remember back when I first got into the original GTA3, I'd play for hours and then go outside and see a cop car. My first thought would automatically be "Sweet! Steal it!".

And sometimes after I play Pac-man I find myself running around trying to eat random spherical things while yelling WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA.

Re:wrong game genre studied (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037218)

People still run around trying to eat random spherical things while yelling WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA. They are called raves.

Re:wrong game genre studied (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047030)

But on a more serious note: I wonder if the recently fashionable sport parkour/street running would exist without a generation grown up with platformers?

maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037402)

After I play alot of Halo, and I go driving I am tempted to drive towards pedestrians and powerslide into them. I also try to make sharper turns than I can make in a standard vehicle. What's worse is when I drive overs omething (like roadkill) and wonder why it didn't show up on my windshield (HUD) so that I could pick it up.

Misplaced Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037674)

"I admit that after I play a racing game and then drive my Civic I'm tempted to drive a lot faster and, if I have a CD on, even have moments where I forget whether I'm driving a real car."

In a sleepy stupor, I once considered ctrl-z'ing out of a mistake in stacking boards in real life. Does that count for relevance?

Re:Misplaced Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17046828)

Once I tried to page-down trough a stack of paper, and wondered why it didn't work as expected.

Re:wrong game genre studied (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037760)

That's not necessarily a bad effect, though. Every try jaywalking across Ventura Boulevard? Just imagine there's a swamp full of lilypads on the other side, and away you go!

Re:wrong game genre studied (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038138)

Violent games like Half Life or Resident Evil never make me feel like that though.

I take it you've never had to kill any zombies in real life have you?

Trust me. It is not as glamorous or bloody as the games make it out to be.

Re:wrong game genre studied (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040460)

For a while after playing Duke3d, every time saw a vent cover I wanted to kick it open and crawl inside. Never actually went through with it, which means I must have tons of willpower.

On the other hand when I went to a shooting range, I was slightly worried that I'd feel like capping people around me. And yet I didn't get even the slightest urge in that direction. Weird, huh?

Re:wrong game genre studied (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041676)

I've always wanted to put Tetris pieces all over the place, especially people's faces.

Scientific (3, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036912)

All I have to say is at least this was scientific. They had them play two different games, and analyzed their brain activity. It doesn't necessarily tie it to acts of violence (not to say certain groups won't try it), but it's far more respectable than that study that said Pac-Man is 41% violent (or whatever % they gave it).

Re:Scientific (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039476)

It may have been "scientific" but "Medal of Honor: Frontline," involving military combat, doesn't involve military combat, it involves the game developer biased and stylized version of military operations. In real combat anybody can kill anybody, and there are no power-ups or extra-lifes in the bank, so self-control and focus is also very necessary; the audacious behavior of the berserker highly prized in game play usually just gets you killed in real life. I wonder what they would have found if they used a more neutral game such as a D&D type game where puzzle solving, goal seeking and timing is interspersed with GOOD OL' hack and slash. When I was in the age-group studied, pong was the most violent video game out there.

We're going to lose... (-1, Flamebait)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036932)

if we don't train our children to be cold-blooded ruthless killers and not a bunch of panzies how are we supposed to compete against the Japanese and Chinese and even a growing # of Indians who do let their children play these games. Our children will die, or worse yet will be pimped out like the little hoes you're growing them up to be.

If I've learned anything from video games it's that bitches respect a strong hand, you can't take out a nazi (or an alien) from 200 yards with a flower and a stern look, and the US always wins.

Re:We're going to lose... (1)

Kim Jong Ill (1033418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037070)

Mom?

Horray for obvious studies... (5, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036940)

Those who played the violent video game showed more activation in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal, and less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain associated with control, focus and concentration than the teens who played the nonviolent game.

Kotaku [kotaku.com] echoes my thoughts on this one...

So the teens playing the emotionally rousing combat game were emotionally aroused, and the teens playing the precision racing game were more focused? Amazing. I'm no scientist, but this study seems like it was set up specifically with the goal of finding something wrong with violent games in mind.

Re:Horray for obvious studies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037978)

Not to mention they only covered two games. One violent game and one non-violent game hardly constitutes a representative sample of violent and non-violent video games. It could simply be an issue of immersion, or interest, or maybe game quality. Need for Speed is pretty boring when compared to MoA:Frontline

They all are (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041416)

The behavioural sciences is a fucking disaster, and I say this as someone who studied cognitive psychology as an undergrad. The kind of shit they publish would never fly in any other science except maybe environmental science. I am amazed at the number of studies that were designed to give the already arrived at conclusion.

With video games, or any technology for that matter, it's even worse since in general those doing the research don't understand it. They design bad tests not only because they want to get a certain answer but because they just don't understand what they are testing.

For example I remember back when I was in one of the classes they made us all go participate in research studies. That's how they get most volunteers, forcing undergrads to do it. Read a few modern studies, you'll be amazed how may say something along the lines of "The same group was students aged 18 to 22 at X university". At any rate it was about Internet usage and addiction. One of the first questions asked was how long you were logged on to the Internet for each day. I tried to explain to them that wasn't a meaningful question in my case. I had DSL at home and the campus connection at work, so when I was at a computer it was ALWAYS on. Hell it was on when I wasn't there. That concept just didn't register with the researcher. She thought the Internet had to be logged in to since that's what she did at home.

The study I'd like to see, that of course probably will never be done, is on a group using a highly controlled game environment. For example pick an engine and have one group play a violent mod like a Deathmatch, and have another play a mode like Freeze Tag. In both cases you have a team based, competitive, fast paced game that works the same, however one is violent, the other is non-violent. See if there's any difference between those groups (probably not). However it's never likely to be done in a large part because the researchers don't know enough about games to realise that you need to control for things like game type.

Re:They all are (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17042932)

The study I'd like to see, that of course probably will never be done, is on a group using a highly controlled game environment. For example pick an engine and have one group play a violent mod like a Deathmatch, and have another play a mode like Freeze Tag. In both cases you have a team based, competitive, fast paced game that works the same, however one is violent, the other is non-violent. See if there's any difference between those groups (probably not).
So do it! It's a good proposal. And it could be done objectively, because they are using physiological sensing. In my mind, that does separate it from much of the behavioral sciences research you decry.

But I think the study they already did is significant. Brain activity monitoring isn't all that sensitive yet, and it makes sense to work up from distinguishing very dissimilar cases to more similar ones. Will people go off the deep end and draw conclusions that aren't supported by the research? Probably. But if (IF) they are doing good science, it shouldn't be shot down just because "people might get the wrong idea."

Re:Horray for obvious studies... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041454)

Why is aggression made out to be some nigh-unnatural force of evil that corrupts people? Aggression is normal, and the level of aggression produced by playing Quake isn't even remotely enough to send a mentally stable person into a real life killing spree.

It seems that aggression is only bad if video games produce it, otherwise it's a non-issue.

So? (2, Funny)

Kim Jong Ill (1033418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036946)

The same has been said of sex.

Is it even worth asking on Slashdot if anyone has had sex and can verify this for me?

Re:So? (1)

Lordpidey (942444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037128)

I don't know, let me ask my partner. Hey, righty! Could you answer something for me?

Re:So? (1)

operror (832740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037726)

I would love to answer you but I have not finished my robot wife yet.

will reply soon,
operror

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17042706)

The same has been said of sex.

That's exactly right, which might explain why 100% of all rape cases had sex as a contributing factor.

Think about it.

C'mon, if we can't joke about rape, what CAN we joke about?

Another Study can kiss my butt (4, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036972)

Playing cowboys and indians can lead to heightened states of arousal too. So can contact sports. In fact, football's many times more likely to weaken your aggression inhibitors than playing Quake. Never mind that sport of kings, invading Third World nations for fun and profit.

So if they want to ban things, why not start at the end of my list and work their way backward? Betcha that does a heck of a lot more to lower the general level of aggression than preventing me from owning my 'hood in GTA ever will. Far more children and psyches have been damaged by the real violence they experience in their homes and watch on the TV, violence set in motion by these very same protectors of morality, than have ever been or ever will be by a mere silly videogame.

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037744)

Actually, I recall a story a few years back that said that incidents of domestic violence increased immediately following televised NFL football games. But I've never heard of anything similar following Quake Con or the release of new FPS or similar games.

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038090)

Actually, I recall a story a few years back that said that incidents of domestic violence increased immediately following televised NFL football games. But I've never heard of anything similar following Quake Con or the release of new FPS or similar games.

Well, in all fairness, you're talking about domestic violence. How many people at Quake Con could even commit domestic violence if they wanted to?

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17039536)

Well, I slammed my hand on the desk and bruised it once after losing in the Altarec Valley battleground.

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17041030)

Ay, but you can't make a sound bite of that now, can you? Football is a widespread, socially acceptable sport. Going up against it would be political suicide. Jack Thompson and his ilk would piss off tens of millions of people if his scapegoat was sports instead of games.

That fundamentally is what this is all about. Forget about the question of whether games actually have a negative impact on mental health or not - what matters is that games are an extremely convenient scapegoat on which to pin society's ills. They don't have widespread acceptance (yet), the people who play them are young males (a group predisposed to violence already), and a sizable percentage of the population grew up long before gaming even existed. That's a recipe right there for pinning the blame.

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (3, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037870)

I totally agree -- if one more person puts out a study saying how playing HALO is making me violent I WILL FUCKING KILL THAT ASSHOLE!

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039454)

Yeah, have they studied TV? Music? I'd imagine Wagner or Die Hard would have the same effect. I'm not sure what's more depressing - the idiots in power, or the fuckwits who voted them in.

Re:Another Study can kiss my butt (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17042418)

I'm not sure what's more depressing - the idiots in power, or the fuckwits who voted them in.

Well, when a corporation can give ten million dollars to the Republican and ten million dollars to the Democrat, it doesn't really matter who you vote for, does it? Either way, the corporation wins and you lose.

That's why I split my vote between the Greens and the Libertarians - "Well, I voted against the asshole!"

Great! (1, Insightful)

EMeta (860558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036974)

So the article is saying that there is an easy and pleasurable way to increase my emotional arousal (or, let's say, passion) about things in my life, that is coupled with making me more daring and courageous?

Certainly things need to come in moderation, but I see both of those as positive to my life. Am I missing something?

General Problems with Social Sciences (0)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037004)

There is an unfortunate set of problems that plague studies done in the social sciences that show up quite often in reports like this; in my opinion because there is little effort done to discredit people based on flawed methodology or conclusions in these fields.

The main problem I always see is that even if the study can prove a link between two things "those who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control." they can not demonstrate a cause-effect relationship. In this study in particular how do they know that people who are easily emotionally aroused aren't drawn to violent videogames? How do they know that people who have difficulty governing self-control are not likely to participate in an activity they enjoy in excess?

They don't ...

The fact is that if you kept hearing "Jane from Craptastic University was recently discredited by making an unsupported conclusions in her more recent study 'violent videogames cause baby eating'" on the news or in the journals which publish these studies.

Re:General Problems with Social Sciences (2)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037202)

This doesn't particularly sound like a social science study. It sounds like they were examining the neurological effects of playing a video game. It's a little hard to criticize a study for its methodology when we have no real idea of what their methodology was.

Re:General Problems with Social Sciences (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17042470)

This sounds like the European study I read about New Scientist that showed that marijuana smokers died in more fatal road accidents than nonsmokers.

They barely mentioned that almost all the marijuana smokers who died were on motorcycles, that most European bikers smoke weed, while a small percentage of the auto drivers smoked pot.

So... wrecking a bike is more dangerous than wrecking a car means that marijuana causes fatal accidents.

It's good to know that the US isn't the only country with politics based "science".

i interpret it differently (2, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037024)


  Seems obvious that a game with personification of the player into playfield, simulating injury and death would trigger more emotional "fight or flight" activity in the brain.

  Need For Speed is just driving, and vastly less interactive than a FPS. I'd like to see what the brain response was for a "virtual pet" type game, or a Black&White genre. When the player has an emotional connection to the game's results, I'm sure the brain activity is similar. In other words, I don't think the violence has much to do with it, but simply the emotional connection to success. Suspended disbelief to attach the gameplay to "death" is certainly going to be a strong correlation, but there are others.

Oh noes!!! (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037082)

They play violent video games! Let's KILL them!





This content brought to you by people too self-righteous for words.

Better comparison needed (1)

the_demiurge (26115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037146)

The games the subjects were playing were either "Medal of Honor: Frontline," (violent) or "Need for Speed: Underground" (non-violent). Could it be that Medal of Honor (being a first person game) was more immersive than Need for Speed? Although Need for Speed can be an exciting game, it doesn't attempt to engage your emotions like a story driven FPS does.

Selective quoting? (4, Insightful)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037186)

The article then gets a little preachy. From the article: [snip] Numerous behavioral and cognitive studies have linked exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior.

There isn't anything preachy about that, it's stating a fact. Apparently, numerous studies have reached that conclusion. The very next line says something important that probably shouldn't be overlooked..

Now, researchers are using advanced imaging technology to scan the brain for clues to whether violent video games cause increases in aggression.
They aren't saying that violent video games cause increased aggression, they're just saying that there is a link. One shouldn't think that they are making the mistake of assuming that correlation implies causation [wikipedia.org] , they're simply saying that they see a link, and now they're investigating it. Proving causation is no easy task, there are pleny of reasons why two variables may be related. For instance, perhaps people who have "increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal" are more likely to play violent video games because that "increased activity" makes them more interested in such games.

From the wikipedia entry:

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The "Bear Patrol" is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work. It's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

You're missing part of the equation (2, Insightful)

KalElOfJorEl (998741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037198)

How many studies show the percentage of slack-jawed irresponsible parents that:

a) Allow their children to play these games
b) Don't pay any attention to the behavior/attitude their children exhibit
c) Blame the media and games for the abhorrent misbehavior of their progeny

Seriously, I love how skewed all of this is. Heaven forbid any parent is responsible for what their child does anymore; no, it's clearly because of games. Parents, pay attention to what your child does/watches/plays and what they do with their friend when they're at their friend's house (and the friends' parents need to do the same), and studies like this can stop inciting uneducated prejudice against video games. I can understand that it can have psychological side effects on children, but guess what else has a psychological side effect on your children, GOOD PARENTING!

Re:You're missing part of the equation (2, Interesting)

ShorePiper82 (1027534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037702)

I would have to agree here in full. I have dated a high school teacher who deals with teenagers on a very regular basis and periodically meets with parents. On one hand we have the students that act up and know they've done something wrong and through some reasoning you can tell they know the difference between right and wrong. The parents tend to inquire about their behavior and independent of their skill as a parent will lay blame with the child (the implication is that these parents have at least some governing influence on the child's life). The parent is not perfect, neither is the child, and both are aware of these subtleties. On the other hand we have students that act up is perfectly fine, they're aware its rude but disregard the action and never really seem to engage a sense of guilt. Their behavior is quite possibly a byproduct of their upbringing. Parents hold themselves infallible and consequently their child inherits this trait of infallibility. Parents will then place blame with course difficulty, teacher's experience, overall curriculum, or invest belief in some mental disorder that may or may not be present; then the masses of these people get pro-active and change the mediating factors that prevent their child from reaching success. The proof lies in the pudding for this one... if anyone is in their mid 20s and remembers block scheduling highschool geometry classes... you probably got some construction paper and crayons and didn't do any real mathematics until AP calc or college.

Re:You're missing part of the equation (2, Insightful)

russellh (547685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038142)

Heaven forbid any parent is responsible for what their child does anymore; no, it's clearly because of games.
parents' and kids' social situations need to be included. True. My two-parent, well-off suburban kids don't have problem profiles; but the kids who do simply don't have the parental supervision. So "better parenting" as an answer to the problem is pretty much irrelevant. So then what? What are we going to do, legislate better parenting? How about educating people about the effects of video games on humans? Hmm, maybe we should do studies . . .

Sounds good to me. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038600)

legislate better parenting?

Sounds like a damn fine idea compared to trying to legislate away every possible thing that bad parents could possibly blame their obnoxious kneebiter's problems on.

What we need is somebody to do some germline genetic engineering, and make it so that people are infertile unless they take some special hormonal supplement. In order to get the supplement, you have to have a job, and demonstrate that you can raise a child, perhaps after demonstrating their competence by raising a puppy for 3-5 years.

Re:You're missing part of the equation (1)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039178)

But in order for you to make informed decisions as a concerned parent, you will need to also know the impact various factors will (probably) have on a child... so having this sort of research is helpful. Of course, the best way to judge is to observe the particular child.

Another BS study (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037234)

Self control makes one worse at video games because it causes hesitation. Sure, video games may alter the way we think while playing them, but that doesn't mean they perminately change our psyche. Any activity that one involves themself in will change the way the brain is currently functioning to best adapt to the situation. Gaming isn't a problem. Excessive gaming IS a problem, but excessive anything is a problem. I personally oppose giving Grand Theft Auto to children to play, but it's not because I think it will brainwash them into being killers. We really just don't know enough about the human consciousness to make claims about it, despite these "studies." After all, the majority of psychologists promote B.F. Skinner's behaviorism, which views humans as nothing more than idiotic animals (and is disproven easily - people do things which they know will result in their own demise whereas animals would never do such a thing). We're not animals. We have a conscience. If people don't use their conscience then they are to blame, not the video games they allowed themselves to be immersed in.

Re:Another BS study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17045776)

If you think hesitation is a handicap in games, just try hastily making your way through the average Zelda dungeon. You'll fall into more lava and bottomless pits than a lead lemming.

On the other hand, games encourage us to eschew hesitation in other ways. Is your RPG character saving up for retirement? Got any credit card debt to pay off? We rarely hear, "Should I buy this +5 halberd? Oh, I just don't know!"

Re:Another BS study (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17052054)

"Self control makes one worse at video games because it causes hesitation." I must completely disagree unless you're only looking at run and gun FPS. Even within the shooters, there are plenty of examples that require a huge amount of self control. Look at any Resident Evil game and you'll realize why you must hesitate. You'll just end up with an empty clip and the unpleasant feeling of zombie teeth in your brain pan.

Study is missing something... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037242)

Shouldn't the influence of the parents not parenting their kids be taken into consideration? A radio announcer on Thanksgiving Day mentioned that parents can no longer rely on the school system to protect their children's health. Well, duh, aren't the parents responsible for their children's health, education and video game habits?

When I was younger, a lot of these studies were focused on domestic abuse as being a major influencer on how kids turned out. Since when did video games replaced daddy banging mommy on the kitchen floor and in the bedroom?

OFN (2)

Amehcs (1019694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037254)

I'd be interested to know how they broke it up in terms of boys/girls. I know everytime I walk out of a kung-foo movie I think I can kick anyone's ass, but my girlfriend definitely doesn't respond that way. All this study is telling us is that good media leaves a short-term impression on people, who would've guessed?

Re:OFN (1)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039668)

Ahem...

Did you just equate kung-foo movies (as a genre) with good media?

LOL

Re:OFN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17044114)

If you substitute "lick" for "kick" you may find your g/f responds better....

"emotional arousal", OH NOES!! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037290)

Love is an emotion too.

Mom groups (flamebait) (0, Flamebait)

ShawnMcCool42 (557138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037328)

I hate mom groups and their cultural influence. It's disgusting.

Similar studies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037346)

This falls under the category of studies that show that after your run a marathon, your heart beats faster.

What does this study tell us? It tells us that after someone gets worked up, and no one in the industry questions that an action game gets you worked up, you don't perform as well in tests that require you to be calm and controlled. And that is a surprise?

I think they need to repeat this study and do the same test for a non-violent driving game. I think they will find the same results, which mean absolutely nothing except that your brain becomes stimulated right after an exciting game.

I think twinkies to the same thing to you!

Just once I'd like to see... (1)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037352)

Just once I'd like to see a study that show video games are good for you. We need something like that. In the face of all the studies that decry the violence, we need on to show the counter point. Without it, well, they may be right...

I'm betting on the Wii here. Those people complaining about sore shoulders and the wii exercise, will likely produce a study on the number of calories consumed while playing Zelda or some such thing. Stay Tuned.

Re:Just once I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17059894)

There was one about 1 year ago. Playing video games caused improved hand-eye coordination in the surgeons that were surveyed. So you better hope that your doctor is playing his share of Quake or that operation might not be pretty..

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037370)

...I used to believe the 'LOL VIDEO GAMES DON'T CAUSE TEH VIOLENCE!' line.

Then I realized something.

I'm surrounded by morons. I'm going to wager that you're all surrounded by morons, as well.

The fact of the matter is, just because some of us have the brain capacity to realize that Grand Theft Auto isn't reality, the vast blight of humanity in general probably won't be able to. :p

Lets get serious now (2)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037384)

Yes video games cause heightened aggression during and shortly after play. The thing is, almost noone acts upon those urges against other people unless that person *is already fucked in the head.*

slaughter houses (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037394)

If video games make people violent....what about

Hunters
People that work in slaughter houses
          (I think Ozzy worked in one so maybe this isn't as satirical as I think) ;) - kidding
Ranchers
Soldiers
Police

Personally anything can make people more violent...it just depends on their breaking point.

I find it silly that people are surprised by this study though...it makes sense that our brains would be hardwired to process some signals as entertainment...take cats: They love the fluttery feathers. Scans of their brains have shown that they notice fluttery vertical movement. Hence I installed cat tv...a bird feeder to entertain my cats when I am not home.

With revenues rivaling Hollywood (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037404)

I don't understand why these studies are funded. I guess since video games have gotten a lot more successful "with revenues rivaling Hollywood" they're the new low-hanging fruit for the conservatives who want everyone to "think of the children." It would do society no good to just put a ban on violent video games. Violent video games sell because humans have violent tendencies. If they didn't, we'd just play the Sims and games like Gears of War would drop to obscurity.

Cause and effect fallacy (1)

Nefarious Yawn (1033356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037410)

Pointing out that certain neurological centers are affected differently by sensory input based on its content (in this case video games that are violent) is a waste of our time. Giving it a weighted, biased, poorly cited spot on CNN is an outrage. Why aren't more people reporting on the therepeutic qualities of video games? Where is the study that shows there is a marked decrease in crime in areas where a highly anticipated violent movie is released? People are quick to draw cause and effect conclusions without looking at confounding evidence, but besides that, this study does not show a link between violent behavior and violent video games. It doesn't even give us the numbers from the studies. Why isn't CNN reporting responsibly?

Kinda interesting (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037426)

Well, ok, so you play MoH:F (FPS) and your emotional arousal increase (amygdala), and your control, focus, and concentration decreases (prefrontal portions) MORE SO then if you play NfS:U (Racing)...

That says to me that both of them have these effects. It also does not state how long this effect LAST (does it stop right at the end, 1 min? 10 mins? an hr? a day?).

Now, can any bio/psych people tell us EXACTLY what those 2 portions controll?

Are we wimply seeing that it takes greater concentration to play a racing game then it does an FPS?
How does brain activity like this play out in real life? (what causes it?)

Re:Kinda interesting (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037830)

Well, ok, so you play MoH:F (FPS) and your emotional arousal increase (amygdala), and your control, focus, and concentration decreases (prefrontal portions) MORE SO then if you play NfS:U (Racing)...

That says to me that both of them have these effects. It also does not state how long this effect LAST (does it stop right at the end, 1 min? 10 mins? an hr? a day?).

Now, can any bio/psych people tell us EXACTLY what those 2 portions controll?

Are we wimply seeing that it takes greater concentration to play a racing game then it does an FPS?
How does brain activity like this play out in real life? (what causes it?)
The abstract says that this is the next stage that they are planning on investigating. If it turns out to be an entirely transitory thing, then the correlation between violent entertainment & physical violence is minimized outside of that lapse period.
One interesting thing to see would be the comparison between violent games, movies, and competitive sports - basketball/football. Lets see how everything stacks up, not just viewing things in isolation. After that, we can move on to see if there is a correlation with events/behaviours later in life.

Re:Kinda interesting (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038256)

Heh, I missed that part of the article.

as for:
One interesting thing to see would be the comparison between violent games, movies, and competitive sports - basketball/football. Lets see how everything stacks up, not just viewing things in isolation. After that, we can move on to see if there is a correlation with events/behaviours later in life.


I like the idea alot actualy. We get the data and then compare it to data from activities we are more familiar with....

Comparison? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037566)

What happens if, instead of playing video games, they read that fine piece of Shakespearian family literature Titus Andronicus [wikipedia.org] ?

I have yet to see a video game approach anywhere near that level of gore or otherwise objectionable material, but I don't see any scientific studies on the effects of the Bard on the minds of the young.

LJ;L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037848)

I refuse to accept this study because it reaches a conclusion that upsets me. It must somehow be experimentally unsound.

Increased Emotional Arousal Is Good (2, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037850)

>those who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal

I would be far more concerned about the sociopathic tendencies of people who did not show emotional arousal than I am by anything reported here.

Re:Increased Emotional Arousal Is Good (1)

Beolach (518512) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040802)

It's probably more the "and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control" that worries people. My question is were these measurements done while they were playing the game, or when they were going about their daily life? Somehow I wouldn't be surprised that "self-control" goes down while playing a game.

just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037920)

I wonder how people would react if government were to require a large portion (25%) of males from an age of 12 to participate in training for various violent crafts ranging from unarmed fighting, handling and using explosives and assault rifles to tanks and fighters... all with an intention to kill with maximal efficiency without reprecussions... several hours a day, every day, for a say 12 years... using visually realistic immersive and interactive simulation systems.

In a related story (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038078)

And in another recent study, teens aged 13-18 were found to think about sex more after watching porn, versus a different group of teens who watched only cooking shows. Film at 11.

Jazz music causes brain damage (2, Funny)

Parafilmus (107866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038198)

Scientists have discovered that jazz causes brain damage. Seriously.

"While regular rhythms and simple tones produce a quieting effect on the brain... the effect of jazz on the normal brain produces an atrophied condition on the brain cells of conception."
The ladies' home journal has the rest of the story here. [pittstate.edu]

This is scary stuff. We need to protect our kids before it's too late.

You can never dip a stick (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038298)

in the same river twice.

Conslusion :

Stick ban.

The wrong field of study (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17038340)

How about looking at the people who went berserk and see where they come from and why they went nuts. Without fail, you have school dropouts and people who we currently term "loosers". You have people without a positive outlook for life, because all they see is a "want fries with that" future looming for them. They know that you have to have money in today's world to be part of it and they also see that they will never have more money than what fits into their back pocket.

And that money will be for their mortgages, which they'll need more of because they can't keep up with payments.

What's worse is that in today's youth culture you need money to be "in". You need it for the movies, the bar thereafter, the weekend at the mall, pretty much ALL kind of youth activity costs money today. You have none, you're out. You have no friends. Because those that could be your friends are in the movies, at the mall, in that entertainment park or in all those other places where you need some greenbacks to trade them for fun.

Violent games don't change that. Whether you forbid violent games won't change a thing. Give those people some goal in life. Being stuck in a hopeless dead end job, or seeing that as your only option for you future, sure doesn't help with getting you on track.

I have been playing violent games since I was a child. I'm now 31. Unlike those people, though, I had good grades, I have a good job and I like my job. I spent a good deal of my youth killing people, virtually. From a helicopter in Gunship, as a sprite in Commandos, as the captain of a ship in Pirates. Thousands, if not millions of virtual lives are on my conscience.

But I have a good life and I have a job, I have money and I have friends. Since in those studies the problems I have presented above don't matter, I should be on a killing spree right now.

Semi-unrelated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17038516)

This doesn't come out and say that Medal of Honor causes homicidal mania or anything, but these sorts of studies are what people that claim it does rely upon. I think there's a growing cottage industry in certain aspects of behavioral studies of producing tame results for activists to make outlandish claims for. The researchers can hide behind all of the indecisiveness of their papers' language, but they never go on to ever say anything definitive later and just produce more of the same. I doubt that this is by accident, but I digress.

Let us just assume that video game violence produces violent children, and then let us ask where these violent children are. If playing video games causes violent behavior, there should be an increase in the amount of violence in children since they are a phenomenon that is for our purposes three decades old. There have been depictions of violence within these games for the entire time, unless one solely wishes to grasp onto realistic depictions of violence (something that doesn't really exist in video games if we want to be pedantic, but let's not be) but even if we set the bar at Wolf 3D-level depictions of violence we are discussing about 14 years of warped children, many of which would be in their mid 20s or later at this point in time, and perfectly capable of bringing A Clockwork Orange to life. However violent crime has been on a downward trend for over two decades, and walking alone in NYC at night is not something someone would be so afraid of that it could be the basis of a Lifetime Evening Movie by itself.

These studies want to deal with violent impulses, but they don't really elaborate on what those violent impulses correspond to in terms of actions. I can tell you that I just got really angry because I didn't backup work I was doing in a repl when the toplevel decided to segfault (probably because I played violent video games as a teenager, no doubt) and dealt with violent impulses (I certainly wouldn't mind being able to reach back in time and slap myself up side the head a little) by having some green tea and reading Slashdot. I'm pretty sure you would record some intense emotional responses from my brain during that ordeal, but I have thus far not killed anyone or caused any property damage. If video games were going to turn us into killing machines (as opposed to joining the military, football team, hockey team, ...) you would expect some evidence of it (and not just single instances of violence by people that happen to have played video games, but rather an actual trend in social behavior).

What the activists want you to believe is that your farting is causing global warming, while there's a giant pile of burning coal sitting next to you. In our case the giant pile of burning coal is poverty, which probably causes most violent crime that isn't the result of various types of brain defects. Who wants to take bets on whether violent crime correlates more with poverty more than it does playing Medal of Honor?

For the 80th time... (2, Insightful)

Swordsmanus (921213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17039168)

Aggressive behavior != violent behavior.

Aggressive behavior in all its loosely defined glory is used, no, key to business and sports. We highly value business, sports, and competitiveness in general yet fear aggression. What a mixed message.

I have an idea! (1)

Dark_Lord_Prime (899914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040028)

How 'bout we do a study that looks at the places children actually learn that violence is good/cool/acceptable-response-to-affrontry?

Namely, professional boxing and wrestling, which glorifies fighting and shows kids that it's cool and fun to beat on each other?

How about the daily/nightly news, which shows them constant streams of violent outbreaks around the world?

How about their own parents, authority-figures, government officials and other adult role-models, who routinely demonstrate--and reinforce--that the best, most appropriate response when you've been attacked (verbally or physically), or even simply insulted or slighted, no matter how insignificant it may be, is to retaliate, preferably violently?

As for the "study".. uh.. playing games stimulates the emotional centers of the brain, and suppresses the part that governs self-control of those emotions?

Well, duh. Interactive stimuli generally activate the emotional centers, and when you're playing a game, which you know isn't real, controlling those emotions kinda hinders enjoyment of the game, I'd think.

Video games do not turn children into mindless killers. (Well, "America's Army" might, but it must be safe for everyone to play, since it never seems to be in the headlines, with Jack Thompson calling for bans and sanctions on it... right?)

Re:I have an idea! (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17044866)

You are aware that wrestling gets more than it's fair share of this crap too, right? I'm a fan (fuck off, before you even start) and just today there were two news stories about how wrestling is bad for kids etc...

I like my son watch it. I've told him from day one that if I EVER see him copy it, hear that he has copied it, he never gets to see it again. He knows it's all predetermined and choreographed and they're not trying to hurt each other.

That's why society amuses me. "Oh wrestling is fake" say the MMA fans. They'd rather see people really beaten around than head than faking it.

That right there is what's wrong with society.

Face it. Censorship is inevitable! (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17040822)

Numerous behavioral and cognitive studies have linked exposure to violent media and aggressive behavior." Numerous studies have said just the opposite, too.

There are far more studies that link violent media to aggressive behavior (and I'm talking about true, scientific study, not something dones by Christian Science, etc) than there are of those that disprove it. I'm willing to admit that ever since I've gotten heavily into FPS games my temper for things has changed a bit to where I have to control myself so as not to get into deep s**t especially while driving and getting cut-off by an idiot.

The industry needs to control its content. Sex and violence sell but please, don't make it a normal thing. What I'm starting to see in friend's lil brothers/sisters is more apathy towards violence than before. This is not good for them in the future. Its not just games, its movies, music, etc. Humans learn by stimulus. When they are exposed to something over and over then they will retain that information and use it implicitly in their subconcious to make a real-world decision. Media needs to control itself before it is forced under control which I doubt it will do voluntarily. Oh well.

wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17042280)

Isn't the point of playing video games (some video games anyways) to get the emotional arousal? Isn't that what it means to be having fun (ie being in that sweet spot between boredom and anxiety)?

Not as much as.... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17042290)

CNN.com is reporting on a study which found that those 'who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control.'

So does a pretty girl. Their point????

It Doesn't Matter... (1)

UltimApe (991552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17044684)

... how my brain is running while I am playing a game, its how the playing the game affects my behavior afterwards.

While i'm playing an emotionally involving game in which the normal laws of society don't apply, I am both emotionally arroused, and I find myself letting go of self control (because it isn't necisary in said virtual enviroment).

In the real world, I do not let go of self control.

Playing games, by their nature, allow you to explore otherwise forbidden behaviors in a non-real enviroment. Weither or not I carry said behaviors over to the my real enviroment has less to do with the game, but more to do with my concecpts of reality and real world cause-consiquence.

Although, i will admit, some people who are otherwise quiet, do get rather angry WHILE playing a high paced intense FPS... but a little yelling isn't that bad. Typically, the ones who act out with physical violence, are already disturbed anyway, and shouldn't be playing in the first place.

Hmmm (1)

Psyjack (1034078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17057238)

I have a 15yr old son who plays FPS, driving, 1on1 combat games...and he has no trouble determining the difference beterr good and bad. He has no behavior problems, in fact, he's often used by teachers as an example of how students should behave. He doesn't like fighting, but will if he has to, and knows when to stop. Perhaps if parents were as active in their children's rearing, there would be no need to rate games as too violent for kids of any age. His favorite comment, "It's a video game, I'm not that dumb!"
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