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Kids 'Unaffected By Game Violence' Says Study

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the could-have-told-you-that dept.

Games 101

Via Game|Life, an article in the Syndey Morning Herald discusses a new study indicating most children are unaffected by videogame violence. Though the study did indicate that children already predisposed to violence or neurotic behavior were over-stimulated by these games, most children showed no difference in behavior as a result of game play. "The study monitored the behavior of children from 10 schools in eastern and southern metropolitan Melbourne before and after playing the violent video game Quake II for 20 minutes, Swinburne's Professor Grant Devilly said. Prof Devilly said only children predisposed to aggression and more reactive to their environments changed their behavior after playing and of those only some showed more aggression."

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Finally! Violent behaviour is the Parents Fault! (2, Insightful)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18577989)

Stupid Parents - let TV do the work

Re:Finally! Violent behaviour is the Parents Fault (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18578327)

My kids isn't violent. Shuddup or I'll kill you. Siriusly. I'll kill you. An TV is good. Whats worng with you. Kids will be kids. Couple broke bones is nothing its just part of growin up. Im proud of my kids. They grow up just like me.

Can I get a ... (3, Insightful)

Pyrrhic Diarrhea (1061530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578005)

...collective "No Shit" on this one? How many times have we seen this same claim? Enough already.

Re:Can I get a ... (3, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578087)

Whoa why the hostility?

With all the BS legislation trying to censor video games I think we could use all the studies we can get. While it's obvious to gamers that games don't change child behavior, it's not so apparent to the rest of the world. If they wont listen to reason maybe they'll at least listen to some guy in a lab coat with clipboard.

Re:Can I get a ... (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578175)

"Whoa why the hostility?"

Probably from playing too many violent video games...just a guess.

Re:Can I get a ... (5, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578249)

I call BS...

I played a few MMO's, still play eve and what have you.

The worst is when I started playing WoW, fell in with chinese guys, started grinding and just massing large amounts of gold.

I hit rock bottom... nothing but grinding and gold collecting for weeks.

Now, I'm grinding away with this damned employment.

Just grinding and collecting cash.

Damn video games... I could have been a hippy!

Re:Can I get a ... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578209)

Not until the hardliner politicians who try to distract from real problems realize it. And to make them realize it, everyone has to realize it first and consider it a non-issue.

'til then, keep the studies rolling!

Re:Can I get a ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18578221)

Let's not go overboard. All this study shows is that 20 minutes of Quake won't turn you into Charles Manson.

A year's worth may be something else.

Re:Can I get a ... (3, Funny)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578985)

I think year of playing Quake is more likely to turn you into a pasty, twitchy geek instead of Charles Manson.

there might be a difference (4, Interesting)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578035)

Q2 is not realistic when compared to new versions of Grand Theft Auto or anything from the current generation, or last gen for that matter...I wonder if brutal street slayings show any difference versus unrealistic circa 1997 FPS's

Re:there might be a difference (3, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578099)

TFA also says it was only a single 20-minute session of gaming. Unless there's something really serious in the game, 20 minutes really isn't enough to matter. Show me results after playing for at least an hour every day for a week or two.

Re:there might be a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18578345)

20 solid minutes of Quake multiplayer can be extremely intense and fly by in the blink of an eye. If anything it's a much more intense test than hours of wandering around doing drive-bys on a bike.

Re:there might be a difference (2, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578659)

Yeah, its unlikely that 20 minutes is going to do much. At the same time, any research that could possibly change the childs disposition towards the negative is also not going to get approved.

The fact of the matter is, it is a proven statistic that the vast majority of children playing violent video games or watching violent movies act out scenes from within them and become desensitized to the 'message'. Well, not the vast majority of children, but those that partake (which seems to be balanced out to males).

If these sorts of things did no shape children's minds, there would be far less advertising in the world. Advertising works, and its 30 seconds at a time. Of course, a single ad isn't going to do anything, but when you realize that on a half hour of television, you are LUCKY if you have 22 minutes of 'content' (one of the big reasons I miss my tivo...then again, I canceled my cable at the time I got rid of it was a net gain).

So what does all this tell us? Tells us the research is bullshit, but its the best we can do without purposely screwing up kids for the mere idea that we want to see if we can screw them up. Research succeeds? Expect to be sued.

Personally, I like violent media. I'd be pissed if it were taken away (bitching at a friend the other day about the deleted scenes from the new grindhouse flick and think it should be MORE over the top and pissed I had to see these scenes online as opposed to in the theatre). At the same time, I find it wrong that parents don't police what their children watch / play, and the fact that the publishers care so little that they package it for younger and younger audiences stating its the parents fault. Both blame the others for the faults. Its great to be a part of an age of no culpability.

Re:there might be a difference (2, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580609)

At the same time, any research that could possibly change the childs disposition towards the negative is also not going to get approved.

The fact of the matter is, it is a proven statistic that the vast majority of children playing violent video games or watching violent movies act out scenes from within them and become desensitized to the 'message'.
How can it be a "proven statistic" if any research about it can't get approved? How was it proven then?

Re:there might be a difference (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18581075)

That is the conundrum. And one of the reasons I choose my words carefully. You can do research from different observational methods. The big problem is the whole correlation / causation thing can't be studied. Its been well observed from a number of angles that children learn behavior and aggressive nature from imitating others in 'hypothetical' situations. For instance, the big studies by Bandura with the 'Bobo Dolls' (pretty much an inflatable punch toy) showed that children pick up on adults beating the sucker and go on to exhibit aggressive behavior to both the doll and other kids far more than kids that were placed into the same environment with an adult that talked and treated the doll respectfully.

This was done from a way that it minimized the behaviors once outside the environment (but would still be dangerous to repeat in todays legally over-reacting environment).

Honestly, I don't know why folks get all defensive about the science behind this stuff. Its like the Religious Right getting pissy and asking pointed questions about Global Warming :-)

Re:there might be a difference (0, Troll)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18581405)

You were careful enough with your words until the point where you said, "...and then become desensitized to the message." That is a casuality.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582195)

How is that? This is why I'm generally careful with words around nerds.

They know exactly what I'm talking about, but want to pretend language is like code, if there is a single error contained within, they can attack as it must be invalidated.

Seriously. I know you are smarter and better than this.

Re:there might be a difference (0, Flamebait)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18595063)

Seriously. I know you are smarter and better than this.

Hey, whatever makes you feel superior. You go girl!

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Talgrath (1061686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18596595)

Maybe it's simply that us "nerds" actually think before we speak; maybe other people should do that too, perhaps speaking before one acts would be a good idea as well. In fact, perhaps if more people paid attention to what they said more often, we wouldn't have as many problems in the world; but I digress.

Back on topic, there's a variety of studies from both sides of the spectrum trying to prove or disprove that violent video games cause indidviduals to be violent; and most of these studies are funded by individuals with a desire to see the study say one thing or another. The truth of the matter is that the evidence isn't very clear either way, and the argument over video game violence is going to continue for a long time. Personally, I think this study is pretty solid; twenty minutes of Quake 2 can be pretty intense, and while I don't think this proves violent video games don't cause violence, it's certainly a step in that direction.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

NNland (110498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583043)

"it is a proven statistic that the vast majority of children playing violent video games or watching violent movies act out scenes from within them"

Care to cite the studies that corroborate your claim?

Re:there might be a difference (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591481)


Re:there might be a difference (3, Insightful)

Spudtrooper (1073512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578109)

The only thing dumber than claiming that video games cause violence is claiming that only realistic video games cause violence.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578157)

and I never said they do, I am only saying that it would be interesting to see the difference, also it would make the study more complete.

Re:there might be a difference (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578223)

Hey, that's not funny. A grue killed my whole family.

You know the old saying (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578875)

'Tis better to light a candle than be eaten by a grue in the dark.

Re:there might be a difference (3, Funny)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578271)

I've never met anyone who said the brutal violence of GTA is a bad thing.

Well, noone who lived long enough to argue their point anyway.

Re:there might be a difference (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578427)

Considering the games I've been playing since I was 10, and if it had only a percent impact in my real life, I'd be considered a mass murderer and war criminal by now. Currently I'm holding the title of Commisaire (or however it may be spelled) in BF2142. I'd wager I might have killed about 10,000 virtual people by now, a lot of them using mines, slitting a few throats with a knife in cold blood, and employing other very nasty means to transfer people from life to death that would not be looked at nicely in Den Hague.

I enjoy looking through a scope, I enjoy the challenge against an enemy sniper, and I find great pleasure in the joy of being the one to pull the trigger first and plant that virtual bullet exactly and deadly between his eyes, in which I look directly just the split second before I end his virtual life. I even find some cruel pleasure in watching an enemy sneak up, thinking himself unseen and switching to his knife for an easy kill, and just before he's in range I cap him with my handgun.

I enjoy rattling down a box of MG ammo through some corridor, actually hoping someone would be foolish enough to step in. Or throwing down a grenade onto a helpless enemy that has only the choice of staying down and eating my grenade or standing up and getting his head capped by the sniper buddy upstairs. I know he is going to die, and I enjoy it tremedously.

I run around tanks and plant that high speed AT-bullet into his rear, knowing exactly that the virtual human inside is finding a very cruel death. Going down in a tank is NOT a pretty way to die!

We're talking very realistic physics (ok, as realistic as hovercrafts and -tanks can get), very detailed textures that let you actually see the face of your enemy and that make, almost force, you to realize that you are indeed killing virtual humans.

Still I never even lifted my fist against anyone in RL. I try my best to avoid physical fights and usually leave when the 'battle' starts to escape the intellectual level. I own no real weapons and I have no drive to get one. At best, their mechanic is interesting, but not their function. Using weapons in RL is no fun.

It's dangerous.

And people who don't get that difference have more serious problems than computer games. Honestly.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584375)

I think that's what's missing from some: a sense of danger. Not just to oneself, but to others. What I wonder is, can this sense be distorted by the carefree-ness of video games, where actions don't carry consequences?

Maybe, maybe not. Personally I agree, I'm in my mid-20's now, and I've played violent games of all kinds since I was 10, and I'm the exact opposite of a raving lunatic. I don't need to play violent games either, I don't go crazy if I don't get to kill someone. At the same time, I do acknowledge that I'm affected by violence, I may be more intense, more adrenaline-filled after a gaming session, but it doesn't change who I am. But I have a hunch that it might affect some people.

Perhaps it's not that games and movies could make people violent, but that they are merely bringing out the character within. That's actually scarier, now that I think of it.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584969)

Kids today don't learn the dangers of the world. More and more we try to cushion them in cotton batting and keep them away from reality. Should a kid actually skin his knees on the playground, a lawsuit isn't far behind.

That's not what I'd call "preparing kids for life". That's what I call being overcautious. And the industry, wanting to sell more monitoring tools and more cushioning, isn't helping at all, increasing the hype and fear and generally giving you the feeling you're a bad parent if you don't lock your kids in softly cushioned cages.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

jahurska (883728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585657)

I agree. I've played violent games over 10 years, but I would have to counter you on that using weapons in RL is no fun. I currently own two firearms myself and I have a military sniper training as a 'hobby' :). Yes, firearms can be dangerous on persons that don't realize how dangerous they can be. The moment you stop respecting a firearm is the moment you are probably going to have an accident with it.

I'm borderline paranoid when using firearms, always checking that it is not loaded and keeping the bolt not locked or removing it altogether if it's bothersome. There is always some safety precautions needed when going to range and those must be adhered. If not then someday you're going to have an accident with the gun and might be in for a lawsuit for killing or wounding someone.

Usually the more probable that you might have a misfire with the gun while in the range, the more stringent the safety precautions. For example practical shooting, where your walking or running with a loaded gun. Sounds pretty dangerous, but is safe because it has the most stringent safety precautions I have seen. Note that in most of current generation of handguns have several safety features. One prevents the gun from firing for example when dropped on the ground, and only those guns that have these features are accepted to be used in practical shooting.

But shooting guns is fun, as long as it's safe and no-one gets hurt. Especially satisfying is hitting a metal plate 700 meters away in challenging wind conditions. That is something that cannot be experienced in computer game (Sniper Elite was woefully inadequate). Also when you know how to shoot with real guns, those extremely realistic computer games do not seem so realistic anymore :). Usually effects of recoil are wrong. For example adding a suppressor to any rifle should reduce the recoil a lot. Also the crosshair thingy in games is not that unrealistic that most people think. For distances below 20 meters you can hit a man sized target without using sights (with pistols only below 10 meter though).

PS. Please don't reply to this with those comments that guns are made for killing people, same argument applies to common baseball bat that it is made for harming people as it is quite commonly used to beat up people...

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18586067)

Ok, I get your point. Personally, I wouldn't trust myself with a gun. I'm too lazy sometimes to go through all the security procedures and I'm quite sure I'd forget to do an important check, and then someone might die.

Not gonna take that risk.

It's a bit like racing games. Who cares if I slam that 200k car into the next wall 'cause I thought I'll make it, in a game? In RL, the car might be my least problem with the people that got stuck between car and wall.

I can imagine that shooting a real gun is fun and satisfying. Though this fun would be ruined for me because I just know I'd be VERY nervous, knowing that this IS a tool very capable of delivering a deadly blow to someone standing in its way. And that would probably ruin my fun. Even though I'd only (willingly) shoot at target dummies, I could well (accidently) cause harm to myself or others.

That threat is not existant in games. At worst I kill a player on my side accidently, and if he's an ass he slaps a penalty on my rear for doing so.

But however it may end, that blunder won't matter a minute later anymore.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589871)

The nervousness passes after you fire off a couple of rounds. I've gone target shooting with a friend who is an avid gun collector and I particularly enjoy the 38 magnum. We ended up holding his bachelor party at the range. Lots of fun. :)

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18593927)

I had my share of firing assault rifles during my time in service. I know what it feels like.

It's still not relaxing, like its virtual equivalent. It might well be that this time is responsible for me being a bit uneasy in the presence of real guns. I've seen too many people with too little brains using them. When one of those dimwits gets the smart idea to show you his rifle with the unhealthy end pointing your way (and 30 bullets lined up snugly behind it), you start worrying.

What is true is that guns don't kill. Guns are pretty safe, afaik no current military grade rifle can fire accidently, by dropping or pushing it. Stupid people kill. By pointing them in directions you shouldn't point them or playing around with them like it's some kind of toy.

That's what bothers me. And that's why I don't like them in RL. I'm pretty sure I can still dismantle and reassemble a Steyr AUG without thinking, and that actually was quite interesting. It's a wonderful piece of machinery and the way its mechanics work is fascinating (though personally I see the incredible simplicity of the AKs loading mechanism as much more fascinating). It still isn't relaxing. It's a responsibility to handle it.

And that responsibility doesn't apply in a game. You needn't be careful, you needn't worry, you needn't take precautions. Just point and shoot.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18605487)

I agree. However, I've found that there is a different kind of satisfaction in hitting the mark with a real gun. I have no interest in hunting or killing, but I do enjoy the challenge. Virtual is mindless fun that takes effort to perfect. The real thing is far more challenging. Again, I fully agree that firearms needed to be handled in a safe manner, but that doesn't reduce the amount of enjoyment that I derive from their use.

Re:there might be a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579349)

I like how the "brutal street slayings" are more likely to mentally harm impressionable minds in your opinion than turning human beings and animals into clouds of blood and parts with a rocket launcher in Quake II. Are you kidding me? The claim being made is that the concept of violence is affecting young minds, not the polygon count of the characters, and its because the claim is such that it is so blatantly untrue. If you tell a kid a terrible story about someone being disemboweled by an electric bladesaw gauntlet, and they are predisposed to violence, you might see a socially negative reaction just as if you let them play a game like Quake, where they can do it themselves. Video games are no different than stories, its the minds that interpret them that make concepts (like violence) dangerous.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18588359)

Umm sorry but when I watch the news I don't see people running around shooting monsters with rocket launchers...I can't relate to that, I can relate shooting someone in the head with an AR15 in a game to things I can see any night on the news...honestly, I don't think games cause volence at all, and the predisposition is the only realy way they can effect you...I just brought up the topic because I thought quake 2 was a weird choice to gauge the study and it would be interesting to read the study if they had used a variety of games.

Re:there might be a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583031)

Did anyone see the episode of MythBusters where they had proven that hammers don't explode when they hit each other, but people kept writing them in about all the things they did wrong in their experiment? (They didn't heat the hammers to transition temperature, they didn't use a pre-WWII hammer, they didn't use a real anvil, etc etc.) Well, they made all the changes, did the same experiment again and guess what - the hammers still didn't explode.

You, Sir, are trying to make a hammer explode. It's not going to happen.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18585221)

Not only that, but 20 minutes of exposure is not the same as exposing a child to violent scenes day after day, for many years.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Doc Lazarus (1081525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18586537)

GTA is more realistic? How many people do you know that are made out of polygons and are able to escape shooting people by ducking into a garage in full view of the police and then walking out scot-free for a mere $100 which buys a new coat of paint and an engine? Come on now. If anything, the study shows that most kids are smart enough to realize this is all nonsense and that the crazy ones will gravitate towards anything and take it too seriously. Banning things will only serve as a band-aid that doesn't solve the real problem. If there is a real problem outside of parents not keeping an eye on the development of their children.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

ggKimmieGal (982958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18586783)

It's not just the realism. I wrote a research paper on this subject. Kids find TV more disturbing than violent video games because really young children think TV is real. Since they are in control of the video game, they know that it is fake. Or at least, that's what my research showed. This isn't the first study to prove this to be honest. I had like thirty sources that had conducted this same study basically, and came back with the same results.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18588195)

Meh. That's a topic for a different study. Quake 2 is reasonable since the "murder simulator" stuff that Thompson has been spewing dates back to those days. It shows that just running around shooting other players doesn't have an effect. They can do a follow up study to determine if longer exposure or more human looking opponents changes the results.

Re:there might be a difference (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18595203)

Right, I was amazed they considered Quake to be a violent game compared to GTA. Quake is all flames and gibs; GTA's the one that you might argue has the capacity to desensitize.

Duh (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578037)

I committed most of my murders before I got into gaming.

From the "Well, DUH" department... (3, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578067)

It's just like half of slashdot has been saying this whole time, games like GTA, violent movies like 300 and other media with similar content only increase aggression in those predisposed to it. While that is in and off itself a cause for concern, and parental monitoring, the games themselves are not the root of the problem.

Re:From the "Well, DUH" department... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584415)

Not the root, no, but certainly part of the problem in that case. Not that banning and censoring left and right would solve the problem, of course.

What's the score so far? (3, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578129)

This isn't the first research done on this subject. I wonder what the score is so far? The only thing I know is that no study so far has resulting in the "video game violence does affect children/people".

No effect: a couple
Inconclusive: also a few
Has effect: 0

Who needs studies? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578473)

Personally, I agree. But this discussion has left the ground of common sense long ago. It's a "thinkofthechildren" issue.

And discussions in that area are hardly if ever rooted in the vicinity of common sense and logic.

Re:What's the score so far? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579493)

HA! No effect wins! ::pop pop:: Now what, biatches!?!?

Re:What's the score so far? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583827)

My guess is that those who felt some aggression was noobs. I know from my experiences in school that when someone died a few times in a row in CS (what we did in class instead of learning to use Word (who in hell thinks that a sysadmin really needs to learn to use fricking word in school instead of, I don't know, Linux, basic programming, etc)), a few keyboards and mouses would start flying around. I know for a fact that when I play a game and looses/dies because of a bug/glitch several times I can get mad as hell.

I wonder... (3, Interesting)

beef623 (998368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578137)

I wonder what they would find if they did a study to see what type of person was the most violent inside a video game? I bet it wouldn't be the people who are violent in the real world.


Re:I wonder... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584461)

I'm not sure you could get reliable results, it might depend more on the individual. For me, sometimes I massacre as much as I can in GTA, other times I play nicely, and even try to be courteous to NPCs depending on how I feel like playing. Kind of like role-playing, actually, so you'd have to find out whether the subject is playing a role, or playing as him/herself.

A WHOLE 20 Minutes?! (4, Interesting)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578185)

We can all sleep safer in our beds tonight knowing that teaching kids that violence is a form of entertainment doesn't make them into psycho-killers in 20 minutes flat.

Fuck a doodle-do. Quality work there.

Re:A WHOLE 20 Minutes?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18580123)

"fuck a doodle-do" ...


Re:A WHOLE 20 Minutes?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18583359)

You seem to think that "teaching kids that violence is a form of entertainment" is either new, or inherently bad, or both. From what do you draw that conclusion? Violence has been an accepted form of entertainment since the dawn of time. When kids start learning that violence is a form of work, that worries me.

only 20 mins? (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578255)

A Swinburne University of Technology study of 120 children aged 11 to 15 revealed children prone to worrying, neurotic behaviour and predisposed to aggression were likely to be more aggressive after playing violent video games.

OK, so only a small minority of children are negatively affected by a 20-minute session of playing Q2. Does that negative effect wear off if they play for 2 hours? Any endocrine effects need to be examined over a longer timeline.

Isn't it possible we accurately label games so that parents of kids who fall into the risk category can make appropriate decisions more easily when buying a game? Would that hurt anyone?

Oops... flames commence in 3... 2... 1...

Re:only 20 mins? (2)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578971)

>Does that negative effect wear off if they play for 2 hours?

2 hours? What about 20 hours straight? I'd like to see a more realistic study than the one they managed to produce.

Re:only 20 mins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579227)

Isn't it possible we accurately label games so that parents of kids who fall into the risk category can make appropriate decisions more easily when buying a game? Would that hurt anyone?

As if parents read the label anyway. Don't forget, GTA3 was essentially rated R, with labels that indicated it had violence, sexual content, and so on, yet it still found its way into the hands of kids and their shocked parents who discovered that take two had smuggled violence and sex into their homes in the guise of a video game.

Re:only 20 mins? (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579559)

If we were able to easily define and quantify which kids would fall into the risk category, this could be useful.

The only problem I see with this is that parents, I have observed, don rose colored glasses as far as their kids are concerned at birth. MY child could never do drugs. Torturing small animals? Not MY child. Etc.

The causes of violence in children are hard to evaluate. It is unknown that a child can be triggered to violence unless it has been triggered. Intent is impossible to measure.

Re:only 20 mins? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579763)

"MY child can do no wrong, matter of fact he's so smart he can raise himself, that's why I took a 3-11 job and a weekend 9-9 part-time job because he don't need me around and I'd rather do something more constructive than raising kids"



Is 20 minutes enough? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578257)

Is twenty minutes enough play time to really determine whether a person has been impacted by the images and actions they have seen? Would you conclude that Smoking is not addictive after one smoke?

I don't think that videogames cause violence in passive people but I doubt this study shows anything except for the bias of the researcher.

What about the long term effects? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18578333)

Only played for 20 minutes? What about the long term effects of extensive playing? Both over the long term and what about the weekend binges?

Only part of the issue... (4, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578365)

Although, this is interesting, and there is some merit to the study, it only studies one part of the issue, natural tendancies as apposed to cultural ones. As someone else said, "Quake 2 is a far cry from today's GTA games", and I echo this. For its time Quake 2 was pretty violent, but culturally, it has become pretty much fully accepted and with no particular concern. What's probably more of a problem, however, is children who are constantly being asked to push the envilope of cultural acceptability of violence. I have no problem with going against cultural norms, as a whole, but children who are expected to accept violent entertainment at the edge of the cultural norm, may act very differently than ones that are expected to accept violent entertainment which has become culturally acceptable.

The bottom line is that eventually our culture comes to terms with some form of devient behavior. It's not that we morally condone it, but we become able to rationally assess it, without it becoming a sick fascination. The concern isn't so much that the violent imagery, itself, is a problem, so much as that our cravings for greater and greater violent imagery can pose a problem. We should look at this topic rationally and without reservation, there are no "duh's" or "no shit's" here. It's a valid concern. While I admit that most people, in their habbits, are healthy in their entertainment, I've also witnessed teenagers who play games specifically for the blood... which is sad, and a bit disconcerting. Violence can be used to portray strong messages, but in of itself (just like any type of stimuli) has no merrit.

I think this study is very good because it explore the natural disposition factor to violence in entertainment, and I'm sure that this is exactly WHY they chose Quake 2 to use, instead of the latest extremely violent games. That'll probably come next.

Re:Only part of the issue... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579299)

Studies take a good bit of time to research, organize, fund, deploy and then do the analysis. For my "Masters" thesis in Communications I looked into a "small" portion of the connection between media, agression and violence in youth (I targeted 10 to 12 year old boys). The research that is already out there is staggering. It runs the gambit between both extremes and everything in between. It is not uncommon for someone to take research that was already done and redo the data to get different results to support their own position (you can make just about any stat say anything you want if you propose it the right way). After doing all the background work it took time to organize. In the U.S. you have to get a review board for a rubber stamp approval of the whole process before you can go any further, and that can take weeks/months depending on the "touchie/feelie" aspect of the study. Long gone are the days of having a test subject grade a paper and give an unknown/unseen (ie not real) person a shock based on how they did. Wathcing someone flip a switch or turn a dial thinking they are shocking someone speaks VOLUMES (about personality, society and receiving orders just to name a few).

From my initial concept to starting the study took a YEAR! It then took all of a semester to run the tests and another semester to field the data. When it was all said and done my study showed no reach change in behaviour from pre-recorded norms for the youth. I saw about as much agressive behaviour in 10 to 12 year old boys from watching a "yellow sponge" cartoon, watching "professional" (cough) wrestling, playing a shooter, or playing flag football (I had to get signed wavers for the football, flag football?!) for 30 minutes. I had my control group walk for 30 minutes (around a track -- I had to get waivers for this one too!?!). Now, that was only 30 minutes but I did have numerous sessions. College studies, by in large, just don't have the time or funding to do these indepth studies that take decades to pan out. My study looked about 150 youth (including control) with four 30 minutes sessions. Drop in scantron questionaires, watching video of the youth, scoring, etc, etc... it took a LONG time. I was told in no uncertain terms I would not be able to finish my research before my masters would be complete... and they were right. I passed my research onto another person who was a Junior when I started my Masters (she was in on it from the ground floor) and she finsihed the project when she received her Masters.

The BIG sticking point is what do you call aggression and how is it measured. It hitting a "BoBo Doll" aggressive? It blowing a whistle loudly aggressive? Is asking a youth to give their "frustration level" a number from 1 to 10 measuring aggression? Is asking a youth to ask a "pretty girl" out for pizza and then asking them what their "frustration level" a measure of aggression?! Is watching a youth's blood pressure or heart rate rise a measurement? Have them watch a "pretty girl" at the beach and take more measurement?! Pupil dilation? Skin temperature? The list goes on and on and on. You can't meausure "aggression" easily, period. What triggers a child's "agressive" response can be just as hard to pin down. Calling one youths mother something colorful will get responses from laughter, to name calling, to tit for tat, to a punch in the mouth. They could all be emotional responses or just learned behavior but only a few could be definately call "agression" every time. Perception.

Now that you have agression defined and measured (hah ha)... define violence? Define condoned violence? Uncondoned? Condonded violence in boys may not be so for girls and vice versa. We consider a youth charging down the field and knocking the $#@! out of another player in football condonded violence. When the other boy gets up and shurgs it off he is tough. One boy slugging another boy in the hall for "no apparent reason" maybe a bullie if the other boy does not fight back he is a "wimp or coward". If he fights back and looses it ok, at least he tried. If he wins, good for him. When they show it on the news because one or both of them are going to jail for assault its "that was such a nice school." Perception or judgement?

How quickly people want to lay blame on the scapegoat of the day. Cars, Rock n Roll, D&D, Video Games, Wrestling, Free Thinking, whats next?! The sooner people take responsibility for their own actions and personally raise their children (not letting a device do it for them) the sooner we get past all this garbage.

When the "walking wounded" come back from the war... will they be violent? There were/are trained to take a life on order or when they feel threatened in certain areas/situations. The were/are trained to shoot center mass and take out the target. If they kill on the home front do we blame the training, the government, the situation, them, the video games or all/none of the above?

Society (the press/those looking for office) demands answers to these questions. They want a black/white solution because most people do want want to burden themselves and think about it. They want someone else to comeup with the focus of blame.

Re:Only part of the issue... (4, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580091)

Mod parent up. Damn, that was great. It's too bad you posted AC, because your score fell to zero, and so many people won't notice this insightful post.

I couldn't agree more with everything you're saying. I'm just sick and tired of people making up their minds before any results come in. When this thread first started, it was full of "no shit" and "duh" comments, which just really pissed me off, because science is a very very complicated thing that takes some serious and critical thinking.

I'm also sick and tired of the black & white responses that the press and the public are looking for. I've heard people go as far in making flippent comments as to say, "I've been playing violent games since I was 9, and I've never killed anyone, so they must be okay." This is simply rediculous, but it's the same attitude I see in the public every day. Psychology is all a series of grey areas, there are no such thing as hard and fast rules. Of course playing a violent video game won't turn average joe into a gun-toting psychopath, but there's a legitimate question as to whether it might make average joe just slightly more aggressive or irratable in some way that makes other's lives just that much more unpleasant. When you look at a society, little things like this can have major cultural consequences, so it's important to discuss openly, and not jump to conclusions. And I'm not suggesting that it DOES, but we have to be open to the possibility that it might, and be prepared to discuss what to do about it, if it is indeed the case.

Our culture wants everything in black & white terms: good and evil, right and wrong, guilty and innocent. In this day, you're either a crimina or you're an angel. It's all a huge "Us and Them" game, a way of separating ourselves from everyone we don't understand. These studies are important because they tell a lot about how we learn and grow as a society. To ignore the finer points just because they don't help us to stroke our ego, by being "the good guys", is to do violence to the very idea of personal and societal growth.

Monkey see.... (1)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578489)

Monkey do not. (yeah bad English I know but the point was made)

I don't see why people get so worked up over games. points out something like the opposite of this article with something like "With all other problems solved xxx decides to ban [thinkofthechildren] cause of the week".

For thousands of years kids witnessed (and participated in) violence on a scale so grand that beating a whore in GTA seem quaint in comparison.

I have played games like this for years and haven't gone postal yet despite having some VERY good reasons in the last few years to be up on a building with a rifle and a scope.

I guess this is just saying what many gamers (and Dennis Miller) have known for a long time: If anything your kid sees in a game pushes him/her over the edge, you're just not doing your job as a parent.

Re:Monkey see.... (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579801)

I have played games like this for years and haven't gone postal yet despite having some VERY good reasons in the last few years to be up on a building with a rifle and a scope.

I find this really interesting! --I also had such frustrations in my life and entertained violent thoughts in reaction to them. Then a few years back, I stopped playing video games and I stopped watching TV.

Amazingly, life has become much happier and I now never have any call to be frustrated with life to the point you describe.

I really believe these days that your focus really does determine your reality.


Re:Monkey see.... (1)

LowbrowDeluxe (889277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580241)

If you quit playing video games, why are you trolling articles in the Game catagory? Also, your logic is faulty, to some extent. While I can understand your viewpoint, there is also the question of why you wanted to play video games in the first place, and what prompted you to quit. If you experienced a life-changing decision that removed your desire to play video games (assuming you were actually a gamer, and not just someone who played a video game every now and then), isn't it more likely that this life-altering moment has more to do with your peace of mind than what entertainment you take part in?

And for everyone decrying the 20 minute thing, while I agree this doesn't count for much as a behaviorial study, behavior is a culmination of environmental factors. You will never be able to scientifically test for behavior, in my personal opinion. Which translates as: If it really is a behavior problem, it's still the damn parents fault.

As an initial series of tests on physiological effects of violent video games, I think this was a good start.

Monkeys. . . (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18581643)

f you quit playing video games, why are you trolling articles in the Game catagory?

Because psychology interests me. And so do games to some degree. --I'm looking forward to knowing how the story-line for the Command & Conquer series unfolds, for instance.

Also, your logic is faulty, to some extent. While I can understand your viewpoint, there is also the question of why you wanted to play video games in the first place, and what prompted you to quit. If you experienced a life-changing decision that removed your desire to play video games (assuming you were actually a gamer, and not just someone who played a video game every now and then), isn't it more likely that this life-altering moment has more to do with your peace of mind than what entertainment you take part in?

Hm. Well, you probably have a point there.

The reason I wanted to play video games in the first place was the "Wow" factor. I grew up as home computers also grew up. I was around 10 years old when the Apple II first came out. I wanted to experience everything which had to do with computers. It wasn't until much later that the social patterns began to emerge. We've come a long way since Pac Man! --I also stopped wanting to play video games when I realized that the games available in the game store ceased to interest me. If it didn't have a compelling story, then I didn't care. The more violent and 'mean' the games became, the more they repelled me. If they didn't repel me, then I would have had to embrace the head-space of such games to a degree. And I definitely had the choice. I chose to embrace more positive energies. I decided that I didn't want to be the kind of person who got excited about getting a, "Head Shot," in Unreal Tournament.

I was playing thousands of hours worth of video games well into my late twenties, but eventually I decided that I wanted to put my energy and attention into things which could show a return on investment, so to speak. Stopping took a powerful act of will, and it was cold turkey. It failed several times before I got it right. --And to be honest, it wasn't even will power so much as I started to get violently ill, (vomiting), if I played a game for more than an hour or so. When your body is telling you to quit, it's a good idea to listen.

But it was all part and parcel with my decision to grow my awareness and light and to walk away from many of the control measures placed upon people. Soul-work is important stuff, and it's why we came here. Video games are useful to a degree insofar as they are a part of this reality for us to explore, but they can easily evolve into a distraction from more powerful lessons.


Re:Monkeys. . . (1)

LowbrowDeluxe (889277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583667)

Well, I maintain that video games are the equal of any other form of entertainment out there, be it books or movies, however I can understand wanting to limit the amount of time spent in relatively unproductive pursuits. However, it doesn't sound like you were inclined towards violent video games to begin with. As you said, you made a choice about video games. I freely admit, that to a limited extent, the entertainment a person indulges in can shape their viewpoints. However, I think the largest portion of the shaping is made by the *choices* that person makes, including the very choice of what media to indulge in. In the end, in my opinion at least, it still isn't the video games, it is whatever led that person to choose that type of video game.

I'll give you an example of sorts. I apologize that it isn't a very clear example, but it's an image that has stuck with me. Also, I get the feeling its a memory we might share. I was young when Frank Miller first came on the scene, I remember when he took the helm of DareDevil. Before then most of the heros were either still uberamerican boy scouts, or 'anti-heros' whose only claim to fame was the sort of aggressive macho posturing of teen jocks. I just remember reading, "And the Kingpin had shown him...that a man without hope...was a man without fear." And thinking, "Yes, by god." After that I definitely made a choice about the type of comics I read, and they were certainly darker, more cynical, even more violent, but I don't think they changed the path my behaviour was going to take, instead they reflected it. Not sure I made any sense at all with that story. Sorry.

Did you see the Monopoly study? (4, Funny)

MrTester (860336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578493)

A new study points to evidence that kids who play Monopoly more than 20 minutes a day during the "critical years" causes them to become raging Capitalists.
The study looks at more than 200 of the top entrepreneurs of the last 20 years and found that 90% of them played Monolpoly as children. The remaining 10% all turned out to be pinko communists.
In a related study, it was found that Stalin, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon and Hitler all played chess as small children. Bans on chess clubs are being considered in 38 states to prevent the rise of further military dictators.

More at 11.

In other news... (1)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578533)

People who stay indoors 20 minutes are no more likely to become recluses.

People who jog 20 miles are no more likely to become marathon runners.

People who write for 20 minutes are no more likely to become stenographers.

[insert any number of similarly pointless conclusions here]

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578651)

oops, I meant to say "20 minutes," not "20 miles." Obviously I'd be making a different point in that case. :P

Re:In other news... (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580621)

People who jog 20 miles are no more likely to become marathon runners.

If you can jog 20 miles no problem, you nearly are a marathon runner. Full marathons are only 28 miles. My friend who ran the Chicago marathon trained by jogging just 10 miles every other day for several months.

Re:In other news... (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18582849)

26 [] , actually, but even two miles are still far more than I'd care to run ;)

Some violence is good (4, Funny)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578655)

The thing that people who worry about young men and violent video games forget is that much of a nation's martial power can be destroyed from within by pussifying its young male population. America is headed for a dangerous path with the way that we are teaching boys to "talk about their feelings," punishing them like they're psychopaths for scrapping at school and things like that. These won't be young men ready for war, and guess what'll happen when the chickens come home to roost? Violent video games are, IMO, one of the few things that hasn't rendered the young male population certifiably effeminate in this country.

And yes, being effeminate is a bad thing for a man to be. It does make you less of a man, and don't give me that bullshit about being "more sensitive and loving toward your girlfriend." I have never seen an effeminate, case study of modern psychological destruction of young men like that who is quick to defend his woman from serious harassment.

Re:Some violence is good (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578963)

Newsflash: machosim linked to fear of roosting chickens.

Re:Some violence is good (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579031)

Well, it seems that you, my good friend, are a veritable gold mine of testosterone, so all we need to do to reserve the, um, I believe you call it "pussifying", of our young males and preserve our military strength is drop a well down into your pituitary gland, and distribute the resulting juices nationwide.

Re:Some violence is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579159)

Agreed... and yes, that's why I'm posting A/C (based on the only other replies to this one)

Re:Some violence is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579239)

Absolutely agreed. Violence is a natural part of life and a lot of people can't deal with that based on a small portion of people who can't deal with it well.

Re:Some violence is good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579865)

Well said. It's true that we are irrationally afraid of aggression and conflict, regardless of the cause. It leads to total bullshit like punishing children who physically defend themselves againts bullies, or even grownups who do the same.

I wonder why martial arts aren't under the same kind of scrutiny as videogames. Surely punching, throwing and choking people is dangerous and will raise a generation of violent psychopaths who will solve every problem through force, when they should be discussing their innermost feelings instead?

Feminism was, I guess, appropriate for its time (at least some of it), but it has gone way too far.

Re:Some violence is good (1)

Doc Lazarus (1081525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587095)

Can we stop this 'pussification' by saving our bodily fluids as well?

Of Course They're Not (0, Flamebait)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578879)

Only retarded people are affected by video game violence. Just like only retarded people believe that people are affected by video game violence. Are children retarded? At least 2/3rds of them are not!

From the other 1/3rd one occasionally tries to blame some malfeasance on violent video games. This far that has not got a single one of them excused from having to take responsibility for their actions. That they still try is simply further proof that they're retarded. My regime would actually have no qualms about executing such people. We'd just tell them they were going on a fun ride.

Re:Of Course They're Not (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579575)

My regime would actually have no qualms about executing such people. We'd just tell them they were going on a fun ride.

You're either trolling, or those video games have affected you more than you realize.

You don't have to act on feelings of hate in order for it to alter the quality of your life and awareness.

Ever since I shifted my own focus a few years back, my life has done nothing but grow brighter and happier; it is filled with loving and compassionate people. The world is an increasingly difficult place, but somehow I am surfing between the rocks.

Your focus determines your reality.


Re:Of Course They're Not (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580851)

No no my regime's goals are well documented in my past posts. I would:

* Bring back impaling. It worked for Vlad and it'd work for me! I'd be Bruce the Impaler!
* Ban all organized religion in favor of a mandatory state run religion involving Smurfs.
* Institute mandatory reversible sterilization for all children at puberty.
* Require a breeding license. Right now it's easier to have a child than it is to buy a gun or drive a car. I think there's something wrong with that. And I don't intend to make it easier to drive a car or buy a gun.
* Bring back dueling code. Use of guns in duels would be banned as "too easy." Any other agreed upon hand-to-hand weapons are fine.
* Do away with most victimless crimes and make the penalties for all other crimes much harsher (See point 1)
* Mandatory Samurai honor code for corporate upper management and public executives. Under my regime, for example, all the government officials who screwed up New Orleans would have had to have ritually disemboweled themselves. Ideally in a televised event. Likewise all those Enron guys and other CEOs who lied about earnings and made millions scamming the public? Seppuku. I don't even care if the CEO was innocent. It happened on his watch and therefore he is accountable for the shame of his company!
* Gay marriage would not only be legal under my regime, it would be mandatory. Exceptions for people who have acquired breeding licenses. Otherwise you will have to be married and it will have to be of someone of the same sex. (Note that this and the sterilization thing completely solves the abortion problems so I expect the religious right to be on board, here.)

I believe some have misinterpreted my previous post as "Kill all retarded people" which is not the case. As stated my regime would kill people for most crimes that remain crimes. My regime would not accept excuses like "I'm retarded" or "Video games made me do it" or "God told me to" or anything like that. You do the crime, you get impaled. As I said, there would not be much actual criminal activity left to get impaled for but the really bad stuff WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

Ahem. Now go out there and vote for your fearless leader!

I know I have posted this before... (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18578901)

...but I post it anytime there is something about violence and videogames on teh /.


I decided to finally write this down in response to some people asking me why I enjoy immeasurably violent video games and movies. This explanation is written using the game "Manhunt" as it's primary example, mainly because of it's subject matter (which can best be described as a "snuff video game"). PLEASE read it in it's entirety before responding, it's easy to think i'm making an uninformed point without reading the whole thing; I explain EVERY viewpoint I express.

Think about this, folks.

This "game" is not about sneakin' around, trying to see what the biggest mess you can make is. It's about much more than that. This game is in direct relation to the JTHM (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez, for the uninitiated...) in all of us, the little black beast that we keep to ourselves.

Ever say "I wish he were dead", or "he makes me so angry I want to kill him"? Of course you have. Everyone has. This game is the digital manifestation of those thoughts. It's not about suffocating some guy, or creating the pink mist... This game does one thing and one thing only: it asks you a question. A very simple question to state, and frankly a very simple question to answer:

Is your black beast fictional or real?

Do you have a little playground for the demon inside of you, someplace it can go and harmlessly let out it's frustrations and rage? Or are you so jaded and blind that you cannot discern the difference between reality and fantasy?

Frankly, if you enjoy this game (along with ANY violent video game or movie, regardless of it's subject or presentation) you are not sick. You are normal. You are provided an outlet for the most primal emotions that you, as a human, have. Your most carnal instincts. If you don't like this game because the graphics suck, or the control is wonky, fine. BUT. If you despise this game because you say it's "too violent" and "unneccessary", and "too realistic", and whatever else, guess what: YOU are the sick one. That's not to say that you can't see it as being gross, or that you don't like it because you supposidly don't like violence (then why do you slow down to look at car accidents, hmm?) What it means is that if you say that violent things such as this push sane and "normal" people into being murderers in real life...well, I'm sorry, but you are wrong.

The first step anyone takes to becomming a murderer in real life is not being able to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Manhunt is fantasy. Does that mean something similar has not happend/could not happen? No. But your experience and memories of it happening are. It's a video game. It is designed to be a playground for your little black beast.

If you take it as being anything more serious than that...well, turn yourself in now.

You have to allow the little monster to come out every now and then and release it's frustrations. If you don't, you risk becomming a quivering mass of nervous and dangerous flesh. What better place to do this than in a simulated environment with simulated violence where the only things harmed are your eyes for staring at the screen?

Feeding the monster. . . (2, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18579393)


If you feed the little monster, the little monster grows.

My own 'little monster' gets smaller all the time, because I don't want any monster inside me at all. That's the description of the life mission I follow. --To hunt down all darkness and annihilate it within the self. If I can walk into a room and interact with anybody, shine brightly, comfortably and with grace so that every person I touch also finds a way to glow, then I am approaching the best version of myself. If I have a little monster whispering anger to me, then this mission in my life is hampered. The more time and energy I feed to the little monster, the more powerful and comfortable it becomes in its position in my psyche.

Put another way. . . The brain trains itself to fire synapses efficiently. If you spend a lot of time accessing certain types of thought and behavior, the brain re-wires itself to accommodate the firing of those synapses, which in turn makes it easier and faster for the brain to access such thoughts and behaviors. It makes such patterns easy and comfortable. If, however, you retrain your brain in different directions, then the brain rewires itself accordingly. The structure of the brain is always in motion; this is how we grow and learn.

In a very real sense, your focus determines your reality.

As well. . , I also subscribe to the belief that what you focus on becomes real in a far more literal sense. If you focus on negative energies, on mass destruction and painless murders, then these forces will find their way into your life in some manner. How many troops in Iraq were weaned on Quake?

This is not about judgment or guilt. About calling some people, "Sick". It's about what sort of reality you want to live in, what sort of energies you want to attract. I am now able to spend most of my life quite happily. I face my challenges largely without anger, without secretly wanting to harm anybody. This is a fairly significant change from only a few years ago. I find the people around me nowadays are very positive and compassionate. Is this a direct result of my stopping watching TV and playing video games? Perhaps. In any case, I certainly believe that it is all inter-related.

I remember when I used to have a much bigger little monster than I do today.

Just some thoughts.


Re:Feeding the monster. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18580347)

You're not only deliberately stripping away your humanity, you're proud of it. That scares and saddens me.

Re:Feeding the monster. . . (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18580791)

You're not only deliberately stripping away your humanity, you're proud of it. That scares and saddens me.

Humanity is anger and an internal desire to express violent thoughts? Hm. Interesting definition. Are you sure you've not been lied to?

I very much doubt that humanity can be stripped away by avoiding TV and video games, or by focusing on positive experiences. I might venture to say that the opposite is true. But I'd be wrong. Humanity is that which is human; we all get to define it as we go.

So I'll tell you what; You express and explore your humanity the way you see fit, and I'll be over here doing it my way. Waaaay over here. Out of range.

Water seeks its own level. What kind of water are you?


of course they do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579611)

of course violent video games have an effect on kids, thats why they are violent! duh..
Sure kids who play 20 minutes of Quake 2 or even a lot of it are not going to become violent psychopaths, but it is the culture of glorifying violence or violent force (against say 'foreign' enemies) in general which has an effect on how children grow up relating to violence in the real world through the media. When violence is continuously portrayed or glorified through entertainment, then (i) the acceptance of violence (and the oversimplification of the reasons for it!)as means to an end (say in public policy, or the glorification of real violence) becomes easier to accept, (ii)the perception of real violence in the media is deadened somewhat, even though it is realized as 'real' and perhaps shocking, since violence is to be expected in the cultural milieu (life imitating art and vice versa).

Violent video games are great fun, shouldnt be banned, and nearly all kids can distinguish it as just entertainment and will be fine, yet its the contribution to an overall glorified cultural portrayal of violence as normal (and its oversimplification) which IMO is an interesting issue.

Not a murderer does not equal unaffected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18579673)

I didn't RTFA, but I'm forced to call BS simply because of one reason, not having millions of game-playing kids commiting murders or becoming noticeably more aggressive doesn't mean that they're completely unaffected, they could be desensitized and still be sane enough not to go around hitting people.

IMHO the problem with violence in the media isn't that it makes people more aggressive, it's that it makes sheeple not care when it's really going on in real life.

20 minutes is fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18582873)

I don't know why everyone here is complaining about the 20 minute length, saying the kids should have played for an hour or more. Remember, these are elementary school children, not adults. Most of them don't have the attention span required to do one thing for a long period of time. If you require them to sit and play after they've had enough of the game, you're likely to have the child express frustration and have a frantic release of energy when you observe them afterward. This doesn't help you measure the effects of the game itself.

Ob. quote (1)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18583981)

If games affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching on pills and listening to repetative electroinic music. Oh, wait...

Out of the mouths of babes... (4, Interesting)

Frodrick (666941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18584985)

I learned this 15 years ago when I turned my then-four-year-old son loose on an early copy of Wolfenstein 3D.

After a long session of him gleefully shooting everything that moved (In god mode, of course), I decided to test the idea that violent games produced violent children. "Wouldn't it be nice if you could shoot people like that in real life?" I asked.

He looked at me, utterly shocked. "No! Why would I want to do that?"

"You enjoyed shooting people in Wolfenstein, didn't you?" I offered, "Why not for real?"

I swear, my 4 year old son looked at me with pity in his eyes. "It's only a game , Dad!

After that I decided not to worry about kids playing violent video games any more. They are a lot more aware than most folks realize... and a lot smarter than most anti-games crusaders!

Re:Out of the mouths of babes... (1)

uufnord (999299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590345)

They are a lot more aware than most folks realize... and a lot smarter than most anti-games crusaders!

At least he's smarter than all those retards with the Bobo Doll [] . Yeah, those kids, you know the ones -- the ones that watched the video of a doll being beaten up and then imitated that behavior. Those kids, or about 88% or them, anyway. Hey, did you know that after 8 months during followup studies 40% of those kids beat the shit out of the Bobo doll again? 8 MONTHS later 40% of these children who saw that video for only TEN MINUTES still repeated the aggressive behavior.

Thank Our Heavenly Load and Father Jesus Christ, who is Lord, Our God, that you kid is alot "smarter" than those evil crusaders. That, and go fuck your mother.

Re:Out of the mouths of babes... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591605)

8 MONTHS later 40% of these children who saw that video for only TEN MINUTES still repeated the aggressive behavior.

That aggressive behavior being the bludgeoning of the Bobo Doll, which is of course what they were shown that the dolls were for.

I bet the GP's kid still liked killing Nazis in Wolfenstein 8 months later too!

Holy fuck, how retarded do you have to be to think that continued violence against a toy that was shown to be an outlet for aggression actually means anything about agression in general?

Next up: Football makes you violent because even months after having played football, most football players immediately show aggressive behavior when they next play football!

In fact there is no way to transmit culture at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18586513)

Children are immune, in the new study, apparently to any influence at all. Music, even a love of music, cannot be transferred. An appreciation of higher thought, long thought teachable, "might as well be water on a duck's back," said one researcher.

No matter what we offer up, even repeatedly, the answer is always the same. They curl their lip, roll their eyes and say "DUH!" and "No Shit. Enough already."

We tried teaching spanish to no avail, math no way. We think this why all children all around the world are the same. Culture is apparently an illusion that we're just going to have to give up."

Video games don't cause violence. (1)

RamonetB (821380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18587403)

I've been playing violent video games for years.
They don't cause violence.

And I'll kill any man who says otherwise!

When are they going to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590431)

...a study showing real world violence is sometimes prevented by videogames?

Why not? I could see situations where someone is fustrated by real world situations and needs a channel to vent. Why not let 'em go all out ballistic on a virtual proxies and get it out of their system in an acceptable manner? Sure beats letting 'em keep it bottled up, snapping, and going crazy on some unfortunate who wanders by in real life.

gamestudy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18599521)

I know that most of the population that reads this site loves video games as much as i do but the study only looked at children who played these games for 20 minutes. This is hardly a factor in noting any psychological change. A kid who is in karate class for 20 minutes doesn't want to kick anybody he sees. This study is a half ass excuse for these "professors" to say they accomplished a meaningful addition to mainstream knowledge.

Study biased - no West and North metro Melbourne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18620003)

The study monitored the behavior of children from 10 schools in eastern and southern metropolitan Melbourne

Admittedly based on no hard evidence, just hunches I get from experience and news sources, my guess is that the population areas most prone to crime and violence probably cluster around the West and North Melbourne metro areas, with East being the least prone and South having some limited problem areas. Although by world standards Melbourne is a pretty safe place.
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