Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase Violence in Players

October 6, 2010 -

Two unnamed gamers oppose the opinions of research experts in a BBC story examining the impact, if any, violent games have on players, but the roles are probably reversed from what you might expect.

The academic types, which included Dr. Cheryl Olson and Villanova University Professor Dr. Patrick Markey defended games, with Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood, saying “Given that the typical young teenage boy plays violent games, and that the youth crime rate has gone down rather than up, it makes sense that these games are meeting needs.”

Markey referenced his previously published research, which indicated that only people who are already angry typically fall under the negative spell of violent games, or, as he told the BBC, “Those who are negatively affected have pre-existing dispositions, which make them susceptible to such violent media.”

Psychologist Dr. John Ryder had the strongest condemnation of any link between violent games and hostile behavior, stating, “Usually violence begets violence, not watching it on TV or play-acting in a video game.”

He added, “There is no reason to assume that doing that will make someone more violent. That is just ridiculous.”

One unnamed 21-yeard old “gaming addict” told the BBC that “playing violent videogames for hours every day was having a psychological effect," stating, “Players can come to the point where they see this as an alternative to real life interaction and if this is their other world, it's pretty bad.”

Another gamer speaking to the publication about violent games stated, “They're bad news. Anything that shows stabbing, shooting, kinds of killing, can't teach anything but that.”


Comments

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Am I the only one that smells a rat with the two "gamers"? 

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

The very fact that youth violence has been decreasing while games have been increasing in popularity is and has been the absoute slam-dunk to end this debate.  Why have the ESA and other pro-games entities not been drumming this point home?

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Correlation =/= Causation

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

 Indeed. While it is nice to point out as it makes the argument that video games cause violence seem weaker, we should not act as though its the end-all to the anti-video game argument. When it comes down to it, the correlation between the two could be nothing more than a coincidence. Hell the critics could even claim that whatever factors cause the decrease in violence are more than enough to outweigh the supposedly negative effects of games... the cause of the decrease could be any number of factors like changes to the education system, improvements made in urban areas, generational gaps between parents and their own upbringings, maybe even other forms of media like the cartoons these teens watched when they were young impressionable preschoolers; ya i don't know... but all in all, video games may be unrelated to the decrease

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Considering this data involves a much more statistically significant metric than the "violent video games make kids violent" correlations that the anti-video game lobby always trots out, I'd say it doesn't matter that correlation =/= causation.

The pro video game side wins either way.

 

Even if you could prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a video game made a SINGLE non-violent child become violent...even granting that ridiculous assertion....that would not be a statistically significant rate of incidence.  1 in 10's of millions?

Cosidering the other side cannot even present the 1, let alone a statistically significant number, makes this entire argument a joke for anybody with any scientific background.

 

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Precisely. So the pro-game crowd shouldn't stoop to that level of spouting crap like that.

Else we could say: 

Teen pregnancy is down, game sales are up. Games must be preventing teenagers from having as much sex. Go Games! 

Highschool test scores are up (laugh), game sales are up, therefore games must be making kids smarter! Go Games!

and on and on and on...

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Teen pregnancy is down, game sales are up. Games must be preventing teenagers from having as much sex. Go Games!

Actually, I'm pretty sure there's something to that one. How many chicks find being to able to beat Halo on Legendary in record time to be a huge turn-on? Eh? :)

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Could it not be used a a valid argument to disprove their proposition?

The point they're driving is: "Violent games cause teen gamers to be violent."

But add to that the facts: "The typical teen gamer plays violent games." and "Youth crime has gone down down."

Is that not enough to prove: "Games can't be the cause of increase in violence in teen gamers."?

I mean, if the point they're driving is valid, would that not mean that teens playing violent games would be more violent causing teen crime to rise or at the very least keep at the same level, yet the facts show otherwise. Given this, could it not be taken that their proposition is thus proven false?

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

 No... for instance, as i mentioned below, the argument could be made that whatever factor is the true cause of the lessening of teen violence, it may outweigh the negative effects of the damage caused by violent games. to put it simply, if violent games made someone 1.5x more violent, but all those other factors made teens 2x less violent, then you would still see a gradual decrease in violence despite the negative effects of games; all in all, the violence decreases across the country, but at the same times it does not mean for sure that violent games are not having a harmful effect. 

You can say it's evidence against them(useful for when you have other evidence) and makes their side of the argument seem less likely to be true(at the very least it makes the level harm seem much less serious and less of a cause for concern), but you can't say that their position is proven false by that alone.

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

I see your point.

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

"You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Gotta credit the BBC with brining in 3 reasonable experts though.

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Blugh.  I knew the British tabloids liked to make up their facts on the fly, but I thought the BBC would be above that sort of thing.  "Anonymous gamer?"  Can't you at least provide us with their tag?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Psychologist: “Ridiculous” to Assume Games Increase ...

Wow, gamer #2 has certainly forgotten his thinking cap.  So, according to him, something like, say, Saving Private Ryan can't possibly have anything to teach about loyalty, honor, the horror of war, etc. because it shows stabbing, shooting, and/or kinds of killing?  The mere presence of violence, no matter how it is actually portrayed, totally negates every other aspect of a piece of media?  Yeah, good thinking there, champ.

 
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NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
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E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
 

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