Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

February 11, 2011 -

Game | Life is the latest outlet to talk to psychologist Carole Lieberman about her recent "games cause rape" comments to Fox News. Much like every other outlet that has sought out an explanation for those outlandish comments (or some evidence to back those comments up), Wired instead finds a wall. And let's face it, there's no back pedaling from the fantastic conclusion that Lieberman drew in that Fox News article.

The most interesting comments don't come from Lieberman in Wired's piece - they come from Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who soundly squelches her claim that there are "thousands of studies" that draw some sort of correlation between sexual scenes in games and real world sexual assault.

"I don’t know where [Lieberman] would get any evidence for this opinion," said Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who has studied media violence since 1999. "There’s really very little to substantiate her claims in research literature."

In a phone interview with Wired, Gentile could not think of any modern games that contain real sexual content. Games like "Leisure Suit Larry and Custer’s Revenge," Gentile said, are hard to find on store shelves.

In her extended conversations with Wired through email and on the phone, Lieberman continued to say that there are a number of studies that support what she says. At the end of it she went from "thousands" to "hundreds" of studies:

"Over the years, I have read hundreds of studies linking videogames to violence. Rape, as a violent act, is implied in them," she wrote in an e-mail. "When videogames are violent and sexual, it causes the players to become desensitized to rape and think it is a ‘game.’"

Unfortunately for her, not one researcher that commented in the Wired article agreed with her. Another example:

"No serious researcher is linking playing violent videogames with criminal violence," Gentile said. "There is good evidence that playing violent videogames will lead to increases in aggressive behavior, and violence is a very extreme subtype of physical aggression … but there is almost no evidence that playing a violent videogame has a clear causal link to that level of serious criminal violence."

Unfortunately for Lieberman, it is too late to say what she should have said right after that Fox News article was published: "I was mistaken."

Read the full article here. It is an interesting dissection of the whole situation.


Comments

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

If she was a lawyer she'd remind me of Jack Thomson.

Where is he anyways... I guess he gave up a while back.

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

She actually admitted she was wrong. Jack, no matter how glaringly obvious he was wrong, would never admit any fault or error on his behalf. She may have a few more brain cells than the disbarred one.

============== James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

Why does it not surprise me that, when pressed, she couldn't cite a single study or sources?  Instead, she thinks it'll automatically be accepted as fact by saying, "Since I'm a psychologist, it's becuase I say so."  Just like JT couldn't back up a single thing he said, because he assumed since he was a lawyer - and therefore an authority figure in a supposed position of trust - he must automatically be right.

Just proves to me she only is saying these things for the sake of getting attention, and that's all there is to it.

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

But don't you know?

The tide goes in, the tide goes out.  There is never a miscommunication. 

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

She talks about "hundreds and thousands of studies" and yet can't name a single one?

You know what we need? To go through the GP archives, pull out all the articles of all the studies of gaming effects, both good and bad, whether they be for violence, addiction, sex, depression, obesity or whatever, and put them all into one, big tome. Organize them in two sections, good and bad studies, and catagorize them by their "genres".

That way, we're ready next time we go into debates about "research", like this.

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

Should I make a video response to this, or would I just be lowering myself? 

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

how did it go?

"You've been measured, you've been weighed, and you've been found wanting." or something like that?

she should really go back and find sources for her information, i'd half bet 2/3 of it was bullox some politician put out, or copy/pasted info from other bad "research" repeated over and over.

otherwise i'm sure the movement for this would be stronger and not just limited to over zealous politicians, lawyers (out for easy money since the tobacco thing dried up), and old farts who'll believe literally anything their told.

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

 I guess the remaining 1/3 would be misinterpretting/exgerating studies, such as translating "aggressive behavior" to "real world violence"... y'know have these studies been defining what "aggressive behavior" is? cause just from the sounds of it i might go with it meaning a long range of things including having temper tantrums and resorting to verbal abuse... y'know something that's not really at all dangerous

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

on the other hand, she might actually be enjoying all this extra attention in some wierd way.

Re: Wired on Lieberman and the Game-Rape Correlation

Of course, now she'l write a book, GP, wired, and everyone else will report on that as well, and she'l sell tones of copies! 

 
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MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
ConsterWait, what's this about Leland Yee eliminating witnesses?08/30/2014 - 5:50pm
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
 

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