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Video game VIolence (Again)

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  • Video game VIolence (Again)

    Hey folks, I am conducting research for a paper I am writing for my social sciences class. I am focusing on video game induced violence, but I need some help finding good articles from people that know what they are talking about, not just some uninformed bloggers. Which seems to be the majority of what I am finding. I would love to find some professional research from both sides. I did a search in the forums but most of what I found was from several years ago, and I am guessing the research has been expanded or more thorough. Thanks for any help you guys can give =)
    |TG-Irr|Avengingllama
    I used to eat paint chips. Now I just drink the paint because I couldn't find a salsa that went well with the chips and they were dry =)

  • #2
    Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

    P.S.-Personal opinions are welcome as well. You never know when I can use a nugget in a google search to find statistical evidence to support a theory =)
    |TG-Irr|Avengingllama
    I used to eat paint chips. Now I just drink the paint because I couldn't find a salsa that went well with the chips and they were dry =)

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    • #3
      Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

      Personally I think video games have nothing to do with violence. It has become the new scapegoat. I remember when Manson's music was the "cause of all evil", once that was disproved they turned their sights on something else. It all boils down to parenting. If your kid doesn't know the difference between pixel violence and real violence stop buying them call of duty and letting them play off in their rooms by themselves. I remember my mother talking to me for hours about violence in video games before should would let me play Mortal Kombat on SNES. If parents did the job they are supposed to we wouldn't have this problem.

      /rant

      [unit][squadl][command2]

      KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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      • #4
        Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

        I personally don't think video games can create anything that isn't already there in a person. There's also the major issue of understanding that games=/=reality. I'm pretty sure that almost everyone understands this. If for some reason certain people can't understand that video games are not real life... well, I think there are bigger issues to be looking at there rather than whether or not the games made them violent - chances are things were pretty unstable to begin with. Books aren't happening in real life, here and now, as you read them. Neither are video games. Interestingly, not seen much media attention paid to violent murderers and what books they read, "Val McDermid books make you a murderer!" - might be some interesting statistics if someone went through the book collections of serial killers etc. But 'as we all know', books = good and games = bad. Completely disregarding that games actually require interraction, and books just need page turning. Ho hum, society.

        Pepper

        "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

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        • #5
          Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

          I understand the whole concept behind the - kids/people get used to kill so the idea will not shock them as much as if they did not play video games - BUT do those people open their TV? forget about the horror movies, the tv series, just look at the news, look at the cartoons kids watch! Our everyday subjection to images that make us "immune" to the sight of violence has risen a lot. I hardly believe that video games should be blamed. I have heard of studies that actually prove that such games actually help people blow off steam and take their rage out on the virtual battlefield instead of in real life. I could write a whole essay on this subject but I am positive that it is more relevant to how a child is brought up, what that child has gone through, what social circumstances there are as well as pre-existing psychological aspects that lead to violence. I will try and dig up some articles for you if I can.

          PS it also has to do with how soon parents expose the children to such games. I have seen once too many times 12-year-olds carrying games that are 16+ or 18+ to the till of a store. I suppose my opinion would be that such games can influence kids BUT they are not intended for kids they are usually intended for 16+ At that age a persons psychological profile is completed or at least it is not so easily affected
          - - -

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          • #6
            Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

            So I finished the paper, and you guys could have written my conclusion...lol. I found no long term research following up on the research claiming violence in video games causes real-life violence...ah hell....I will just post the paper and let you guys judge. BEWARE....it is a 5 page MS word doc. I am only including the citations so you can read up on it if you wish. Also, I know this is not a "professional" paper, I am only in english 102. Barely above Bonehead english...lol. Anywho, here you are if interested. Feel free to comment =)

            Pixel Trained Killers?

            Do the names Anders Behring Breivik, or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold mean anything to you? The names should mean something; these are the names of the individuals responsible for perpetrating the massacres in Oslo, Norway, and on the campus of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Two of the most high profile mass killings in the past 15 years have been blamed on the violence found, and sometimes simulated in video games. In Oslo, Mr. Breivik openly asserts he used the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as a training aid, he stated he used it "more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else" and "You can more or less completely simulate actual operations." The killers responsible for the Columbine Massacre were known for playing two violent video games, Doom 2 and Quake. They were known to have spent hours on end playing violent video games. Mass killings are not the only time video games are blamed for acts of violence and killings. On June 7, 2003, 18 year old Devin Moore killed 2 police officers and a 911 dispatcher in Fayette, Alabama. The killings were blamed on the hundreds of hours Moore spent playing the game Grand Theft Auto. A civil lawsuit was filed by attorney Jack Thompson to represent the officers and their families. Thompson claims, “Moore was, in effect, trained to do what he did. He was given a murder simulator." But are violent video games really “murder simulators,” or are they a nothing more than a form of entertainment, a form of relaxation? Can blame really be placed on a game? Is there more to the story?
            There have been numerous studies conducted to try to determine the culpability of video games and the creators/publishers in regard to violent crime. The vast majority of the research has been conducted on children and some on college age persons. Adults over 25 seem to not be a concern in this area of research. Possibly due to a lessened assumed impact on the individuals over 25 years of age. Craig Anderson of Iowa State University is One of the more prevalent researchers that feels violent video games are a major contributor to teen violence. He has conducted a significant portion of research for this matter, both on his own and with other researchers. In the September, 2001 edition of Psychological Science he published, “Effects of Violent Video Games on aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.” The article is a compilation and analysis of research conducted by his peers, but interpreted and presented by Mr. Anderson. Throughout his research he has found violence in video games causes heightened aggression, heightened arousal and lower levels of pro-social behavior. Even at low levels of exposure he claims there is damage. However, he does admit there have been no long term studies to date, which could change his findings. The lack of available long term research and no analysis or separation of his study subjects mental stability, or tendencies toward violent behavior make me question the validity of his arguments. If there is no precursory evidence to suggest violent or non-violent behavioral tendencies inherent to his subjects, I do not feel his arguments can be fully validated.
            In 2009, 60 Minutes produced and posted on the internet a segment discussing the murder of 2 police officers and a 911 dispatcher in Fayette, Alabama. The story alleges that 18 year old Devin Moore, arrested under suspicion of stealing a car, and while in the booking area, stole the arresting officer’s service weapon and killed him with it. Moore proceeded to kill another officer and the 911 operator on-duty. According to Attorney Jack Thompson “Moore was, in effect, trained to do what he did. He was given a murder simulator." The “murder simulator” was a video game titled “Grand Theft Auto.” While playing this game, the player does kill police officers as well as anyone that gets in the player’s way or impedes the player’s progress within the game. The player’s avatar also steals cars, consumes drugs and alcohol, and hires prostitutes. However, in my opinion, Grand Theft Auto is not a simulator. According to freedictionary.com, a simulator, by definition, is “any device or system that simulates specific conditions or the characteristics of a real process or machine for the purposes of research or operator training.” Grand Theft Auto is not a simulator in any way. There is not a controller based on a realistic weapon, there also is not a steering wheel. The game relies on the standard controller used by the specific console it is purchased for or if the game is being played on a computer, it relies on keyboard and mouse inputs. The game also does not reflect the reality of the damage caused by being shot. In the game (as well as almost every other game on the market), if the player is shot once, they lose health. The player is not incapacitated or killed until they have been shot several times. If the player is killed, they press the reset or load button and they are revived where they died.
            There is research that refutes the claim of most researchers as to where the responsibility lies when people play violent video games commit horrible crimes. John Gauidosi published an article on the website Forbes.com and states, “Scientifically, the idea that video game violence, movie, or television violence contributes to mass homicides is pretty much a debunked idea that has no real basis to it.” According to Mr. Gauidosi, “One thing we’ve learned from research is that approximately 95 percent of young boys have played a violent video game, that becomes a tricky thing when these mass homicides occur and the shooter is a young male. The odds are he’s played violent video games.” If such a high percentage of young boys play games filled with murder, death and destruction, there does not seem to be a method to gain a valid baseline to gauge overly-aggressive or violent behaviors. Without a baseline to measure the behaviors of children that play games versus the behavioral patterns of children that do not play games, reliable data will be very hard to assimilate.

            The most compelling and informative article I found is on the website videogames.procon.org. I have never seen this site before, but it is very informative and written in a manner the majority of people can understand. It is quite simple, they have two blocks of text, one right next to the other. The columns are labeled “Pro” and “Con”. The website lists the pros and cons of whatever subject is being referenced and the opposing arguments are next to each other, or are at least listed close enough to tell what the pro and con response pertains to in the list. One of the most telling facts on the site is a report issued by the U.S. Secret Service in 2004 that, “did not find a relationship between playing violent video games and school shootings.” Also listed are the findings of Cheryl K. Olson, Lawrence A. Kutner, and Dorothy Warner released in the Journal of Adolescent Research. The publication, “The Role of Video Game Content in Adolescent Development: Boys Perspective”, indicates “although the majority of adolescent boys now play violent video games, juvenile violent crime (including murder), has steadily declined in the United States” and have in fact reached “their lowest level since 1980.” They are quick to acknowledge though, that the multitude of outside factors such as abuse, neurological damage, and social problems such as poverty make it virtually impossible to determine one cause of violent behavior.
            There is scientific “proof” that video game violence does cause violence in the real world. There is scientific “proof” that violent video games do not cause damage in the real world. I found many sites that contain analyses and theories making a case for both causes. The fact of the matter is, we may not know the long term damage or lack thereof for a long time. The games being played today do not have the visual capability to be murder simulators. In 10 years, that may change. But until computers or game consoles have the ability to present people with photo-realistic visuals, realistic weapons, and surround sound quality that cannot be separated from real life, we will not be able to play a so-called murder simulator.
            The blame for abhorrent acts of violence such as rape and murder should not be placed on the game manufacturers. The blame lies with people pre-disposed to committing violent acts due to mental instability, or parents that do not take the time to monitor their children. The Entertainment Software Association created the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994 to rate games in a manner very similar to the movie ratings system. The ratings indicate what age group a specific game title is appropriate for. They rate the games based on various situations encountered in the game, such as violence, nudity, and drug use. All games released in the United States have an ESRB rating on the box, as well as descriptors to inform the potential buyer why the rating was given to the game. This system came about due to parents wanting to know what their children would be exposed to while playing the game. Games with an “M” (Mature) rating are not supposed to be sold to children under the age of 17 without a parent present, exactly like an “R” rated movie. If parents would take the time to pay attention to the label clearly displayed or go to the ESRB website to find out the content of the latest game their child wants them to buy, they could make informed, competent decisions based on the needs of their specific child. Taking responsibility for what their child plays could make the entire point of the research that has been conducted unnecessary.




            Works Cited
            Anderson, Craig, and Brad Bushman. "Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-analytic Review of the Scientific Literature." Psychological Science Sept. 2001: 353-59. Print.
            ESRB.Org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp#rating_symbols. Web. 07 Mar. 2012.
            Gaudiosi, John. "Expert Calls Blaming Video Games On Tragic Massacres Like Oslo And Columbine Racist." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 28 July 2011. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2011/07/28/expert-calls-blaming-video-games-on-tragic-massacres-like-oslo-and-columbine-racist/2/>.
            Olson, Cheryl K., Lawrence A. Kutner, and Dorothy E. Warner. "The Role of Violent Video Game Content in Adolescent Development." Journal of Adolescent Research. Sage Publications, Jan. 2008. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. <http://jar.sagepub.com/content/23/1/55.abstract>.
            "Video Games ProCon.org." Video Games ProCon.org. Procon.org. Web. 07 Mar. 2012. <http://videogames.procon.org/>.
            |TG-Irr|Avengingllama
            I used to eat paint chips. Now I just drink the paint because I couldn't find a salsa that went well with the chips and they were dry =)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Video game VIolence (Again)

              Correlation =/= causation. :3

              Pepper

              "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

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