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Kids 'Unaffected By Game Violence' Says Study 101

Posted by Zonk
from the could-have-told-you-that dept.
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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Kids 'Unaffected By Game Violence' Says Study

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  • Can I get a ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pyrrhic Diarrhea (1061530) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:39PM (#18578005)
    ...collective "No Shit" on this one? How many times have we seen this same claim? Enough already.
    • Re:Can I get a ... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:44PM (#18578087) Homepage
      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.
    • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by orgelspieler (865795)
        I think year of playing Quake is more likely to turn you into a pasty, twitchy geek instead of Charles Manson.
  • by otacon (445694) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:41PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lockejaw (955650)
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clifyt (11768)
        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 mal
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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?
          • by clifyt (11768)
            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
        • by NNland (110498)
          "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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spudtrooper (1073512)
      The only thing dumber than claiming that video games cause violence is claiming that only realistic video games cause violence.
    • by onion2k (203094) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:57PM (#18578271) Homepage
      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.
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday April 02, 2007 @03:07PM (#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.
      • by fbjon (692006)
        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 acknowledg

        • 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 loc
      • by jahurska (883728)
        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 no
        • 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 s
          • 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. :)
            • 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
              • 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.
    • by master_p (608214)
      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.
    • 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 does
    • 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.
    • by tbannist (230135)
      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.

    • 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 (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:41PM (#18578037) Homepage Journal

    I committed most of my murders before I got into gaming.
  • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:43PM (#18578067) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by fbjon (692006)
      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.
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@Nospam.drunksnipers.com> on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:46PM (#18578129) Homepage
    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? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      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.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      HA! No effect wins! ::pop pop:: Now what, biatches!?!?
  • I wonder... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by beef623 (998368) * on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:47PM (#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.

    Thoughts?

    • by fbjon (692006)
      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?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nagora (177841) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:50PM (#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.

  • only 20 mins? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday April 02, 2007 @02:56PM (#18578255) Journal

    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...
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      >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.
    • 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.
      • by dosius (230542)
        "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"

        *RUNS LIKE HELL*

        -uso.
  • 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.
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Monday April 02, 2007 @03:03PM (#18578365) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2007 @04:14PM (#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".
      • by 7Prime (871679) on Monday April 02, 2007 @05:25PM (#18580091) Homepage Journal
        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.
  • by MrTester (860336) on Monday April 02, 2007 @03:12PM (#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.
  • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rackhamh (217889)
      oops, I meant to say "20 minutes," not "20 miles." Obviously I'd be making a different point in that case. :P
    • by adisakp (705706)
      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.
      • by adona1 (1078711)
        26 [wikipedia.org], actually, but even two miles are still far more than I'd care to run ;)
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday April 02, 2007 @03:24PM (#18578655) Homepage
    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.
    • Newsflash: machosim linked to fear of roosting chickens.
    • 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.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      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 in
    • Can we stop this 'pussification' by saving our bodily fluids as well?
  • by Greyfox (87712)
    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

    • 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 pla
      • by Greyfox (87712)
        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

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday April 02, 2007 @03:42PM (#18578901) Homepage
    ...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?
    • Hm.

      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 wh
  • 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...
  • by Frodrick (666941) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:41AM (#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!

    • by uufnord (999299)
      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 [evergreen.edu]. 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 th
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        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?

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

    And I'll kill any man who says otherwise!

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