Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Games Entertainment

Video Game Use Linked To Breast Feeding 94

In order to demonstrate the ridiculousness of some recent studies which grabbed media headlines by claiming "links" between video games and all sorts of negative behavior (such as violence and the lower-quality relationships), Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera did an experiment of his own: "I started calling people I knew, and I asked if they had one or more video games in the house. Then I asked if they breast-fed their children. To my great shock, most answered 'yes' to both. One couple I contacted switched to formula after their child's birth, and told me that they didn't play video games. The data, based on my first round of calls, was conclusive: if you play video games, you are much more likely to breast-feed your children. You're probably ready to shoot five thousand holes in my argument. ... I did my job though, and you clicked on the headline." He goes on point out flaws in media reports and legislation involving such claims.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Video Game Use Linked To Breast Feeding

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:01AM (#26706923)

    Pics, or it didn't happen.

  • Idle (Score:1, Interesting)

    by bernywork ( 57298 )

    Doesn't this deserve to be under idle?

    • Re:Idle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by In hydraulis ( 1318473 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:12AM (#26707007)
      Ben Kuchera presents a satirical critique on the much-touted, supposedly causative video games-violence correlation.

      Certainly not idle material.
    • Re:Idle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:25AM (#26707083) Homepage

      Doesn't this deserve to be under idle?

      This is actually an important issue for those of us that care about games, and whilst it is a bit prankish, it not 'just some prank'. Anyway, there's no category on Slashdot for 'preaching to the converted', it's just a general assumption that news articles will fit the bent of the site.

      • Re:Idle (Score:5, Insightful)

        by internerdj ( 1319281 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:01AM (#26708503)
        I'd say it is bigger than just video games. The type of thinking he is attacking has existed in one form or another for many, many years. He even mentions it in the article. Somewhere I read them called social demons, they are essentially scapegoats for society to blame abnormal behavior on. So long as we set up our collective social demons, whether it be videogames or rap music or whatever, we revert to an unscientific approach of fearmongering rather than a scientific discovery of the root causes of social ills. It is made even worse when someone makes a psuedoscientific claim that is obviously flawed to those who regularly do science but sounds "scientific and factual" to the general public. This article is about the abuse of science to shape the social consciousness. Most certainly "News for Nerds" and "Stuff that Matters."
    • if you are not able to discern about an important satire making a point regarding misconceptions and bullsh@t going on in the society about video gaming ?

    • Doesn't this deserve to be under idle?

      Also has a bad summary (par?) and even has "I did my job though, and you clicked on the headline" quoted in the summary. C'mon... how do you miss an editing layup like that?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:20AM (#26707051)

    One couple I contacted switched to formula after their child's birth

    So they were breastfeeding before their child's birth???

    • by Gabrill ( 556503 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @08:41AM (#26707851)

      I know I was breastfeeding before My children's births. *licking my lips*

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lord Fury ( 977501 )

        Where's the option to mod -1 Eww?

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by Shikaku ( 1129753 )

          You never had a wife and pregnancy, did you? I'm gonna mention 2 things:

          1. Women start lactating about halfway through the pregnancy.

          2. Women get more horny during pregnancy. And also, orgasm can cause sudden lactation. The milk has to go somewhere, whether it's in the drain, on the sheets, bra, etc...

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      No, they switched to formula after their child's birth. It would be kind of hard for them to switch to formula before the childs birth.

      • "Switched" implies a change. "Started using formula" would make far more sense than "switched to formula".

        • I'm going to hazard a guess that MAYBE they breast feed for a few days, then switched to formula :)
  • Idiot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ben Kuchera is a dribbling moron who hasn't proven anything apart from his ignorance.

    He's basically making the following claim: I can do a non-scientific survey and publish the results. Therefore, anyone publishing results must also be doing a non-scientific survey.

    The non-sequiteur inherent in this claim is obvious. It's also overbroad. If true, his claim would invalidate not only the results about video games, but all of science.

    If you disagree with a methodology, attack the actual methodology, not a s

    • Re:Idiot (Score:5, Informative)

      by Crumplecorn ( 904797 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:45AM (#26707179)

      He's basically making the following claim: I can do a non-scientific survey and publish the results. Therefore, anyone publishing results must also be doing a non-scientific survey.

      Try RTFA.

      The claim he is making is that people publish results using correlation to imply causation just to get readers, with a nonsensical example to emphasise the point which, lo and behold, got people to read it.

      The problem is that, as someone said above, he is 'preaching to the converted'.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is, he's not even demonstrating correlation in a statistically meaningful fashion, which is what those studies achieved. Congratulations to him on producing an argument of even less value than those he's criticising.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Crumplecorn ( 904797 )

          Parodies are not usually held to the same standards of quality as the subject they are parodying.

      • by Vohar ( 1344259 )

        I recently removed Ars Technica from my bookmarks because of articles like this. More and more I was seeing articles that weren't really about anything but getting people to click--he even admits as such in this one.

      • by clifyt ( 11768 )

        The problem with this is that vicarious social learning theories from times BEFORE video games have pretty much proven that while one can never 100% prove correlation / causation, it is well established that it is highly likely that there is a link.

        Psychological studies are not the same as physics...only because we have to deal with morality (there was one group in history that was actually were able to dispense with these moral conundrums and prove a lot more...but I'm not going to mention the name of this

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:53AM (#26707221)

    Damn, and I was about to publish my study about the link between video game playing and breathing! 100% of gamers I have interviewed actually breathe between 10-20 times per minute. My interviews with non breathers at the local cemetery was a disaster, but I noticed that none of them play games! I think I'm on to something.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      My interviews with non breathers at the local cemetery was a disaster

      Contact Umbrella corp. They'll know what to do.

    • by koinu ( 472851 )

      Hmmm... I did similar studies and found out that most players of violent games also use toilets, eat bread and have one pair of eyes! I call for going to shit on sidewalks, eat croissants and stab yourself one eye out to try to escape this typical character traits of a potential killer.

      Wait, when I think again, it's better to get rid of both eyes, because someone might think you are into game piracy.

    • Great, now I'm conscious of my breathing, thanks a lot.

      On the bright side, now you are, too! >:)

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:56AM (#26707237)
    ... it was found that well over 95% of people who use hard drugs, started out on milk.

    Quite obviously, milk is a "gateway drug" and must be outlawed! "It's for the children."
  • "Mother's milk leads to everything!"

  • by PinkyDead ( 862370 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @08:39AM (#26707835) Journal

    1. Breastfeeding is more prevalent in more educated people, which is correlated to wealth - i.e. people with more money who can buy video games. Check to see if two cars or a bigger house is related to breastfeeding.

    2. Even though I'm sure your the most popular guy on the planet, I doubt the sample you have tested is remotely significant. Clearly you need funding to take your research globally.

    3. One of the key features of breastfeeding is that men can't do it. So they have more free time - especially as they're not getting any of the other kind of action.


    • by Tridus ( 79566 )

      That sound you hear is the point going way above your head.

      • I was breastfed as a baby, so I hear that sound quite a bit.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That sound you hear is the point going way above your head.

        I hope this is a case of recursive sarcasm.

    • by Zerth ( 26112 )

      Actually, with a course of injections, you too can breast feed. If you already have moobs, it is even easier.

    • I see three problems with your logic, as well.

  • So what they are saying is that breatfeeding leads to violence right?
    • That is exactly what they're saying, I read the post like, 3 times and that's the only thing I can come up with.

      Breastfeeding -> Stealing cars, killing people, having a negative disposition towards authority.

  • But most of the studies that have been published include much more rigor than this conveniently-sampled, not-significance-tested phone survey by the poster. The issue is more the media translating the researchers' conclusion (video game playing is *linked* to X, Y and Z) into a causal association.

    From the BYU study:

    The study didn't allow Jensen and Walker to determine whether video games are drawing college-age adults away from social settings or if they are a way for those already struggling with relations

  • I love BS statistics! 90% of all statistics are 45% made up and 31% scare mongering. Also, statistics statistics 43% statistics 12% statistics Fox News statistics statistics.

    But I can't really blame them, I mean, you read my non-sense too, statistics... ;P

  • When gamepads used to have two large immensely comfortable buttons and two analog sticks to chew on. Want girlie-hug now!
  • One couple I contacted switched to formula after their child's birth .
    . ... how they were breast-feeding their child before birth?

    • They switched from preprocessed nutrients directly from the blood of the mother to formula.

      They really don't have much an option to switch, seeing the placenta detaches all by itself.

  • That explains the impossibly-proportioned Lara Croft.
  • For most people, violent media doesn't do that much other than likely desensitizing people to violent behaviour a little bit at a time. This doesn't cause people to go on a killing spree because most people are capable of reasoning out their actions.

    I work with young adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and many of the guys I work with often don't have an ability to reason out their actions. If something makes them upset (I took too long to go to the washroom, their social assistance cheque didn't
  • I realize this was sarcasm, but now I'm curious. Does video gaming lead to breast feeding, and alternatively does breast feeding lead to video gaming? I wonder how much government money you could get to do that BS study.
  • Maybe i should have put down the controller, but they were always hungry right when i was getting the most kills!
  • In November of 2007 my best friend's wife had her 2nd child. She had recently become a fan of Rock Band. I do not have the picture on my computer but she got the brilliant idea of what to do while breast feeding the child. "Give me the Rock Band guitar, I want to play." And thus her husband has a picture of her playing Rock Band, and breast feeding her child. So its true!

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann