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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.
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Video Game Use Linked To Breast Feeding

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  • 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.

  • Idiot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:35AM (#26707137)

    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 strawman of it.

    But I suspect this bozo has done no research into the methodology used at all and is just assuming that since the results are not to his liking, the methodology must be flawed.

    That makes him an idiot.

  • whoosh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by reiisi ( 1211052 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @07:57AM (#26707565) Homepage

    I mean, really, how many geeks does it take to miss a point?

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @08:36AM (#26707815) Homepage Journal

    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 ?

  • Re:Idiot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @09:03AM (#26707987)

    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: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."
  • Re:Idiot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crumplecorn ( 904797 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:14AM (#26708669)

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

  • Re:Idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:23AM (#26708795)
    It's implied that the studies are as valueless as his example, though. While nonintervention studies are not as valuable as newspaper articles would suggest, they are still important in determining which areas merit causation-demonstrating, intervention-based studies. The problem is the reporting, not the research itself.
  • by Lord Fury ( 977501 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:36AM (#26710125)

    Where's the option to mod -1 Eww?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:08PM (#26714805)

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

    I hope this is a case of recursive sarcasm.

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