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New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the they've-clearly-never-witnessed-tetris-rage dept.

Games 113

trawg writes "A new Australian study on the effect of violent video games on Australia has just been published, failing to find any evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behavior. The study compared groups who played different types of games, including notably violent titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, as well as non-violent titles like Portal, comparing their behavioral response through a simple pen-drop experiment. In a follow-up interview, the researcher said his perspective on how violence might affect people has changed since he started the research: 'I've played video games for most of my life and got into this research because I couldn't believe that violent video games could make me do something I didn't want to do, that is, be aggressive. My attitude has changed somewhat. These days I find it totally plausible that violent video games could influence people's behavior, but the real question is whether their influence is harmful, and I'm not yet convinced of that.'"

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I didn't need a study to know what I already knew (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44194803)

Violent video games do not make me aggressive, so shut the fuck up or I'll punch you in the face!

Re:I didn't need a study to know what I already kn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195515)

The only times that games make me anything close to violent is when I am concentrating on something and I get interrupted for something stupid.

I get that it is a game, but at the same time, I just spent 20 minutes clearing this level, and I don't want to have to go through that all over again just because you want to tell me something that could have waited five whole minutes.

It's actually a situation where even my recreation time is valuable to me. And that could just as easily happen from playing a puzzle game like Portal as it could from playing CoD.

I do notice that I tend to like games more where I can hit "Save" more often. I admit that I hate having a game seem like it is temporarily more important than real life to me.

Re:I didn't need a study to know what I already kn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195805)

Only true for games without a pause button. Otherwise, you're simply being a dick.

Re:I didn't need a study to know what I already kn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198133)

Or for games that have a rhythm to them, since stopping in the middle will cause your timing to be off when you start again.

Re:I didn't need a study to know what I already kn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44201415)

ouch as**ole, I am going to wipe out your neighborhood..

in that case... (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#44194807)

I'm off to play some leisure suit larry!

cowboys and indians (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44194833)

before video games kids played cowboys and indians. we learned at an early age to kill off the idiots trying to kick us off their land

Re:cowboys and indians (1, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44195051)

before video games kids played cowboys and indians. we learned at an early age to kill off the idiots trying to kick us off their land

Actually, playing cowboys and indians is different because in the end you know you are play acting. TV and video games affect different parts of the brain than play acting. Nobody goes to a broadway play and becomes emotionally attached to the characters portrayed. But how many people see characters from their favorite TV show and cannot separate them from the actor playing the part? People form emotional attachments with the characters portrayed in media endeavors. That doesn't happen with the characters portrayed in our back yards. Somehow our brains know that it is still johnny or suzie. It also doesn't happen with Broadway and other stage plays. It is a phenomenom related to electronic media and film.

Whether such media makes one more prone to violent acts or not is yet to be determined. On the other hand, prior to the rise of easy access porn, sexual behaviour was a lot different. So, the question is if watching sexual activity influences our own ideas and mores about sexual practices, is it that far of a stretch to expect that it does likewise to other mores and values including violence?

Re:cowboys and indians (4, Interesting)

venicebeach (702856) | about a year ago | (#44195237)

First of all, of course people do get emotionally attached to the characters in live plays. However, I don't know why you've singled out emotional attachment to characters as the important phenomenon.

In terms of the "different parts of the brain" engaged by play acting, its quite the opposite with respect to some of the relevant brain systems. One important aspect of how the brain understands what we are seeing is by simulation. For example, motor neurons that control action will fire when they observe the corresponding being performed by someone else (see mirror neurons [wikipedia.org] ). This is what makes watching action a very real kind of practice for the brain. Our brains understand what we are seeing by pretending to do it on some level. In contrast to your argument, these simulation systems are more engaged the more veridical an observation is -- for example, engagement is more robust watching live action compared to a video of the same action. That fact may actually insulate us from some of the effects of video games... until they get more and more realistic. For example, I'd like to see a comparison of the effects of a violent video game played in 3D to one played in 2D.

Re:cowboys and indians (2)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#44198269)

A normal human can distinguish real stuff and virtual stuff really easy. That is why we can laugh at slaughter blood bath movies but are horrible shocked by a real massacre. Researchers (and politicians) tried to identify any connection between virtual stuff and real stuff for decades and come up empty. There is no reason to believe that there should by a connection.

Why should anyone apply the logic virtual -> real. There is no evidence on that.
Look at a horror movie or a catastrophe movie, like an air plane crash movie. Then compare your reaction to the movie and reactions from air plane survivors. There is no comparison. The one group is slightly entertained, the other group is shocked for life.

With virtual stuff you are totally disconnected. Because you know it is not real. You are not think: a headshot of the person. No, you are thinking: a shot of a player. Virtual and real are totally disconnected.

PS: that is why drone strikes are so dangerous and inhumane. The operator is totally disconnected from reality and can do horrible things.

Re:cowboys and indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199143)

A normal human can distinguish real stuff and virtual stuff really easy.

PS: that is why drone strikes are so dangerous and inhumane. The operator is totally disconnected from reality and can do horrible things.

Mutually exclusive.

Re:cowboys and indians (2)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#44196349)

On the other hand, prior to the rise of easy access porn, sexual behaviour was a lot different. So, the question is if watching sexual activity influences our own ideas and mores about sexual practices, is it that far of a stretch to expect that it does likewise to other mores and values including violence?

Because the sexual moors of the early 20th century and prior are something we want to return to? Because droit du seigneur is somehow better than modern sexual behavior? As was the inability of a man to rape his wife? Oddly, we have easy to porn and yet women appear to have more rights and be more highly valued than ever before. Just because the Victorian era shoved a stick up everyone's but and told us sex is bad, doesn't mean that Victorian men (and women) were any less kinky. It means people didn't talk about it. Granted, they didn't have access to jumper cables, but I doubt that has anything to do with porn. I'm also pretty sure bukaki has been around way longer than the internet.

Re:cowboys and indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44198101)

Hell. I get emotionally attached to characters in books. Also cartoons.
>On the other hand, prior to the rise of easy access porn, sexual behaviour was a lot different.
[citation needed] like a man lost in the Sahara needs water

Re:cowboys and indians (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44198391)

before video games kids played cowboys and indians. we learned at an early age to kill off the idiots trying to kick us off their land

Actually, playing cowboys and indians is different because in the end you know you are play acting. ,,,

I don't know about you, but when I play video games, I know I am PLAYING. I do NOT feel that it is real. I know that I am not really killing other people, anymore then when my character dies, it's me that is dying. If you can NOT tell the difference between real life and video games, or for that matter, real life and TV/Movies, then you have problems, and those problems might be related to video games, but video games are not the cause of it.

People need to to responsibility for their actions. If you are being violent in RL, then you probably have anger issues you need to work on. Blaming it on video games or TV/Movies is bullshit.

 

Re:cowboys and indians (1)

Krojack (575051) | about a year ago | (#44195075)

However if your kids are caught playing this today they will quickly be whisked off to some rehabilitation center. If fake guns are involved, well I won't even go there.

Re:cowboys and indians (1)

nuonguy (264254) | about a year ago | (#44195819)

Watch a lot of fox news, do you?

Just because a couple of idiots in some school district did something dumb doesn't make it an epidemic. And just because the tv shows you watch hype the crap out of these stories all day long doesn't make it an epidemic either.

Don't believe the fear-mongering.

Re:cowboys and indians (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#44196399)

My 3 year old daughter picked up a stick and started attacking the dragon hiding in the lilies the other day. I'm fairly certain kids of all generations will find something to beat with a stick :).

Re:cowboys and indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202375)

How about a horse?

Here are your goddamned pens!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194853)

Oh here, let me help you with those. I'll just leave them in your neck!!

Video game influence (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44194865)

It's no more harmful than advertising and political campaigns/propaganda. Take that as you wish.

Re:Video game influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194899)

no more harmful than advertising

But advertising is totally able to influence everything you d... oh wait, tampon commercial is on, gotta go buy another box, not that I know what I'm doing with the other 500 boxes I've already bought.

Re:Video game influence (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195007)

But advertising is totally able to influence everything you d... oh wait, tampon commercial is on, gotta go buy another box, not that I know what I'm doing with the other 500 boxes I've already bought.

Find volunteers to start a soup kitchen for vampires

Re:Video game influence (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | about a year ago | (#44195031)

I'll take that as meaning, you have a hunch which is not backed up by any empirical evidence, but is just based on "feeling".

That's par for the course with most people, of course.

Re:Video game influence (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44195291)

Not a hunch... Voting records. 98% of you people believe the bullshit and elect criminals into office. That, sir, is evidence, not a 'hunch'.

Re:Video game influence (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44195595)

To be fair, most of the time, no one knows they are criminals when they elect them, even if they are. Propaganda is more useful in getting me to vote for a specific criminal, rather than for criminals over "decent" people. If Obama was known to be some sort of actual criminal when it was time to elect him, I doubt people would have been as enthusiastic about it.

Its not like non-criminals are incapable of using propaganda, you know. Or framing their candidates in the best possible light, as some people who may be in favor of electing "Dr. Ron Paul" are.

Re:Video game influence (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44195817)

To be fair, most of the time, no one knows they are criminals when they elect them, even if they are.

Candidate Obama came out in favor of warrantless wiretapping in the summer of 2008. Everyone knew he was a criminal then and still voted for him.

Re:Video game influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44196035)

No, he didn't. He came out in favor of a bill that included warrantless wiretapping but opposed that particular part of it, even initially supporting fillibusters of that particular part.

Many people said that given he voted for the final bill anyway, that his words should be ignored and he should be assumed to be in favor, but it's somewhat different to say "Came out in support of" and "In private may or may not have changed his mind, with a hint being that he supported a bill that included a huge number of measures, one of which related to the issue, but none of the rest doing so."

Re:Video game influence (0)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44195857)

Over half the population fails to vote in any election. So at least 50% of us know it's not worth participating in a rigged system run by criminals.

Re:Video game influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195881)

98% of you people believe the bullshit

You're not in the other 2%, you never will be, and you don't even want to be. You only want to think you are.

Re:Video game influence (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#44198527)

I'm pretty certain that you could take a rough estimate of the number of people killed due to political reasoning and count up all the people killed that was blamed (rightfully or not) on video games and you'd still be able to tell which is more dangerous.

Re:Video game influence (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44195793)

Or sports. How many riots have there been after sporting events? How many riots have there been due to violent video games?

Misleading statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194881)

Well, where to start? The number of people who behaved socially per group were less than 5 in most cases, which is the absolute minimum to draw any statistically significant conclusions. I am concerned that they managed to publish it in PlosOne, as it should have been rejected due to low statistical power.
And also, they tested for prosocial behaviour, not for increased violence.
So failing to show an increase in prosocial behaviour is misleading to say the least, or propaganda for the gaming industry.

Re:Misleading statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194889)

I meant "Failing to show a decrease in prosocial behaviour".

"...non-violent titles like Portal" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194915)

ESRB gave Portal a rating of Teen on account of "Blood, Mild Violence."

Re:"...non-violent titles like Portal" (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44195013)

Nonsense! That wasn't violence, that was merely aggressive biological engineering.

Violence (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194957)

Games dont make us violent, lag does

Re:Violence (1)

Krojack (575051) | about a year ago | (#44195085)

+1

Or the servers crashing.

Can we face the fact People Violent Creatures? (3, Interesting)

oxnyx (653869) | about a year ago | (#44194967)

Having recently finished as BA in history I feel it safe to say people are violent creatures. You can read about the Ancient Greek's Gymnasium, Roman Gladiators, Europe Divine Right Trials - who won the duel won the law case b/c God won't let the wrong person win, the range of piting animal v's animal fights, the military as the solution when talks break down and a host of belief around pain removing sin. Let face it the only thing violent video games allow is people who aren't very good not to get scared up physically while learning. Possible less people die too.

Re:Can we face the fact People Violent Creatures? (2, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#44195471)

just because someone likes playing mortal kombat doesnt mean they "aren't very good" which im assuming means "low functioning individual." if this is what you meant, you are dead wrong.

  violence has always been a part of life. the problem is that the soccer mom hamsters running things now ('prosocial' is a newspeak term) naively assume that whitewashing away all aggressive expression and capability from society will eliminate violent action. it doesnt. if anything, the resultant bottling up that occurs when people try to comply with such inhuman expectation triggers more extreme responses to mundane situations. there is nothing wrong with having outlets no matter what the oprahs and dr phils preach. they provide a needed pressure release valve do today's ever more passive aggressive culture, which, for the high functioning rational people who must live in it, is essential. the people who cant or wont see this are the low functioning hamsters.

Re:Can we face the fact People Violent Creatures? (1)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about a year ago | (#44202543)

just because someone likes playing mortal kombat doesnt mean they "aren't very good" which im assuming means "low functioning individual." if this is what you meant, you are dead wrong.

violence has always been a part of life. the problem is that the soccer mom hamsters running things now ('prosocial' is a newspeak term) naively assume that whitewashing away all aggressive expression and capability from society will eliminate violent action. it doesnt. if anything, the resultant bottling up that occurs when people try to comply with such inhuman expectation triggers more extreme responses to mundane situations. there is nothing wrong with having outlets no matter what the oprahs and dr phils preach. they provide a needed pressure release valve do today's ever more passive aggressive culture, which, for the high functioning rational people who must live in it, is essential. the people who cant or wont see this are the low functioning hamsters.

I read the GP as saying that video games, in lieu of actual physical violent behavior, don't expose an individual to the risk of physical injury (i.e. being "scarred"), for those individuals who are less skilled in that specific behavior (i.e. aren't good at it). Thus, video games provide an outlet for violent impulses without the inherent risks involved in violent behavior.

I think you two are actually in agreement.

Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatures? (2)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44196191)

Having recently finished as BA in history I feel it safe to say people are violent creatures....

Yes, but humans are also social creatures. We interact based on the patterns we pick up from our society, and the positive and negative feedback cues that our social interactions give us. If you spend a lot of your time interacting with video games, you learn to interact based on the patterns you learn in video games. That's not the only influence on your behavior; it's not even the main influence on your behavior-- but it is one influence on your behavior.

Unless you spend more than eight hours a day playing violent video games. In that case, it probably is the main influence on your behavior.

And some people do play more than eight hours a day of violent video games.

Re:Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatur (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about a year ago | (#44196463)

If you spend a lot of your time interacting with video games, you learn to interact based on the patterns you learn in video games.

I imagine that the extreme result of this is someone who acts like one of those annoying NPCs in games that have no real use. In particular, every time someone talks to him, he just stands there and gives them the same sentence.

Re:Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatur (1)

SJHiIlman (2957043) | about a year ago | (#44197439)

Yes, but humans are also social creatures.

But how social one must be depends on the kind of person they are. Some people are perfectly happy interacting with others mostly over the Internet (if they even do that that often), for instance.

Not everyone is an extrovert, and not everyone who isn't an extrovert is depressed, violent, or whatever other nonsense some people may think.

In that case, it probably is the main influence on your behavior.

It doesn't seem to have much of an effect.

Re:Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatur (1)

beer_maker (263112) | about a year ago | (#44199085)

That's funny, people say that "surely these violent behaviors you watch MUST have a negative effect" yet every study finds no evidence for the claim. And now the corresponding viewing of "good | prosocial" behaviors ALSO shows no effect. Maybe we all are actually able to differentiate between inputs and choose to or not to model them.

Or to put it another way, "I do not think that behavior does what you think it does ..."

Re:Can we face the fact, People are Social Creatur (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202121)

If you make the assertion that humans interact based on recently acquired positive feedback patterns more so than our inherent genetically evolved traits we've had for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years... Then I'm going to call bullshit and demand unequivocal evidence for your unsubstantiated claims. For instance, I can simply invoke Godwin -- The Hitler Youth phenomenon wasn't primarily social; It was a genetic predisposition to believe that which we fear to be true, blame shift, follow herd mentality, and disassociate ourselves from violence and wrong doing. Even chimps exhibit these traits, turning a blind eye to brutality. Are you saying that's their culture, or just completely ignorant of neurobiology?

You're a scientist, I expect better of you than this drivel.

Guess the military can save millions then. (1, Funny)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44194979)

If violent games don't impact behaviour, then the military can save millions on all of those desensitizing programs (games) that they use. Of course their research probably differs from this study as they, the military aren't trying to show that violent games don't impact "pro" social behaviour. Wouldn't the proper study have been that violent video games impact anti-social behaviour? But then, maybe I missed the frames in GTA where you have to pick up pens from the ground?

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44195059)

Does the military actually use videogames for desensitization? I can't find anything about that. From what I can tell their desensitization approach is much more about meatspace practice to make certain actions feel rote and normal.

The only mention I can find of the military seriously using videogames is more along the lines of educational games, e.g. simulation games to train Arabic learners how to interact in social situations [army.mil] .

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195141)

As far as I understand, this idea is still in the experimental stage in the military. Friends of mine that heve been through basic training tell me that the desensitization is almost entirely on training muscle memory and training automatic responses to typical combat situations.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195205)

I can tell you from experience that the Marine Corpse has video game like simulators but they are not used for desensitzing. It's just a different form of training for the actual stuff mostly to practice firing weapons but they were very basic and had a lot of bugs, mostly they are just there to save money on actually firing off rounds it's much cheaper to build a virtual range and have people train on that then it is to supply every man with a rifle and a couple hundred rounds for training purposes but since firing a gun in a video game is nothing like shooting the real thing it's kind of useless.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44195315)

Yes, the military uses video games, they just don't call them that. They are various types of electronic tactical simulations. They aren't alone. The airline industry spends a lot of money on simulation training for pilots so they react instinctively when trouble occurs in flight. We accept it as something good, you know, practice makes perfect, but in effect, it is a type of neural programming to elicit a specific type of behaviour.

The process, in and off itself, is neither good nor bad, it would depend on what its purpose is used for. For pilots and even military personnel, one could easily argue that those would be good uses. The point being, though, that video games, TV, etc. all have the same effect on us, like it or not (otherwise, companies wouldn't pay so much money for advertising).

There are no studies that show playing violent video games or watching shows will cause "normal" people to alter their behaviour and act out in "normal" circumstances. There are plenty of studies that show that watching porn will cause "normal" people to alter their behaviour and act out in normal circumstances. So, behaviour can be modified and relatively easily. The issue with violence comes with the "normal" clauses. Not every person is "normal" and some of them will act out regardless and even those people who are "normal" if placed in a stressful situation may be more inclined to act out than if they had not been exposed to the violent stimulus.

I'm not making a judgement statement as to whether there should or should not be violent games or porn or anything else, but to deny the evidence that they impact behaviour is like denying the evidence that there is climate change. How climate change is coming about (man made or natural) may be open for debate and the overall impact that such stimulus as video games or porn or whatever impact behaviour may likewise be debated, but that doesn't change that the change is there. If the impact is enough that it is a problem, then the first thing we have to do is quit denying there is any impact.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44195419)

there is some, but mostly kids at 18 are still dumb

i went to basic training in 1992 and lots of people thought learning how to shoot and kill people was cool, me included. same with lots of infantry guys i knew. most of them were normal family people except when they got orders to go to war. then they went to shoot people because the orders said to. they came back to their wives and kids afterwards.

i knew a few people who fought in Panama and Kuwait in 1990, killed people and were normal people afterwards. and they would do it again. the screwed up ones are mostly the ones who came very close to death themselves in a firefight or had to kill someone at very close quarters where it was personal

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199301)

military 9 years, they do not.

soliders play video games, but most are young male 18-25, play the off the shelf games, and otherwise fit the demographic of the video gamer.

the military does use modified versions of FPSs to do tactical training, as in walk through tactics and team building excersizes.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Bumbles (2573453) | about a year ago | (#44195179)

The problem with a proper study upon violent video games and its impact on anti-social behavior is that you have to also expand it to gaming in general. The researcher would have to find a statistically significant number of gamers of violent games and a second set of gamers that only plays non-violent games and has little to no exposure to so called violent games. An additional problem would be showing that any conclusion was truly due to gaming rather than that the people attracted to violent games (or games in general) are not predisposed to being anti-social.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44195437)

The problem with a proper study upon violent video games and its impact on anti-social behavior is that you have to also expand it to gaming in general. The researcher would have to find a statistically significant number of gamers of violent games and a second set of gamers that only plays non-violent games and has little to no exposure to so called violent games. An additional problem would be showing that any conclusion was truly due to gaming rather than that the people attracted to violent games (or games in general) are not predisposed to being anti-social.

That is true. That is why, very often, such studies look at something a little easier to quantify, like porn. There is no question that porn impacts behaviour and it is much easier to isolate porn watchers from non-porn watchers than violent video gamers from non (and other violent exposure such as TV and movies).

What has been learned from the porn research is that exposure to such stimulus does impact future behaviour. It does not show that porn watchers are going to be tomorrows rapists, just that their behaviour changes after repeated exposure. We also have industrial studies, for instance pilot simulator training, that shows that pilots that spend more time in a simulator respond better in air emergency situations than those who do not. Again, the simulation impacts ones future behaviour. Of course, almost crashing in a simulator is not going to make a pilot then go intentionally fly a plane into a mountain, but it does impact future behaviour.

The question with violent content in video games and movies and TV, is to what extent future behaviour is influenced by repeated exposure. So far, studies have shown that "normal" people will not exhibit violent or aggressive behaviour in "normal" situations. Research already exists showing that non-normal or individuals with a pre-disposition to violence will be negatively impacted. new research is being conducted, however on "normal" people in non-normal situations, situation that have high stress or life changing events and the like and even rush hour road rage.

So far the data is inconclusive and as you point out may remain that way, because there are so many influences that trying to correlate it specifically to video games or other violent content is difficult at best. On top of that, researchers have to wait for the stressful events to occur and then work backwards (it is considered unethical to intentionally cause such events in people's lives).

So what is known is that the things we watch do influence our behaviour. What is still undecided is to what extent.

The War Play Dilemma (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year ago | (#44195745)

From my review: http://www.pdfernhout.net/the-war-play-dilemma.html [pdfernhout.net]
---
A few key ideas from the book:

The deregulation of children's media during the early 1980s (Reagan administration) led to an alliance of media companies and toy companies and other companies (like food companies); the result of this is an immersion for many children in an interlinked experience of seeing media about violence, purchasing related action figures and toys and video games, and having these items promoted every place they go (whether to buy fast-food or just in other kid's homes). This is a big change from the media environment from the 1960s and 1970s that many of today's parents grew up in.

The authors point out that the behaviors promoted by this alliance tend to be very sex-role stereotypical, as in boys need to be fighters and girls need to be princesses. For many children, the authors suggest they can get locked into a pattern of endless cycling through stereotyped behaviors. While it is true that knights and princesses have long been important parts of many children's play (so this is not intended to dismiss that), what has changed for some children is the tone and extremeness of those experience because of the high degree of continual interrelated media/toy/game/food saturation. Rather than children being able to express themselves building on those knight/princess themes in their own unique ways, because of the integrated marketing, for many children there becomes only one way to be a knight or a princess (as defined by some media and accompanying purchased toys to be used in only very precise and narrow ways). The book focuses mainly on the boy part of this equation. One of the authors has writings on the female stereotyping aspect of media and other issues, described here:
        http://www.dianeelevin.com/writing.html [dianeelevin.com]

The "dilemma" is about a fundamental conflict parents face when dealing with war play. On the one hand, most parents want children to grow and develop by working through developmental issues (like learning to deal with conflict, learning self-control, and learning respect for themselves and others through play, including play involving conflicts as hands-on-learning). On the other hand, most parents want to convey social values related to their beliefs about violence and war as ways to solve social conflicts. The authors clearly do not say all war play is bad, and they also point out that even a cracker can be turned into a gun with one bite. The authors say there are no easy general answers to this dilemma in all situations, but provide a range of options.

They suggest younger kids have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality, and when children are getting hurt, they suggest pointing out to the children what is obvious to any adult, that some other child is just pretending to be a "bad guy" and they are not really a "bad guy". (It can also helps to try to break out of the bad guy / good guy mindset entirely, to talk about "bad actions" instead of "bad people".)

There are a variety of things one can say and do for children who have gotten locked into a repetitive cycle of war play. They give examples of questions to ask to try to help children broaden their behavioral options in regard to war play. These range from asking how the weapons are supposed to work, asking what if the weapon did some other thing (like sprayed foam instead of bullets), to asking what the "bad guy" does when he is not fighting.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202445)

All right, so when the zombie apocalypse happens, I will have muscle memory from L4D and will survive. I'm glad to hear that.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195367)

I view this kind of like anti-depressants. I told someone the other day that Prozac won't fix the fact that their job sucks, bills are always overdue, the car breaks down every other month, and their boyfriend cheats on them. You actually have to fix the problems. First break up with the cheating boyfriend that drinks way to much and you will also fix the overdue bills. Then you can buy a better car and look for a better job.

There are to many variables involved in human behavior to just concentrate on video games alone or to think that an anti-depressant will fix your problems.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44195391)

If violent games don't impact behaviour, then the military can save millions on all of those desensitizing programs (games) that they use. Of course their research probably differs from this study as they, the military aren't trying to show that violent games don't impact "pro" social behaviour. Wouldn't the proper study have been that violent video games impact anti-social behaviour? But then, maybe I missed the frames in GTA where you have to pick up pens from the ground?

That's the problem with violence in videogame studies. There's so many subtle differences between each that none really answer the question. And many are NOT mutually exclusive, either.

This study simply says if you have a well adjusted person, letting them onto video games will not affect friendships and other positive social behaviors.

The military studies say that exposing soldiers to violence desensitizes people to the violence so when they're exposed to it in real life they won't flinch and run away. Or when they've trained their sights on the enemy, they won't hesitate to shoot.

In fact, the two are completely compatible with each other - you can have healthy relationships with people and still be able to pick up and gun and shoot an enemy.

And then there are studies to see if violent video games promote antisocial behavior, another orthogonal question.

One says there's no impact to existing social relationships, the other says it helps desensitize people to the violence (so they don't react as strongly), and the third asks if promotes the use of violence.

Very different questions. No wonder the research is all over the map. And when you mean to measure one, you may be inadvertently measuring something else.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#44198355)

Of course real violence desensitizes people. No question in that.

But we are talking about virtual violence. That is completely different.
Virtual violence, like video games, do not desensitizes people to real violence. Because that one is virtual and the other is real.

A horror movie will not desensitize you. A plane crash movie will not traumatize you.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44198835)

Of course real violence desensitizes people. No question in that.

But we are talking about virtual violence. That is completely different.
Virtual violence, like video games, do not desensitizes people to real violence. Because that one is virtual and the other is real.

A horror movie will not desensitize you. A plane crash movie will not traumatize you.

And yet the videos of the planes crashing into the World Trade Towers on 9/11 that were played over and over again, did indeed traumatize many. So evidently, some plane crash movies do traumatize people.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#44199457)

Interesting, and also proves my point.
9/11 is very real, it's not a movie. So of course people can be traumatized by it.
The same is if you show real violence to people, even in movie form. Like a CCTV clip, or a police video.

I don't know why it's so difficult to understand. Virtual, fake, violence is not real.
People can watch and even enjoy virtual violence because they know that it's not real. Case in point, every action, horror, splatter, thriller, etc. movie.
But if it's real, then people know it's real and are affected completely different.

But you also need to know about "we vs. them" psychology, People also react and affected differently depending what group is done violence against. If the group is a "we" group, then we are affected. If the group is a "them" group people are not affected. That explains genocide, enjoyment of gladiator fights and so on.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44199587)

Interesting, and also proves my point.
9/11 is very real, it's not a movie. So of course people can be traumatized by it.
The same is if you show real violence to people, even in movie form. Like a CCTV clip, or a police video.

I don't know why it's so difficult to understand. Virtual, fake, violence is not real.
People can watch and even enjoy virtual violence because they know that it's not real. Case in point, every action, horror, splatter, thriller, etc. movie.
But if it's real, then people know it's real and are affected completely different.

But you also need to know about "we vs. them" psychology, People also react and affected differently depending what group is done violence against. If the group is a "we" group, then we are affected. If the group is a "them" group people are not affected. That explains genocide, enjoyment of gladiator fights and so on.

The discussion is not about whether or not people enjoy watching violence. It is obvious that they do. The discussion is about whether or not the excessive observation of violent acts alters one's behaviour.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#44200257)

Then you need to define "excessive" which is a subjective term.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44201113)

Then you need to define "excessive" which is a subjective term.

No, I don't, actually, but if I were doing a research project to study the subject, then I would.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44202539)

I've seen this argument before. As you fail to define your key terms, you're going to constantly shift the goalposts as it were and redefine the terms to mean whatever you feel helps you "win" this argument, so there is no further point in anyone continuing this.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | about a year ago | (#44201635)

Of course real violence desensitizes people. No question in that.

But we are talking about virtual violence. That is completely different.
Virtual violence, like video games, do not desensitizes people to real violence. Because that one is virtual and the other is real.

A horror movie will not desensitize you. A plane crash movie will not traumatize you.

And yet the videos of the planes crashing into the World Trade Towers on 9/11 that were played over and over again, did indeed traumatize many. So evidently, some plane crash movies do traumatize people.

I fail to see how the planes crashing into the World Trade Towers is virtual violence.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year ago | (#44195687)

I don't believe that a game would be sufficient to desensitize soldiers significantly.

On one hand, you have the infantryman, who will likely be buffeted by concussion, assaulted by the smell of burning things (including people), and forced to deal with inclement weather conditions outside or claustrophobic urban warfare situations. He might also end up facing down innocent people who, if he shoots them, he's just killed simply because he was scared or startled. He will have to lug around a pack, probably have at least a few nuisance wounds that are just from scraping himself on shit, and might even be wounded a little himself.

You just can't simulate that in a video game. Hell, just go out on a paintball field, and you'll see that even that is nothing like playing a video game.

On the other hand, you have drone controllers who are *already* playing video games.

In neither case do I think that video games simulate the reality of combat effectively enough to change how a soldier perceives actual combat situations. The high polygon count of the brain splatter on that screen is nothing compared to the stench and 3D sight of a person gone splat in real life.

Re:Guess the military can save millions then. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about a year ago | (#44196511)

Hell, just go out on a paintball field, and you'll see that even that is nothing like playing a video game.

Help! The video games are real! [paintballhull.co.uk]

What IS needed : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44194995)

A study which examines a possible correlation between the
empire-building behavior ( and associated violence ) exhibited
by the US military-industrial complex and violence in the culture
of the US at home.

I for one believe that there is a significant positive correlation.
When the leader of a country sees fit to use drones to murder
people without a trial, that merciless cruelty tends to drift into
the public social consciousness. If you don't believe me, try driving
on any major highway these days.

-

Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (1)

Rogue974 (657982) | about a year ago | (#44195001)

I haven't been playing as many violent video games lately and have moved to playing causal things like tower defense. Mainly for time constraint reasons, not that I was worried about violence. I have noticed no changes to my behavior since switching from violent games to tower defense types games what so ever. I wasn't violent before when I played FPS and others or become more passive because I stopped. As a matter of fact....

Sorry, can't comment more. I have to go. My co-workers have been trying to get into my office and just broke down the first barricade I built to keep him out. need to go repair it and building a catapult that will launch office supplies at anyone getting near my barricades.

Re:Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#44195105)

Are you really saying that the mass slaughtering persistent oncoming hordes is not violent? I'd say it has at the very least desensitized you to what is violent.

Re:Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44195799)

I won't say it's not, because it is - but there is a difference between violence acted in offense vs defense.

Is the latter really so bad?

Re:Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44195169)

The military would seem to disagree with you. They use video games to desensitize soldiers. Just like flight simulators are used to train pilots so they can react when problem occur, there is a lot of science on exactly how video simulations (games) impact people's behaviour). The US government, military and majore industries spend lots of money on video simulations for training, they must be doing it for a reason.

Re:Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195469)

The US government, military and majore industries spend lots of money on video simulations for training, they must be doing it for a reason.

Go back to basic logic class. Seriously.

Re:Video Games have no affect on people's behavior (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44195815)

I think you're confusing training with desensitization.

Wow (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#44195107)

A politically motivated study that did not come up with a positive result.

In ancient times (1, Troll)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year ago | (#44195111)


Humans did unspeakable, terrible things to each other...they had no video games, where did they draw on for inspiration?

How can we isolate thousands of years of savagery and blame it on video games? -As in how can we genuinely study this with meaningful results?

Most studies end up concluding what researchers want them to conclude. If they don't, it just makes them look bad so they don't publish.

Short story; historically we are only becoming more social and more peaceful. I suppose the only differences being that we have more media coverage and are more capable, technologically, of mass destruction.

What is it that we are trying to prove with these studies anyways? -I learned about atrocities in the bible long before I knew about video games.

Why? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44195113)

Why would one expect a study to of violent video games and shows to impact pro-social behaviour? Shouldn't the study be looking at the impact on anti-social behaviour or violent behaviour? I would posit that porn doesn't impact pro-social behaviour, either. On the other hand, it most definitely impacts sexual behaviour.

So, based on the Australian study, people that play GTA are just as likely to pick up a pen that fell to the ground for somebody than somebody who didn't play GTA. What exactly does that prove?

Re:Why? (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year ago | (#44195249)

The theory is that pro-social behaviours disappear first before anti-social behaviours appears. Like picking up pens leading to not doing anything to help then leading to actively knocking the pens out of the hand. You see this in real-life violent environments, citizens not getting involved when there is a fight going down, then later drifting into gangs or militias. Very very few people do an overnight switch from helping prevent violence to taking part in it. There is an apathetic phase in the middle.

A reduction in the willingness of individuals to assist after playing violent video games would be an indicator that there is an effect. Having not seen a reduction manifesting is a medium-strength indicator that the claims regarding the effect of video game violence might be incorrect.

Before someone harps on about pretending to help because you know what the investigator wants, remember very few people would help pick up the pens while waiting for a moment to stab the person in the neck with one. That sort of behaviour is indicative of a sociopath.

Same old song and dance (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44195221)

Like anything else, a large majority of people can easily shift from fantasy to reality and maintain a reasonable and healthy social morale. If you take a sample size from a pool of kids who have been bullied and constantly picked-on you're going to find a propensity to act out whether it be video games, TV or learned behavior from their environment.

The constant "Does too!" and "Does Not!" debates from both sides of the gaming==evil_people debate are pointless because both arguments have some truth to them yet aren't directed at fixing the actual underlying problem. All this debate does is perpetuate the rising cost of games, or end up in stupid regulation which falls short of fixing anything.

Re:Same old song and dance (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44195373)

If you take a sample size from a pool of kids who have been bullied and constantly picked-on you're going to find a propensity to act out whether it be video games, TV or learned behavior from their environment.

The constant "Does too!" and "Does Not!" debates from both sides of the gaming==evil_people debate are pointless because both arguments have some truth to them yet aren't directed at fixing the actual underlying problem.

It would seem like your argument lends itself pretty strongly towards "Does Not!", whether you intended it or not, because it boils down to "kids act out for reasons that have nothing to do with video games specifically".

I personally lean towards the "Does Not!" position, primarily because those claiming "Does Too" have yet to produce a shred of actual evidence.

And porn doesn't make men misogynistic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195455)

Next they'll be claiming that viewing porn doesn't harm people either!

Maybe it is what's needed (1)

dasgoober (2882045) | about a year ago | (#44195581)

It seems like passive-aggressive personalities and those that are so unused to human interaction, that they are cowed by any interaction, beyond their comfort zone predominate. Maybe the introduction of some aggressive traits to counterbalance that is in order.

Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44195891)

You silly people are just propagating their formula, it's almost down to link bait now lol.
In this discussion it's best just to use the "ignore it and it will go away" philosophy, there really is nothing to see here.

Portal is not violent? (3, Funny)

Shandalar (1152907) | about a year ago | (#44195907)

I think I died 500 times in Portal.

different people.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44196003)

so... This study shows that people with different behaviors like to play different types of games, right?

There are different kinds of violence... (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44196177)

Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty

Maybe, these two should not have been in the same category? Only one of them is anti-social and encourages the player to break laws and norms. In the other the player's "duty" is to defeat his country's enemies... Remember [orwell.ru] : "Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf."

If the study really treated the two games the same (RTFA? What RTFA?) — based purely on the "violence", the negative effects of one game may have been canceled by the positive effects of the other...

Obvious information is obvious (1)

MisterMonday (2555300) | about a year ago | (#44196465)

This would be akin to saying that watching slapstick comedy encourages violence ~50 years or so ago (did that happen? I wouldn't be surprised). Or saying that reading novels with violence in them will do the same any number of years, decades, or centuries ago. The only way to put this is that this is just fearmongering. Saying video games make people fat and lazy? At least that's somewhat acceptable, by virtue of what a video game is and how they are designed these days to suck up as much time as possible, forcing you to continue playing. Even if it isn't necessarily universally true, it's not that much fo a reach statement. But saying that the subject material of entertainment will cause changes in those being entertained is really silly. I guess the problem is that whenever someone shoots up a school and they find that they (or for the needlessly pedantic, he/she) has been playing Grand Theft Auto 500, they automatically assume that correlation implies causation. Which, obviously, isn't true. For example, these people also all read books, drank water, ate food, breathed air, sat, slept, talked, laughed, and cried. Should we say that these, too, cause people to become violent and insane? FEAR THE DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE! I think the sad part is that my parents have actually said all the things I mentioned in the first paragraph...

Re:Obvious information is obvious (1)

MisterMonday (2555300) | about a year ago | (#44196477)

sentence* Not used to slashdot formatting....

hey dummy researcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44196473)

instead a coming over to beat you up for such a stupid comment ill goto some game and blow stuff up then with that feeling gone go get laid....

Statistical power (1)

yali (209015) | about a year ago | (#44196741)

I realize this is a less sexy/exciting comment than all the speculation on substantive merits... But the studies lack statistical power [wikipedia.org] . N=64 in the first 2 experiments and N=32 in the 3rd. Those samples are much too small to have even a reasonable chance of detecting the effects that are common in behavioral science, even effects that are considered very consequential. (The authors offer a weak and IMHO unconvincing defense of their sample sizes in the discussion.) Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, especially with underpowered studies that use null-hypothesis significance testing.

Re:Statistical power (1)

Turbio (1814644) | about a year ago | (#44197771)

I completely agree. Actually, I made a very similar post (post no. 6 "misleading statistics", score:0) but got buried and nobody modded it up. This and the quality of the comments shows how ./ has changed over the years.
Back to the study, the number of people who behaved socially per group were less than 5 in most cases, so doing any form of test of fit is just plainly wrong. And I blame Plos ONE for publishing it, as their criteria for acceptance is "Experiments must have been conducted rigorously, with appropriate controls and replication. Sample sizes must be large enough to produce robust results, where applicable." (http://www.plosone.org/static/publication#technical)
They define prosocial behavior as handing a pen that has fallen, based on a published paper about mimicry (http://pss.sagepub.com/content/15/1/71). The thing is that the researcher waits for up to 5 seconds. Count them, it's really long when confronted face to face. I'm not saying it's wrong, but that they could be measuring submission instead.
And finally, they did not test for increased violent behavior which should be the most obvious consequence of playing violent games.
So failing to find a difference when testing for something not completely related with violence using a an underpowered experimental design... to me, that's propaganda for the gaming industry.

  an increase in prosocial behaviour is misleading to say the least, or propaganda for the gaming industry.

No such thing as a 'violent' video game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44196897)

Violence is Obama murdering thousands of civilians in drone attacks. Violence is Obama promising to shoot down the presidential plane of Bolivia, if it refuses to accept a forced landing so Obama's goons can search for Snowden. Violence is Obama recruiting, training, funding, arming, transporting and protecting thousands of Islamic terrorists to use in his campaign to EXTERMINATE secular Syria.

Violence is, you know, hurt inflicted in the real world so that real living creatures suffer in some way.

What video game is 'violent'? Exactly none of them. No video game is any more 'violent' than the book 'Silence of the Lambs' for instance. Fictional depictions of 'violence' are not violence- not even in any sense a conceptual match. Such an idea is a complete nonsense.

Now Obama opening his war-mongering mouth, and howling that every member and employee of Syria's government must be murdered can most certainly be conceptually linked to actual violence. Obama is not, in this instance, engaging in 'fiction' but actually attempting to craft the circumstances in which millions of Humans will horribly suffer the consequences of violence.

Video games follow the pattern of all fiction. Can a person with a pre-disposition to hurt other Humans use a game to wind up his/her bloodlust? Of course, just as similar violent psychopaths have used the Bible, or 'skimpy' women's clothes, or people with different opinions to raise their level of 'anger' until they felt ready to go out and do harm. The violent psychopath is expert in finding stimuli that drive him/her into a frenzy, and will use their imagination to exploit whatever is available in their current environment.

And on this point, looney bins take a pride is creating environments where their violent psychopathic inmates are denied most problematic forms of stimuli. Does this mean the rest of us should be condemned to live under the same circumstances- to have our wider society run on the principles of a secure mental health hospital? I don't think so.

If we exclude the psychopaths, what about the effect of games on ordinary people? Well, here things are simple too. Games can be subverted to operate as the mainstream media does- pushing for instance Obama's war agenda. Just as the New York Times or NBC constantly tells its audience "wouldn't it be great to carpet bomb Syria", games can be perverted to carry the same messages too, but this does NOT mean games are therefore problematic at a fundamental level.

Yes, EA takes money from the US government to use the Battlefield Games to sell the idea of aggressive wars (defined by the Nuremberg trials as the "greatest Crime against Humanity") to as many young men as possible. But then, so does every mainstream media outlet in the West. This is hardly a problem inherent in computer games, or a problem that links to the fictional depiction of 'violence'. Even with Battlefield 3, the vast majority of players are well aware of the putrid evil that motivates the publishers of the game, and are simply playing to have fun, not to be trained as Obama's next generation of stormtroopers.

Ironically, the games that run foul of censors are NOT those that encourage young people to look forward to WW3, but games that satirise and mock violence, like Saints Row 4. Satire deflates the pomp of wicked purpose. Australia wants its young people to practise thinking about sending those 'towel-heads' to their graves, and so has NEVER objected about games that glorify warfare conducted by the West against peoples with no military means to defend themselves. German officials too love these types of games. But dare to make a wacky game where you are mowing down zombies, or murderous aliens, and the Australian censors HOWL "unacceptable, even with a 18+ rating".

There is no mystery as to why people love open-world games with a strong 'violent' content (which, as I said at the top, is nothing to do with real violence whatsoever). These are vicarious experiences, like waking dreams but so much better. The power of the individual is magnified and clarified in these virtual worlds, and the sense of satisfaction at least for a time) can be immense.

It should be noted that futurists NEVER consider the 'violent' content of games to be the issue. In popular fiction, virtual worlds are ALWAYS compared to the drug culture, where sophisticated games encourage people to withdraw from the real world in order to get a 'cheap' kick. This is the real issue.

If a player can rack up hundreds of hours playing quite primitive fare like Skyrim and Fallout 3, what happens when games in this form become vastly more compelling. More realistic. Better interactions. Thousands of times more stuff to do, with new content injected weekly by publishers. What happens when the game world is more 'fun' than the real world ALL of the time?

Be very suspicious today on any attack against computer games. There are people that do NOT want us to have the option to spend large amounts of time in vicarious worlds of rapidly improving quality. They see us as cattle, and as cattle we are not supposed to have such options in life. They will find any reason to demonise games and gamers- to them young men are born to be cannon fodder, and anything that undercuts this fact is a danger to be eliminated.

Most futurists predict a future where the vicarious game is banned by law. We see the early stages of this movement in authoritarian Asian nations like Korea, Singapore and China. Young people are declared 'assets of the state' that must be regulated and controlled. Popular persistent alternate-reality games must be prohibited or heavily restricted. In the West (excluding fundamentalist hell-holes like Australia) their is a tradition of encouraging the 'imagination' of the young as a mechanism of constant societal renewal- an assumed reason why the West became dominant at a planetary level.

However, we can all see how the West is rapidly slipping, and the authoritarian nature of rising Islam, East Europe (with a Russian core) and the Far East are supplanting the power of the West historically. The 'liberal' values of the West are finished (and monsters like Obama are busy whacking them on the head with the same shovel he used to dig the grave he intends to bury them in). These 'liberal' values are less than a century old, if one considers the time when they applied to the entire population, not the privileged ruling elites. As such, they are nothing in the timeline of Human History- just another brief passing fad.

Computer games are going to have to face a much nastier threat before another 100 years are over. A societal model where governments will have no guilt in ruling things unacceptable "for the greater good". We here may find the prospect of such a future horrible, but its coming. Humanity either learns what true freedom means for the individual, or it gives in to perpetual rule by vile psychopaths. There is no sustainable middle way.

Does "pen drop test" and violence... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#44196979)

make anyone else think of Pesci in Casino? [youtube.com] Warning: violent as hell.

Triple negatives make me antisocial (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#44198521)

*Fail* to *diminish* *prosocial* (presumably the opposite of anti-social)... flip the negative, carry the two... and we get what we knew all along.

Look, I understand that scientists have to speak very precisely about their results so as to not overstate them. But surely there was a better way to write this headline.

Re:Triple negatives make me antisocial (2)

Turbio (1814644) | about a year ago | (#44198865)

Sure: "New study fails to show anything due to low statistical power and is published anyway"

Re:Triple negatives make me antisocial (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#44199655)

They could substitute that headline for about 80% of the reports about "studies" without loss.

Now what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44199081)

Now what is the media supposed to blame? Cause you know, it's never shitty parenting!

Lol, Slashdot. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about a year ago | (#44200333)

From TFA:

Conclusions

We failed to find evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behavior. Research on the effects of video game play is of significant public interest. It is therefore important that speculation be rigorously tested and findings replicated. Here we fail to substantiate conjecture that playing contemporary violent video games will lead to diminished prosocial behavior.

Failed? (1)

Alsee (515537) | about a year ago | (#44200771)

"New Study Fails To Show That Violent Video Games Diminish Prosocial Behavior"

Gee... the study failed?

In related news, New Study Fails To Show That Moon Is Made Of Green Cheese.

Researchers plan to conduct further studies in the hope that sooner or later one of then won't Fail.

-

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