Video Games

Are Violent Video Games Digital Poison?

The American Psychological Association thinks so.

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VideoGameViolence
fragtagradio.com

In August, a task force organized by the American Psychological Association (APA) issued a report claiming there is "a consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect and reduced prosocial behavior empathy and sensitivity to aggression." The task force of seven scholars had reviewed the research literature on video games and violence since 2005, when the APA had issued another statement on the subject. That one similarly stated that "exposure increases aggressive behavior, increases aggressive thoughts, increases angry feelings, decreases helpful behavior, and increases physiological arousal."

The APA task force has basically taken one side in professional psychologists' ongoing civil war over video game violence. One of the leading proponents of the idea the playing violent video games produces real world mayhem, the Iowa State psychologist Craig Anderson, claimed with dismay that "there are no major media violence experts on the Task Force. Not one." On the other hand, one of the leading research skeptics, the Stetson University psychologist Christopher Ferguson, points out that four of the seven members of the task force had publically expressed concerns about the deleterious effects of video game violence.

Two of those four, Sherry Hamby of the University of the South and Kenneth Dodge of Duke, had signed an amicus brief in the 2011 Supreme Court case Brown v. EMA, which claimed that "data continually strongly suggest that participating in the playing of violent video games by children increases aggressive thought and behavior; increases antisocial behavior and delinquency; engenders poor school performance; and desensitizes the game player to violence." Another member of the panel, the UCLA researcher Sandra Graham, signed a 2012 statement that asserted, among other things, that "exposure to media violence (e.g., TV, movies, video games) can increase the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions," and which identified a "strong need to revise policies on youth exposure to violence in the media." Yet another member, the Georgetown University psychologist Sandra Calvert, published research back in the 1990s that said players of a virtual reality game had more aggressive thoughts and higher physiological arousal.

Interestingly, the new APA review states that its authors were "asked to disclose any research or publication activity or commitment to a fixed position through public statement or publication or through other personal or professional activity related to the current task." Evidently endorsing amicus briefs, signing statements, or publishing research were not disqualifying conflicts.

Back in 2013, 230 researchers signed an open letter to the APA urging the task force to seriously address the issues of publication bias and non-replication of studies. They argued that studies finding a positive effect get published whereas those that report null findings do not, thus skewing the literature. The letter concluded that "policy statements based on inconsistent and weak evidence are bad policy and over the long run do more harm than good, hurting the credibility of the science of psychology." None of the signatories to that letter were invited to join the task force.

Meanwhile, a team led by Ferguson has published a new paper in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. These researchers had teenagers play video games that were closely matched for excitement—a violent first-person shooter versus a highly competitive car racing game. (They also pre-tested the kids for various psychological tendencies to see if video games exacerbated underlying psychological problems.) A second experiment focused on slower narrative games, again contrasting violence with competition. And a third correlational study explored whether violent video games engendered more aggression than reading violent books. The correlational study looked to see if there was any association between consuming violent content and various measures of delinquency.

As they report, "None of the studies provided evidence for concerns linking video game violence to aggressive behaviors or reduced empathy in youths." (For example, players of violent games did not show more aggression than players of competitive games by dunking people's hands in ice water more frequently or for longer periods of time.) In addition, they did not find that playing violent video games or reading books with violent content worsened any preexisting mental health problems or contributed to delinquent behaviors.

This is just one more study, of course, and it surely cannot be considered dispositive. But as Ferguson and his colleagues point out, "Coupled with a steady decline in youth violence by nearly 90 percent during the years in which video games soared in popularity, data is beginning to converge to suggest that perhaps there may be more productive avenues to consider when investigating youth's involvement with media rather than to focus on the moral issue of violent content." Even the APA task force acknowledged that "insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency." If the playing of video games is not clearly causing any social problems, why does some large portion of professional psychologists feel the need to fuel a moral panic concerning them?

"The motives (for the APA or individual social psychologists) are fairly straightforward," Ferguson suggests in an email: "It's identifying a problem psychologists will run in to 'fix.'" He adds: "The APA is a professional guild that is meant to promote the profession of psychology. It's to their advantage to identify 'problems.' This will result in more grant money, more newspaper headlines, more professional prestige, more accolades from child welfare groups etc." The bottom line: "We shouldn't mistake them as purveyors of objective fact."

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237 responses to “Are Violent Video Games Digital Poison?

  1. Duh. On a cool fall day after a rain several types of fungus would burst out of the ground. You can bet I stomped on every single one of them.

    1. And the turtles, too?

      1. No, the turtles he carried around by the shell looking for other turtles to hurl them at.

    2. Stomped on them? No mushroom roulette?

  2. Video games? Like Tempest and Asteroids? Do people still play those?

    1. I xclusively play the old Atari game ‘Custer’s Revenge’. In fact, I’m developing a stTe of the art MMO version of it. It’s aimed at campus feminists.

    2. Minecraft makes he want to kill creepers! Aaargh!

  3. Prediction: This thread gets nerded up pretty bad.

    1. I take it you’re on of those stodgy, old “get off my lawn with your vidja games” guys?

      1. I think he’d prefer that you go stand on Jesse’s lawn.

    2. Yeah because most threads don’t get nerded up pretty bad in one way or another…

      1. Thankfully, the study isn’t about Star Trek.

        1. LEAVE STAR TREK ALONE!

          *sobs*

          1. Just as long as they don’t mess with time………

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_XQwPK6h5QI

            1. im from the future! irs vitally important that you stop posting on the internet!!!!(before the giant space turds come & steal the whales!)

    3. I don’t waste my time with any of this Call of Duty bullshit. I stick to intellectual, challenging games like Metal Gear Solid and Crusader Kings 2. That’s the sequel, not the shitty original.

      1. I just started playing MGS because Phantom Pain looks glorious, but I have no backstory whatsoever.

        I’m currently stuck trying to get downstairs to the elevator in the first fucking level. Jesus.

        1. The game made me rage quit after a particularly long, drawn out and frustrating mission which encouraged a particular loadout and approach – then when I’d successfully executed a one-person ambush on a convoy, it went “Surprise – cheating bastard enemies you’re neither prepared for nor equipped to fight!” and the previous checkpoint was an hour back.

          Basically, it would have been a great game – if they hadn’t let Kojima touch it. All of the parts that pissed me off had his fingerprints conspicuously plastered all over them and were exceedingly nonsensical.

        2. I finally got around to the series for the same reason*; got the HD pack for PS3 and finished MGS2 last week. I kept asking my fanboy friend if I should play the first MGS, and he insists I shouldn’t bother. Except they were constantly referencing the events of the first game, even saying the entire mission is meant to reflect the first game’s op. I just accept that I won’t fully get this crazy, silly story.

          That said, I think the backstory for V is mostly found in MSG3 and Peacewalker. I think all of the other games are set after this latest one.

          *I have a copy of Phantom Pain waiting for me, as it came with my new gfx card. But said graphics card has been caught up in RMA for 3 weeks now, so all I can do is look at the game in my steam library.

          1. I got a copy of Pain with my new video card too. I wouldn’t have shelled out for it otherwise. (I bought the card because I’m being pre-emptively paranoid for Fallout 4’s release) If I’d paid retail price I’d be hopping mad. Instead I’m just “meh”.

          2. I need to build a new gaming rig, so for now it’s all consoles.

            … You know… unless someone wants to get together for some left for dead…

            1. I am more of a Team Fortress 2 player, m’self.

              I DO.NOT. WANT. any realistic (even sci-fi or fantasy) first person shooters.

              1. Absolutely. Remember all the wonderful mods that Half-life spawned? Day of Defeat and CS were my favs.

                Although, now I mostly play World of Tanks.

            2. Are you coming on to me?

              I’ve never picked up L4D. Even when it’s on sale for $5… I don’t know why I avoid it. It looks like crazy fun and appears to be as enduring as TF2. I think it’s my fear that I’ll be zombified early on and always cause my teammates to die horribly.

              1. I don’t know… am I?

                L4D and L4D2 are both pretty dang fun with a group or even with just one other buddy. Sometimes friends die (in game) that’s just a part of life (…in game).

              2. Any a yews ever play ‘Postal 2’?

                A less socially redeeming game there has never been. Funny as fuck, though.

              3. My son loves playing TF2 and L4D2 with his Steam friends. L4D2 looks like a lot of fun, and I get tempted to load if up and try it, but something else always comes along.

        3. If you are playing MGS for the story, you’re doing it wrong. It’s just a giant Hideo Kojima wankfest. Enjoy the games for their gameplay.

        4. Oh, you meant the original – I was talking about Pain.

          MGS was… okay.

          1. That’s my opinion so far. Mostly I just want to “get through it” because supposedly it’s one of the games that made stealth based games a genre on their own.

        5. I just started playing MGS because Phantom Pain looks glorious, but I have no backstory whatsoever.

          Don’t worry about it – the difference between jumping into the middle of MGS and being a long time fan is the difference between ‘This shit makes no sense.’ and ‘This shit *still* makes no sense?”

          1. But the games spend so.much.time trying to make you understand.

            For being such ingenious, naturally gifted supersoldiers, Big Boss/Snake/Raiden are dullards who constantly ask for explanations.

          2. Hah! I’ve read a few different plot synopses(?) of the entire story line, and that was pretty much my response. I had thought that playing through the games would help, but if you don’t think so, maybe I’ll just skip the first four and go straight to Phantom Pain.

      2. Why would anyone play much besides Borderlands. It has killing, looting, killing, EXPLOSIONS!!!, Tiny Tina, killing, looting, and killing.

        1. Because not everyone just goes home and dials up to 10/10 on weed, Epi!

          … Oh wait.

          1. You’re high right now, aren’t you.

            1. When am I not?

              … No, seriously. I think probably just for a few hours for sleep every day.

            2. Dude, he’s a towel.

              1. You’re a towel!

        2. Borderlands has become Boredlands.

        3. I have found myself rather disappointed with the Pre-sequel.

          2 hours in. all i’ve noted is that jumping is lame, and that Lesbo Aussies are no replacement for scooter-gibberish

          1. It sucks. Not worth finishing.

            1. Thanks, now I don’t feel so bad about not having it.

          2. I’m nearing the end of my second playthrough with Nisha. I now have both One For Each of Ya and The Unforgiven so it’s pretty insane. I wasn’t super thrilled with it at first compared with B2, but it’s grown on me. Plus the lasers are pretty great.

        4. I played through Borderlands 2 and had a blast… then they set me back at the beginning and told me to do a New Game +. Which is nice and all, but as I’ve been playing solo, it became way more of a chore.

          1. Dude, you’re not cool until you’re level 72, OP8 and you can take out raid bosses in under 30 seconds. FACT

            1. B2 and Pre are hugely better when you play with good friends.

              The Co-op works better in these games than in any other game
              i’ve ever played.

          2. The reason to play again is your loot will continue to get more and more insane and you will have increased skill trees. A lot of the draw for me is randomized loot. At any time you can get something incredible that will help you kick ass for the next several levels.

            1. I get that, and I liked the new loot I got for the little I played, but it seemed like it was really designed for the co-op play. Groups of trash mobs became way too difficult just to advance to the next boss or waypoint.

              1. Groups of trash mobs became way too difficult just to advance to the next boss or waypoint.

                That’s generally the point I stop playing a borderlands game. When I’m literally saying “I just want to get over there!” while slaughtering dozens of people just to advance five yards, I get fed up.

              2. I always play solo and I do just fine. Though they’ve definitely tailored it more to co-op play, doing it solo is still great and still works fine. Sometimes in Borderlands it gets tough. There tend to be sweet spots where your level, skills, and loot make you practically unstoppable for a while, and then things change again and all of a sudden it’s really fucking hard for a while. That’s just the natural gameplay. You have to slog through the tougher moments.

                1. I’ve put enough time in the game, I’m done “slogging through.” It’d be tolerable if I could save in the middle of a dungeon, rather than having to reset any progress with all the mobs respawned. Slogging through means always playing in 40-60 minute chunks, as I recall.

            2. I can see how NG+ would be daunting if you’re playing solo. But really, the first playthrough is just a prologue to the “real’ game, in my opinion. And then that is just a prologue to the really real game, which is the Tiny Tina expansion.

            3. The thing is – there’s *only* gun loot, really. And there’s not a lot of things to *do* with the guns other than shoot. All the special effects are just ways to stack DoTs and don’t add any amusing utility.

              IN any case – I enjoyed BL2 up until I did the Pirate DLC. Worst. DLC. EVAH!

        5. Because Fallout 4 is coming.

          *picks nails, frets, scribbles sayings about war on homemade Pip-Boy*

          1. The Fallout games are too open-world for me. I don’t have that kind of time, and I get all wigged out if I haven’t explored EVERYTHING. Borderlands is the perfect amount of on rails for me. Plus random loot drops mean every day could be Christmas.

            1. “The Fallout games are too open-world for me.'”

              That’s it, I’m nuking seattle.

              1. That would make a great Fallout game.

            2. My son has gotten me into borderlands. The robot named claptrap is hysterically funny.

              1. Just wait until you meet Tiny Tina and Mister Torgue.

                1. Torgue FTW!

            3. “Plus random loot drops mean every day could be Christmas.”

              You are the reason crap like Destiny exists.

              You killed Bungi Epi. YOU.

              The maker of such hits as Myth and Oni brought down into the abyss of a Pavlovian loot loop.

              How does that make you feel?

              1. Myth was awesome. One of the few real-time tactics games that kept my attention and didn’t annoy me with too many things going on at once.

          2. I liked New Vegas. I’m haven’t decided if I want SW Battlefront or FO4 first.

            1. FO4, just because they might bring back the megalomaniacal toaster.

              1. Sorry dude – that was in New Vegas – Obsidian, not Bethesda.

                Bethesda doesn’t really go in for things like *coherent story* or *memorable characters* anymore.

          3. Loved the first three Fallouts and want to play Fallout 4, but don’t have a good enough computer. Thinking of buying a console, but I don’t know if one is preferable over the other(s). Any recommendations on the best platform to play Fallout 4 on?

            1. PC is the only platform for me because A: I’m already going to own one, and B: I like seeing what sorts of absurd amount of work the modding community puts into their projects (and bethesda games have an insanely dedicated modding community)

              1. I’ve always played on PCs too, and never owned a console. That’s my preference but I can’t afford to a PC right now (I only have a cheap netbook), and think that a console would be the cheapest way for me to get back into gaming.

                1. The graphics cards alone can be more money than a console.

                  1. Bah, So I dropped $500 on a video card. Now I can run everything in my library at desktop resolution and max graphics settings without having to close any of my other programs.

                  2. If you want to build a gaming rig, go to Cyberpower. You can custom build your rig and leave out all the expensive unnecessary bullshit like liquid cooling and neon lights and shit. I put together my rig for $725 (free shipping too!) and it has allowed me to play every game for the last three years at maximum graphics settings, including Witcher 2, Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, and more.

                    If you wait and are careful, you can get a great graphics card for approximately $200. I just waited until they were doing a sale and pounced. I got an nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti for $195, and it’s been fantastic. And they build the rig for you, so all compatibility testing is on them.

                    1. If you wait and are careful, you can get a great graphics card for approximately $200. I just waited until they were doing a sale and pounced. I got an nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti for $195, and it’s been fantastic. And they build the rig for you, so all compatibility testing is on them.

                      I feel slightly deranged. I took out a GTX 650. Maybe I’m a little too into gaming, or I’m unwilling to turn off other programs to start up a game. Or I’m just nuts.

                    2. I think you might be, as they say, buying too much gun. I got that 560 in 2011, I think, and it has stayed pretty amazing the whole time; I haven’t even bothered overclocking it though I could. I’m starting to see that I will probably not be able to max the settings out in the next generation of games, though. And I also kill most other things when I play (Borderlands uses a surprising amount of regular CPU). And I specifically built the box for gaming.

                    3. Probably.

                      But the 4gb GTX 980 I just put in should keep for a while. I’ll need to look into disk upgrades before I have to come back to that.

                      I need to find someone who wants to buy a slightly used 650 (or was it a 640? It was a 600 series for certain, I’ll have to look when I get home)

                    4. UCS: the 650 would be a much worse card than the 560 Ti, and your new card should be a great investment for 3+ years. So long as it doesn’t melt, it will probably still be playing new games in 2019 at high-ultra settings. Unless you start asking for 4k resolution.

                    5. Thanks for the Cyberpower link.

                    6. Thanks for the tip, Episiarch. I’ll definitely look into is as I DO need a better computer. Prices have dropped considerably since the last time I bought a full desktop PC (2006).

            2. I have no experience with XBox, but I have been generally satisfied with the PS2 and PS3. So much so that I will be upgrading to the PS4 when I can afford it. As a bonus you get platform-exclusives like Last of Us and the Uncharted series.

              1. The remastered edition of the Last of Us for PS4 is even more impossibly gorgeous than it was on the PS3. Just sayin’.

              2. PC gets you a lot more ‘platform exclusive’ titles. But hey – you peasants keep on peasanting on.

            3. All Bethesda games have been janky on Playstation platforms. Gltichy, freezy, and fucked up.

              1. I think that’s kinda how Bethesda rolls. Maybe worse on PS, couldn’t say, but “Bethesda” seems to be a synonym for “buggy”.

                And I love their games. But, yeah, buggy.

            4. PC PC PC – always and forever PC.

              Drop $300 for a GTX 970 and you’ll (most likely) be good to go.

              Even a GTX 670 ought to get you at least 30FPS.

            5. PC PC PC PC PC PC

              1. Yeah, sounds like PC would be my best solution. And in the long run, it may even be cheaper. Thanks, everyone!

        6. I don’t care for shooters but I loved Borderlands. I’m not especially enjoying Borderlands 2.

          1. B1 had a certain magic since it was the creation of a whole new type of FPS RPG with humor and a lot of fun. B2 brings more story (though not too much) and is really, really big. There’s a lot of fun to be had, though. And they cleaned a few things up. But I don’t like how better loot drops in general got replaced with Golden Keys and Raid Bosses.

        7. Total Biscuit hates it

          And he is right to hate it.

      3. I think people could get extremely violent playing CK2. A friend of mine had no problem sending assassins after her own progeny until the one she wanted became her heir.

      4. I like Dig Dug. That is all.

    4. Are “arrow to the knee” references still funny?

      (Were they ever funny?)

      1. Well, I used to laugh at them.

        Before I took an arrow to the knee.

        1. So…you don’t Adventure anymore, do you?

          1. He just sits at home eating warm Ding Dongs and watching Adventure time.

            Sad Fact: He often forgets to take them out of the foil wrapper before microwaving them.

    5. I hate Destiny. That is all.

  4. OT (sorta): Video of Rubio staffer punching Rand Paul in face.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/09…..-the-face/

    1. Looks like “video of Rubio staffer punching Rand Paul staffer in face” is more accurate

      1. He was all hopped up on the ‘Ms. Pac-Man’

        1. Possibly some Robotron too.

  5. I have to ask, Ron. Did you recently discover memegenrator?

  6. Next, I would like for these people to interview my 15 year old son. Though I suppose he’ll get relegated to “outlier”. There’s a narrative to push, after all.

    1. A lot of people don’t know this, but…Alison Brie does Vincent Adultman’s voice. Seriously.

      1. Is the series worth it? I caught the first couple episodes, and it’s a little fucking depressing. It has its moments.

        1. Actually after watching a few clips with Vincent that’s pretty good. “Hello, other adult!”

        2. Well… it gets a lot more depressing. But also a lot funnier as the jokes play off earlier moments.

        3. It’s absolutely worth it. It’s a great show. It is admittedly very dark, cynical, and at times, depressing, but it is also filled with wit and humor and great characters. Seriously, watch it all.

          1. I’ll give it another go. Thank God for video streaming sites that just badger me about disabling adblock.

  7. The Irony, it burrrrrns.

    Chic CEO is a free online platform geared towards female entrepreneurs, which enables them to do things like network or find helpful resources for starting a business. CEO Stephanie Burns regularly secured space for these female entrepreneurs by organizing networking events and mixers for women. That all came to an end when two men, Allen Candelore and Rich Allison, tried to enter one of the female-focused events.

    In a video posted to YouTube, Burns said, “These men came uninvited and the venue was over capacity,” so she turned them away. The next thing she knew, she was hit with a lawsuit from the two men, claiming they were being discriminated against based on their gender. They were represented by Alfred G. Rava, who is notorious for carrying out lawsuits against organizations who have any kind of event geared towards women. In fact, he sued the Oakland Athetics Baseball organization for not giving him a hat during their Mother’s Day promotional event.

    How much did that lawsuit end up costing them? $510,000.

    http://www.themarysue.com/ugh-…..own-groups

    1. Turnabout is fair play, bitchez.

      1. The funny thing is, how does one even define ‘turnabout’?

        At this point, some people were discriminated against, some people sued, some people spent a lot of money defending the lawsuit.

        This is by design. I’m sorry that you never expected…

        1. Now they are talking about how to modify the laws so the evil white men can’t sue when discriminated against due to their race and/or gender. They are really upset that any of the suggestions they’ve come up with so far are getting shot down due to running afoul of the equal protection under the law clause.

          1. Can we please finally just codify it in law that the only non-protected class is non-disabled white male. At least it would be honest.

    2. Yeeeeeehaw!

    3. By the way, they have video, photographic, and official documented evidence that these guys preregistered and prepaid for the event, where they were turned away from the door while women continued to be admitted afterwards. Burns is just straight up lying.

      1. It’d be double-plus cool if the men returned (again), identifying as women.

    4. That website seems to be entirely made up of stories that follow the pattern of =

      “OMG DO YOU KNOW WHAT A COMPLETE TOTAL SHIT [X PERSON] IS?””
      “OH SERIOUSLY I CANT EVEN”
      “I KNOW, RIGHT?”
      “UGH ITS LIKE THERE SHOULD BE A LAW OR SOMETHING”

      1. “OMG DO YOU KNOW WHAT A COMPLETE TOTAL SHIT [X PERSON] IS?””
        “OH SERIOUSLY I CANT EVEN”
        “I KNOW, RIGHT?”
        “UGH ITS LIKE THERE SHOULD BE A LAW OR SOMETHING”

        In fairness this is the same thing you do everytime you reply to one of my posts here

        1. “everytime you reply to one of my posts here”

          Your posts are basically the same basic gripe repeated ad nauseum. My responses merely echo that fact, trying to make clear how bloody boring it is.

  8. Yeah, millennials are the most aggressive generation evar!

    1. What with all their messenger bags, ironic tee-shirts and skinny jeans.

    2. The touch, macho millenials just struttin’ around pushing grannies and little girls around. Why they’re the modern version of the Ducky Boys.

      1. *takes bite out of apple*

        Where you headed wearing MY jacket pops?

    3. Well, I HAVE gone into violent dry heaves after drinking shade-grown organic coffee.

      1. While the organic part is irrelevant, those do tend to be some excellent coffees.

    4. Yep. when they’re not busy being gigantic pussies.

  9. WHEN WILL THIS BULLSHIT END??!?!
    How many times do they need to ask this bullshit “question”?!?!
    Do violent videogames/ cartoons/ movies/ anime/ comics etc etc etc cause violent behavior in children?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

    NO!!!

    Theyve been asking this fucking question since the fucking ’50’s!!!!

    GOD, is their need to ban free expression so fucking powerful for these fucking authoritarians?!?

    1. GOD, is their need to ban free expression so fucking powerful for these fucking authoritarians?!?

      Short answer: yes.

    2. I think that most adults forget what it’s like to be a kid. So when kids today indulge in and enjoy newfangled things that adults can’t understand, then the assumption is that it must be bad. The fact that youth crime has been plummeting for years is irrelevant to their narrative.

    3. Boys need to be more aggressive these days. Progressive influence in schools has caused a disturbing amount of pussification of school age boys. Pretty soon they will probably force estrogen injections on the more masculine boys to ‘make them more sensitive’.

      We need to get kids back to playing recess games like ‘smear the queer’. Like in the old days.

    4. Put the gamepad down, Monty.

    5. It isn’t just a need to ban “free expepression”. It’s a overwhelming drive to punish people and constrain them, to force them to do what they are told. It has been the driving force behind most governments for thousands of years. It is behind the anti-GMO movement, the laws agaunst raw milk, and that idiot Mayor of New York who wanted to ban large sodas.

      I bring this up because it isn’t just one group of busybodies, or one side of the political aisle. It’s the Jerry Falwells and the Andrea Dworkins of the world getting together to hector everybody. And a pox on the lunkhead lot of ’em.

      The Republican establishment and the Feminists (talk about STRANGE bedfellows) want to censor porn and splatter-horror. The Democrat establishmet wants to keep people from eating all kinds of wrongthink foods, or shopping at Walmart. And just about the whole political class is dragging its feet over legalizing pot, becuase they’re scared that it will undermine the War On Drugs with has been a major source of unconstitutional power for decades.

  10. If so, consider me poisoned!

      1. Luckily, like iocaine powder, you can build up an immunity to the lethal effects by continued exposure.

  11. Donald Trump = HE AINT NO #CUCK LIKE THEMS OTHERS

    Speaks truth to power and promises actions! “””We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.””

    Shit is ON.

    1. Did he say anything about gamboling?

    2. Bam!

      http://www.donaldjtrump.com/po…..ent-rights

      The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.

      The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right ? it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

      It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative.

      Don’t you look like an idiot buying in to coverage from CNN

      Note: I don’t like Trump for obvious reasons but it is just so fun pointing out the delusional who are so very invested in hating Trump they are willing to believe pretty much anything no matter the source or the claims.

  12. Maybe kids playing these video games are predisposed to such behavior and it just comes out as they get older (as these behaviors sometimes do) and has nothing to do with the video games they’re playing. Or maybe American kids these days are just fucking bored and restless with their relatively easy lives and are more likely to be antisocial, aggressive, etc.

    Regardless, I believe there is, at best, a dispute in the psychological community as to whether violent video games contribute to violent behaviors. While a correlation is there, nobody has been able to prove causation.

    1. ” maybe American kids these days are just fucking bored and restless with their relatively easy lives and are more likely to be antisocial, aggressive, etc.’

      There definitely a “turn everything into a dispute” attitude fostered by spending too much time in…

      ….uh, talking on the internet. Fuck. YOU’RE ALL WRONG AND I AM RIGHT.

  13. This is the game that turned me into a soulless killer.

    1. For me it started with M.U.L.E.

      1. Everything starts with M.U.L.E., dude. I used to play it on my friend’s Commodore 64.

        1. M.U.L.E. was crap compared to Jumpman.

          1. M.U.L.E. was a great introduction to simple economies and resource exploitation, especially for a person whose age could be counted on the fingers of one hand at the time.

        2. ELITE on the C64 was my first favorite. Economic trade, 3-D combat, and moral ambiguity (you could trade drugs and such, and live as a fugitive).

          Alas, Elite Dangerous was just released but my poor laptop can’t support it.

    2. I’m ashamed to admit how much of my allowance I wasted on this technological marvel of video gaming as a kid:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eBUoY6W8BY

      1. … wasted?

  14. Well, playing Mario games only made me homicidal towards turtles. I also throw banana peels out my car while driving to make the other cars spin out.

    1. Mario kart 8 enrages me to no end.

      1. Mario Kart/Party — the game you play when you want to severely reduce your friend count.

        1. I’m hyper competitive, but don’t mind losing in a fair fight, but when I win all the stars in mini games just to have some dick turtle spin a wheel and make me trade with last place, I lose my shit.

          1. Hey, I’m right there with you, buddy. God those games… those games!

          2. I can’t remember where, but there was this article written by a fucking Prog defending the Blue Shell as a vehicle of “social justice”

  15. The fact that Fallout 4 isn’t out yet is sending me into a murderous rage. The APA was right!

    1. A million times over.

  16. Isn’t there a game where you run a fashion show or something?

    They should see if people who play these games are more likely to go into the fashion industry.

    1. If you can think of it, there’s a game for it.

  17. Just remember, that complete loser of an assclown “Dr.” Phil is a headshrinker of no small stupidity….

  18. This is totally accurate, yesterday after a Final Fantasy binge, I went around lopping the heads off of innocents with my improbably large sword whilst wearing my hair in a spikey bouffant… after the wizard had his turn.

    1. That’s why you got to go as red mage: you use a more sensible sword and get the wizard’s tricks.

    2. +2 Tifa Lockhart

  19. Strangely, this article reminded me of the one a few days ago that talked about how Social Scientists did a study about why Social Scientists were overwhelmingly liberals. Stunningly, they came up with answers that agreed with their liberal world-view.

    Now, we have an article where Social Scientists study the works of other Social Scientists to conclude that video games are bad… mmmKay?! And by “bad”, we mean that there is a “consistent relation” between violent video games and a bunch of bullshit, vaguely-defined concepts like “heightened aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect and reduced prosocial behavior empathy.” SCIENCE!!!!!

    Ron, you lose cred as “science correspondent” by covering this shit.

    1. Ron, you lose cred as “science correspondent” by covering this shit

      How far into the negative has he gotten with that cred rating by now?

      1. (PUTS RON BAILEY ON GAMERGATE LIST)

      2. I considered going that direction, but he takes enough shit for every article about climate change. I figured that I would be nice.

    2. “Social Scientists did a study about why Social Scientists were overwhelmingly liberals”

      “hmm data shows its because WE’RE SUPER SMART AND AWESOME?”

        1. Studies show that people who want to cut spending on the social sciences are racists with tiny penises.

          1. Studies show that people who want to cut spending on the social sciences are racists with tiny penises.

            So… They’re Japanese?

            1. Yes! Japanese man have a tiny penis. Not like big American penis!

    3. I think it is good to cover these things. For one thing, it’s a blog post. It’s not as if he is spending weeks writing up this stuff. And these are things that people will try to use to shape public policy. It’s great to have someone like Ron covering this sort of thing.

      1. I actually agree. I was mostly just joking about the “science correspondent” covering Social Science stuff which isn’t actually science… it’s opinion. But, yeah, I definitely think this is a topic that Reason should cover and it is of interest to me.

        1. Social science certainly isn’t hard science like physics or chemistry. But Science does have a broader meaning of “knowing about stuff”, which applies. I think it is worth doing to try to learn things about how people interact, in a systematic way even if it is not possible to do so with real scientific rigor.

          1. Problem is that too many people dont understand the difference between hard and soft science.

  20. You know what toy *directly* incites my kids to actual physical violence more than anything else? Legos.

    Most of the time the fight is over a piece that we have dozens of so the real cause of violence is sharing.

    The best way to settle the dispute? Super Smash Bros.

    If somebody disputes the outcome, I take over/join in as Ike or Meta Knight and pound the living crap out of them.

    1. Fighting games are an excellent way to settle disputes between kids. Unfortunately, my nephew is a fighting game savant, all disputes automatically tilt his way.

    2. My kids have logged so much time in the new SSBB that I can’t hope to match them.

  21. I wish these fuckers will move on to more important video game related studies, such as why after nearly twenty five years of not having played Tetris do I imagine Tetris blocks falling whenever I pack the car for a road trip… And once on the road trip, whip do I watch the GPS as if my icon were PacMan. My god people let’s solve this shit before I see pedestrians as power pellets!

    1. I used to dream Tetris.

      1. I used to fit Tetris pieces into the uneven sentence endings in whatever book I happened to read afterwards.

        1. Keep that sort of shit to yourself asshole. Now I’m going to have the same problem. For that, I give you the following ear worm. A B C D EFG HIJK LMNOP QRS TUV WX Y & Z…

  22. “The APA is a professional guild that is meant to promote the profession of psychology. It’s to their advantage to identify ‘problems.’ This will result in more grant money, more newspaper headlines, more professional prestige, more accolades from child welfare groups etc.” The bottom line: “We shouldn’t mistake them as purveyors of objective fact.”

    Gee I wonder if there is a group or movement that is pushing back against con artists in media and academia looking to sell the narrative that video games are damaging culture, minds and people…

    #GamerGate

    1. Wow that sounds like a great idea maybe you should twitter about it

  23. “These researchers had teenagers play video games that were closely matched for excitement?a violent first-person shooter”

    Violent video games have age restrictions. I wonder if the researchers had kids playing games that were rated above kid’s age.

    The Call of Duty games available in 2013 had “Mature” ratings for violence which is analogous to “R” rating for movies.

    Did a bunch of researchers expose a group of 13 years olds to the video game equivalent of a super violent R rate movie?

    1. Did a bunch of researchers expose a group of 13 years olds to the video game equivalent of a super violent R rate movie?

      Too judgemental and not enough non-sequitur;

      Did a bunch of researchers expose a group of 13 year old to the video games they and their kind have already imposed social restrictions on, taking the very action they seek to prevent?

      1. Given the type of people that comprise these research groups, I expect they found it scientifically necessary to have the 13 year old boys play said games naked.

        1. @srhbutts approves

          1. She only likes posting child porn of the white half of mulatto pre-teen girls.

        2. Given the type of people that comprise these research groups, I expect they found it scientifically necessary to have the 13 year old boys play said games naked.

          Which, even if that’s literally literally what happened, I’m not de facto opposed to (Lord knows if everything had to stop at my house whenever a kid felt like removing an article of clothing or doing something naked, nothing would ever get done.).

          Enacting federal regulations to conduct studies about what happens to kids if you violate those exact same federal regulations is what I’m opposed to.

  24. Good summary.

    Aggression and competitiveness are related, and clearly aspects of human nature. I very much doubt it’d make sense to purge them, or even to merely reduce them further, since they are also what drives resilience, progress and excellence. (One has to distinguish the controversial content of ideas that increases aggression and competitiveness, and the will to be better which does the same.) I haven’t yet seen a coherent position formulated on this. Even those who believe that human nature is a social construct and as such can be engineered haven’t come up with one. They could start with Brave New World, yet it’s not a handbook but raises and leaves open questions.

  25. As I suspected, nerdiest thread in the history of threads.

    Also, I have no idea what any of it is about.

    1. We’ll send you a copy of Pong to make you feel better.

  26. Watching movies inspires people in real life, but not video games?

    1. I hear books are just horrible for that sort of thing too!

    2. It depends on the meaning of “inspire.”

      I would assume that if literature (including video games) can uplift you, it can corrupt you as well.

      But of course these researchers automatically put *all* violence on the negative side of the ledger.

      A game where you save the world from zombie invaders or what have you, or lead armies in battle, is automatically bad to these brain-dead researchers because violence (and GUNZ!).

      I suppose they’d prefer games where you pass a lot of taxes and regulatory laws but avert your eyes whenever the cops need to enforce those laws.

      On the other hand, just as a saving-the-world game can inspire players with ideas of heroism and sacrifice, a game where you get to be a criminal can inspire players to embrace nihilism.

      But it was never about turning kids into monkey-see-monkey-do automatons. That’s just retarded.

      1. From my limited study, most video games have a fairly basic mindset where bad guys do bad-guy stuff and the good guys fight the bad guys.

        I don’t see how this automatically corrupts the young.

        The problem is the obesity you get sitting on your ass all the time.

  27. Violent video games reduce violent behavior. Porn reduces rape.

    Outlets are valuable things.

    1. Safety warning:

      If you’re going to violently rape your outlets, make sure the power is off!

      1. Bobarian: Making mistakes so the rest of us don’t have to.

  28. Does increased aggression (by whatever standard they are using) matter if not accompanied by actual increased violence?
    There is a big difference between some kids roughhousing after getting riled up playing video games and someone deciding to go shoot people on the street after playing some shooter game. I’d bet that the former happens a lot and the latter pretty much never.

    1. After playing Pac-man once, I ate a bunch of ghosts.

      1. Not filling at all – if it weren’t for the pellets and the glowing radioactive spheres I’d have starved to death.

    2. Does increased aggression (by whatever standard they are using) matter if not accompanied by actual increased violence?

      This is what gets/got me about Legos in the ‘Toys cause violence’ mindset. Take any set of kids functioning in any manner resembling a socially well-adjusted machine and give them a limited supply of Legos. Very quickly, they will, without any semblance of rhyme or reason and even frequently without aggression, do actual violence to one another.

      It’s like The One Ring where simply being in it’s presence causes them to beat the crap out of each other for no other reason than to possess them.

  29. Violent video games are a scourge on society. They should be banned and replaced with educational, violence-free works of literature like The Iliad and The Telltale Heart.

    1. Heck with that, let’s turn the Iliad into a video game.

      1. That would be pretty cool, actually. Though, a Jason and the Argonauts game sounds even better.

        1. How about an Orestiad game?

      2. I bet that horse thing won’t work the second time.

    2. The Casque of Amontillado is just an early text 2-player version of Tetris.

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  32. There is simply no such thing as “a violent video game.” The very idea, is ludicrous. There’s no violence going on in video games. There are just pixels flashing on a screen. No one thinks those images on the screen are actual living beings that are being harmed in some way, other than maybe a handful of deranged schizophrenics.

  33. i just hope that this time the Jews that run the APA use a control group so they dont look like complete, lying, manipulative cock bags, like they did in the 90’s w/ Thompson.

    -FFM

  34. i just hope that this time the Jews that run the APA use a control group so they dont look like complete, lying, manipulative cock bags, like they did in the 90’s w/ Thompson.

    -FFM

    1. You know who else…

      … Nevermind, that’s just too easy.

  35. “the profession of psychology”

    just remember it’s a profession, not a science. you have to be able to recreate your results using the same methods in order for it to be considered a science. instead it is a profession where the “doctor” in charge of the patient does what is suggested, but not proven.

    it’s faux science.

    -FFM

  36. there is “a consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect and reduced prosocial behavior empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”

    Correlation isn’t causation disclaimer, but:
    As I recall, the first first-person shooter “violent” videogame was Doom. It premiered in 1993. Which is the same year the U.S. violent crime rate peaked. Violence has been falling ever since, even as videogames became ubiquitous.

    I’ll see your Studies, and raise you Real Life.

    1. As I recall, the first first-person shooter “violent” videogame was Doom.

      Phbbbt. You sound like my kids.

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  38. Recently studies have shown a connection between kids who play football and violence. It was remarked that when engaging in the sport physical real collisions with intent took place. Meanwhile kids who played call of duty were shown to be pretending.

  39. It’s the lag in multiplayer that induces rage, not violent content.

  40. Of course, it is no doubt that. this kind of Games which is full of bloody and violence, once child play it a some of time, it will have a subtle effect. in worst situation, it will make them easy to imitate game, resulting in unimaginable consequences in real life. we should be firmly prohibit children to play this game.

    1. As a parent I keep an eye on what my kids play. I’m fortunate that mine listen to my advice, and aren’t into ultra-violent games anyways. Heck, they even do well in school. I am truly fortunate.

      That being said, I don’t think that the government should be prohibiting certain types of video games. I think that the parents are responsible to some degree, in regard to what forms of entertainment their children have access to.

      However, if a child really wants to try something, they will find a way.

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