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Violent video games like "Call of Duty" may cause players to be more aggressive  (Source: topnews.net.nz)

  (Source: helloliefje.com)
Those who normally didn't play violent video games before the study, had decreased brain response to violent photos

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) may have found an explanation as to why violent video games cause some players to be more aggressive.

Bruce Bartholow, study leader and associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science, along with Christopher Engelhardt, graduate student in the MU Department of Psychological Sciences, and researchers from The Ohio State University and VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, have found that the brain becomes less responsive to violence after excessive and short exposure.

Previous studies have shown that violent video games encourage aggressive behavior in players, but until now, no one has really known why.

The MU researchers theorize that the brains of gamers become less responsive to violence, which leads to an increase in aggression as the line between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior is blurred.

Researchers came to this conclusion after gathering 70 young adult volunteers that were asked to play video games for 25 minutes. Some were randomly assigned to violent video games while others were assigned to nonviolent video games.

After 25 minutes of gaming, the volunteers were asked to view a series of neutral photos, such as a man on a bike, as well as violent photos, such as a man holding a gun to another man's mouth. While viewing the photos, volunteers' brain responses were measured by researchers.

In the final part of the study, volunteers were asked to participate in a one-on-one match with other volunteers in a video game that allows each player to choose a level of noise that would blast the other opponent. The level of noise chosen determined the player's amount of aggression.

According to the results, players who participated in violent video games like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Call of Duty" set louder noise blasts on their opponents than those who played nonviolent video games. They also found that those who normally didn't play violent video games before the study, but did during the study, had decreased brain response to the violent photos. Those who did play violent video games before the study had "small" brain response to the violent photos no matter which game they played during the study. The amount of aggression was measured in "small" and large" amounts, where both excessive violent and nonviolent players both measured small brain responses to violent photos after playing violent video games.

"The fact that video game exposure did not affect the brain activity for participants who already had been highly exposed to violent games is interesting and suggests a number of possibilities," said Bartholow. "It could be that those individuals are already so desensitized to violence from habitually playing violent video games that an additional exposure in the lab has very little effect on their brain responses. There also could be an unmeasured factor that causes both a preference for violent video games and smaller brain response to violence. In either case, there are additional measures to consider."

The next step in the study is to find ways to "moderate media violence effects" since the average child in elementary school spends 40 hours per week playing video games.

"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence.

"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally."

This study will be published in an upcoming edition of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.


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25 min....
By cjohnson2136 on 5/26/2011 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 3
25 min was the length of the game play and only one time? How does that help at all.

I am a gamer and I play violent games all the time Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto and I am not desensitized to violence. I hate seeing it in movies and can't stand seeing in real life. I realize I might be an outlier but I think it is a little much to base these conclusions on video games considering their is just as much violence shown in movies, tv shows, and even from some parents. If they actually studied a group over a very long period time then maybe it would seem better but as of right now there are WAY to many unknown factors that I don't they accounted for.




RE: 25 min....
By GulWestfale on 5/26/2011 11:20:51 AM , Rating: 5
I have always had a violent reaction to photos of jack thompson, is that normal?
;)


RE: 25 min....
By AnnihilatorX on 5/26/2011 11:20:52 AM , Rating: 4
Same here.
I mean anyone with slightest intelligience and acceptable morales knows that somethings you can do in game you should not do in real life.

They should not pour any money into linking video games to violence, but study the morale values of people instead.


RE: 25 min....
By cjohnson2136 on 5/26/2011 11:22:33 AM , Rating: 5
I think they should link violent game play to bad parenting because that is the true connection.


RE: 25 min....
By snakeInTheGrass on 5/26/2011 9:52:48 PM , Rating: 3
Did they study the link between sending our kids to invade other countries and violence?


RE: 25 min....
By superstition on 5/28/2011 3:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
Shhh... You're not supposed to talk about how our culture socializes people to vent their sexual hangups through violence, real or fictitious.

There is an interesting ratio between the level of sexual uptightness and violence. Janet Jackson's nipple is a bigger threat to our society than people blowing each others' heads off, truly or virtually.

Violent video games are already being used as recruiting tools and interviews and leaked video have found that troops see real combat (shooting people from tanks and such) as very much like playing one of the games.


RE: 25 min....
By superstition on 5/28/2011 3:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, everything in our society comes down to parenting. Anyone who's taken Psychology knows this.

Parents are super-humans who can overcome socialization from peers and other factors in the external environment.

lol


RE: 25 min....
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 6:09:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
anyone with slightest intelligience and acceptable morales

I don't think anybody wants to know how many are not in the group you've designated here or the amount of damage they can do.


RE: 25 min....
By MozeeToby on 5/26/2011 11:46:14 AM , Rating: 4
Equally important, they never bothered to look at effects more than a few minutes after they were done playing the game. Take a person who plays violent games all the time and test them 5 minutes after they play and even 1 hour after they play and I guarantee you'll get different results from the two tests.

I play plenty of violent games, but I have very clear memories from 7 years ago of walking down the street in Milwaukee and seeing someone come rushing out of a house with a handgun in hand. That wasn't even violence, just the possibility of it, and I can clearly remember the experience years later, to remembering what the guy was wearing and the exact house that he came out of. Obviously I wasn't very desensitized.


RE: 25 min....
By MrBlastman on 5/26/2011 12:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a total anomaly according to this study.

I play violent video games (Team Fortress 2 for example) and I giggle and laugh when I see a game with gratuitous levels of carnage. If I play a game and it has extra chunkage (parts flying off people, blood splatter, total gibbage) then I feel calmed and content. I enjoy it. It makes the whole experience more pleasant and enjoyable for me. I don't rage when I see it at all. I guess, now that I think about it, that must mean I have decreased brain activity?

Even in movies, if they are excessively bloody, I feel great when I watch them. The new Rambo that came out a few years... I was clappy and laughing all giddy like when Rambo took hold of the 50-Caliber vehicled mounted cannon and just started pwning everyone. That was a very glorious scene in cinematography. My wife just looked on in horror at the same scene.

So, yeah, I don't get violent at all as a result. In fact, BEFORE I started playing violent games (think pre-Wolfenstein 3d), I'd get pissed off at games and break furniture in the house. Ever since the Wolfenstein revolution back in the early 90's, my response has changed dramatically. I'm much calmer because of it. Violent games to the right person are very soothing and relaxing and do a great deal to reduce tension and stress (even though they can be stressful while playing them if you are being competitive at them---but, any form of competition is stressful so it isn't fair to say just violent games are stressful to play).


RE: 25 min....
By rhuarch on 5/26/2011 1:33:28 PM , Rating: 5
Everything you just wrote is deeply troubling...


RE: 25 min....
By Iaiken on 5/26/2011 2:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on your perspective, your grasp on reality and your perception of violent fiction. I enjoy such violent fictions in movies and video games, however, seeing or even reading about actual real life violence disturbs me. I enjoy practicing kung fu as well as practicing with martial weapons and firearms (target shooting), but I also look upon them as absolute last resorts for when I am in mortal danger and even then they should be used with restraint.


RE: 25 min....
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/26/2011 4:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Blast, not sure what maps you like but I run a TF2 server, add me on steam, SirCheese is the name


RE: 25 min....
By Mitch101 on 5/26/2011 12:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm jut preparing myself for the Zombie apocalypse.


RE: 25 min....
By kattanna on 5/26/2011 3:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
you know whats even dumber then this "study"??

the mindless posting of it by the media as "news"


RE: 25 min....
By Hiawa23 on 5/26/2011 7:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
I am a gamer 36 now, been playing since the Atari days, all I play are action violent games, so does games have influence over some impressionable minds, yes, like music or movies, but for the rest of us, we understand this is just entertainment, nothing more. I thin we understand if you pull a trigger in real life & you shoot someone, that red stuff is real.


RE: 25 min....
By Lerianis on 5/29/2011 3:33:06 AM , Rating: 2
No, it doesn't have an effect on 'some impressionable minds'. In fact, when they questioned the Columbine shooters family, they found out that:

1. The kids had never played a violent video game, they were raised in a VERY conservative home.
2. The kids had been being bullied by people at the school (in which case it's like taking a gun, loading it, and balancing it on your finger by the trigger..... sooner or later, it's going to go off).

We really need to be EXTREMELY skeptical of these studies linking ANYTHING except violence ACTUALLY DONE TO PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE to violence that those people do in real life.


RE: 25 min....
By snakeInTheGrass on 5/26/2011 10:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Presumably having them play a game where they watch addicts injecting themselves with heroin might take away some of the shock value of seeing it, but it wouldn't turn them into junkies either. But that wouldn't make for exciting news, now would it?


Oh, and...
By Motoman on 5/26/2011 11:17:58 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The next step in the study is to find ways to "moderate media violence effects" since the average child in elementary school spends 40 hours per week playing video games.


...that's called "parenting." Americans (et al) should try it sometime. Giving your 12-year-old a copy of Call of Duty and leaving him alone in his room for hours on end may keep him out of your hair...but it's not parenting.




RE: Oh, and...
By cjohnson2136 on 5/26/2011 11:19:34 AM , Rating: 3
Totally agree. I was playing Black Ops on Tuesday and one of the kids on my team was a 7 year old cussing more then I ever do. I hate it when parents buy these games for little kids it says M for Mature for a reason.


RE: Oh, and...
By therealnickdanger on 5/26/2011 12:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
You're probably just mad because he was better than you. ;-) jk

Seriously though, some of those little kids are insanely talented.


RE: Oh, and...
By cjohnson2136 on 5/26/2011 4:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
No we was actually bad KD of like .2 but he was yelling and squealing the entire time. But yes some are crazy good. Others not so much


RE: Oh, and...
By snakeInTheGrass on 5/26/2011 9:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
BAD KD of .2??? Damn, I wish I had that - on the 360 with the damned gamepad I manage about a .1. Keyboard + mouse was a different story on the PC, but those console controls just suck. Not sure how other people manage to use them effectively...


RE: Oh, and...
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 6:12:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
some of those little kids are insanely talented.

At make believe killing and perhaps real killing, but what else? If anything?


RE: Oh, and...
By jonmcc33 on 5/26/2011 7:10:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seriously though, some of those little kids are insanely talented.


That's because they are hyped up on sugar and drugs.


RE: Oh, and...
By Dr of crap on 5/26/2011 12:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute -
You want the parents to -

First READ the ratings on the box,

Then have they're minds figure out that little Johnny isn't old enough for the ratings given,

Then go through the agony of telling Johnny that he CAN'T have the game or whatever it might be,

And then have the problem of Johnny being mad at the parent?

It's so much easier to give in! And that my friends is a BIG problem in our society! Parents can STAND it if their kids hate them for doing the parenting that they should and have the kids mad at them, or yelling or crying. We see it everyday at my house. Why becuase my wife does daycare and the parents of today are just terrible. And they do give in rather than suffer a whinning kid.


RE: Oh, and...
By MrBlastman on 5/26/2011 2:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ya see, this is why my now 15-month old will grow up playing Atari 2600 and Super Nintendo games. Sure, she'll see all the newer, uber-console systems out there, but, why does she need to play them?

Why should I want her seeing adult-oriented content? I stop the problem in its tracks by teaching her the merits of classic gaming and the amazing amounts of fun to be had by playing them. How about the advanced levels of eye-hand co-ordination that result from playing them?

I can only see benefits here. I'm not sure she'll thank me later but I as a parent, feel that these old, old games are far more appropriate than the newer ones. I want to get Duke Nukem Forever--do you think I'll let her see that game until she's 18? No way!

The whining kid syndrome--you're complete right about it. So many parents just give them what they want. When I take something away from my daughter even at this age and she starts screaming... I just tell her tough, deal with it. My wife gets kind of frustrated when I do it, but I tell her that if I don't, our daughter will be conditioned to think if she whines, she can get anything. More parents need to have a pair of nuts.


RE: Oh, and...
By Taft12 on 5/26/2011 2:26:28 PM , Rating: 1
She's really going to resent not being allowed to go to other children's houses.


RE: Oh, and...
By MrBlastman on 5/26/2011 2:35:32 PM , Rating: 4
Where did I say in my post she couldn't go over to other kid's houses?

Also, ya know what? I don't care if she resents something I do for her in her own best interests. Guess what? I am a PARENT first, not their FRIEND first.

This whole BS philosophy of being your kids best friend is just that--BS!!! Kids need parents. They need a firm, but loving hand to guide them.


RE: Oh, and...
By Schrag4 on 5/27/2011 10:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm with you, Blast. My 7 and 5 year old boys love playing my old Super Nintendo (my 3 yr old girl isn't into it yet). We limit their time quite a bit - for starters, only on weekends. All their friends have their own DS and/or latest-gen consoles. I can't imagine spending that kind of money for a toy for someone so young. It's pretty much expected these days though. You should see all the expensive toys our neighbor's kids of the same ages have. I'm absolutely sure those kids have no clue how much money was spent on their toys. I've taught my kids (well, the oldest gets it so far) what money is worth. When he looks through a toy advertisement (WalMart, Target, Toys R Us) he knows not to even ask if the price is high enough, and I'd bet most people think our threshold for even considering is way low.

Think back to your childhood, guys. If you're like me, sure, you had endless hours of fun on the 8-bit Nintendo. But I bet you had even MORE fun with that refrigerator box that your cut holes for windows out of and slept in for a week. You don't have to spend lots of money to have happy kids. It's ok on occassion, but it should be a treat, not an expectation.


RE: Oh, and...
By tng on 5/27/2011 11:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're like me, sure, you had endless hours of fun on the 8-bit Nintendo.
Wow, that is new. I started off with a Commodore 64 computer and ended up programing my own games along with some that I could buy.

Learned a bunch more than I ever did buying the Xbox 360.


RE: Oh, and...
By jeff834 on 5/27/2011 12:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to start by saying I'm glad the ESRB ratings exist and I think parents should make the decisions on what games their kids can play. HOWEVER, some 12 year olds are mature enough to play M games and some 30 year olds are still too immature to play even T games. Not to mention the ratings aren't always perfect. I don't really think Halo should be M and there are games in the past that were T and should have been M. Parents need to understand what the ratings mean and what their children can handle. Keeping your kids from violent video games doesn't do anything if you don't get involved and TEACH them what is right and what is wrong BY EXAMPLE.


RE: Oh, and...
By Dr of crap on 5/27/2011 1:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
And that's my point.
BE the parent. And that means teaching right from wrong, and DELAYED gratification. Just because the kid wants the thing, doesn't mean you go out and get it because he's whinning about it.

Parenting and teaching are the same in most respects and todays parents don't teach very well or at all!


RE: Oh, and...
By FITCamaro on 5/26/2011 1:34:41 PM , Rating: 1
12 years old is 8th grade. If you haven't learned the difference between reality and a game by then, your parents have already failed.

Now say a 7 year old and you have a point.


File that under "duh"
By Motoman on 5/26/2011 11:16:09 AM , Rating: 3
OK, now do the same thing, but instead of making them play video games:

1. Make them watch a violent movie

2. Make them read a violent book

3. Make them watch the evening news with footage from Libya (or wherever)

...and now repeat the process, but instead of violence, use nudity. Same thing will happen.

You're not "pre-disposing" someone to anything by doing this - you're acclimating them to something, and then being amazed that they're acclimated to it. You're not making them more likely to commit violence, you're simply getting them over the initial shock of seeing violence - and then noting that they seem to have gotten over the initial shock of seeing violence.




RE: File that under "duh"
By kattanna on 5/26/2011 11:38:41 AM , Rating: 2
true.. but i never tire of boobies

;>)

quote:
you're acclimating them to something, and then being amazed that they're acclimated to it.


and thats pretty much all this is.


RE: File that under "duh"
By Breathless on 5/26/2011 11:39:45 AM , Rating: 2
They could have saved all that money in research by just having you give them this very simple synopsis. What is wrong with these idiots that see the need to pour money into useless experiments?


RE: File that under "duh"
By MightyAA on 5/26/2011 11:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly.. Why not just interview people in Kenya or Libya killing folks and ask them how violent video games affected their violent nature.

Also, something that always bothers me. A tendancy to not be bothered as much by violence does not equal you are a violent person. Most of us can separate reality from a game or movie.

Might as well conduct a study that links Emo or Goth behavior to Twillight being the culprit. Violence was around long before video games.


RE: File that under "duh"
By Motoman on 5/26/2011 11:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
...and at some point, someone actually funded a study that proved that yes, statistically speaking, Kansas is indeed flatter than a pancake.


RE: File that under "duh"
By robinthakur on 5/26/2011 1:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you miss the point that these are passive forms of entertainment, whereas violent games like COD force you to participate in the violence to progress. This would appear to be a key factor here. Also this was a scientific study attempting to measure the phenomenon which few if anyone actually understands. It certainly carries more weight than anybody's hypothesis, and is interesting research however you slice it.

Obviously, with sane individuals who have a concept of right and wrong and the line blurring videogames and reality that is all well and good, but how does this affect children in mentally developmental stages when they spend the equivalent of time per week playing them as we spend at work?

This potential moral shift can also manifest itself in subtle ways, it's not about a black and white issue like somebody buying a gun and shooting up a school, it's an expectation that you have the influence and power to blow away everybody in your path at the push of a button and that violence helps you to progress in life.

I play all sorts of videogames and have done since growing up in the 80's, but the difference between stomping on a cartoon koopa in Mario and gunning down Photo realistic Russian civilians in COD is vast.

Parenting clearly comes into the equation here such that a responsible parent would prevent their child from witnessing violence where possible, let alone joining in with it, partly because children immitate what they see, and its part of how they learn. Nudity on the other hand (not porn) I have no problem with and the sooner society gets over that, the better.


RE: File that under "duh"
By Smilin on 5/26/2011 2:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, you miss the point that these are passive forms of entertainment, whereas violent games like COD force you to participate in the violence to progress.


Interesting. So in order to advance from the Normandy scene in Saving Private Ryan to the 'medic dying while calling to his mom' scene I just sit passively. Yet to advance in a video game I have to leave the room and go punch my neighbor until his face is a bloody pulp then I'm allowed to advance?

no no no.

There is active participation in video game violence only within the video game. It's not real violence. It's artificial just like the rest of the game.

Virtual to real just doesn't translate this way. Real to real does though.

What I mean:
Go see how agressive kids behave in front of a violent multiplayer game. It's actually quite aggressive. Keep in mind that that REAL agression is being transmitted to another REAL player sitting on the other side.

But that's the same thing right? wrong.
That makes it ok right? wrong again.

What do I mean it's not the same thing? Take those same kids and sit them down in a competitive non-violent game like say racing. You'll get the same intentensity and agressive trash talking as the violent game. It is again REAL agression being transmitted to a REAL player sitting on the other side yet there is no violent imagery.

Kids DO understand the difference between real and virtual. They want to put the smackdown on anyone and violence has nothing to do with it. Even in a single player experience... you'll get the same "BOOM I DID IT" response to nailing a tricky jump in Portal as you will killing a boss in L4D.

What do I mean it's still not ok? Violence isn't the problem, it's the agression. It's perfectly OK to blow someones avatar into little bloody bits. Who cares? Electrons don't feel pain. When you simultaneously shout "take that btch!" at a real person then you are being agressive and taking it to far.

Kids are being taught that agressive behavior is acceptable and helps get you ahead of your opponent. Parents will correct a kid with bad sportsmanship in little league but they are no where to be found during deathmatch.


RE: File that under "duh"
By MrBlastman on 5/26/2011 3:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kids are being taught that agressive behavior is acceptable and helps get you ahead of your opponent. Parents will correct a kid with bad sportsmanship in little league but they are no where to be found during deathmatch.


Hmm, interesting premise.

So, lets examine this for a moment. Say my kid was being bullied by a pack of kids and later that night, they came crying to me about it. As a parent, I could tell them to be peaceful, bend over and take it, or--as I probably would, tell them to own up, stand up and kick the snot out of them next time they try anything. I would then follow the discussion with a lesson on how to fight. I wouldn't view this as inappropriate at all--but instead, teaching them to not get rolled over in life by people being aggressive towards them.

In a deathmatch game, say my kid was getting picked on and virtually "pwned." Say my kid came up to me afterwards crying saying... "It's not fair! They beat me in the game and were making fun of me... waa waa waa." I'd then look at the child and say--"What's not fair? The fact that they beat you and you couldn't stop them?" I'd pause and let them think, then eventually say... "It isn't about fairness here, it is about the fact that your skills were not strong enough to beat them. You have only yourself to blame and if you want to win, you need to work harder at it by practicing. If you want it bad enough, you can beat them fairly through hard work and determination."

So really, the real life setting and the videogame setting both offer valuable life-lesson situations for the parent to step in and provide real parental advice that will help their child get farther in life. Now, my kid might not come complain to me at all--what if they are doing the bullying online?

Well, you see, this is _precisely_ why you put the gaming computer or gaming console in the main family room of the home. Yes, that's right--you don't spoil your kids by letting them have a television and computer in their bedroom. Kids don't need this crap in their room. Their room is for sleeping and it is for going to when grounded.

If you keep their computer and videogames in the main living area of the home, you're more able to monitor them and see how they are conducting themselves in these online areas. Now, I don't propose you do this til they are 18, but at least do it until they are in High School and have proven themselves responsible enough to have their gaming done in a playroom--not their bedrooms.


RE: File that under "duh"
By Smilin on 5/26/2011 5:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So really, the real life setting and the videogame setting both offer valuable life-lesson situations for the parent to step in and provide real parental advice that will help their child get farther in life. Now, my kid might not come complain to me at all--what if they are doing the bullying online?


The important point under this is I think: The parent has to be involved.

My big concern for violent video games isn't the simulated violence (it's just pixels). It's the aggressive behavior that they encourage, separate from any violence.

In any situation where a parent has involvement they'll step in to reduce aggression. You'll tell your kid to stick up for himself but if you ever found out he was the one instigating the trouble you would intervene.

When I play games online and hear/see all the ingame chat it is obvious parents are no where to be found. My competitive social activities as a kid were sports where parents or a coach are around. I'm usually the guy on the server who doesn't talk shti and will occasionally say "nice shot" if someone pops me with a good one.

Hopefully I'll be able to teach my kids to behave the same way (hopefully.. as you know parenting is f'n hard!)


RE: File that under "duh"
By robinthakur on 5/27/2011 7:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Interesting. So in order to advance from the Normandy scene in Saving Private Ryan to the 'medic dying while calling to his mom' scene I just sit passively. Yet to advance in a video game I have to leave the room and go punch my neighbor until his face is a bloody pulp then I'm allowed to advance?


No that isn't what I meant, poor expression on my part. Watching and listening are a passive exercise where you have no control over the direction of the movie and relinquish control to the director etc. Playing a videogame gives you a first person perspective and the controls to do what you like. They are both consumed through a TV, and that's where the similarity ends.

You say that virtual violence does not translate to real, but what happens when the virtual worlds look completely photo realistic as they undoubtedly will in the future? I have personally noticed that after playing games with extreme violence (not shooter games generally) I feel more violent, and I remember playing Mortal Kombat and watching WWF and then acting out Mortal Kombat and WWF play fights with my bro back in the day, so these things do have the power to influence, and that shouldn't really surprise anybody.

You make an interesting distinction between violence and aggression, (I think you mean watching or participating in virtual violence) and the fact that rather than see the acts as violence they just see it as reaching a goal within a controlled environment. It is every responsible parents duty to deal with aggression in their children, but hey some people are just bad parents and that will always be the case.

You can generally be happy that the average player will appreciate the difference between real and virtual, it is those on the margins without a wider perspective and the effect that violent videogames have on them which is cause for concern.


RE: File that under "duh"
By Smilin on 5/27/2011 4:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You say that virtual violence does not translate to real, but what happens when the virtual worlds look completely photo realistic as they undoubtedly will in the future? I have personally noticed that after playing games with extreme violence (not shooter games generally) I feel more violent, and I remember playing Mortal Kombat and watching WWF and then acting out Mortal Kombat and WWF play fights with my bro back in the day, so these things do have the power to influence, and that shouldn't really surprise anybody.


It will take far more than visual realism to blur the distinction with reality. Mortal Kombat and Doom both "pumped you up" the same as Crysis 2 does to day. No more, no less. Even true photorealism won't trick the mind. You'll always know the horrible wounds you are inflicting do not actually hurt anyone.

Kids will always find a way to "pretend". It's a healthy play just like other mammal youth "fighting". Before video games, movies, even broadcast radio, and books this was happening. Our prehistoric children didn't just sit around twiddling their thumbs until they grew up. Some kid I'm sure put out their own eye with a pebble from a a Red-rider leather sling.

Media is more just inspiration for the playing rather than strongly influencing who you become. If it did then we would all be acting like "Leave it to Beaver" and that clearly hasn't happened.

quote:
it is those on the margins without a wider perspective and the effect that violent videogames have on them which is cause for concern.


That point takes it I think. Healthy minds are resilient. When you see Columbine like violence and a correlation with violent games the underlying cause for both was an unhealthy mind.


RE: File that under "duh"
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 6:17:47 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
and now repeat the process, but instead of violence, use nudity


quote:
you're acclimating them to something, and then being amazed that they're acclimated to it.


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=por...


Study validity
By rabbitslayer21 on 5/26/2011 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
Desensitization, okay. Short-term aggression increase, maybe. But where's the causation between violent video games and violent/deviant behavior? It's so easy to fall prey to confirmation bias, since there *is* a significant correlation between violence and video game play.

For most people, video games are a way to *release* anger and frustration, not to build them.




RE: Study validity
By cjohnson2136 on 5/26/2011 11:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For most people, video games are a way to *release* anger and frustration, not to build them.


Totally agree with that. That is the reason I play Black Ops or any game if I am frustrated at work or have a fight with my wife it is so much easier to take my frustration out on the game and then being able to clearly talk to my about the fight after I cooled down. For me it's better then therapy lol


RE: Study validity
By FITCamaro on 5/26/2011 2:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention it doesn't cost $200/hr for some idiot with a clipboard to tell you you're in love with your mother.


RE: Study validity
By ystervark on 5/26/2011 12:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
I may not be an expert, but shouldn't they take into consideration the effect the study has on its subjects as well? in essence, merely showing violent pictures would in itself desensitise subjects to subsequent violent pictures.
anycase, everyone who partook in the study knew that it was just a game, hence if they cannot find that subjects had a heightened violent streak in real life afterwards (which is rarely the case, thats why they resort to these types of research to find their tenuous 'link'), it approaches pointlessness.


RE: Study validity
By Reclaimer77 on 5/26/2011 6:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
The study is a crock because "brain response" means nothing against the conscience or higher reasoning of the human mind. Our brains constantly have responses to things, some of them harken back to the days when we were primitive cave men, but that doesn't mean we ACT on them.

My problem with looking at violence as a pure function of the brain is that it completely removes the decision making and reasoning process.


By Hakuryu on 5/26/2011 11:59:04 AM , Rating: 2
This study seems like a mix of tailored facts, and tests designed to give the results they want.

For example, elementary kids play an average of 40 hours a week? This fact had to be tailor made for a study like this, because I know of at least 5 elementary kids that are lucky to be allowed 1 hour a day playing games... where did the researchers find kids that play 120 hours a week to average their total out to 40? Or did they just pick children known to play alot?

As for tests giving results they want. The sound test - let me play GTA for 15 minutes, and you play Pong. At the end, when asked to use a level of sound, I'm going to use the greater level since I just played a game with lots of loud sounds, while you will most likely use a lower sound after playing the quiet Pong.




By kingmotley on 5/26/2011 12:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
They just need to find 20 kids that play 50 hours a week. I think I can point them out to you pretty easily. I can point out a couple that play more like 80-90.


By ystervark on 5/26/2011 1:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think I can point
them out to you pretty easily. I can
point out a couple that play more like
80-90.

anecdotal really, altho in your defense the poster you replied to was a bit anecdotal as well in his initial assertion. but do know that 40hours a week equates roughly to 5.5 hours a day (altho kids could make up over the weekend). either way, thats an awfully high number so best take it with a grain of salt.
from the study itself, I feel one cannot draw worthwhile conclusions since:
1. the hypothesis is a bit weak. the researcher seems to want to find some link instead of testing a stronger assertion and letting the data take the lead. cant blame him tho, history suggest he wont find much.
2. again since the hypothesis is weak, there's plenty of room for interpretation as the research is too general in nature.

as a slight to this research (we all know what they're gunning at) someone should do the exact same experiment but replace videogames with football (or rugby where i'm from, go stormers!). I bet the exact same deductions can be concluded, but you dont see much of a crusade against contact sports.


Buy Your Kid a Wii
By tng on 5/26/2011 11:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
The Wii system has plenty of warm, fuzzy games for it and fewer of the FPS type.

Also it makes me wonder if 120 years ago when things were much tougher just to survive for the average human on this planet if the same was true. Allot of people back then witnessed violence on a daily basis in real life, whether from nature or fellow mankind. No telling now.




RE: Buy Your Kid a Wii
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 6:22:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Allot of people back then witnessed violence on a daily basis in real life, whether from nature or fellow mankind.

But how much of it was either totally gratuitous or merely for pleasure?

This is why "Gladiator" was not a problem for me, he did only what he had to do, he did not enjoy it by any measure.


RE: Buy Your Kid a Wii
By tng on 5/27/2011 11:55:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But how much of it was either totally gratuitous or merely for pleasure?
Not sure it really matters, after according to the "study" violence is violence. I would think that it would have the same affect.

The "study" as the article is written seems to point that violence is a issue and being desensitized to it is an issue. Like allot of the other people here, I call BS on this.

The academics who do these studies really think that the world should be all pink and fuzzy? Live life somewhere other than in academia and see what their ideals get them.

These people are the same group that teach your children when you send them off to college...... Think about it.


B. S.
By Dr of crap on 5/26/2011 12:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
Let me say this again to a different audience -
THIS IS BS.
You would have to have a already violent behavior to make this be true. I've played some of these games, and I've not stabbed, shot, or hurt anyone.

There's MUCH more in the backround of the people and the way thier minds work, than just paying a violet game and then going out and shooting someone, of beating someone up.




RE: B. S.
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 6:24:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You would have to have a already violent behavior to make this be true.

How do you know they don't? Are domestic violence and street gangs a rarity in the US?


RE: B. S.
By lightfoot on 5/26/2011 7:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are domestic violence and street gangs a rarity in the US?

Yes, actually they are fairly rare. You wouldn't believe that by watching the 5 o'clock news, but statistically they are the exception, not the rule.


Then there is reality
By epobirs on 5/26/2011 7:28:47 PM , Rating: 2
Violent crime has been on the decline in Western countries since the dawn of home video games. The typical 30 year old has been playing since he was old enough to pick up a controller and thus should be primed to murder at the slightest provocation.

If video games increase violent tendencies and desensitize, there must be a hell of a powerful countering factor at work somewhere. I think I know what it is:
Porn, the savior of civilization against the video game scourge.




RE: Then there is reality
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 7:37:59 PM , Rating: 1
And street gangs have been on the rise. When do you think the downward trend will end? It certainly won't last forever.


RE: Then there is reality
By Kurz on 5/27/2011 10:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
Street Gangs only on the rise with the increase numbers of people in the prison system.


noise level as a sign of agression?
By lolmuly on 5/26/2011 11:22:59 AM , Rating: 2
couldn't choosing a higher noise level for your opponent be a sign of competitiveness and not aggression?

what were the other players playing? solitaire? if they haven't been playing a competitive game for the last half hour, they will obviously be feeling a little less competitive.




By AerieC on 5/26/2011 1:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I fail to see how a noise level measures aggression.

Also, take into consideration the fact that most violent video games are louder than most non-violent video games. Wouldn't it make sense that someone subjected to loud noises such as gunshots and screaming for 25 minutes be more inclined to choose a higher volume noise in the second part of the study?

It looks to me like these people are being desensitized to loud noises, not violence.

Poorly controlled study is poorly controlled.


Two conclusions
By Stuka on 5/26/2011 2:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
An additional revelation of this study that should have far reaching implications in all corners of society, is that loud noises in an artificial environment are tantamount to physical assault in the real world.




RE: Two conclusions
By Smilin on 5/26/2011 2:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
+1 if I had it.


MU = MethU
By Denigrate on 5/26/2011 11:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't they be more worried about all the Meth that comes out of Missouri than video games? I'm sure they have some walnut bowls to sell as well. I'd say all studies done my MethU are invalid due to the participants all being addicted to Meth.




Complete waste of time/money
By M4gery on 5/26/2011 11:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
It has been proven time and time again, in many previous studies that violent video games do not cause violent behaviour. However, being repeatedly told of such "studies" and trying to ban said type of games makes people very violent. So, looks like these studies need to be banned.




Nuh uh
By FITCamaro on 5/26/2011 1:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
THIS IS UNTRUE! TAKE IT BACK OR I'LL KILL YOU!




This reminds me...
By RedemptionAD on 5/26/2011 1:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
I remember when the Movie the fast and the furious came out and people were racing in the parking lots of theatres after seeing it and studies came out that showed movies are linked to fast driving. Here's a hint folks it's called entertainment. Video games provide a skill challenge and a challenge increases concentration and passion. Movies are only entertaining if they can provide an emotional relation or relate otherwise to the viewer. Why don't they have a study saying sex increases aggression, as well has fatigue, and inorder to protect the people from this undue aggression and fatigue, humans should no longer procreate and our entire species should die off.




By Smilin on 5/26/2011 2:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence*," said Bartholow. "From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools** because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior*. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence*.


* ..in video games
** ..for video gaming activity

There. Fixed it.

I play violent games (Dante's Inferno was a recent bad one) and watch violent movies (Saving Private Ryan comes to mind) and I agree 100% that it desensitizes to violence **within that media**.

It takes more and more shocking things in video games and movies to actually shock me.

However it simply doesn't translate to the real world. I've been the first responder at auto accidents with gore and no video game in the world would prevent that from shocking me.

All these scientists love to *speculate* about how it translates to the real world but it just doesn't. I might get a mild association between a war game and some predator drone footage I see on the news...but then again both of those are events distanced from the observer.

You can play Doom for six months straight then go pickup a real shotgun and all illusions will fall away. The cold heavy metal and wood immediately dispels any association to the virtual world.

I'm an adult though. What about kids?

It's not the agressive game that makes them aggressive. It's aggressively *playing* that game that makes them aggressive.

Have you ever watched some kid souped up on Mt. Dew playing COD or Halo or something? The way players treat one another and speak to one another would be completely unacceptable in say little league baseball. Why do parents just walk through the living room and allow this to happen? THAT is what causes crap behavior out of video gaming kids. A lack of sportsmanship, manners, and most importantly parental supervision.




Control study
By scrapsma54 on 5/26/2011 3:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
So they have proven that people with loss of control can become overly agressive.




By Meinolf on 5/26/2011 4:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
Violent Desensitized Players, with Heightened Aggression Blame Video Games. Too bad we need to blame everything else.




PIC
By Etern205 on 5/26/2011 4:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
You should have used them Raving wabbits for that pic.




1 Billion?
By Ripvanwinkle on 5/26/2011 4:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't know all of the muslim world had PS3's




causality????
By invidious on 5/26/2011 7:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
I dont accept that brain activity indicates sensitivity, brain activity is merely a gauge of the level of reaction, not the type of reaction.

I do not accept that a desensitivity to violence blurs someone's gauge of appropriate behavior. The way someone reacts to an image has nothing to do with the instictual or logical choices that lead to action.

You know what I do accept? That Violent/aggressive people are attracted to violent/aggressive video games. I would bet that the nearly all violent crime offendors have played violent video games, but an extremely small percentage of violent video game players become violent criminals.

If someone wants to prove that video games make people violent all they have to do is show how violence has spiked up since the advent of violent video games in the last few decades. But it hasn't, so they can't prove it. So they make stupid studies to justify their moronic sesibilities and share it with their moronic journalist friends.




my $.02
By inperfectdarkness on 5/26/2011 8:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
games do not transfer to movies. neither transfers into real life.

playing violent games may desensitize you to violence in games; but it won't desensitize you to violence in real life or even in movies.

similarly, you may watch a marathon of slasher movies; but i very much doubt that afterwards you'd be interested a live person being disemboweled on the street.

for me, games can't really get TOO graphic. i love seeing giblets, body parts, and other assorted entrails go flying. i love using cats as silencers (postal2). and yet, i can't stand to see broken bones, deep cuts, or any assorted injuries IRL. i also have little to no desire to see copious bloodletting in movies/tv. spartacus was comically over the top. hannibal (movie) made my skin crawl.

i may enjoy relaxing to such "violence" in my games; but it does not make me feel such actions are appropriate in real life. in fact, i would argue that rather than turning people ON to violence--graphic games help turn people OFF to violence; via displacement.




Biased?
By zephyrwind69 on 5/26/2011 8:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or does this 'study' seem a bit biased? I don't see the direct relation of volume to your opponent as being violent in any means and the highly subjective measures of large and small brain activity amounts? Really, is this science?!

I'd agree with the premise that seeing violence in any media desensitizes one from violence; however, but does this make the same individual more violent? I've been gaming since I was 13 and I'd personally say it's never made me more or less violent. However, the 'virtual' media of TV, movies, and gaming has 0 impact on real life.

The 'measures' of brain activity and volume would probably be the worst measures of an otherwise scientific sounding study.

Me, I'd turn the other guy's volume to freakin' 11 to win the game! Now take my prestige level on in COD b*tches so I can see you die!!!!

(OK hope somebody saw the sarcasm in the end)




I can't stand these studies...
By FaceMaster on 5/27/2011 1:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
...they are sooo wrong. I don't get violent. WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE CONSTANTLY BLAMING VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES?! ARGH!

*Kicks a baby*




By chick0n on 5/27/2011 9:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
Why am I not running around with a knife/mp5/glock/BFG and start shooting people ? according to this "study" I should be doing that by now. My first game was DOOM all the way till now CoD. Hmm. oh yea the "STUDY SHOWS" that people will act/behave badly.

a "Study shows" must be true all the time, correct ?




By random git on 5/27/2011 10:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe the desensitizing effect has nothing to do with the increased so called violent behavior, as the researchers themselves admit there is no solid evidence for desensitizing leading to aggressiveness.

Perhaps the answer is simply that players who have just played a video game requiring aggressiveness will continue to be aggressive playing another video game right after it.




When did this happen?
By Stublore on 5/27/2011 11:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Previous studies have shown that violent video games encourage aggressive behavior in players, but until now, no one has really known why.

Where is the evidence for this assertion?
I admit I am not an expert in this field, but I have read probably every article that comes out which claims video games make one violent, but I cannot recall one which stood the test of time. Usually such claims come from idiotic reactionaries whose rallying call is:
"Won't someone please think of the children!", and quietly fade away till the next study "proving" violence comes out.




And then
By rburnham on 5/27/2011 3:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
I read this article, then I punched a kid in the face. On the way home, I saw a moderately attractive woman, but was not at all impressed.




Violence
By Zingam on 5/30/2011 11:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
Reading stupid articles makes me violent... I'm going out to break the back of 10 cats tonight.




Good thing for survival
By dgingeri on 5/26/2011 1:13:04 PM , Rating: 1
This shows people react less emotionally when they are exposed to violence. Duh. That's for our survival. If we reacted emotionally to violent threats to our lives, we'd all die in panic and not know how to handle things.

The fact of the matter is that with less exposure to things, we don't know how to handle them, and we fail to handle things properly. If there is a violent threat to our life, video gamers would be more ready to keep their heads, not get emotional, and think about how to handle it before it gets out of control.

People without the exposure would freeze in fear or run around screaming like little girls and everything would get out of control and go wrong.

Let's face it, this country has made us soft. Most people would not know how to handle an invasion. (We would not handle things like in the old movie Red Dawn.) We'd mostly just collapse until the army arrived. If someone tries to kidnap or rob someone we care about, most people would just fold and expect the police to handle it. Neither the army nor the police are able to handle all things. They will fail from time to time. (In the case of the police, they would likely fail to do much of anything.) We can't keep this up. The US would not be able to stand if we're all a bunch of milksops.

This world is a violent place. The human race is a violent species. In order to be able to handle ourselves, we do need to learn to calm our emotions in the face of such threats. Violent video games and violent TV help this somewhat. At least people would know to take cover and not stand in the middle of the street and get shot if an invasion happened.

The conclusions about heightened aggression are totally unwarranted. it sounds like this was written by a pacifist who thinks all people can be nice and peaceful if they're forced to. Unfortunately, humanity is not like this. Wars, crime, and violence are a fact of life. If you don't know how to react to it, you'll be nothing but a victim.




Sigh
By icanhascpu on 5/27/2011 1:39:52 AM , Rating: 1
The truly stupid/foolish are those that think for a moment that violence in a video game can even come close to comparing to that in real life. Understand a moment that there are people that cannot tell the difference, and consider if you will, that these people do not need video games in order to already be sick.

It is a common and natural understanding of the human mind to differentiate the worth of actual life and digital life. Those that do not have that natural instinct are sick. Those that believe that that instinct can be ebbed away by the artificial are fools. If you have a child and you dont want them to play such games, you do not need a asinine reason, simply disallow it and stop being a fucking moron.




I find it sad...
By GrandMareg on 5/26/11, Rating: -1
RE: I find it sad...
By FITCamaro on 5/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: I find it sad...
By lightfoot on 5/26/2011 4:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
What is really needed on this site is an "ignore author" option. Not for the comments mind you; for the articles.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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