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Professor observes a large proportion of criticism of violent games come from the over 35 age demographic

Texas A&M International University professor Christopher Ferguson conducted a study and concluded there is "no significant relationship" between school shootings and playing violent video games. Highlights of the study were summarized by Gamepolitics.

Ferguson's study criticizes the methodology used by past studies that have linked violent video games to aggression. He points out for recent high profile shootings such as the Virginia Tech massacre, and the Utah Trolley Stop mall shooting no evidence of violent video game play by the perpetrator was found.  

Ferguson suggests video games are an easy target to attack for politicians, the news media, and social scientists. He also suggests self serving motivations are what drive these groups. Politicians are motivated by the need to create an appearance they are taking action against crime, for the news media negative news 'sells' better than positive news, for social scientists, it has been observed that a small group of researchers have been most vocal in promoting the anti-game message.  In comparison he states, "Actual causes of violent crime, such as family environment, genetics, poverty, and inequality, are oftentimes difficult, controversial, and intractable problems."

A very interesting observation Ferguson makes is that the majority of individuals critical of video games are above the age of 35 and have not directly experienced the game they are criticizing which some admit to. According to Ferguson, "commentators make claims betraying their unfamiliarity, such as that games like Grant Theft Auto ‘award points’ for antisocial behavior... despite that few games award points for anything anymore, instead focusing on stories." 

As an example of individuals who criticize games without verifying their claims, Ferguson points to the Cooper Lawrence, Mass Effect incident. Without playing the game Cooper Lawrence declared Mass Effect as pornography on Fox News. The resulting backlash forced Lawrence to recant her statements.

Ferguson summarized his findings stating, "The wealth of evidence... fails to establish a link between violent video games and violent crimes, including school shootings. The link has not merely been unproven; I argue that the wealth of available data simply weighs against any causal relationship."

With regards to school shootings he declares, "School shootings, although exceedingly rare, are an important issue worthy of serious consideration. However, for our understanding of this phenomenon to progress, we must move past the moral panic on video games and other media and take a hard look at the real causes of serious aggression and violence."

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genetics and education...
By Screwballl on 1/26/2009 11:14:54 AM , Rating: 1
lets look at this from a realistic perspective:

If a person is raised with poor morals, genetics, education and lack of common sense, then they will see these video games as an outlet where it affects almost everything in their life and start becoming the animal they portray in these shootings... but in reality they tend to get caught for stupid shit like shoplifting, car theft, whatever with no real damage to life or property. Usually the time spent in prison is enough to show them that you can make a living off simple theft and sales (like drugs) but the heavier crimes carry more time that they stay away from. They spend so much time trying to keep up with everything that those games they played really has no impact anymore.

Now raise a kid properly and teach them the difference between a video game/tv show/movie and real life, and they will go on living a much smarter life. My 6 year old is already smarter than most 30 year olds I have met locally. Teach them to work for what they want instead of just be spoiled. If they want that new hot toy for $20, tell them their room needs to be cleaned how YOU want it, and if it is not done within a specific timeframe, then they do not get it. Start this fairly early, about 4 or 5 years old so they start off knowing what they need to do to get what they want. If they want the new violent video game at age 12, that will need extra chores and extra duties because of the stronger rating but also limit their time in the game.

Of course this falls on deaf ears most of the time, most people nowadays (not referring to most DT readers) would rather have the easy life, including how they raise their kids, so that translates into a spoiled and stupid kid.

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