Violent video games?

This is a discussion on Violent video games? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; He was referring to how I punched my sociology teacher in the face after failing me....

  1. #16

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    He was referring to how I punched my sociology teacher in the face after failing me.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  2. #17
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Well he probably deserved it.

  3. #18
    Tropical Coder Darryl's Avatar
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    Just read a story about some teens being arrested for plotting a Columbine style attack on their school. The news story was good until this phrase....

    Quote:
    ...
    Norman also mentioned bullying and said investigators had learned the suspects liked violent video games.
    ....
    You never hear about the Cop or the athlete or the Straight "A" student liking violent video games, though I am sure there are many that do.

    Even non-violent vidoe games have gotten a bad rap- look at the 9/11 highjackers and flight simulator.

  4. #19
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    To be fair, MSFS is actually pretty realistic, so it's plausible that they really did get some benefit out of it.

    It's a pretty huge stretch to say that anyone would gain a real benefit out of an FPS, though.

  5. #20
    Lead Moderator kermi3's Avatar
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    Ok...can I step into this fray for a moment? This is a topic that comes up numerous times in psyc classes, so I've at least listened to a lot of people talk about it - especially people that no little to nothing about video games...

    However, real good research has been, and is being done, of the effects of violent video games. One of the "best" early piece of research is "Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and in Life" by Anderson and Dill (2000) (summary).

    First of all...why pick on Doom? Apparently Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine) made a Doom mod where NPCs couldn’t fight back and they had unlimited ammo (posted on Harris’ website). Then they made a short film based on their game wherein they wore trench coats and shot all the jocks…and year later they tried it for real. That put Doom in the spotlight.

    There are both short term and long term reasons video games are thought to effect aggressive behavior. I’m attaching the figure that researchers have used to describe it…it’s a bit difficult to follow, but it’ll give an idea. (edit: deleted for copyright purposes) I’m not going to take the time to describe the whole study, I can if someone would like more detail, but the findings were basically that:
    Quote Originally Posted by Anderson & Dill, 2000
    In the second study, 210 college students played either a violent (Wolfenstein 3D) or nonviolent video game (Myst). A short time later, the students who played the violent video game punished an opponent (received a noise blast with varying intensity) for a longer period of time than did students who had played the nonviolent video game.

    "Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations," said Dr. Anderson. "In the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise."

    "One major concern is the active nature of the learning environment of the video game," say the authors. "This medium is potentially more dangerous than exposure to violent television and movies, which are known to have substantial effects on aggression and violence.”
    The research – and other parallel theories also indicates that other violent media and life experience have important effects on aggression.
    Kermi3

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  6. #21
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise.

    That's just speculation, though. It doesn't look like they actually researched that.

    > First of all...why pick on Doom?

    I was really just making a joke there. I know about the mod they made.

    I still don't think it's the best plan to go after violent video games, since, as pointed out, they're not only played by people who go on violent rampages. More needs to be done about what causes these kids to act violently in the first place, whether it's bullying, poor parenting, unconcerned school officials, or whatever.

  7. #22
    Lead Moderator kermi3's Avatar
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    The speculation was built off the first study which I didn't summarize as much:
    Quote Originally Posted by Anderson & Dill, 2000
    "One study reveals that young men who are habitually aggressive may be especially vulnerable to the aggression-enhancing effects of repeated exposure to violent games," said psychologists Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., and Karen E. Dill, Ph.D. "The other study reveals that even a brief exposure to violent video games can temporarily increase aggressive behavior in all types of participants."

    The first study involved 227 college students who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness and reported their actual aggressive behaviors (delinquency) in the recent past. They also reported their video game playing habits. "We found that students who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school engaged in more aggressive behavior," said lead author Anderson, of Iowa State University. "We also found that amount of time spent playing video games in the past was associated with lower academic grades in college."
    Edit: On a VERY basic level, the first study found that those who reported playing violent video games had more dilquent behaviors.

    Observing violence is also linked to a longer term choice of aggression in serveral other studies not directly involving video games. It was first researched by Bandura.
    Kermi3

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  8. #23
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Ah, there we go. That's what I get for trying this at work

    I'm not going to debate you on something psychological kerm (because I'll get smoked), but do you agree that video games probably aren't the PRIMARY cause for these?

  9. #24
    Lead Moderator kermi3's Avatar
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    Of course they aren't. They are a factor. Just like genes and aggressive predispostions, family interactions, the success/failure of aggressive behavior in the past, the specific situation in which the violence may occur, and other media are factors.

    Anderson and Dill think that they may be a more important factor than other media due to their interactive nature (they encourage not only observational leraning, but also teach that aggressive actions can help the child themselves reach a goal), but playing violent games alone in no way causes violence; it is just thought to contribute to the overall behavior model.
    Kermi3

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  10. #25
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kermi3
    Anderson and Dill think that they may be a more important factor than other media due to their interactive nature (they encourage not only observational leraning, but also teach that aggressive actions can help the child themselves reach a goal), but playing violent games alone in no way causes violence; it is just thought to contribute to the overall behavior model.
    Is that any different from my dad playing "war" with his school friends back in the 1950s?

  11. #26
    Lead Moderator kermi3's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I don't know...I don't know if there's any actual research on that, but I would think there would be a difference. For your dad it was a more interpersonal game that had more flexibility and required interpersonal skills other than aggression. Kids playing like is often referred to as "rough and tumble play" and is pretty normal, especially in boys. It is considered distinctly different from aggression and is a normal part of the development of interpersonal skills.

    On the other hand, Hughes and Dunn (2001) found that 4 and 6 yr old children who play have more fantasy play have a lower percentage of violent fantasy play, and children who engaged in a higher percentage of violent play were more likely to attribute neutral actions as having an aggressive intent (a key set in the theory of why video games may promote violence). Of course there are interaction in this data involving how predisposed the child is to aggression – I don’t have time to really pour through the data right now. However, a key portion of imaginative play like your dad's may be that it was interpersonal. Multiple kids played and it probably helped develop empathy (via imagination) and other social skills.

    For a kid with a video game it's pretty much a solitary thing where it's just killing. I would think that those predefined inflexible rules that say success comes through violence. Of course there is a very important difference in age here as well. Violent video game players are more likely to be older than kids who run around and play War.

    An interesting way to test that might be to look at the other types of play kids are involved in or to test games that have more interpersonal aspects but also include some violence; WoW comes closest, but even that may place a bit too much value on violence.

    I’m not really sure what the differences would be; I’m sure there’d be some, but I’m not sure what…hmmm…interesting.
    Kermi3

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  12. #27
    Banned SniperSAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez
    > why do you think there was a sudden spike in school violence after columbine?

    There was? Please feel free to name some of these violent schools.

    And besides, it's the media's job to report news, for good or bad. Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away.

    Here are some statistics for you:
    http://www.ncdjjdp.org/cpsv/library/statistics.htm

    Also, I never said that they should stop reporting on that stuff. I was just pointing out that society in general is so quick to censor games, movies and music, then they turn around and hear about people actually being murdered in real life.

  13. #28
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    I'm not sorting through everything in that link to do your research for you.

  14. #29

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    I don't have anything to actually contribute right now (you guys have sort of tackled every angle I've thought of), I just wanted to say that I like the way Kermi is going about this conversation (be like that guy! EDIT: or girl...or frog)
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  15. #30
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Kermi's a psych major - why do you think I didn't want to argue with him about this

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