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[MPC] Videogame Violence: A Fair and Balanced Study?

post #1 of 6
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http://www.maximumpc.com/article/col...balanced_study

Quote:
We’re at a point in history when, if gamers are to maintain credibility, we need to acknowledge both the good and bad in our passion. Grand Theft Childhood ($25, Simon & Schuster) by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olson is a fair and comprehensive study of games and violence, and we would do well to pay attention to its conclusions.

The good: After thorough research, the team utterly dismisses the outrageous claims about games inspiring real-life violence. For example, gaming gadfly Jack Thompson states outright that since Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho played Counter-Strike in high school, the game was responsible for the acts he committed: “These are real people that are in the ground now because of this game. I have no doubt about it,” Thompson explained. Kutner and Olson, as well as the Virginia Tech Review Panel and the FBI, are having none of it, stating there is no linkage between criminal violence (particularly school shootings) and violent games.

The bad: There is a correlation between middle school children who play violent, M-rated games and actual antisocial behavior. These kids aren’t carjacking old ladies, pistol whipping store clerks, or defeating alien invaders with any greater frequency than their peers, but they tend to “act up” more, get in trouble in school, fight, and disrupt class.

Kutner and Olson refuse, however, to make a conclusion about which direction that cause/effect relationship travels. Are aggressive kids drawn to M-rated games, or do the games make them aggressive? Even with their large data set, Kutner and Olson are reluctant to blame games as the sole factor that affects children’s behavior. Logic dictates that no 13-year-old should be playing Grand Theft Auto, the most played game among boys (and the second most played among girls, who preferred The Sims by a slimmer-than-expected margin), simply because they’re not psychologically equipped to parse the violent, amoral, and satiric elements of the series.

Grand Theft Childhood is a refreshing mixture of hard science and common sense. I approached this study expecting more heat than light and came out illuminated. It’s going to be a vital element in the upcoming debates as politicians attempt to score points by cracking down on violence in gaming.
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post #2 of 6
I read about this in Wired. Definitely going to pick it up next time I'm at Barnes and Noble.
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post #3 of 6
That's wonderful that someone has finally put together unbiased information about violence and video games in a single place. If you search on the net, you can find a study here and there, but nothing really concrete and scientific. I should pick this up.
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post #4 of 6
Let's see here, millions of years of savage survival techniques recorded in our DNA...

or


maybe 40 years of modern culture playing video games?


"Sarcasm on" Darn those video games they have to be the blame! "Sarcasm off"
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by john55576 View Post
Let's see here, millions of years of savage survival techniques recorded in our DNA...

or


maybe 40 years of modern culture playing video games?


"Sarcasm on" Darn those video games they have to be the blame! "Sarcasm off"
I do like going for the throat. Works real well.

I'll have to take a look into this study. My Journalism professor tried to make me right an anti-gaming article over a year ago and I got a B- in the class because I argued against the biased study he gave me. I was pissed...
    
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post #6 of 6
When common sense and science agreed to work together unbiased articles were born. This seeming to be one of them. Happy to see the results, nothing unexpected from anyone who honestly thought it through.
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