Australia Finds No Conclusive Link Between Games and Violence, Only A Short-Term Effect

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RepairTech

I wonder if terrorist play violent games? Maybe we should take a better look at the real killers here. Only people who are weak and can't make the the decision between games and real life consequences should get help. Do Not punish good hard working people for others stupid mistakes.

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D00dlavy

This is the first commonsense thing Australia has done in ten years.  I was beginning to think they were as retarded and distorted as China or some of the midland states.

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dmonkyking

I agree with you and I think they do tend to make the argument way too black and white.  Comparing violent games with violent behavior, which honestly is very rarely seen, isn't the right way to conduct this.  However, I think too much video games can cause lapse in judgment or social/emotional problems and this result almost certainly depends on the person and the content.  In my life, I can play certain games that I become so engrossed in that playing it becomes like a drug, while other games I can play and put down no problem.  Look at the people who spend their life on WOW, while very few would exhibit violent behavior, you can't ignore the anti-social problems that it tends to bring.  But the whole argument is very political anyways and the only comparisons drawn are always between violent games and violent behavior and not the affects of overindulging in an activity as a whole.

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dmonkyking

This comment was in reply to Lhot, which didn't show up under his comment.

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Lhot

...real life.  Back in the day, I played the original and subsequent Mario Bros. games...a LOT.  One day I was at the stop sign, getting ready to cross a six lane inner city street (3 lanes each direction).  I was probably in my early to mid 30's at the time. 

While sitting at the stop sign, processing the flow of traffic in preperation for merging into and crossing all six lanes...

I saw a "pattern" in the traffic, very similar to an oft repeated pattern in various Mario 'run and jump' sequences.  I almost...'went for it'.  I very probably could have made it...BUT it would have been:  irresponsible, very dangerous and balanced on the edge of disaster.  Fortunately, another part of my brain cut in and stopped me.

I have been tested and have shown above normal abilities to process more than one thing at the same time, and do both well. 

THIS is what I percieve as the dangerous part of too much video gaming.  In other words, I think we are asking the wrong questions here.  In stead of, 'do violent games make people vilolent', we should probably be asking:  'does too much video gaming (of any type) cause...errors in otherwise normal judgement processes'.

I don't think anyone will EVER be able to concisively prove that a 'violent video game causes violence'.  However, I think if we did a study and asked the right questions, we would find that too much video gaming, DOES cause errors in otherwise normal day to day, good judgement.

For an example of this, compare what I've said here, with ANY activity, done to excess, that causes you to dream and/or daydream about that same activity, or that causes you to overlap the memory of an oft repeated activity on to a current event that has no relationship...normally.  Like maybe a investment banker-work aholic, getting outrageously viscious or cut-throat in....a Monopoly game at home with the family.  I've noticed that it works both ways...from fictional to real and visa versa...numerous times in my own life.  I've also noticed that the two different activities don't need to have a direct 1:1 relationship as well.  Like the Mario/traffic example above.

I think this is a very real danger and is present in any activity, done to excess.  I've noticed this in other people as well, say.....a 50 year old grade school teacher, that tends to treat all people as 12 year olds in need of some 'extra wisdom'.

For comparisons sake...I'm a 54 year old avid video gamer since the days of Zork, and an avid gamer in general, since as early as I can remember.  On a side note, but still relevant, I think...I've also noticed in myself at least, that when reading or say watching a good movie, I get so...into them...(like I'm in the story), that friends and family have commented that they've had to call my name serveral times before I noticed.

In short, I think that violent games do not cause violence, but that anything done to excess, can cause errors in otherwise unrelated judgemnts.

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inahayze

Interesting questions: Why have school shootings (where the kids are the perpetrator) only occurred since the age of video games? Video games that have created the experience of shooting other people for pleasure? Why are shooting type games one of the most popular game type? Why do people want to experience this? Sure, it won't make everyone that plays the game kill someone, but someone "on the edge" might like to experience the thrill and power as felt in the game. What is different now in kids that make them want to use guns in school to kill. This never happened 50 years ago. There were plenty of violent movies then, yet it didn't happen. A video game is a temporary experience for the player, and even though they know it is not reality, someone that is slipping into the state of violent hatred (a kid that is bullied, or made fun of) may want to get revenge as in the game, to feel the "high" of having power over others and destroying them. What is different now than 30, or 40 years ago? How about an intelligent and rational reply that imparts some psychology and reasonable hypothesis to these questions?

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Mighty BOB!

That's funny.  I guess you've never heard of the University of Texas Tower Shooting in 1966, the Olean High School shooting in 1974, Brampton Centennial Secondary School shooting in 1975, the St. Pius X High School shooting in 1975, or the Deer Creek Middle School shooting in 1982, or any of several other school shootings that predate the existence of video games.

 

I know of very few games where you shoot other people just "for pleasure."  I know a lot of games where you shoot other people in defense of your home land, your planet, your country, etc..  It should also be noted that these people you are shooting are usually also armed and shooting back.  There aren't a lot where you kill unarmed and defenseless people.

 

Please cite your source that shows shooters are the most popular type of games.  You can't because it isn't true.  The largest user base that play video games are casual gamers playing Facebook games, simple flash games, and puzzle games, or even the games that come on XP.  XP has an install base of over 400 million.  You know what the most launched application on XP is?  Solitaire.  A lot of them are soccer moms and people who only play for a few minutes at a time per day.

 

What's different now?  It's too systemic to even begin to describe in detail.  We're easily twice as productive now than back then, and yet we put in more hours of work than ever instead of taking some well-deserved time off to reap the benefits of this improved efficiency (the average American sleeps for less than 6.5 hours per night, and more than half of all Americans now fail to take all of their vacation days, while 30 per cent of Americans use less than half their allotted vacation time); people have higher incomes and yet unhappiness is at an all-time high; we have instant communication to any location on earth and people are more connected to communications networks (cell phones, land lines, email, etc.) than ever before, and yet we have less in-person communication and become isolated, and divorce rates are through the roof; education spending per-capita in the US is near the top of the worldwide list and yet we score way down the list in actual test results; more wealth exists than at any time in history, and yet 75% is controlled by the richest 10% by population, autism is being diagnosed in record numbers; we're popping pills for every ailment the pharmaceutical companies can invent, as fast as they can invent them; we have 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's prisoners...

It goes on and on.  Quite frankly, society as a whole is dysfunctional.  It's not surprising that this trickles down to the youth.  But to be quite honest, despite everything that is wrong, most individuals are well-balanced enough that a game won't affect them.  It is only the maladjusted and already imbalanced individuals who can't differentiate between games and reality, or who can but choose to emulate violence in games.  It is a tiny fraction of the hardcore gamer demographic (which is smaller than the casual gamer demographic), which is a smaller demographic of the entire gamer demographic, which itself is still a smaller demographic of the entire population.  We're talking about a percentage of a percentage of a percentage of a percentage here.  It's just the 24-hour news cycle that blasts everything out of proportion.

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someuid

I would probably start looking at other issues, such as more income in the households compared to 50 years ago, making a gun more available.

School is a lot rougher these days?  I didn't have security guards and metal detectors in my school and when I first saw them at my sister's school, I was pretty surprised by it.  What a difference 8 years makes.

We've also had years and years of violent TV to influence us.  The news brings lots of violence into our living rooms.

And with more people in the US now, that small minoity of people who would cause violence like this increase.  If there is a 1 in 100,000 chance, and you have 100,000 people in a city, you can expect 1 attack.  If you have 1,000,000 people in a city, you can expect 10 attacks.  This is of course amplified with round-the-clock and national/global news outlets, making sure you don't miss hearing about a every attack.

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SeverianSilk

I lol'd at this... again. I wrote a highschool paper on violence in video games. At the time, it was pointed out that the kids who participated in the Columbine shooting played Doom. Well, 1,000,000 other folks played the game and didn't do the same thing. If 1 out of 1 million or, now, more folks have a violent reaction to something who play video games is a true statistic then. well. it's NOT THE DAMN VIDEO GAMES that's the problem. It's those kids that are totally messed up from something else. Geeze. They have a problem with their dad or something. It's not games. We all play them and go to work and live perfectly normal lives. Those few exceptions are just malformed idiots. Cmon now folks. It's easy to see.

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nealtse

That's a pretty big step from a country that required Left For Dead to have all the fun bits removed before it could be imported. 

 

Side note: I'm pretty sure the "Geico" gecko is cockney, not Oz.

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