Government Money Towards Studying Violent Video Games

from the how-does-it-impact-kids dept

I always try to keep an eye out for obviously biased studies, and I wonder how useful a study is likely to be when – before it’s even been set up, whoever is funding it is making judgmental statements about the topic. Senators Lieberman and Brownback are planning to introduce legislation to fund a study of how violent video games impact children. I have nothing against such a study, but this isn’t just being designed to see if it impacts children, but rather to prove the opinions of the two Senators. They made that clear as Lieberman is quoted as saying that violent video games that go against his values are “sick and indefensible”. So, he’s not even open to the idea (as some other studies have shown) that such violent video games act as an outlet to allow well-adjusted kids to get some anger out of their system in a healthy manner. This isn’t an impartial study that they’re trying to fund. They’re trying to cook up support for their viewpoint. It would be great if the end result of the study proved the Senators’ assumptions wrong, but somehow, that never seems to happen.

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Comments on “Government Money Towards Studying Violent Video Games”

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dorpus says:

Sounds just like "alternative medicine"

Real scientists know that “alternative” medicine is all just hokum, but a Utah senator who likes bee pollen remedies forced the NIH to create an alternative medicine research institute, designed to pump out pro-alternative propaganda. People with criminal backgrounds for practicing medicine illegally were hired to lead the institute.

Perhaps this episode could be viewed as a warning for some IT professionals with their elitist, anti-social attitudes to not piss off the rest of society.

One legitimate result that might come out of the study is that video games make people tense up around the neck and shoulders, and is harmful to health.

corners says:

Violent Media and Violence by Kids

Anybody interested in this topic (and not simply interested in promulgating hysteria about how horrible it is that this stuff continues when we “know” bad media begets bad behavior), must read “Killing Monsters” by Gerard Jones.

Jones does a wonderful job of debunking the popular press and pop psychologists–including the seminal study that all the others keep referring to as evidence of the “obvious” answer.

Great book and a real eye opener.

Gamer says:

No Subject Given

“It would be great if the end result of the study proved the Senators’ assumptions wrong, but somehow, that never seems to happen.”

Yes it would be great if their assumptions are proven wrong, and it has happened before. Remember the Surgeon General’s report that came out in 2001, which was a study done because Bill Clinton and members of Congress asked the Surgeon General to conduct the study? The study said “The impact of violent video games on behavior has yet to be determined” and that media violence has very little to no effect in behavior. What did the lawmakers do? They swept the study under the rug and pretended like it doesn’t even exist, yet the study gave them what they allegedly wanted to know: Why violence occurs and how to prevent it. It seems like since they found out it didn’t say what they wanted it to say about media, they completely ignored it, yet their reason for the study was to find out the causes and prevention of violence, and the study gave them just that and more. If the studies that these stubborn, Fascist lawmakers are now sponsoring show the same results as the Surgeon General’s study, look for them to sweep those studies under the rug as well.

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