New Research Can't Find Any Link Between Video Games And Violence

from the keep-searching dept

We’ve already seen that, since the rise in popularity of violent video games, reports of youth violence have dropped significantly — suggesting that one is unlikely to be causing the other. Now we have another academic study that looks specifically at whether or not violent video games resulted in violent activities and and couldn’t find any connection. The researcher admits that there could be one, but that it simply wasn’t shown in the data. Still, this seems unlikely to stop those who are profiting off the claims that video games do lead to violent activity.

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Comments on “New Research Can't Find Any Link Between Video Games And Violence”

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dorpus says:

Don't Laugh Too Soon

In their time, theories that claimed asbestos causes cancer, sexual abuse is widespread, peptic ulcers is caused by bacteria rather than stress, et al were regarded as crackpot theories put forth by foaming-at-the-mouth researchers with Marxist agendas. It took many years of longitudinal studies, often with minimal funding, to prove that the theories are in fact true.

In Japan/South Korea, where video games are even more popular among children, there have been dramatic increases in youth violence, and suspected developmental problems as kids stay up late playing games, disrupting normal endocrine function. There have been exponential increases in pediatric psychiatric problems, as psychotic teens have been commiting crimes that would shock even Americans, e.g. throwing a 4-year-old off of a building roof and bragging about it on the internet afterwards.

Incidentally, Japanese scientists used to argue in the 1980s that Japanese are “immune” to asbestos because of their genetic superiority. It turns out they aren’t, and thousands of people throughout Japan are now known to have died of asbestos-induced cancer. In the past few months, schools, office buildings, and train stations throughout the country have been frantically ripping out asbestos.

Anon says:

Re: Don't Laugh Too Soon

The only studies I’ve seen that show any relation to agression also show that playing non-violent games have the same reaction. Playing Super Mario can crank up a child’s agressiveness just as much as GTA.

There’s a difference between regarding a theory as crackpot, and actually disproving that theory.

What to be careful is when looking too close at indirect evidence, such as staying up late playing games causing developmental problems. That, then, is evidence that children without normal bedtimes have developmental problems.

Japan has had a higher average than US of teen suicide. They also have a much more demanding education system compared with the US. While one could then say, School causes Suicide, that’s a big step, and overlooks the actual factors. Just because 2 things increase concurrently, doesn’t mean they are directly related. They could be, but there must be a controlled study to determine that.

scythe says:

Re: Re: Don't Laugh Too Soon

Are you serious? there’s a huge difference in GTA and Super Mario. In super mario you jump on goomba’s heads, in GTA you carjack and kill people. Sure you can get caught by the cops but at worst you’ll just start over without the items you had on hand.

Here’s the thing I immediately see about this survey. While violence has gone down, violence in games has gone up and I suspect that the violent kids are playing these violent games and using that as an outlet. As soon as you take away the violent game or they get bored of it without a reasonable replacement, we’ll see a huge surge in violence like in Japan.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that the kids that committed the horific acts at columbine played Doom all night? Now we have far worse games than that, GTA, Manhunt, Doom, they’re all worse than the original doom. How can we expect to throw these extreme acts of violence at kids and not expect them to react?

final question, why do you think the Army invested millions of dollars into making a video game recruiting tool? The people who play these games make the ultimate soldiers because they are so psychologically screwed up about violence.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Don't Laugh Too Soon

As for the argument that Japan/Korea has higher suicide rates because of their education system, their schools have become less demanding in recent years, but suicide rates, psychiatric problems, and youth crime rates have gone up anyway. There is a clear trend of teens using the internet as a catalyst for their crimes, too — making arrangements, finding out how to do it, bragging about it afterwards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Don't Laugh Too Soon

Maybe it’s stress. Maybe the world works an average of 2-3 hours/day more now than we did 20 years ago. Maybe some people can’t take all the hard work, lack of sleep, and lack of relaxation/release. Maybe there is some undiscovered random chemical coming from our most popular cleaning products or undiscovered radiation from our computer monitors that makes some of us completely snap and go on killing spree’s without explanation.


That is if you actually want to try to blame it on something else. The bottom line is that some people are evil and messed up in the head. There have always been lunatics, killers, and violent people and there always will be. We all have violent thoughts at some points in our lives but we learn to control them as any decent human being should.

There is no point in “protecting against terrorists” because just as many of them live in the US. The world is a horrible place because people make it that way. It’s a chain reaction that starts long before any fad of a popular video game.

Do you really want an outside source to blame violence on?
Do you really want to stop violence?

Yeah that’s right. Maybe if you didn’t laugh at, judge, bully, put down, or treat others like crap because it makes you feel better about yourself or advances your career, then maybe Bob wouldn’t be having a bad day and go home and beat his wife and kid; his kid that grows up to beat his own children; his children that hate the world and beat up the little kids in school until they come with a gun one day and shoot.

How many possible scenarios are there and where might they start?

It’s a very complicated combination of scenarios that take place over decades that determine why people (or even groups of people) do the evil things they do.

STOP, just STOP. You don’t like the violence? Well chances are, you are a major indirect part of the problem.

Just think about it.
It’s not the video games. The problems are more complicated than that.

If it is the video games, why hasn’t EVERY child or young adult committed a violent and/or illegal crime?

some kid says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Don't Laugh Too Soon by zack myers

My parents wont let me play “M” games but that certainly does not prevent me from playing them at friends house or buying them without my parents consent. Just because kids aren’t allowed to play M games doesn’t necessarily mean they wont.

like i said, i play M games without my parents consent(Mother’s mostly, my dad thinks they’re actually funny) but i am not violent and i know that i have to take responsabillity for my actions. Actually, im a really nice guy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Don't Laugh Too Soon

Hey Dorpus, how about you drop the “studies?”

Do you realize that for each and every “study” that is done to prove a point, there are a thousand more that are never done (because someone didn’t think to do it) and could be combined to make YOUR studies FALSE?

Just because a study has been done comparing two slightly linked subjects, this does not prove it to be 100% correct.

And the examples you’ve used in your comment are COMPLETELY unrelated to the claims being made against violence in youth and video games.

Violence in youth (especially in linking it to games) is a completely psychological issue. Psychological issues can be the result of far too many random chance occurance(s) in a person’s life (or their parents’) to be pinpointed. And for you to compare this with the PHYSICAL dangers of linking cancer to the substance asbestos, or with informing the public that domestic abuse is widespread, or that shit about ulcers being cause by bacteria is absurd. These are all PHYSICAL issues people questioned – as they had the right to before they were PROVEN!

You can do all the calculations and math and probability you want on a subject based of the studies of a SMALL % of the whole group. It isn’t going to prove a thing with all the unknown CHEMICALS in our brains that make us as humans do the things we do. NOBODY KNOWS EXACTLY HOW THE HUMAN BRAIN WORKS.

Tackling psychological or sociological issues such as why people are violent is far too complex to be a single linked issue such as ‘kids playing video games.’

If you had any common sense at all, you’d realize that even if every violent form of media on the planet were destroyed and suppressed forever (say goodbye to CNN and FOXnews too), not only would there still be violent people, there would most likely be even more.

People that push their propaganda on others with pointless “studies” like DORPUS does are the problem with the world.

Enlightenment for DORPUS:
Humans don’t know everything, there will ALWAYS be an unknown.

All I am really saying is there will always be someone pushing an idea based off of their EMOTIONAL FEELINGS (not logical) on a subject. This is a great example, along with spirituality, abortion, sexual preferences, the wars we fight, drugs, file sharing, etc, etc, et-freakin-c.

Lucky for the world, there is also always someone out there to call these clowns on their BULLSHIT.

FungalLord says:

Re: methodology suspect

I don’t know if there truly is a direct correlation between crime and video gaming (though I suspect there is), but one thing that is important to remember in relation to Japan in particular, is that the amount of reported crime is far lower than the amount of crime.

Additionally, in countries like Japan where, though video gaming is a massive market, exposure to the potential dangers of violent gaming and its resulting escalation to violent criminal activity is not well known. Indeed, culture-wise, it this connection has never been mentioned in the news.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: methodology suspect

Are you kidding me? They’ve invented a word for it, “geemu nou” (the game brain).

If they haven’t produced much research on the topic yet, it’s because their psychiatry programs are very primitive. The word is spreading to the masses that mental health counseling is not just for knife-wielding maniacs, and cities are just now starting to offer counseling services for domestic violence, etc.

That said, police agencies, everyone agrees that rates of youth violence, mental problems are rising. The justice system is a joke, allowing violent offenders to walk away after short prison terms, so they come back and commit worse crimes.

Aditya Mukherjee (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: methodology suspect

you know what sucks? people who don’t understand jack and come out with a study and then go ranting off on the web, just because its an open portal to voice incoherent and non-sensicle opinions.
there are so many ways of saying the same things, which the comment wth the various similarities (2nd or 3rd) has proven.
there is no way people can connect games and violence in real life. if there are people out there who confuse between the simulated and real, well, they need to get their heads checked. you can’t generalise by saying just because one guy did it, everyone has the tendency to do the same thing. im 17 years old, have played probably every violent game out there (and have enjoyed them thoroughly), including games with the realism of Full Spectrum Warrior, Counter-Strike… to the madness of Painkiller and insanity of F.E.A.R. but hey, do i go around my school with a gun in hand picking of my teachers and classmates? hell no!
there is something called responsibility and maturity… and that is something studies will never show. someones mental aptitude can’t be judged by tests.
i hope people wake up to face the facts soon enough…!

and all you people out there confucting these studies, please, get something better to do! get a goddamn life!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 methodology suspect

Well said ! I’ve been playin doom, quake, c&c and their numerous sequals or spin offs all of which simulate pretty violent acts since i was about 13-14. Have i even so much as thought of attempting these extreme acts of violence in the real world ? never!

People need to wake up to the real facts here. It looks to me like this is just another way of knockin yet another new technology and blaming it for things that would more then likely have only occured anyway (see – films , internet and mobile phones as just a few other examples) If anyone has problems distinguishing between what is acceptable in the real world and what is ok in a game they need their head checked and would more then likely have gone off on a gun toting rampage anway.

But, while some of you guys are off blaming video games for influencing peoples actings why not ban the sims (encourages free and unprotected sex) worms (they blow the hell out of each other too ya know) or even any racing game (encouraging fast driving well over any national speed limit). Come on guys – sort it out !!

JAck says:

Re: Re: Re:3 methodology suspect

I suppose libraries have experienced a massive growth in visitors since the first search engines were launched – after all, they brainwash users to search for knowledge.

This is the same discussion we had a hundreds of times before. First it was comics – then it was the movies – now it’s video games.

I a couple of years it’s going to be something different.

Anonymous Coward says:




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