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Thread: Fairly Large Longitudinal Study About Gaming and Violence

  1. #1
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Fairly Large Longitudinal Study About Gaming and Violence

    Yes, I'm not sure why I still bother to make new topics now, but it's probably going to draw some more attention with its own flashy title.

    The Guardian has featured a longitudinal study that uses data from the Children of the 90s survey to investigate possible links between violent games and a specific disorder linked to aggressive behaviour. Here are the first two paragraphs:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...nd-this-is-why

    In 1976, the driving simulation Death Race was removed from an Illinois amusement park. There had, according to a news story at the time, been complaints that it encouraged players to run over pedestrians to score points. Through a series of subsequent newspaper reports, the US National Safety Council labelled the game “gross” and motoring groups demanded its removal from distribution. The first moral panic over video game violence had begun.

    This January, a group of four scholars published a paper analysing the links between playing violent video games at a young age and aggressive behaviour in later life. The titles mentioned in the report are around 15-years-old – one of several troubling ambiguities to be found in the research. Nevertheless, the quality and quantity of the data make this an uncommonly valuable study. Given that game violence remains a favoured bogeyman for politicians, press and pressure groups, it should be shocking that such a robust study of the phenomenon is rare. But it is, and it’s important to ask why.
    Probably the most important thing is that there was a weak correlation found between violent gaming and conduct disorder, even when corrected for other variables. Uncertainty was however rather high and the total number of diagnosed people in the sample very small. So there is possibly a link, but it doesn't seem strong at all.

    There are limits to the methodology, as the authors note. On both ends of the link 'measuring' wasn't exactly what they'd find ideal, as diagnosing might be off and the classification of violent games was also inexact. The authors question the value of classifying by genre in these studies when you probably want to isolate factors like violent content and other specific ones instead and the genres in the data set left much to be desired regardless. Also, this being based on survey data that wasn't specifically designed for this purpose, there is no double-blind set-up and the possibility of self-selection is very high (not noted in the Guardian article, though maybe it was in the study).

    On the other hand, the content in the study was quite old, so there are valid questions about how comparable games from back then are to modern games. However, these questions have been around in 2000 as well, which may hint that recentism is the real factor here (I'd hazard a guess that the risk of holding recent games to an unfair standard seems high, but realism remains a possible (probable?) important factor that is underinvestigated).

    Overall, the results are probably not a nail in anyone's coffin, but it is disconfirming evidence to extreme claims featured in tabloid hysteria.

    Please read at least the article in The Guardian before commenting.

  2. #2
    Assist Trophy astroninja1's Avatar
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    Re: Fairly Large Longitudinal Study About Gaming and Violence

    As far as the article itself goes, I dont really have anything to add that the article didnt already cover. However I do believe the media should banned from speculating on court cases because it often leads to false conclusions and a stigma against the defendant even if they end up proven innocent. This is relevant to how Manhunt was banned despite having been concluded to have no influence or relevance to the case that it was banned over
    Last edited by astroninja1; March 10th, 2016 at 10:59 AM.

  3. #3
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Fairly Large Longitudinal Study About Gaming and Violence

    That's probably a non-starter in the UK, given how powerful and unethical the (mostly right-wing) gutter press is. After all, they have spun the enquiry into hackings by the press as persecution and the broadsheets of the right even followed them in that.

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