Did "Hannibal" prevent you from beating your wife?

The authors of

Does movie violence cause violent crime?

noting that lab experiments don’t answer the important questions and that correlations between violent crime and media exposure don’t establish causality (CRAZY talk), ask whether violent crime increases when violent blockbusters are released. They find that violent blockbusters decrease the incidence of violent crime, which, they suggest, may simply be because people drink less on nights they go to the movies.

Examing Table 1 in the Appendix, I think the results aren’t surprising, because watching “Gladiator” would not incite me to violence to nearly the extent that “You’ve got Mail” or “Birdcage” would.

Umm. I drink more when I go to the movies. I watch bad movies. :(

Your people are different. Drunken singing in the Fatherland, along with the attendant restrictive leather shortpants, do not lend themselves well to violence. No amount of weapon brandishing or jocular posturing will ever lead to even a shed tear and skinned knee in liebe Deutschland. On the other hand, your people can be whipped into a screeching frenzy sufficient to sustain troops on a fifty day march to invade their neighbors by the mere thought of crisply folded khaki pants.

“Hannibal” did stop me from eating my…

Aw, nevermind.

On the other hand, a working paper by one of the same authors appears to show that exposure to the Super Bowl does cause you to beat your wife, particularly if you’re drinking, and particularly if your team loses:

Professional sports and domestic violence.

The paper doesn’t appear to actually exist yet; the link is to the tables and figures, from which I gleaned the above. Here’s how domestic assaults vary on the the three weeks surrounding the Super Bowl:

I assume Craig T. Anderson will start a new crusade in the popular media to ban the Super Bowl rather than video games.

That’s one assault per half-million people in the US associated with the Super Bowl. 600 total annual Super Bowl assaults.

Do we need to start with straw men already? Craig (A.) Anderson has published a lot on gaming and violence, appeared as a talking head, and given information to Congress. Can you find any evidence that he has advocated an outright ban on video games? As far as I can tell, he wants better rating systems, less ability for minors to obtain violent games without parental consent, and more education (especially to kids and parents) on the effects of media exposure to violence.

You may disagree with his findings, but there’s a world of difference between what Anderson’s advocating and the position of extreme folks like Jack Thompson.

That’s 600 families ruined because of the Super Bowl. Think of the children! Ban football!

Change that to “crusade against violent video games” if you prefer, Sidd. Does Jack Thompson actually propose banning video games? Is there really a big difference between his policy recommendations and Anderson’s (serious question)?

I don’t really know. I don’t pay much attention to Thompson after reading his statements filled with hyperbole and conclusions that inappropriately generalize from research findings. I find Anderson’s studies to be both theoretically and empirically consistent with prior work.

You explicitly linked Anderson’s name to a crusade for a ban on video games earlier in this thread, and I believe that was an unsupported claim. I threw out Thompson’s name as an extremist who may well have called for a ban, but we can leave Thompson out of it. You still have yet to substantiate your claim that Anderson called for a ban on any kind of game or media. I guess you could call age restrictions on the sale of certain violent games a ban.

If that’s what you meant, I apologize, but you seemed to me to be overgeneralizing and dismissive of Anderson’s findings and recommendations.

Much like the NRA must fight tooth and nail against any encroachment on their 2nd amendment rights, we gamers feel obliged to fight against any and all restrictions on video game sales, no matter how reasonable they may seem on the surface.

Or do you want to live in a world where children can’t shoot virtual hookers in the face after having virtual sex? I sure don’t.

Geez, Sidd, I already retracted the specious “ban” comment.

Anderson’s work is low quality and the way he presents it in the popular media is completely irresponsible. Perhaps you missed the big goofy thread in which I elaborated on that claim in some detail.

I apologize – you did take out “ban” in your follow-up post.

I missed the earlier thread; these days, I usually avoid Qt3 thread topics discussing studies that report any negative influence of gaming. After reading the thread, it’s obvious we disagree on overall findings in this area. We agree that more longitudinal work would be quite helpful.