Video games cause violence. And so does giving Child-Soldiers Ak-47s in Africa. And so does marauding invaders attacking your village. And maybe living in Baghdad does. And maybe kids watching their Dad’s beat the living shit out of their Moms.
Insecure Dads who take their kids out to waste rabbits and deer with a rifle and then get drunk. Lets do a study on that.
These studies are so ridiculous. We have so many other issues going on in this nation and yet we worry that little Johnny is violent for playing Street Fighter Super Edition.
Right now some old lady is yelling “Sweet Jumpin’ Jesus!” after reading that article and scolding her grandchild for playing Tetris.
Fox News calls “Timeshift” a game to avoid? Really? I thought this was about violence, not “meh” factor.
Man, now I miss lawn darts. My grandfather always hated the new ones with the plastic tips and had a fairly illegal steel tipped set brought out at all the family gatherings. “They just don’t stick right, it’s not the same! These ones are more fun, they balance better.”
A modest proposal: Exposing impressionable minds to violence might leave an impression. Given a lack of clear evidence either way on this issue, it’s not unreasonable to limit children’s exposure to violent media.
And it might better prepare them for facing nasty situations, thus leaving them with a better ability to deal with them.
We can second-guess out our backsides all we like, but I don’t see how that’s going to help your kids. It’s not a “Well, the worst it can do is nothing” because that’s a load of tosh. At the very least you’re cutting them out of possible social circles due to a likely imagined threat.
People are always looking to blame something that’s both ubiquitous and not-well-understood. See previous “scares” related to cell phone transmissions, stem cells, nuclear power, and fluoride. If anything, this article shows how ignorant most of America is; the reporting simply matches their level.
Exactly. I don’t think that allowing a kid to play GTA is going to turn him into a fucking monster, but a parent allowing the kid to play GTA is generally indicative of a bigger problem.
The example I used had to do with slasher flicks rather than video games, but I think it applies well enough. That kid’s parents let him do whatever he wanted, including watching movies with full gore, considerable profanity and, uh, “adult themes” at a pretty young age. While I’m not an expert on the subject, I do think that the considerable exposure he had to that sort of stuff impacted his social development.
I wholeheartedly agree with that. Kids do need some healthy outlets for their violent urges, and I don’t see why video games can’t be one of them. Hell, I know that playing network DOOM was a great way to release some competitive frustration when I was in middle school. More satisfying than being on the chess team, at least. :P
Unlike some here, I’ve actually read the research. It’s flawed in several ways. However, many of the arguments against the idea (even those made in this forum) are far more flawed because they are fallacies. At least the researchers are trying to figure out a connection. Some videogamers dismiss the idea before even looking at the evidence.
The claim is probabilistic, not sufficient. No one is claiming that everyone who plays video games will be violent, so the fact that you aren’t violent proves nothing. Quit mentioning it. It’s not relevant. The claim is that violent video games increase your chances of being violent and/or increase aggressive tendencies.
Again, the research is flawed, but I recommend taking a logic class before offering your counter arguments.
Did you, uh, actually read what I wrote? I basically agreed with your assertion that the problem is due to boundaries – or lack thereof. I think that any parent who sets boundaries for his or her children will look at GTA or Manhunt and say, “This is not appropriate for my six year old.”
Yep, and that bothers me almost as much as the sensationalist media types who claim that video games turn kids into serial killers.
My observations have led me to conclude that kids will be influenced by the type of media they observe/interact with, but not necessarily in ways that would be immediately obvious.
For example, when I was a kid, there was a long pit behind one of the houses in the neighborhood; somebody had dredged up the soil there and never bothered to fill it back in. We, being dumb kids with nothing better to do, would get our toy guns and go pretend we were fighting out of a fox-hole. We were basically imitating stuff we’d seen in war movies. I’m not sure I can even assign a value – good or bad – to that sort of behavior, but it was certainly influenced by what we’d seen on TV.
As more relevant examples, we’d want to go play tackle football in the grass after watching a football game. We wanted to go beat the shit out of each other after watching The Karate Kid. Fortunately, mom signed us up for karate lessons and we had pads.
I think it’s perfectly normal for kids with lots of energy to be inspired by what they see on film (or play in a game) and want to imitate it as a way of burning off that energy.
I just sort of wonder what kind of things kids who had seen Conan at age six were doing. :P
Playing with wooden swords and running around in their underwear, I’m going to guess.
The article is interesting, but as always, two things should be noted. Violent people will be drawn to violent media, and humans are violent creatures.
Boys will wrestle or fight with sticks. By default. “I’m bored. Let’s wrestle!” “Okay!” It’s our nature as predators, if nothing else. That’s not to say we can’t be influenced to try new methods, of course. I’m sure medieval kids pretended to be knights or archers, we pretend to be soldiers or superheroes.
This is of course somewhat stereotyping genders, some girls wrestle some boys don’t etc., but it’s still all part of human nature. We’re predators and combative by nature. We’re violent and always fighting for territory and resources. Violent media is an extension of that.
Is it possible a game could influence someone impressionable to do something bad? Yeah, it’s possible, same as tv or books or heavy metal devil music. But generally there’s a solution called “parenting”, where a parent tells a kid “Don’t do that, it’ll get people hurt”, and knows a child can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Some kids are faster than others at that, and it’s up to the parent to decide when a kid is ready to move beyond Kirby Air Ride.
I agree, specifically “causation is not correlation”.
Even if they prove that a child that plays violent video games is more likely to be a violent adult, we still have a long way to go before we can say that one causes the other.
Maybe lax parents are more likely to allow their young children to play signifigant quantities of violent video games and lax parents are more likely to not instill the character in a child that keeps them from becoming a violent adult.
Maybe some people are just predisposed to violence and those people are more likely to play violent video games and become violent as adults.
ps. though I do have to admit a certain desire to jump on turtles whenever I see one.