Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 24th Jul 2006 18:44 UTC, submitted by Mugshot link
Games Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence. "The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence."
Order by: Score:
...
by Mitarai on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:00 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

The same with violent movies, the same with violent news, the same with your violent next room mate.

Some studies just probe the obvius.

Reply Score: 5

yea
by deanlinkous on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:01 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Is that so hard to believe. I don't necessarily believe that it causes or encourages violent behavior but at the very least it would desensitize you to violence whether in a game or real life. Same goes for other aspects of life as well. If I see someone treat someone very rudely then I am shocked because I am not use to such, yet others are use to such behavior. I still dont think overall it is detrimental, yet it may one day become just that. Can we make warm fuzzy friendly games interesting, exciting, and addictive to reverse the direction we have been going?

Reply Score: 1

RE: yea
by Celerate on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:46 UTC in reply to "yea"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"I still dont think overall it is detrimental, yet it may one day become just that."

I disagree, it is detrimental now.

I can't stand to watch violent movies. Besides the script being of no better quality than mass produced harloquin novels, the gorish content is disgusting. The effects of exposure to violence are very real, my friends at school would talk about someone's face being burned off with a torch in the latest gore movie like it was perfectly normal, but I'd be disgusted by the very thought.

Being the intelligent, moral human being that I am, I cannot defend the likes of movies like Hostel, or games like GTA. Not because these present sex and violence, but because they venture far into the extremes. However, not a day goes by where I don't see people ready to defend their right to rape and kill a stripper, or watch someone's fingers and toes get cut off with a pair of bolt cutters as long as it's not in real life. Years ago you couldn't see advertisements in which people were being violently mutilated or tortured during normal daytime TV, but now unless you only watch YTV and the weather network there's no way to avoid it.

I don't care if I get modded down for this. Heinous crimes are neither normal, nor part of "social evolution" as some may call it, whether in games, movies, your own fantasies, or reality. Sadly the GTA crowd have a point, it's up to parents to raise their kids properly, not the law, and these days most parents couldn't possibly care less.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: yea
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: yea"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree, it is detrimental now.

I can't stand to watch violent movies. Besides the script being of no better quality than mass produced harloquin novels, the gorish content is disgusting.


You don't like them, so their content must be of inferior quality? Not exactly the reasoning of an adult.

The effects of exposure to violence are very real, my friends at school would talk about someone's face being burned off with a torch in the latest gore movie like it was perfectly normal, but I'd be disgusted by the very thought.

The sole detriment you can offer is that the concept disgusts you? It's great to see that the argument has evolved from "Won't somebody please think of the children?" to "Won't somebody please think of my poor, delicate sensibilities?"

Being the intelligent, moral human being that I am, I cannot defend the likes of movies like Hostel, or games like GTA.

Good to see you have no problem with self-congratulation, though.

However, not a day goes by where I don't see people ready to defend their right to rape and kill a stripper, or watch someone's fingers and toes get cut off with a pair of bolt cutters as long as it's not in real life.

That's funny - I was just thinking that not a day goes by when I don't see people who are disingenuous enough to equate a fictional depiction of violence with an actual violent act.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: yea
by antwarrior on Mon 24th Jul 2006 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yea"
antwarrior Member since:
2006-02-11

Oh come now Mr. StephenBeDoper. You are not being serious now are you ? I mean is at absolutely necessary to be (childishly ? )pedantic about other peoples post. Any ADULT can read and understand what the poster is driving at or trying to say without being picky about the way it is delivered.

"That's funny - I was just thinking that not a day goes by when I don't see people who are disingenuous enough to equate a fictional depiction of violence with an actual violent act."

The original article is really about desensitisation to violent images, so let's not veer of track and start talking about the acting of violence.So hey I don't think any would disagree with what you just said but nobody was really saying the converse.

Now I am speaking of my personal experience and I am sure some people here know what I am talking about. CSI is a perfect example of desensitisation through media ( in this case TV), I can now take real life gore because of CSI alone. If you show me a dead body that has been bloating because the corpse is decomposing slowly in humid weather, all I would do is wrinkle my nose because of the smell. The site won't disgust me. People lying dead in the street don't disgust me.

It doesn't make me a freak or a mass murder, it just makes me another one those desensitised people that pass you on the street on a day to basis.....so please don't tell me that media does not change us. It does. It takes away our sensitivity but it can't take away our responsibility

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: yea
by aesiamun on Tue 25th Jul 2006 08:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: yea"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

That's funny because I can watch a movie like hostel, or a show like CSI and see their simulated gore and it not bother me, but the site of someone getting hit by a 18wheeler on the highway makes me want to vomit. There's an actual psychological difference between real violence and fictional violence. The brain knows the difference. At least mine does.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: yea
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 25th Jul 2006 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: yea"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Ditto. As a special effects junky, the primary thing going through my mind when watching film gore is "I wonder how the filmmakers did that?" I abhor actual violence though and find video of real-life violence to be quite unpleasant - E.g., I definitely could have done without the public execution footage in Fahrenheit 911.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: yea
by Celerate on Mon 24th Jul 2006 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yea"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"You don't like them, so their content must be of inferior quality? Not exactly the reasoning of an adult. "

I take it you were offended, and so tried to offend me. Try not to comment about my age until you can post like an adult yourself.

Consider this, we have endless horror and gore movies, in fact we've had them for as long as we've had the special effects to pull off something remotely convincing to a lay public. From the point where such movies have come out they've become less and less original, the plots and monsters are being modified each time but they're still recycled. At this point each new horror/gore movie has lived off the improved special effects and variations, that is the selling point and the reason people go to watch it.

The parallel between these and the romance novels is very visible: both recycle the existing stories, mixing and matching and changing some details to come up with something that seems new but not unfamiliar. With every new horror/gore movie you can cite at least one predecessor which used the same plot. As far as my comparisson goes it's not a matter of how good the language is in one or the other, but the fact that each new title is only just original enough to make you want to see it.

All books and movies seem familiar after you've seen or read so many, but as far as the horror/gore genre goes it happens so frequently that it can easily be compared to the haloquin romance genre, perhaps because there are only so many ways to scare people any more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: yea
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 25th Jul 2006 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: yea"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"You don't like them, so their content must be of inferior quality? Not exactly the reasoning of an adult. "

I take it you were offended, and so tried to offend me.


You flatter yourself. If I had wanted to offend you, I would have taken aim at your "I don't believe in evolution" silliness.

Consider this, we have endless horror and gore movies, in fact we've had them for as long as we've had the special effects to pull off something remotely convincing to a lay public. From the point where such movies have come out they've become less and less original, the plots and monsters are being modified each time but they're still recycled. At this point each new horror/gore movie has lived off the improved special effects and variations, that is the selling point and the reason people go to watch it.

If you reduce everything to those sorts of general terms, then your point can be applied to just about any genre in any medium. I've seen no evidence that that tendency is any more inherent to horror/gore films than to any other cinematic genre, nor have you presented any.

What makes that argument troublesome, however, is that you inevitably end up comparing the revered classics of a genre to the current crop (99% of which probably won't be remembered in 5 years time). Just because Shakespeare is one of the only playwrights who is remembered from Elizabethan England, it doesn't mean that there wasn't a multitude of lousy plays being written and performed at the same time.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: yea
by deanlinkous on Tue 25th Jul 2006 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE: yea"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

"I disagree, it is detrimental now. "
I was talking more about the article where adults were being studied. I don't think most adults are detrimentally desensitized right now. I think the study was to define and understand the problem but it isn't likely to be detrimental to that age group. The problem is manifesting in our children not so much us as adults.

This is a huge discussion and I think will actually play a part in defining our future.

What kind of message does going to war send?

Reply Score: 2

Just remembered
by Dr-ROX on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:13 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

I've just remembered those 'crazy angry gamer' videos from internet, where children and even adults turns crazy when playing or especially when they are not allowed to play or their computer crashes ;)

Some of them...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9HKoJmd3ZM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4535339736414711626
http://www.guzer.com/videos/angry_gamer2.php

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just remembered
by Celerate on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:03 UTC in reply to "Just remembered"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

I remember getting mad at my parents for taking my Nintendo away every time I got frustrated enough at a game to start swearing, throwing anything, or smacking the TV. Because of that I learned how to take a break every time that happened, because taking a ten minute break was better than having the Nintendo taken away for 24 hrs.

I'm amazed that the kid in the second video can yell so loud without his parents hearing it. Of course like many parents they may simply have made a habit of not hearing it. Either way I'm glad I didn't turn out like him.

Reply Score: 2

cartoons too
by Eugenia on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:19 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

Personally, when and if I ever have a child, he/she won't be allowed to violent entertainment, and that includes these "modern" cartoons on TV. Have you actually watched CartoonTV or Nickelodeon? Their toon series are far from entertaining and funny like MickeyMouse, Tom&Jerry or BugsBunny were 40 years ago. They are BORING and have extreme violence wrapped in beautiful colors.

Puzzle, strategy, old-style and platform computer games will be on my child's menu, but no FPS or other 3D violent games. Same goes for movies (especially horror movies, some good action movies are ok).

Reply Score: 1

RE: cartoons too
by orfanum on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:59 UTC in reply to "cartoons too"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Tom and jerry was all about violence, threat and revenge - Bugs Bunny may have acted in a manner that was more 'civilized' than that of Ren and Stimpy, but there were plenty of guns being turned against poor Mr Fudd - spot on with Mickey Mouse though...unless someone wants to correct me...

it's a bit of an old chestnut but did Ivan the Terrible play computer games, or read horror novels? I think rationalists/scientists are in a double-bind - how do you on the one hand defend evolution, but at the same time look askance at the poor endocrine-driven behaviour that comes of being rather territorial apes? One must not forget one's simian heritage, as the descendant of the adding machine had it...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: cartoons too
by Celerate on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: cartoons too"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"evolution, but at the same time look askance at the poor endocrine-driven behaviour that comes of being rather territorial apes?"

IMO evolution is no excuse, even if you believe in it. I don't believe in evolution, but lets pretend I did just for this argument. The point of evolution is that people change, and the good changes win over the bad changes. Do you consider an increasingly stressed, violent society to be a step up from calm and peaceful?

"it's a bit of an old chestnut but did Ivan the Terrible play computer games, or read horror novels?"

Just because you can present examples of violence without the same cause doesn't mean that kids should be allowed to play GTA from the time they're old enough to hold a controller.

Of course people can tell the difference between reality and fantasy, so the effect isn't as bad. But when someone starts pounding on their equipment and screaming out swear words the effects become very obvious.

This study only proves what people have known from the time kids have played violent games. The more people are exposed to extremes, the more those extremes seem normal to those people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: cartoons too
by indech on Mon 24th Jul 2006 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cartoons too"
indech Member since:
2005-12-06

"IMO evolution is no excuse, even if you believe in it. I don't believe in evolution, but lets pretend I did just for this argument. The point of evolution is that people change, and the good changes win over the bad changes. Do you consider an increasingly stressed, violent society to be a step up from calm and peaceful?"

Actually, in a way, yes. Consider that in basic idea of life there are two goals, survival and reproduction. Now consider a situation where there are two animals, and only enough food for one of them to survive. This situation encourages the animals to be aggressive in order to ensure their survival. Likewise, in capitalism people need to be aggressive to gain and keep their jobs, among other things.

Extreme and uncessary violence in society could be a step backwards in many ways, but stress and aggression is something that is embedded into survival. A perfectly calm and peaceful society is as unobtainable as an ideal utopian communistic society.

And on another note, I can't wait to see how politicians misuse this study to their advantage.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: cartoons too
by Celerate on Tue 25th Jul 2006 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: cartoons too"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"Actually, in a way, yes."

I see this turning into a stalemate if we're both good sports, or a very long argument if we're not. We could both easily be right when arguing this on the premise of evolution.

"Extreme and uncessary violence in society could be a step backwards in many ways"

That was my implication the whole time, I play and enjoy such games as Age of Empires and Rise of Nations, even though there's implied violence in each. What I think is detrimental is excessive brutality in games, such as GTA which allows the player to rape and murder strippers.

"And on another note, I can't wait to see how politicians misuse this study to their advantage."

Even as someone who doesn't like GTA and it's particular game genre, I still agree that the gov't has no business controlling people's purchases. Parents need to get involved in rasing their kids a little, and that includes monitoring what games they play, and taking away the computer if the kids refuse to abide by the rules.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: cartoons too
by stormloss on Tue 25th Jul 2006 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: cartoons too"
stormloss Member since:
2005-08-03

"Celerate" said this meaning quip
* What I think is detrimental is excessive brutality in games, such as GTA which allows the player to rape and murder strippers.

By GTA you mean "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"
The biggest and greatest in Rockstar's series of the game so far, from a gamers play point of view.
The story line is based loosely on the L.A. riots, it is basically a western where an outsider comes in and drives the rats out of town.

You have clearly not played the game at all! And you have based your bias on lies and media reports, as there is NO raping of strippers in GTA:SA.
(The hot coffee hack only allows consenting "bad cardboard cut out" sex between the main character and his girlfriends)
And if you shoot down civilians or strippers in the game you get swat cars of police hunting you down quick smart.

So Celerate I would if I was you stick to operating system and not comment on things you know nothing about.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: cartoons too
by Celerate on Wed 26th Jul 2006 06:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: cartoons too"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"
So Celerate I would if I was you stick to operating system and not comment on things you know nothing about."


Yeah sure, because one minute you say you can't kill the strippers, and the next minute you say you can but then you get chased after by swat cars. You didn't prove me wrong, you just proved how easy it is to set you off.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: cartoons too
by stormloss on Wed 26th Jul 2006 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: cartoons too"
stormloss Member since:
2005-08-03

Celerate your dribbling from your mouth again,
Your facts on Rockstar's GTA are wrong you can not rape ANY character in the game.

And of course you don't know because you have NEVER played any of the GTA games.

Uwe Boll and yourself have much in common. haha

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: cartoons too
by orfanum on Tue 25th Jul 2006 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cartoons too"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

"The point of evolution is that people change, and the good changes win over the bad changes. Do you consider an increasingly stressed, violent society to be a step up from calm and peaceful? "

No, not at all ;-)! Good and bad here imply ethical judgements, whereas my take on evolution is that it is a question of the survival of the fittest: NOT of the most 'powerful' or 'violent', but in terms of what is most fitting in order to survive in any given niche. As another post put it (forgive me if I misremember, but I think this was the gist): in a capitalist society, stress and antagonism are inbuilt. For that matter, they are built into any society where the idea of maximum performance is emphasized (the Soviet Union was pretty keen on 'Slava' = "victory!").

"Just because you can present examples of violence without the same cause doesn't mean that kids should be allowed to play GTA from the time they're old enough to hold a controller. "

Agreed - but they should play a little bit, when they are ready. By recognizing that we are apes, I mean to say, we should in some way cater for the release of those hormonal antagonisms whose justified cultural suppression however just makes worse. It's interesting that in the early twentieth century, some pacifists realized that after WWI alternatives to war should be provided, for this very reason - necessary suppression of naturally induced states of animal agression will create an explosion, so let us let off a bit of steam.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: cartoons too
by PowerMacX on Tue 25th Jul 2006 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cartoons too"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

I don't believe in evolution

What's to 'believe'? Do you 'believe' in gravity?

OK, so why wouldn't you, because of lack of absolute proof? Yet you accept this study as "proving" something.

Let's see:
1. They expose some people to violent games and some to nonviolent games.
2. Then, they expose them to violent movies/TV scenes
3. They notice that the people who played violent videogames where more indiferent than those who didn't.

See the flaw in there? Here is the test they forgot to do:
1. Expose some people to a racing/sports game and other to some totally different games
2. Then expose them to a real sports TV show, matching whatever style of sport was used for the people that played sports games in the first part.
3. Notice how they don't get as interested as those who played solitaire/a RPG/etc.

Yeah, so this study 'proves' something, yet you think evolution requires faith... :/

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: cartoons too
by Ublis on Tue 25th Jul 2006 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cartoons too"
Ublis Member since:
2006-07-25

The point of evolution is that people change, and the good changes win over the bad changes. Do you consider an increasingly stressed, violent society to be a step up from calm and peaceful?

You don't believe in evolution, but you also seem to have no clue what it's about. It's not about "people change" (evolution doesn't deal with the development of species during their lifetime; e.g. if I learn a new skill, I have *not* 'evolved') and there's no such "good" versus "bad" judgement. The point of evolution is that based on random genetic mutations in the population and changes in the environment, some individuals will be better suited to survive *and breed* in that environment. These individuals will have more offspring than their less adapted brethren and those traits that make them suitable for that environment will be passed on to their offspring. Evolution does not go towards some perfect design, as "perfection" is continuously changing due to environmental changes (this includes changes in climate and such, but also evolution of competing/prey/predator species).

Also I should point out that evolution is a slow process - video games and violent TV are something that's been around for only about 30 years - that's a single generation for humans, nowhere near enough for them to influence the natural selection in any shape or form. Our violent tendencies have been with us since forever and we as a species have never been calm and peaceful.

Humans are unique in having evolved a brain and developed the ability to grasp this concept; this puts us in the position to fight against our violent tendencies - in this respect you're right that evolution is not an excuse. But as the popularity of violence shows, this is a very difficult fight for us.

But when someone starts pounding on their equipment and screaming out swear words the effects become very obvious.

Yes... but on the other hand, I know people can react in very unpleasant ways even when dealing with non-violent situations that excite them. Look for example at sports: there are several well-known tennis players (a sport where there is absolutely no physical contact; soccer, hockey, boxing and other contact sports have far worse incidents) who had very unpleasant attitudes when losing. Look at kids (even from before the videogame generation) when some other kid takes their toy, or when a parent refuses to buy some candy (or even just sends them to bed), leading to tremendous tantrums. How far this goes, depends on their education and temperament.

Using internet movies to prove a point is really silly, because they're self-selected samples - there's bound to be some people who can't handle the excitement and those are the ones ending up on the internet; nobody would be interesting in watching a movie about somebody losing and not caring.

This study only proves what people have known from the time kids have played violent games. The more people are exposed to extremes, the more those extremes seem normal to those people.

As I said above, kids (and adults) react funny to all kinds of things, not just videogames.
From TFA (haven't read the study, so I'm just assuming the article is a correct representation), the study only deals with short-term effects, and does this in a rather incomplete manner. For example it doesn't go into whether reading an illustrated newspaper, or watching violent news, or reading a violent thriller has the same effect. I agree, the study is aimed at videogames, but it's going to be used out of context, to fight videogames in specific, while the same effects may be visible after news broadcasts. Also I for one don't care that much about mild short-term effects (i.e. as long as people don't go shooting others after playing Doom 3).

Just because you can present examples of violence without the same cause doesn't mean that kids should be allowed to play GTA from the time they're old enough to hold a controller.

I agree on that one. But this is where parents should step in. The ones complaining should get off their couch and start educating their kids instead of watching TV the whole day or whatever they're doing, then blaming companies for making the games.

Edited 2006-07-25 18:04

Reply Score: 1

RE: cartoons too
by Ronald Vos on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:29 UTC in reply to "cartoons too"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you actually watched CartoonTV or Nickelodeon? Their toon series are far from entertaining and funny like MickeyMouse, Tom&Jerry or BugsBunny were 40 years ago. They are BORING and have extreme violence wrapped in beautiful colors.

From what I see, modern cartoons are indeed boring..and most don't have any violence. Warner Brother's cartoons on the other hand..
I remember a study that did a count on the number of acts of violence in cartoons. The numbers were quite shocking; before finishing elementary school, the average kid witnesses over 100k acts of violence (which includes lethal amounts of damage/pain, like what happens to Wiley E Coyote). See under 'Research':
http://www.ridgenet.org/szaflik/tvrating.htm

Also, the headline is erroneous, and the claim that it is the first study to prove anything couldn't be further from scientific truth. First of all, it's not the first study to show a connection (desensitisation is a long-known phenomenon), second of all, studies like this don't "prove", they make assumable a hypothesis on the basis of empirically verified correlations in a dataset, untill a better alternative hypothesis or theory presents itself. And that's all there is in this study: a correlation between 2 phenomenon.

Reply Score: 3

RE: cartoons too
by Get a Life on Mon 24th Jul 2006 21:42 UTC in reply to "cartoons too"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Classic cartoons are rife with depictions of and allusions to acts of violence. Indeed, they're exaggerated depictions of violence where engaging in violence has no repercussions. Tom and Jerry for example is all about the violence inflicted upon Tom by Jerry and circumstance while attempting to kill Jerry, and it is essentially parodied quite successfully by Itchy and Scratchy in The Simpsons. The violence in Bugs Bunny includes activities with characters like Yosemite Sam and Elmer "Kill the wabbit" Fudd. Even the more modern cartoons featuring the Loony Toons characters feature violence and the threat of violence.
Action movies are about depictions of violence or risky behavior that could easily result in the death and injury of participants.


If there's any reason to not let your children watch contemporary cartoons, it would be that they're terrible. They're even more mindless than classic cartoons, and often the artwork is terrible. Eventually though your children will mature beyond the age where you can realistically shelter them from the aspects of modern culture that you don't approve of. A three-year old can easily be prevented from playing FPS games, but a 17-year old will find a way to play whatever it wants.

Reply Score: 3

RE: cartoons too
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 21:53 UTC in reply to "cartoons too"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I can certainly understand the desire to shield children from negative influences, but I don't think that can ever ultimately be effective - or really that desirable even if it were ( http://plif.andkon.com/archive/wc161.gif comes to mind). I think that parents have more of a lasting, positive effect on their children when they focus on adding positive influences, rather than subtracting negative ones.

I think that one of the most beneficial things that parents can do for their children is to teach them to read - and read to them/with them. And I'm not saying that out of an elitist preference for the written word as a medium, but because reading does typically require more mental exertion than watching TV or playing a video game. And I think that children who are encouraged to exercise their minds will have more in the way of intellectual defenses against all the negative influences.

It's certainly one of the more beneficial things that my parents did for me - well, except for the fact that I'm always $60 poorer when I leave a Barnes & Nobles / Chapters, but c'est la vie.

Their toon series are far from entertaining and funny like MickeyMouse, Tom&Jerry or BugsBunny were 40 years ago. They are BORING and have extreme violence wrapped in beautiful colors.

We agree there! I've been watching a lot of old Popeye and Pink Panther shorts on google video lately, with that stuff it seems like they actually tried to make it clever enough for adults to appreciate as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: cartoons too
by ma_d on Tue 25th Jul 2006 04:55 UTC in reply to "cartoons too"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

You're comparing apples and oranges.

Bugs Bunny and many of the like weren't made to simply appeal to children: Everything on nickelodeon is though. A better comparison is to compare feature length cartoon films to Bugs Bunny and the like.

Besides, I'm not sure about Nickelodean, but what I remember from Saturday morning cartoons after I stopped watching them (I'm a TMNT, Ghostbusters era) is that they got really dramatic and boring... I don't think I'd call them training for violence as much as preparation for teenage angst. Maybe it will desensitize kids to depression, if you actually believe video and audio media can desensitize you to emersion on a real situation.

Reply Score: 1

Bad choice of words...
by twenex on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:21 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

"less physiologically aroused." Sounds positive to me; I doubt many people think it's normal (or healthy) to be "physiologically" [=sexually?] excited by violence.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad choice of words...
by Eugenia on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:25 UTC in reply to "Bad choice of words..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

No, his choice of words I think they were ok. He meant that people will be more indifferent in violence, should a violent act was taken place before their eyes. Normally, they should be afraid, scream or try to help the victim. But if they are "less physiologically aroused" by it, it can push them to apathy, which is one of the main problems of today's society.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad choice of words...
by monkeyhead on Tue 25th Jul 2006 03:23 UTC in reply to "Bad choice of words..."
monkeyhead Member since:
2005-07-11

Physiologically does not equal sexually. For example, if you get scared, your heartrate increases, you may prespire more, adrenalin kicks in... These are physiological responses.

Reply Score: 1

Faulty Study
by nihilist on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:35 UTC
nihilist
Member since:
2005-10-05

Based on what I read, I think that the study is pretty faulty; a study designed and executed by an academic with little-to-no exposure to games. They first have a subject play a game, violent or not, and then expose them to a violent TV clip. They measure the heart rate, skin response, etc. and take the difference.

The problem here is that they do not seem to be taking into account the fact that any decent "action" (and thus labelled as violent) game stimulates the player, increasing their heart rate, dumping adrenaline into the body; basically getting the subject excited.

A person in that state will show little response to a violent TV clip, because they are already excited. They probably would have had the same results if the person had been send on a twenty minute run before watching the video.

And finally, this does nothing to prove a link between a person playing violent videogames, and acting the violence out in real life.

Edited 2006-07-24 19:40

Reply Score: 2

RE: Faulty Study
by antwarrior on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:44 UTC in reply to "Faulty Study"
antwarrior Member since:
2006-02-11

Hey EVERYONE nihilist thinks that the study is pretty faulty. Sorry I had to do that.

read the article again please. Especially , especially before you decide to tell us how the researcher just keep getting it wrong.

You say

"The problem here is that they do not seem to be taking into account the fact ..... game stimulates the player, increasing their heart rate, dumping adrenaline into the body...."

they didn't disagree with you. read what they say

"Participants in the violent versus non-violent games conditions DID NOT DIFFER in heart rate or skin response at the beginning of the study, or immediately after playing their assigned game..."

you also say

"A person in that state will show LITTLE RESPONSE to a violent TV clip, because they are already excited"

they say

"...when viewing real violence, participants who had played a violent video game experienced skin response measurements significantly LOWER than those who had played a non-violent video game"

okay so the physical symptoms DECREASED. Can you see where you might have made a few mistakes when you read the article. I could go on ,read the conclusion again and you will see what I mean.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty Study
by nihilist on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty Study"
nihilist Member since:
2005-10-05

"okay so the physical symptoms DECREASED. Can you see where you might have made a few mistakes when you read the article. I could go on ,read the conclusion again and you will see what I mean."

I think you were missing my point. By playing a game that puts a person in an excited state, of COURSE their reaction will be decreased, because they are already excited. The difference between a calm person who sees a violent clip and an already agitated one will be different. So there will be a decrease in the physical reaction.

Reply Score: 0

v RE[2]: Faulty Study
by nihilist on Mon 24th Jul 2006 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty Study"
bad science
by krc_ on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:42 UTC
krc_
Member since:
2005-11-11

What this experminent fails to determine is whether -any- pre-stimulation of violent behavior causes the same attenuation in response.

For example:

1. does watching a violent movie also cause a reduction in response to subsequent violent images, and by how much?

2. does watching a boxing or UFC match also cause a reduction in response to subsequent violent images, and by how much?

3. does partcitipating in violent behavior (someone or being hit by someone) also cause a reduction in response to subsequent violent images, and by how much?

Answering these questions will determine whether violent video games are better or worse than society's other violent norms.

Reply Score: 1

RE: RE: yea
by hezekiah on Mon 24th Jul 2006 19:57 UTC
hezekiah
Member since:
2006-01-05

"Sadly the GTA crowd have a point, it's up to parents to raise their kids properly, not the law, and these days most parents couldn't possibly care less."

While I may not agree with the rest of your post, I strongly agree with this statement. It angers me to no end when I hear parents complain about how TV/movies/games make their children act when, if these parents would spend some time with their kids and explain the differences between fantasy and reality (as well as applying reasonable filters to what the kids are exposed to), their children would have to tools necessary to realize these things on their own.

Reply Score: 4

I'm sure it does.
by tbcpp on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:01 UTC
tbcpp
Member since:
2006-02-06

But what does it matter? Let's face it folkes. It's not the game's fault that some people can't control their own emotions. Hey, I play violent video games all the time, as well as take martial arts lessons which teach me to inflict the most pain as quickly as possible.

But with all that, I have yet to get into a actual brawl in my lifetime.

Reply Score: 1

Sure video games desentisize us
by vikramsharma on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:04 UTC
vikramsharma
Member since:
2005-07-06

What about violence committed in the name of religion or in the name of patriotism. There is plenty of violence at most of homes around the world. People are reading too much into it, kids learn most of the stuff from parents, like cussing, lying, violence too. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is nothing but violence. It's very easy to point a finger at the media or violent video games, music, and not the violence at home, nobody seems to talk about that. Parents take their responsibilities too seriously forgetting that they were once kids.

Edited 2006-07-24 20:14

Reply Score: 1

there's a difference
by Cookie Monster on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:28 UTC
Cookie Monster
Member since:
2006-06-27

Desensitize yes, cause, no. Just because you lose your strong physiologically reaction to violence (be it natural or learned) doesn't mean you lose the ability to differentiate between right and wrong. If you rely on physiologically reactions alone to determine whether or not to do something you're probably in jail by now.

Honestly, society needs to stop relying on the type of reaction described here to discourage violence and start encouraging the use of reason.

Reply Score: 1

Oh the horror
by Get a Life on Mon 24th Jul 2006 21:28 UTC
Get a Life
Member since:
2006-01-01

Looking at rotten.com would desensitize you to the horrors of life, but that doesn't mean you want to have your face ripped off in a motorcycle accident, or that it somehow becomes more appealing to mutilate bodies. Watching surgery on television would similarly desensitize you to "gore." It's the non-exposure leading to an initial irrational response. People in the West are unnaturally sheltered from reality, and so their initial reaction to even having to kill an animal to feed themselves might be over-sensitive until they're exposed to the experience a number of times. That doesn't mean that afterword that they will go on to slaughter animals indescriminately, or go on to kill prostitutes in the streets.

I grew up playing and spent a few years working professionally on the development of video games. I've never been in a "fight," killed a hooker, or otherwise engaged in violent behavior. I probably would not respond as emotionally to violent acts as someone that has never been exposed to depictions of violent acts, and while the methodology seems as primitive as most studies in psychology, I don't even really care about that much because I simply assumed the premise to be true. The more exposure to something someone has, the less shocking it typically is. It seems quite intuitive, really. The problem is that people seem to cherish the naivete in question, supposing that it would lead to less violent people. Such a study will be used to promote non sequiturs by people more driven by emotions than by thought.

Reply Score: 3

sources of violant content
by Tom Janowitz on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:00 UTC
Tom Janowitz
Member since:
2005-12-05

1) bible
2) Shakespeare's Hamlet
3) Little Red Riding Hood

I would start with banning the first one. As to 3 position - I prefer Alice Adventures in Wonderland anyway.
Well ... back to my UT2003 daily portion of flesh delivered tastely with 'floaty cadavers' mutator. I must be violant_supreme() judging by my gaming habbits, mustn't I ?

Reply Score: 1

Criticisms
by james_parker on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:20 UTC
james_parker
Member since:
2005-06-29

I have two major criticisms of this article.

First, the article refers to "real-life violence". However, the methodology cited states "Participants were then asked to watch a 10-minute videotape of actual violent episodes taken from TV programs and commercially-released films..." (emphasis mine). This "real-life" violence , in fact, appears to be video clips of fictional acts of violence. This says nothing about the reaction to being exposed to actual violent behavior.

The second is the degree of extrapolation the authors conclude with. Statements such as "They conclude that the existing video game rating system, the content of much entertainment media, and the marketing of those media combine to produce 'a powerful desensitization intervention on a global level'," (emphasis mine) and "In short, the modern entertainment media landscape could accurately be described as an effective systematic violence desensitization tool" do not follow from the evidence in this one small study. It may provide some evidence, but "proof" of anything is far too strong a term for a serious scientist to use. It is language of politics, not science.

I looked at a brief biography of Craig Anderson, the primary faculty author, and note that for a number of years he has been active in promoting the idea that violent video games are dangerous. Based on what I see from the article itself, as well as Anderson's background, I must question his objectivity in designing and performing this study, as well as his influence over the primary author and research assistant, Nicholas Carnagey.

Reply Score: 4

well
by deanlinkous on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:31 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Is it possible that we will all become so desensitized that even the games themselves will become boring and uninteresting?

Reply Score: 1

mistakes in the research
by bernardfrancois on Mon 24th Jul 2006 22:35 UTC
bernardfrancois
Member since:
2006-07-24

In the research, they used video material from movies as 'real violence'. I don't think there's a big difference in 'realness' between violence in games or violence in movies (maybe the violence in games is even more real because it's interactive).

Those who played violent games for a while didn't respond as much any more to the movie violence because they already got used to it... If you have seen something many times in the past 20 minutes, you won't react as strong any more on it.

Reply Score: 1

The study poor. It's all about Immersion.
by BrendaEM on Mon 24th Jul 2006 23:15 UTC
BrendaEM
Member since:
2005-11-23

Most video games are more immersive than non-interactive media such as televsion and movies, so when you view less immersive forms of media, you cannot place youself in the scene as easily, and you don't get react to it as much.

Nothing desensizes people to violence more than real violence.

Perhaps the researchers could work do studies to come up with a way to make violence in the real world less common. They could have spent that money telling teens not to be mean to one another, not to haze, or pick on one another.

The violence in videogames more often a symtom of the volent world we live in rather than its cause. Violence has been here for a long time before video games were devised.

I have played video games for half of my life. I have not witnessed anything as violent as those images that come from the war in Iraq.

P.S.

I worked in a video game company. We played counterstrike in a replica of the building we worked in. After five years you are given a real sward, many of which adorn the office walls. There are long hours and high pressure, but no killings.

The idea of "geeks with guns" makes some people uneasy, because it's traditional to think of physically large people as being the violent ones in our society, but now we are worried that the people who they tortured at school might fight back.

Edited 2006-07-24 23:29

Reply Score: 1

my 5 cents
by SK8T on Tue 25th Jul 2006 00:16 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

I won't say this is fully wrong. Violent video games can be very dangerous for people that doesn't make a difference between real life and video games. I think there are people that have a problem with that, or maybe children that nobody taught to make a difference between real life and video games.

And I also say this study is maybe right for people which plays about 18 hours (or more) a day a violent video game.

But I can't agree that after 20 minutes I'm less physiologically aroused by real violence. In my opinion, the daily violence in the TV is the problem.

/edit: in Germany, even the blood is green in video games, and the most video games that are violent will be censored or never released in Germany.

Edited 2006-07-25 00:19

Reply Score: 1

Myth of innocense
by Tyr. on Tue 25th Jul 2006 03:11 UTC
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

All this talk of protecting the children is very amusing if you consider that a child of 12 in the non-western world hs probably already killed, winessed a public execution or at the very least gutted some animals. The same was true for our culture not that long ago.

The myth of child-innocense, the child as a non-violent and non-sexual thing/object is a 19th century idiocy that somehow got preserved. You'd think the age of psychotherapy would have killed it off long ago.

I'd go so far as to say our culture has been so highly sensitised to violence (by a relatve lack of direct contact to it) that our reactions to it and avoidance of it are beginning to take on extremes. This is BTW one of the reasons the west is perceived as "weak" by neighbouring cultures.

Reply Score: 1

A poor peice of research
by rhyder on Tue 25th Jul 2006 03:43 UTC
rhyder
Member since:
2005-09-28

""The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence,"

... for a few minutes after exposure to violent video games.

Reply Score: 0

WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

So maybe playing a game where you blow people up in realistic 3D envrioments doesn't make you violent, but it sure as hell won't make you any smarter either. Violent video games (well, video games in general) have the same drawback as television. Nevermind that 90% of the content is just mental garbage, but I think I remember reading somewhere that the average person here in America watches television on average of about 30 hours a week. So it's not just what it does to you, but what it keeps you from doing.
It's all people talk about at work is the latest episode of American Idle, or whatever happened to be on TV last night. I've given up trying to have an intelligent conversation with these people. It's like talking to a brick wall. And that it is what these forms of 'entertainment' is doing to our society. It's not making them violent, it's making them stupid!!! I won't even get into what kind of damange the advertisements are doing.

Same thing with music, especially the loud, 'teen agnst' variety .. people listen to this crap endlessly, and then can't figure out why they're so depressed. It's like the whole world is drifting into the negative. You can't even have a superhero movie released that people like unless it's 'dark', and then they call it 'beautiful'.

Reply Score: 1

Total Load of Crap...
by ma_d on Tue 25th Jul 2006 04:51 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

The study makes some massive assumptions:
1.) Video viewed violence is equivalent to actual violence, in person.
2.) Temporary effects continue into long term.
3.) That the violence doesn't just seem less interesting because they're still thinking about the game.

Most people are desensitized to anything they experience over and over. So, yes, if you were experiencing a lot of violence I imagine you would be desensitized. However, that means you need to prove that violent video games translate into real life violence: You need to show that people treat each the same.

Instead they've done some "lab rat" crap that doesn't show their aim very well, and then they actually go on and pretend they can make big conclusions about it.
I'm embarrassed for my school (I attend ISU).

EDIT: Added #3.

Edited 2006-07-25 04:57

Reply Score: 1

p0rn too!
by bonjour on Tue 25th Jul 2006 07:04 UTC
bonjour
Member since:
2005-07-12

it used to be that i could imagine some of my cute classmates in kindergarten, then came [no pun intended] my first ventures with the lingerie section of a sear's catalog, and summers, wow summers would be great at the pool with all those bikinis; years later i would find dad's playboys, before long penthouse would trump playboy, hustler would end all... until i found my first vhs tape with live action--sound, visual, etc. but vhs quality was bad, so i needed more bits per second: vcd, dvd, h.264. and it used to be that doing missionary with a girl was good, doggie style, oral, but now it's all about anal and deep throat.

i've definitely been desensitized, but i guess for the better, i last longer in bed and know how to do things. but somehow i feel that i also don't mind beating the shit out of someone because i've been watching all these gangster movies. there's some verity to this, but then again, i will never go on a rampage in a city and shoot random people and run them over with my car, it's easy to make that decision. there's still a clear delineation between reality and virtual for me.

Reply Score: 1

Eh, no.
by Emerson on Tue 25th Jul 2006 14:07 UTC
Emerson
Member since:
2005-09-19

"Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence."

Should be
"
Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games played on a TV can desensitize individuals to violence on TV.
"

Reply Score: 1