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    Video Games And Violence: Are Studies Biased?
    By News Staff | May 14th 2008 07:37 PM | 62 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Does playing violent video games make players aggressive? It is a question that has taxed researchers, sociologists, and regulators ever since the first console was plugged into a TV and the first shots fired in a shoot ‘em up game.

    Writing today in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England, suggests that there is scant scientific evidence that video games are anything but harmless and do not lead to real world aggression. Moreover, his research shows that previous work is biased towards the opposite conclusion.

    Video games have come a long way since the simplistic ping-pong and cascade games of the early 1970s, the later space-age Asteroids and Space Invaders, and the esoteric Pac-man. Today, severed limbs, drive-by shootings, and decapitated bodies captivate a new generation of gamers and gruesome scenes of violence and exploitation are common.

    Award-winning video games, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, thrive on murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level, explains Kierkegaard, and gamers boost their chances of winning the game by a virtual visit to a prostitute with subsequent violent mugging and recovery of monies exchanged while games such as World of Warcraft and Doom are obviously unrelated to the art of crochet or gentle country walks.

    Media stories about gamers obsessed with violent games and many research reports that claim to back up the idea that virtual violence breeds real violence would seem to suggest so.

    However, Kierkegaard studied a range of research papers, several of which have concluded since the early 1980s that video games can lead to juvenile delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior. Evidence from brain scans carried out while gamers play also seem to support a connection between playing video games and activation of regions of the brain associated with aggression.

    However, Kierkegaard explains, there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games. Despite several high profile incidents in US academic institutions, "Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s," says Kierkegaard, "while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before.

    "With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence," he says, "Instead, violence has declined."

    Research is inconclusive, emphasises Kierkegaard. It is possible that certain types of video game could affect emotions, views, behaviour, and attitudes, however, so can books, which can lead to violent behaviour on those already predisposed to violence. The inherent biases in many of the research studies examined by Kierkegaard point to a need for a more detailed study of video games and their psychological effects.

    Comments

    Clearly from a psychology standpoint, the experimenters have confirmation bias. They want to have a study that correlates things like aggression and violence with video games. This is a gold mine for them because then they get media attention. There is no "party" if you will if they fail to reject the null.

    I agree. As an avad gamer, and a fan of FPS's (First Person Shooters), I would never even think about commiting a murder, let alone a mass shooting. Much research I have read on the topic is blatantly biased. On writer went as far as to say the Virginia Tech shooter did what he did because he played Counter Strike in high school. That's rediculous. As out of hand some games may get, I still don't see any solid evidence, if any, that it consistently leads to increased violence. This arcticle does a great job of showing what it is for what is, props to you.

    I agree, I also play lots of video games and FPS type games and I know that I would never commit a crime like involving shooting. I think its silly to accuse games of increasing violence when it could be caused from anything. I believe that music and its singers have more of a influence than games do.

    It’s the society we live in that allows for violence, video games are no different to movies, the only problem I find with games is sometimes the aggressive language and often racist remarks made in online games by many people. Quite a few gaming communities I have been part of end up being ruined by this.
    Gerhard Adam
    Of course there is a relationship between video games and acquired/learned behaviors.  That's precisely why they are used in simulators of all kinds.

    While it is certainly true that the vast majority of people will never make the transition from games to real-world actions, it is equally true that many more people will be desensitized to such actions, with the more unstable potentially acting out those behaviors.

    There is no one-for-one correlation between video games and becoming a serial killer or mass murderer, but there most certainly is a correlation between such games and the ability to become much more reflexive about killing.

    See:  Lt. Col. Dave Grossman "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society"

    http://www.killology.com/
    Mundus vult decipi
    man you only WISH that what you typed was true its only the most arrogant, and dumbasses of people who commit those crimes. but that makes it even worce is they BLAME the VIDEO GAMES for their crimes and most have probly never even seen a T.V. screen in there entire life. (or had any social contatc eather)

    So we are to live our lives in plastic bubbles, without the inspiration of media forms....because of the criminally insane. NO.

    You live in fear no?

    I mean you could also blame violent movies or music? Why start by pointing fingers are video games?

    The reason video games are blamed first is because it is an interactive form of media violence. In a movie or music you just watch and listen but in a video game you are controlling the character and getting into the mindset of killing people. While this doesn't affect everyone it plays as a contributing factor in violence commited by young children under the age of 13 or so, more so if the come from a bad background (Broken family, growing up in a dangerous neighborhood).

    Of course there is bias! The media and parents want to put blame on SOMEONE or something. What's better than video games? Being a gamer, I feel absolutely no subconscious thought of actually murdering people. There's no way. The killings in games don't fascinate me because they are kills, they are great because you need precision, quickness, and its the adrenaline of dodging things to win. What do you win with real murder? Nothing.

    I bet they only studied the meme of the German kid yelling and flipping out at his computer. YT!

    rngrfreund
    Are they testing for the reverse of people with a tendency towards murder being more likely to play violent video games? Sure you can say the VT killer played CounterStrike, but that isn't causation, right?

    I play Balloon Popper like crazy and I don't carry an instinct or likelihood to actually pop balloons. It's loud and scary!
    http://basement.internaldrive.com//game_bloons.html
    lol I laughed my ass off after I read this

    what the

    Here is my personal thoughts on the matter, people killed people before video games were even thought of, just look at the Holocaust and to say that video games are the problem is ridiculous; most people who come out with these studies either play no video games, hate video games,or have a preconceived notion about video games. 99% of gamers I know can laughingly say that they can differentiate between aggression in a game and aggression in reality. Heck, I play violent video games all the time and I haven't killed anyone; I never will. As for Lt. Col. Grossmann's research, it would only apply if players cannot easily differentiate between reality and fantasy. If that is the case, I highly doubt video games were the problem; it is more reasonable to say that other social factors such as home-stability and psychological health.

    "Heck, I play violent video games all the time and I haven't killed anyone; I never will." dito

    When they say that video games can cause/contribute to violence, they are generally speaking about youths under 13 years old as they haven't quite grasped the notion that shooting someone in the head won't give you double experience in real life

    I've been a gamer since the ealry 1 colour Atari games.

    I've managed very easily to not murder, assault or otherwise harm anyone else - and sometimes I think it's because of the opportunity to blow people and things up in the video games.

    It's a safe and controlled environment to blow off steam.

    whatever young people are into at the current time is blamed for juvenile deliquencey & violence,

    It was jazz and flappers, then rock n roll and comic books, later Dungeons and Dragons role play games and now video games.

    we are a violent species and our entertainment reflects that.

    but, as Capt Kirk said, we can..CHOOSE...not to kill...TOday

    Wow, i really like that statement: "we are a violent species and our entertainment reflects that."
    i am going to quote it in my essay about video game violence. thank you.

    Bonegirl

    it's funny too how people want to blame music, games, tv or movies

    why not be honest and say that the parent failed to teach their children how to behave and work / play well with others.

    if entertainment could turn it's consumers into murdering rapists - then, there'd be a whole lot more murderers out there than there is now.

    that's basically saying that entertainment is more powerful an influence than parents, peers, family and so forth.

    Gerhard Adam
    I think you're all missing the point.  There is no claim that video games are the determining factor or cause in killing or violence.  There is the point that video games serve the purpose of desensitizing the player to the actions.

    Therefore, the question is when such an individual is presented with a situation where they may have a potential confrontation and they also have a weapon, will they be more inclined to use it, or not?  If there are fewer inhibitions, then there is a greater probability that escalated violence may occur.  It isn't a foregone conclusion and there may be numerous other factors at work.

    The point from Lt. Col. Grossman's work is that the use of simulators is precisely intended to break down those inhibitions, so that when soldiers are confronted with an attack, they will be more inclined to react than to think about what they are doing.

    I agree that there is no single thing, be it television, or video games, etc that can be responsible for individual behaviors.  It is only when it is viewed within the context of someone that may be more violence prone to begin with, does it desensitize an individual that may have had more constraints on them in the past to act more violently than they otherwise might have.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I don't believe that this is all that accurate. As a gamer myself i wouldn't ever think to do anything that they talk about. As a very clam person violent games DO NOT cause any anger or aggrivated thoughts to me. I choose to think that all studies on violent games and teens arn't done over extended periods of time. Meaning that how a teen acts at that one point of time is seen as fault of the game(s) that teen is playing. Other things that should taken into account is how the lifestyle is at that said home. With most of the people i asked none of the people i talk to experience said tendancies that are expressed here. What should be taken into account is how the kids life is prior to the game(s) thats in question. Cause most the people i talked to has agreed that video games don't influence violence in MOST of the community but help give a replacement to the real world where they can do things they never thought possible. It helps them to relieve the stress of everyday life.

    "I agree that there is no single thing, be it television, or video games, etc that can be responsible for individual behaviors. It is only when it is viewed within the context of someone that may be more violence prone to begin with, does it desensitize an individual that may have had more constraints on them in the past to act more violently than they otherwise might have"

    As Gerhard Adam stated i agree that no thing can be that responsible for an individuals behavior.

    I think Lt. Col. Grossman is going to be rather disappointed with the results of his work. I don't see the logic in using simulated combat situations to breakdown inhibitions when study after study concludes that even children can distinguish between fantasy and reality and therefore react differently to real world situations then they would in a simulated game.

    It's a case of means and ends, for most people the move to violence is usually unfounded because of a set of learned moral values. The ends do not justify violent means.

    In terms of combat training, a soldier is trained (brainwashed?) to do as instructed by a higher authoritative figure much like the situation with parenting. This can be achieved through various means including electronic games but in my opinion only prepares people to react physically to situations. The psychological impact of being put in real danger is very different to the impact of taking part in a simulation where the subject cannot help but know that harm is impossible.

    This is the argument against video games as "murder simulators" or psychological training aides.

    Gerhard Adam
    I don't see the logic in using simulated combat situations to breakdown inhibitions when study after study concludes that even children can distinguish between fantasy and reality and therefore react differently to real world situations then they would in a simulated game.

    That clearly isn't true, which is precisely why pilots and even astronauts log extensive time in simulators.  While there is certainly an element of truth to the argument that one can become casual about such simulations and begin to response to the simulator rather than real-world experiences, they still provide significant exposure to real-world phenomenon precisely because they are safe.  This is no different than the sparring and practice done in martial arts or any method by which a real-world experience could have disastrous consequences.
    This can be achieved through various means including electronic games but in my opinion only prepares people to react physically to situations.

    This is precisely what is intended.  The pilots/astronauts don't have to experience real-world systems failures to learn how to respond and react to them.  Just as sparring doesn't have to result in broken bones before techniques can be mastered.

    There is certainly a transition for the individual in moving from a simulator to the real-world, but it would be absurd to suggest that after repeated exposure to simulated events, that when an individual has only their reaction time to rely on that they would analyze the distinction, hence the de-senitization. 

    No one is suggesting that such games are altering an individual's moral views or beliefs, however you also cannot argue that repeated exposure to particular stimuli have no effect at all.  If that were true, then the entire advertising industry is practicing little more than voodoo.  However, I would argue that they base their success in understanding precisely what kinds of things influence people and recognition between reality and games isn't an essential part of the equation.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I agree with you that simulated events can and do give people an understanding of how to respond to system failures, flying planes or responding to enemy fire, apart from suggesting that simulations cannot fully recreate a "true" feeling of fear or misgiving, I do not think I suggested that they couldn't. In fact I believe I referred to the possibility of learning physical actions through simulated situations.

    My argument is more geared at changing people's disposition towards violence, which was more in keeping with the articles theme. Take the example of shooting games, many people of all ages play violent shooting games but do not find themselves more likely to use violence as a form of conflict resolution in day to day life. This is because they understand the difference between simulated violence and reality. A violent game may be of some use as a training tool for soldiers/pilots because of the difference in context. The existence of armed forces is partly based on violent conflict so the need to distinguish a need for violence is removed. For a member of an army the need to employ violence is a real possibility and therefore "justifiable."

    I think we have been arguing across each other here, I'm not saying that simulated situations are useless training tools. In a nutshell I'm saying that if you are school kid playing games at home then they're not going to make you go out and shoot people. However, if you find yourself in a situation where it has already been justified for you that you need to act violently they might help as much as combat exercises involving live ammo or sparing. However, like the advertising industry there is still a difference between WANTING and NEEDING a Coke not matter how good the advert just as there will always be difference in "pretending" that some one is out to kill you or a deadly system failure and actual danger.

    Gerhard Adam
    Agreed, otherwise the rise of video games should have given rise to social violence.  However, the point you made about being "justifiable" is an important one, because it does suggest that an individual that already has a propensity towards violence may well use such games to become de-sensitized to the consequences and therefore display a greater tendency to over-react to circumstances.

    Clearly human behavior isn't a simple "push button" reaction to external stimuli, but it is reasonable to question how deeply embroiled someone becomes in a fantasy existence before it does start to affect their interactions with the real-world.  There's no question that many people have exhibited the "addiction" of various internet activities precisely because of how susceptible their psychology is to such self-indulgent behaviors. 

    I agree that playing video games isn't going to turn a schoolkid into another Charles Manson, unless he already has an inclination in that direction.  By the same token, I'm not complete comfortable with the idea that playing a video game about rape is completely without psychological consequences.  It isn't simply about how such games translate into the real-world, but also the psychological ideas that they make permissible in an individual's worldview when there are no consequences.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm still not fully sold on the idea of desensitization because games only cater to some of our scenes. Take smell for example, the smell of decaying matter repulses us, often so does the smell of blood. A gamer who thinks of themselves as "hardened" may well find themselves overwhelmed by the smell of blood etc. However, as you say, human behavior is much more then a "push-button".

    As for "Rapelay", a game about rape certainly pushes the limits of what most of us would consider acceptable. but again, if someone were inclined to play such a game I would assume that they would understand that it is all fantasy and know full well that such actions would have massive repercussions in the real world.

    Sadly I guess that is rather an assumption because there is no rule that covers the six billion plus human brains on the planet.

    Gerhard Adam
    Part of my concern regards the issue of "free will" because since we clearly can't act outside of the information/materials in our brains, then the choices we have "permission" to use in real-world decisions originate from our experiences or teachings.  For someone looking for a way to rationalize certain behaviors, I wonder if repeated exposures to certain ideas doesn't grant a kind of "permission" to enable a choice that might otherwise never be made.

    I want to be careful to not imply that video games, books, music, or movies can, by themselves, modify a individual's behavior such that they behave outside their "norm".  However, one can hardly deny that for an individual where the ideas seem to "resonate" with whatever idea they're exposed to, it can also be a driving force to action. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Agreed. Even the most avid supporter of video games has to agree that in some way video games inform/reflect the way we rationalize during real world experiences. Lets face it, every life "experience" does. The question lies in determining how much impact games can have and whether they can "corrupt" people as some reactionary groups claim.

    While studying this topic at university I found an article that referred to research (Sadly I can't remember who to give citation to on this -perhaps I'll find it in my old notes) that basically said that yes video games do have an impact on how we perceive the world around us, however, they are only part of a huge collection of life experiences which all do the same and that a person growing up in a stable, guided environment will be able to play games (or watch films, read comics, plays, books etc) and still recognize what is appropriate and non-appropriate behavior based on social norms.

    Essentially anything can be a driving force to action, it just seems that games, as a new and relatively little studied area, are often scapegoated as the problem. It's a simple solution that is easy for the brain to jump to and a concept that scares people less then having to accept that perhaps they have dropped the ball while parenting, or that people can behave outside social norms due to mental illness or even free will. So i figure that in that respect video game reporting is often bias.

    -happy Easter by the way!

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, thank you and Happy Easter to you as well.

    I agree with you and certainly don't intend to suggest that video games operate in isolation from all of our other experiences.  Similarly as you stated, there are many factors that will play into that to produce our actual behavior.

    Having said that, I have speculated on what appears (to me) to be a growing trend in people having an unreal view of the world and wondering whether the role of such games (in addition to television, movies, etc.) isn't largely responsible for it.  We can certainly see that in how quickly people embrace something on television that is purported to be "informative" as being representative of reality.  In effect, this has created what I consider to be most people's two dimensional views of problems.  I don't think it's a coincidence that much of our politics has degenerated into little more than a sport where each side must do whatever it takes to win.  Blue team or red team, it makes little difference what occurs, just so long as one side wins.  It is this mindset that I feel is being fostered by such media. 

    I realize that I've shifted the focus from games to media in general, but I suppose that's where my overall concerns lie.  It isn't that any singular exposure has such a far-reaching effect, but rather that accumulated over time, it becomes a worldview that people embrace because they have no real-world experience to counteract it with.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It's certainly an interesting concept when you start thinking about how far media can be seen as informative. I've often thought of newspapers (and television news) as being education material for "grown ups". It's a little worrying in that respect when you consider that here in the UK the most popular paper (The Sun) is essentially gutter trash with incredibly bias opinions on most subjects. It's very hard not to stay informed and clear headed in todays society.

    At least with games the clue is in the name, I'd like to think that most people can resist deciding their world views based on the input of games.

    Then again, we are increasingly beginning to believe that the universe around us exists only as far as we can interpret it, making one persons "real world" view completely different from another's. And then you have to further take into account that both of those people's are based on limited human comprehension. Begging the question "what is the real world?"

    From a moral and metaphysical point of view it highlights just home small video games probably are in determining human behavior when compared to more "informative" contributers that people trust (or equally rebel against).

    who the hell is Charles Manson?

    Hey, looking for 'Charles Manson' buddy? YOUR ON THE INTERNET! GOOGLE IT!

    :)
    rISSYKOKO

    I see what the col. is saying but does he take into account that if you play video games you don't always win in a fight. In video games you can also lose in a fight and people that play video games are well aware of the fact that if they get in a fight that they have a chance of losing and know that unlike video games they won't come back for another go.

    Video Games are just a source of entertainment and one more thing. Everything is aggressive. Wolves fight for survival and territory, bears fight to protect their cubs, bunnies hump one another constantly, and cats have spikes that come out of their penis to keep the female from stopping. Humans aren't the only ones that are aggressive and capable of killing one another and other unmentioned problems that are thought of as video game influenced.

    Nature intended for animals to eat each other to consume energy and hunt which = Violence. Humans have just evolved to the point of understanding.

    Gerhard Adam
    Unfortunately everyone seems to think in terms of violent games equating to thoughtful actions.  The point is to train reflexes, so that little or no thought is necessary.  That's what is desensitizing about it.

    A martial artist spars to desensitize themselves to the idea of fists or feet moving towards them.  A flight simulator is attempting to tune the reflexes so that every instrument doesn't require detailed exploration.  Similarly when we drive we eventually develop experience so that many of our actions occur without having to think about them.

    This is precisely the purpose of simulators and also occurs with video games.  It doesn't make you a serial killer or turn you into a violent individual.  It simply attunes your reflexes to automatic responses that you may not have the time to think about in a particular set of circumstances.

    To argue that video games are just a source of entertainment misses the point.  Every activity results in some form of "training" occurring, whether it is intended or not.  Unless you're being 100% passive, you are physically teaching yourself to respond to some stimuli in some fashion.

    As for the point about nature being violent ... I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.  If anything it's a misrepresentation because most of nature is significantly less violent than humans tend to be because such confrontations are expensive in terms of survival risk.  That's not to say that other species aren't capable of gratuitous violence, but most of the animals you've mentioned are quite judicious in their use of violence and don't undertake unnecessary risks.

    I also don't know where you got that tidbit about the cat's penis, but it's intended to trigger ovulation and to clear out a potential competitive male's sperm.  This may be important since a female cat may not be impregnated by the first male with which she mates, but also because they are superfecund (Heteropaternal superfecundation), resulting in a litter that may have multiple fathers.
    Mundus vult decipi
    In truth I personally believe that there is no proof to either claim as this article states. That said, parents need to know more about what sort of games that their children are playing, if for no other purpose than to ensure that they know what the potential risks are. I also think that there needs to be much more research performed by members of both sides of the debate, the violent game players and their counterparts in the various organizations that are speaking out against violent video games. You can blame a lot of crimes on video games, such as the Grand Theft Auto series, but you can also blame many more crimes on things such as social and financial needs, as well as a predisposition towards violent.

    All "studies" that say that video games cause violence are complete bullshit. Nor do they cause aggression (granted, playing Bioshock 2 and learning what was going on [trying not to spoil it] did piss me off and made me genuinely aggressive, however, that was limited to in game and didn't carry over when I put the controller down). Hell, reading Goosebumps books made me more aggressive and disrespectful then video games EVER did or will. And the fact that violence has gone down supports that video do not make people more violent. We're violent by our nature. I've played my fair share of violent games (Borderlands, Call of Duty, Gears of War 2, Halo, Bioshock, Turok, Darksiders, ETC) and if I so much as saw somebody get shot and a pool of blood form around them, I'd puke; let alone if I did it myself.

    Well, my homework is done so I'm off to uncover the mysteries of Rapture and maybe kill a few Splicers along the way

    you can take gentel contry walks on world of warcraft it's just that a orc comes out of nowere inturups your happy time and you beat the crap out of it

    i have never played worldofwarcraft but RUNESCAPE is better

    @no name (not verified) | 04/30/10 | 08:36 AM lol

    "That clearly isn't true, which is precisely why pilots and even astronauts log extensive time in simulators. While there is certainly an element of truth to the argument that one can become casual about such simulations and begin to response to the simulator rather than real-world experiences, they still provide significant exposure to real-world phenomenon precisely because they are safe. This is no different than the sparring and practice done in martial arts or any method by which a real-world experience could have disastrous consequences."

    There is an emotional element to killing someone that is not apparent when your (using your example) flying an aeroplane, yes in PHYSICAL terms arcade shooting games can teach you how to hold and fire a gun (some of them) but this is just the :1) Pick up gun 2) aim gun 3) pull trigger
    in reality the steps would be 1) load clip 2) insert clip into gun 3)take safety off of gun 4) aim weapon 5) try to overcome the emotional difficulty of shooitng someone 6) fire gun. In a simulation it is just that, a simulation, playing burnout doesnt teach you to drive a car. Most people can tell the difference between reality and fantasy as said before by drew, A simulation removes step 5 from the above "to do" list, which is the hardest step in the opinions of most people. In all, simulations dont teach you to kill a real person, they only teach you to aim at a target and fire the weapon at said target.

    Gerhard Adam
    You're making some vast assumptions here, such as steps 1-3 already being done.  Aiming a weapon is relatively easy to do and when it's a matter of a quick reaction time, there may be no time or thought to assessing whether someone should be shot.  That's kind of the point.

    It's about reactions, not premeditation.  As for the emotional element of killing someone versus flying an airplane.  Don't kid yourself.  It's vastly different landing a plane from your couch versus actually approaching a runway.  In both cases, your reflexes become attuned to a particular reaction and if there is little or no time to think then reflex can take over.  If you reflexively fire a gun because of a game, then the likelihood is far greater that you can (or will) do so in real life if you're holding a gun.
    Mundus vult decipi
    well i agree becasue im doing a report for school.

    i agree cuz i was five years old and playing a shooter game with my older brother and it showed blood and shots to the crotch. all my teachers say im the quietest kid in class too. no violence here. plus im doing a persuasive speech on video game violence

    Why is it that this association is only found with violent video games? Why do you hardly hear about the studies that show kids who play Gran Turismo 4 (was going to say GT5, but its not out yet, damn it) drive more aggressively than those who don't?

    Gerhard Adam
    Probably because it would be harder to quantify.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    We do love correlation - I am chuckling about this study yesterday that associated "hyper texting" (more than 120 messages per school day) by kids to cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drugs, fighting and sex.

    Really, if you are going to plant a stake in the ground regarding text messages as a gate way to bad behavior, you might as well choose all bad behaviors.
    Gerhard Adam
    Bloody over-achievers.  With that many text messages, who has time for cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drugs, fighting, and sex.
    Mundus vult decipi
    If you think of it, there are times when people will assume easily that video games are the main cause of the violence if the child is playing a video game. Come to think of it, cartoons can be violent, TV series can be violent and even a book can be violent.
    A child can pick up a negative information on anything that surrounds his world. It's his interpretation about what's happening that should be taken notice of.
    I grew up playing video games and my only problem was I played 15 hours a day for over 6-8 months. Violence? No. I'd just get annoyed at enemy if and when he kills me. Other than that, no.

    am a big time gamers but i have no intention to kill rape or even try to shoot someone.. ppl who overestimate about games might wanna look alittle bit more in to games.

    Unfortunately, it is possible that many researchers interested in studying the effects of video games go in with the clear intention of showing that games do lead to violent and aggressive reactions.

    It is easy to see why this is.

    Researchers and academics must live (and die) by the number of publications they have.
    No publications = no funding.

    And which study do you think is more likely to be published? One that shows a link between video games and violence…or one that concludes that the evidence just isn’t there to suggest a causal relationship?

    With regard to the effects of video game violence, there are a few things the research is pretty clear about. For example, violent games can cause increased physiological arousal, can temporarily increase aggression in young children immediately after exposure (not long lasting), and it seems as though naturally aggressive people tend to be attracted to more violent games (not surprising, is it?).

    However, there is very little research suggesting that violent computer games directly cause real world violent behavior in adults.

    For a pretty comprehensive overview of the research on video game violence over the past 20 years check out this link on the effects of violent video games.

    It also includes a study showing that after you correct for publication bias, there is very little support for the theory that violent video games lead to increased aggression.

    Well it is a common misconception to assume that a study is correct when it is doing all it can to TRY to find the link between the two, as this would look good for them, if the bias isnt found.

    Life is too short for video games. Here is the beginning of a list of a million things better to do than fantasize over an electronic screen: 1. kiss your mate---if we're talking about a kid, kiss a dog; 2. support your kids; Kids, help your parents 3. teach your children something; for kids, teach your friend something; 4. Read science 2.0 or any book and learn more science; 5. ride a bicycle 6. hike up any of a 1000 mountains(or hills if you're a kid) with your family or by yourself ; 7. contemplate the beauty of sunlight beaming through foliage 8. paint 9. fix something 10. call your Mom and Dad 11. drink wine (if you're a minor, drink pineapple-orange juice) 12. call your sibling 13. make fun of fakebook(Facebook) ....
    Hank
    13. make fun of fakebook(Facebook) ....
    What's wrong with fakebooks?   Every musician has a 'fake book' with melody, chords and lyrics, so we can look like we know 10 million songs but really just need to know when we can solo.

    I have Facebook too but no defense for that.

    On video games, it's sure better than watching TV, where they just sit there using less brain power than when sleeping.
    A startling thing happened this weekend. My 14-year old daughter actually thanked me for blocking Facebook. She said that she would go on it for 3 hours to do homework with friends but actually spend about 20 minutes on school stuff. A less-frequent but real get-together with friends is more rewarding to her than an habitual electronic chat.
    Needless to say, we have no video games in the house, and the whole family shares 1 cell phone and a piano. I guess we're the 2010 version of the Addams Family.
    Im not going to cut down the shocker of blocking facebook, but thanks to facebook I got to meet my uncle that everyone assumed was dead. He was in Japan, ironicly helping design video games haha. My point though is that facebook is not all that bad so dont knock it down so bad man.

    I am 15 years old and have the same problem, I tend to get onto facebook instead of finishing assignments I may have from highschool and college. I usually get the assignments done on time but had to work hard to cut down on facebook time.

    Wonderful list, I do a lot of things on here already (except for up hiking mountains, haven't done that yet) and I love Pineapple-orange juice, one of my favorites. I do have to disagree with you on the video games though, I find it to be a wonderful pastime

    im just a 15 year old whos doing a persuasive speech about how violent video games have no connection to voilent crimes, and i must say that im completely impressed with how thoroughly you guys have analysed this subject. ive always that violent video games help teenagers and some adults relieve anger and that the people who try to do something theyve seen in a video game were half mental anyway. as for facebook, i understand how some people want to get to know people around the world and stuff but i dont see the point of chatting on facebook with someone that you see everyday. i also think that facebook brings out the worst in some people, seeing as you might read your friends facebook page and find out they completely hate you. but then again, im only 15 and thats just my opinion ^.^

    as a player of halo reach and COD black ops i would never think of murdering someone the games release stress more than they give stress!

    I love halo reach....its so sad at the end though...never the less I agree =]

    I play FPS games frequently and i good at them but I NEVER think of killing another person in real life except for self defense

    well if there was a connection between video games and violence it would be coming from 7-year old call of duty players

    and obbsesed guys that like killing alot and think they have guns in their hands

    I myself am also an avid gamer, preferably FPS or RPG (In which I can get very violent). I see games that allow one to commit acts of violence as more of an outlet for anger, whenever I am mad at someone and happen to be playing a video game, I find it very calming to blow out someones brains. I can't even imagine harming someone outside of these games though, the closest i've ever come to a fight is a friendly sparring session with a friend.