Study Claiming Video Games Make Players Better Real-Life Shooters Gets Shot Down

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Apparently, there was a study some years back that claimed FPS games made you a better shooter in real life. I am not sure why it took four years to be discredited, as that idea seems like a stretch once you go past the basic correlation of one simulating certain aspects of the other—the last time I checked, using a mouse and keyboard or controller is, you know, pretty different than shooting a live weapon. I guess there is an argument to make when you introduce the concept of hand-eye coordination, but plenty of things beyond video games affect that.

    Essentially, the study argues that players who played a violent video game focusing on headshots with a digital handgun were able to accurately score headshots on mannequins with real handguns afterward. As Retraction Watch notes, though, the study's been under fire since 2015 from Villanova University's Patrick Markey and Malte Elson at Germany's Ruhr University Bochum. Their own findings regarding video game violence run contrary to Bushman's, to the point that Markey has a book coming out in March titled Moral Combat: Why the War on Video Games is Wrong.
     
  2. dr_drift

    dr_drift Limp Gawd

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    The only time you experience the noise and explosive energy of a real gun while playing a videogame is if you're playing on a Galaxy Note 7.
     
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  3. lironmiron

    lironmiron Limp Gawd

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    Bummer. I was hoping that all these years of Street Fighter IV had me almost ready to shame Conor McGregor in the octagon.
     
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  4. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    I was pretty kick ass in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the arcade, wanna spar?
     
  5. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think that when VR gets up to speed, this may be a little different.

    But you'd need to design a VR friendly gun that feels the same as pulling a real gun. the force from the firing, and then also aiming. I think it's possible way down the road, but the amount of processing power and equipment doesn't exist. Not to mention the whole movement thing in FPS games...
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think there are some aspects of gaming that can help like the hand/eye coordination and quickly picking out and focusing on a target but yeah, the only way to be a better shooter is to go out and practice shooting.
     
  7. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Um, shooting a target with a hand gun is difficult for a novice especially when trying to figure out the sites. I cannot see how a video game would help.
     
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  8. endalykt

    endalykt Limp Gawd

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    Having played Deus Ex (there's only one game) for all these years, that must mean I can now sneak into the NSA, hack their servers by crouching and muttering something about ICE, all while wearing a dark trenchcoat and sunglasses at night... right?
     
  9. wizdum

    wizdum [H]ard|Gawd

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    I could see some games, like Arma with a realism mod, making people better at certain types of shooting. There are mods that remove the HUD and force you to use a ballistic computer to make long distance shots with sniper rifles. Someone that plays that kind of game is probably going to be a better shot than the average person pulled off the street, but still rubbish compared to someone thats actually trained to fire the real thing.
     
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  10. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't know about accuracy but I absolutely murdered everyone else in paintball. Certain FPS games can teach you situational awareness and use of terrain cover.
     
  11. 0neTwo

    0neTwo Limp Gawd

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    I deer hunt every year. I try and 360noscope420xxx all the time but always miss :( Need more practice.
     
  12. AceGoober

    AceGoober Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!

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    Playing video games has made me a much better player in real life. Heck, I haven't shot myself in the face since shortly after starting to play video games some 38 years ago. Rocket launchers, well, I gotta work on that.

    To clarify, I was playing with my father's BB gun. Fired it at a piece of metal and it ricocheted back and hit me above my left eye. I got lucky.
     
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  13. SGTGimpy

    SGTGimpy Limp Gawd

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    It still amazes me how many people think you can just pick up any gun and shoot like you see in games or moves. It takes practice and experience to fire a real hand gun well. Playing a video game may help with the process of target acquisition better than someone that doesn't, but nothing in a video game will prepare you for a real guns recoil and sight drift.

    I love taking people to the range and teaching them to fire a gun for the first time. They don't even come close at hitting the target that is 5 yards away from them the first time the fire the gun. Then they realize that firing a real gun and hitting the target isn't as easy as all the gun haters make out to be.
     
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  14. Mut1ny

    Mut1ny [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't know about the rest of you and what games you've played but video games certainly have made me more knowledgeable.

    I picked up my uncles AR-15 the other day when we went out shooting for our first time together. Never touched one before but I knew exactly what everything did and had it loaded and ready to fire in no time flat and did a pretty damn good job of firing it.

    Now I know this is probably because I've played a lot of tactical shooters (think ARMA, Tom Clancy stuff, etc) and so I do have a familiarity with how weapons work. I mean even in just ARMA it's taught me a lot as far as stances go and how to hold the weapon. Of course things like recoil and impact are going to be new but I know that an 5.56 round isn't going to blow my shoulder out (I'm 5'11 and 200) or hurt so after 2-3 rounds I was perfectly fine. And this is just from playing games. I've fired a couple guns before years and years ago but nothing at all recent (~10 years) so it's not like I'm use to other firearms.

    Now, for your normal 15 year old COD player this might be a bit different. For sure. But for me having played these games for the last, shit, 15 years? Yeah, I'm pretty decently educated. Now this isn't all from games. There's of course the TONS of movies, shit on YouTube watching other people fire guns, and just general shit I've learned through life that have helped but games are certainly a large part of it. Especially on the intricacies more importantly.

    Any ways that's just my take on it. Do I think games need to change? Fuck no! I love my accurate sims. But to the topic of "can games make you a better shooter"? Meh, I feel like through the information I've gained through games it has for me. But that's just my experience.

    I think that for any seasoned gamer that loves shooters they'd be lying if they said that games haven't taught them anything.
     
  15. Travolta

    Travolta Gawd

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    I don't know about everyone else, but i have my mouse and keyboard connected to my AR15's and 1911's USB ports. It's the only way to shoot.
     
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  16. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If the war on terror occurs very specifically on a map the exact size and shape of Dust 2 and the terrorist are on a 3 minute clock you can go ahead and ship me out. I'll take care of this nonsense in 8 rounds tops.
     
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  17. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah because first person shooters have so much in common with actually shooting.

    About the only real world activity that has anything in common with the videogame counterpart is car racing. Hence pro drivers and car manufacturers use simulators (albeit not commercially available games) to test certain things. But I never heard of a sniper training on COD, or even Arma for that matter. Not even an olympic shooter.
     
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  18. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What's that even got to do with gun hating? You're convoluting two entirely separate things.
     
  19. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Even VR won't change it. There is a huge disconnect between a game and real life. Even games that pretend to by hyper realistic, like ARMA, feel nothing like actual real-world shooting. Even if you make the most accurate gun shaped controller it wouldn't feel the same. A game has to feel like a game. Real life is boring in a lot of ways compared to a game, even a simulation. Until someone defies the laws of physics and creates a holodeck a video game will never replicate a real world experience. At most it can teach you about things and enhance your hand-eye coordination, but a direct translation from game to real world requires a lot more than processing power.
     
  20. Mut1ny

    Mut1ny [H]ard|Gawd

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    Read my comment above. Either you don't play enough shooters or something but to say that games don't prepare you for anything isn't true at all. Like I said, I was very prepared for shooting a weapon despite my near zero actual real world experience with them. Of course this wasn't just gaming as I said but it is certainly a big part of it.
     
  21. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    I did say that games can teach you things, but playing a game will not directly teach you to shoot or gun or directly improve your ability to do so. It's been several years since I've shot a gun but I wouldn't expect that my skills (or lack there of) improved directly from playing video games, especially something like my aim (well, lack of when it comes to actual weapons). The act of aiming and shooting is radically different from playing a game.
     
  22. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Whatever. Putting a hundred rounds through a semi rifle doesn't equate shit. Lets see you clear a FTF when someone is shooting back st you.
     
  23. Kalabalana

    Kalabalana [H]ard|Gawd

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    Playing a competitive online fps game, should provide the same real world combat benefits as playing airsoft or paintball.
    Obviously referring to games that present similar rules of engagement.
    (I see a lot of posts confusing the supposed benefits of playing as relating to aim? No, it's a tactical understanding that you develop.)
     
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  24. Nanogrip

    Nanogrip Limp Gawd

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    Video games of stuff you like will make you more enthusiastic to learn and keep on learning, and perhaps eventually, will give you better skills through real life practice. We can see some FPS games giving real life concepts such as holding breath, bullet trajectory, variables in the wind, bullet type. Racing games with safe playable examples of understeer, oversteer, front wheel drive, etc.
     
  25. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I did that with a .22 and a flat 20kg chunk of some weird metal (we were shooting at an old factory junkyard, fun to shoot old toilet seats etc). The bullet deformed absolutely flat and round and ricocheted straight in the middle of my forehead. Luckily it had lost most of its power.
     
  26. endalykt

    endalykt Limp Gawd

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    Some people are devilishly lucky!

     
  27. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    I play way more first person shooters than my wife but she is a better shot than me with actual firearms lol. Except clays, I can kick her ass in those.
     
  28. Hitti2

    Hitti2 Limp Gawd

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    Maybe not but since I've gamed, I have better reaction time, no joke, I can catch a falling bar of soap. "No prison jokes plz".
     
  29. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    People who think think is the case, are people who have probably never fired a real gun in their life. Going from autoaim head shots in games to real life head shots with a pistol? Give me a break. Something as simple as jerking the trigger will put you feet in the wrong direction, which is something I will put money on these button mashers will be doing the first time with a gun.

    Most people who have never held a handgun before will be lucky to make it even on the paper at 7 yards.
     
  30. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've been a competitive shooter for a while in USPSA, 3 gun, and steel challenge type shooting. To be good at any of them, you need to develop very good gun handling skills, which video games would be useless at. However, you also need to develop a bunch of skills in terms of visaul processing and visual reaction time. I very specifically made an attempt to integrate video games into my training regimen to improve those aspects as I intuitively felt they could be helpful.

    Things I found:

    Video games really didn't help much. At best they were like doing warm ups for your visual reaction time. A convenient way to shift gears from slow passive viewing of things.

    FPSs were actually detrimental to performance. They bear a visual resemblance to the same task, but pretty much everything visually in terms of processing what you look at and coordinating your body is wrong for the actual task of running and gunning. I think it largely comes down to the fact that you aren't controlling the point of aim so much as controlling the composition of the scenery.

    I also made use of Flash Focus for the DS. Using a subset of the games offered, it worked very much like a warm up for the visual system and reaction time. I suspect the touch interface helped as there was also an element of physical coordination involved that involved accurately physically interacting with visual cues. this type of game was the best, but still not awesome. You could likely craft something in this vein that performed better by actually targeting it to the task.

    Surprisingly, arcadey driving games weren't bad either. Anything that was fast and had elements of both manipulating things to follow the path/track/road while having to discriminate obstacles/targets/enemies.

    Then of course there's the gold standard, which was some arcade game with a light gun where your actual body movements were reflected in game in terms of crouching and stuff. Can't remember the name, but that definitely got all the same bits of the brain and body hyped up. It was still like a super low-res version fo the real thing in terms of UI. Just not as nuanced or detailed. But had you never shot any of the various gun games, it'd probably make a difference in initial performance. If real life is like building stuff out of lego technic, this game was still very much duplo blocks.
     
  31. SGTGimpy

    SGTGimpy Limp Gawd

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    If you live in Southern California, then my statement makes perfect sense. Most anti-gun advocates here in California have no real-world concept on guns. That is why we have such restrictive and unnecessary gun control laws in this state.

    I have personally taken several clients of mine that were big anti-gun advocates and after a few years of constant nagging and twisting their arms. I was able to get a them to go to the range with me and actually try a real gun out. After they did, their understanding and opinion on guns safety was quite different.

    Most people including those who make and impose the gun laws here in California have never once touch or fired a gun in their life. So my statement wasn't convoluting anything but just stated it in a form of low ball humor while still being accurate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  32. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I still don't get it what does the two have in common. Their big realisation was: "Hey hitting shit accurately with a gun is much harder than I thought, therefore I've changed my mind on gun control, it's fine that anyone can buy a gun for no good reason, because people using it would miss anyway" What kind of logic is that?
    If you can get a gun what's to stop you from going out into the woods to practice shooting before heading out to kill someone? Or better yet even before you buy the gun go to a gun range to practice?

    I still don't see why someone realizing that you need practice to effectively use guns would suddenly change their stance on gun control.

    To apply the same logic elsewhere - "Hey I realized it's actually pretty hard to fly an airliner into a skyscraper, therefore I'm fine with giving pilot licenses to anyone without a background check and proper training - they'd miss it anyway"
     
  33. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Right, cause when you jump up from your firing position and sprint your ass off for 3 seconds before slamming your body to the ground while trying to keep your gear from crushing your nut sack and simultaneously trying to keep your helmet from breaking your neck is going to be so similar.

    There is only one thing that trains combat soldiers well and that is actual live training.

    Everything else is a compromise.
     
  34. Axiomatic

    Axiomatic Limp Gawd

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    real life shooting no. But I do know that gaming does help spatial relations for combat drone pilots.
     
  35. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes they can, but not as well as the real thing and that is the mistake other people are making. Live training is always expensive, it just is. The more realistic the more expensive it is. The military uses simulations, but they are not replacements, they are cheaper supplements to the real thing intend to provide training when money isn't good, or the help money last, between trips outside for the better training opportunities.

    Example time;

    I spent 4 years as a Comabat Engineer Tracked Vehicle crewman on an M728 CEV at Ft. Benning GA.

    We are in the field and the starter switch goes out. We can't start the tank. My Tank Commander "Hutch" jumps out of the turret and onto the engine deck, yanks up an access plate, loosens and removes a cable from "a cellenoid" (maybe), I don"t know what the damned thing was called. But it had two terminal connections inside, + and - sound like a good guess. "Hutch" takes the brass keys, two keys on a ring, and pinches them together so the key parts make a "V" and he jams the keys shorting across those two terminals and the starter kicks over and the tank starts right up.

    That isn't in the manual, we didn't learn it in school. It's that knowledge that old dogs teach new dogs and it just gets passed down through experience. I call it institutional knowledge. You don't get this any other way, and you need it. Our tank would have been dead, and maybe us with it, in a real war situation. I do not think anything but real will ever be better than real.
     
  36. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I agree here, because the environments are almost the same.
     
  37. SGTGimpy

    SGTGimpy Limp Gawd

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    Again, you don't live in California with monumental amount of stupid there is here. What you stated is exactly the issue and thanks to Hollywood further exaggerating the issue by portraying completely inaccurate and unrealistic gun fights. Most people think that you can just pick up a gun, point it at someone and shoot them whether they are 10yds or 100 yds. away because guns are evil and bad. When you present these people with the truth that they can physical see and now have a better real world understanding of. Then yes, their misguided, incorrect perception of how guns are is changed. While they may still not want, or find a need for guns in their personal life. They are no longer as negative towards guns or the idea of someone that is responsible owning guns.

    I did not in any way shape or form imply that they would all sudden think that guns are awesome and everyone including felons, gang bangers and the mentally disturbed should own as many as they want. That was you taking a very unserious and low ball humor of a statement way too seriously and trying to turn it into something it is never was. ;)
     
  38. spacecowboy863

    spacecowboy863 Gawd

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    the moment they realized the auto aim was off.....lol

    my buddies and i were playing airsoft in his 3 acre backyard and they brought their little bros
    as soon as they picked up some gear, they said "yah, we can quick scope w/ this"
    game 1 = spawn trapped them in a corner