Violent Video Games Research: Consensus Or Confusion?

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It has finally been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that violent video games are bad for children. The researchers involved used the time honored and nationally recognized method of giving random people a "check any box that applies" multiple choice questionnaire. ;)

According to Bushman and his team, the results pointed to a broad consensus that exposure to media violence had a negative effect on children. In a related press release, Bushman states that they “found the overwhelming majority of media researchers, parents and paediatricians agree that violent media is harmful to children.”
 

wicked_chicken

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Jesus. That's research? Cohen's d of 0.49? Awesome. They found a medium effect size of public opinion. The paper "peer reviewed" it, responded with critism, and despite that, accepted it with statistical flaws, which the authors are attending to dodge post hoc by changing a prior hypotheses.

Big. Fucking. Fail.
 

JeffDC

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The article seems to bend over backwards to avoid explaining what "statistical flaw" was found, and exactly how the paper's definition of "consensus" was changed. Anyone know?
 

Comixbooks

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Tell Ya Adam Lanza was on more then drugs he was also doing Call of Duty on a large screen low rez monitor.... You see his eyes in that famous photo that is from all the wincing from gaming and the drugs maybe.

If thought a kids development years your going to be more aggressive due to lack of exercise and positive social outlets.
 

wicked_chicken

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I can probably find that flaw if I look at the full article in more detail. Let me do some digging.
 

illumined

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Too often it seems like violent video games are used as a scapegoat. Probably one of the worst examples of that was the fact that the kids who shot up Columbine in 1999 played the original Doom. Them and millions of others of course......
 

Megalith

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Anyone know why The Guardian's website looks like shit.
 

tetris42

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Why do I feel like this topic will be coming up over and over again 100 years from now
 

SGA76

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Too often it seems like violent video games are used as a scapegoat. Probably one of the worst examples of that was the fact that the kids who shot up Columbine in 1999 played the original Doom. Them and millions of others of course......
And before video games they blamed Dungeons and Dragons.
And before D&D it was Rock'N'Roll.
And before RnR it was alcohol.
And hell, you can't get any earlier than alcohol.

Its all to take the burden off the shoulders of piss poor parents and a society that would rather breed victims than people willing to stand up for themselves. They've taken away all competitive outlets and told everyone they're the same leaving nothing BUT the possibility of a violent outbreak.
 

wicked_chicken

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So the study, in the last paragraph before the discussion section, basically contradicts itself. Additionally, one of the statistical analyses is to determine whether scores of responses are different from zero, which any score other than zero is significantly different from zero (usually).
 

illumined

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And before video games they blamed Dungeons and Dragons.
And before D&D it was Rock'N'Roll.
And before RnR it was alcohol.
And hell, you can't get any earlier than alcohol.

Its all to take the burden off the shoulders of piss poor parents and a society that would rather breed victims than people willing to stand up for themselves. They've taken away all competitive outlets and told everyone they're the same leaving nothing BUT the possibility of a violent outbreak.


Dodgeball has been banned in most schools and there is a trend towards banning such games as soccer and tag during recess. I kind of get banning football because there are some very real and verifiable safety concerns, but soccer? Tag? Dodgeball?

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-06-26-recess-bans_x.htm
http://www.npr.org/2013/10/15/234730465/dodge-ball-causing-harm-or-teaching-resilience

Makes me glad I graduated high school when I did, school really isn't as fun as it used to be.
 

Godmachine

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Lets say there suddenly was an unshakable connection between violence in video games found in a SINGLE study..

Why would that mean anything? It takes decades of research and independent peer review before such a boast can be leveled. There are studies linking all kinds of crazy things together released every day. Just because a single study reflects a theoretical outlining does not suddenly make it true.

How do people think the Higgs Boson was found recently? Seeing it a single time and suddenly CERN went apeshit and called every media outlet in the world to share? No , they instead spent years and billions upon billions of more collisions and replicated the results over and over again and pooled through PETABYTES of information. In physics this is called a SIGMA. A SIGMA 1 has a very likely chance its a total fluke. SIGMA 2 shows a small but largely improbable nudge in the right direction. SIGMA 3 means that moved up into the theoretical range of probability. SIGMA 4 means it deserves serious consideration and by the time it reaches SIGMA 5 it has a 0.000028% chance of being incorrectly correlating.

Recently there was a supposed discovery of proof of Inflation in the physics world. After putting the 9 years of work through peer review its looking very likely that it was actually cosmic... dust that was being observed and not gravitational waves echoing from the Big Bang.

You just can't take a single result seriously. Doing so is very bad science. Encouraging such findings with further peer review is fine but otherwise its really not worth even considering. Violence in gaming as a subject of research has been studied hundreds of times over the years. No viable link has been discovered. The desperate nature of this sham research grouping just reeks of a political agenda. And it smells like total bullshit.
 

Phoenix333

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Alright, let's assume this connection exists. There's already a solution:

Rated "M" for "Mature" is on the game box for a reason.
Same with "R" on movies.
Same with "Some material may not be appropriate for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised" for TV.
Same with "Explicit Lyrics" on music.

This is all there to advise parents that children probably shouldn't have these things. Parents need to do their jobs and actually take responsibility for their hellspaw... er, "little angels". The thing that's missing from all this? Peer pressure and social choices. Who people associate with has a much more dramatic impact on what someone is likely to do than any other factor. If you don't want your kid becoming a thug then don't let them hang out with thugs and do thuggish things.

Lead by example, be involved as a parent, and take responsibility. It really is that simple. Parents, teachers, and these so-called experts need to stop looking for scapegoats and start looking in the mirror if they want to figure out who is to blame for this sort of thing.
 

wicked_chicken

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Godmachine, if you were a real person who made that comment on front of me in a bar, I'd buy you a beer.

Moderator / mediator analyses are known power hogs. Meta analyses require tons of statistical correction to be correctly applied and interpreted due to aggregate error terms.

This study does not answer any meaningful empirical question. Asking the public in the days of Columbus if they thought the world was flat would have no bearing on reality, nor would their belief that the world was flat be causal to the world being flat.

A closer examination of the authors area of research will likely reveal a history of one-sided findings.
 

Germanium

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I blame violence in general on the government(s) keeping its citizens in constant fear if they don't pay all forms of taxation, the constant warring government engage in, and the knowledge of the implementation of a policed world (where it can be implemented).

Games, scapegoats.
 

kbrickley

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Alright, let's assume this connection exists. There's already a solution:

Rated "M" for "Mature" is on the game box for a reason.
Same with "R" on movies.
Same with "Some material may not be appropriate for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised" for TV.
Same with "Explicit Lyrics" on music.

This is all there to advise parents that children probably shouldn't have these things. Parents need to do their jobs and actually take responsibility for their hellspaw... er, "little angels". The thing that's missing from all this? Peer pressure and social choices. Who people associate with has a much more dramatic impact on what someone is likely to do than any other factor. If you don't want your kid becoming a thug then don't let them hang out with thugs and do thuggish things.

Lead by example, be involved as a parent, and take responsibility. It really is that simple. Parents, teachers, and these so-called experts need to stop looking for scapegoats and start looking in the mirror if they want to figure out who is to blame for this sort of thing.

I think you hit the nail on the head ... most of the "violent" games also have adult themes in them which might be confusing to young children in their developmental stages ... poor or insufficient parenting has created most of the problems ...

most of the folks in my generation (born in the 60's so child in the late 60's/early 70's) grew up watching Tom and Jerry brutally abuse each other and Coyote get destroyed by Roadrunner repeatedly ... we didn't all grow up to be serial killers and abusive people because the violence wasn't couched in reality or adult themes ... just like we have a rating system for movies, we have a rating system for games ... parents should use that rating to gauge if their child is mature enough to play Postal or Grand Theft Auto ;)

One final note with younger children and context ... my mom taught kindergarten in the 70's ... when Jaws came out many of the young children went to see the movie with their parents ... it didn't really scare most of them because we were an inland state and the shark in the movie didn't mean much to them from a reality standpoint ... the movie Watership Down terrified them because terrible things happening to rabbits was something they could comprehend ... M rated games for non-M users are all about emotional maturity and context (and it is the parent's responsibility to judge if their child can play the M games responsibly or not) :cool:
 

Germanium

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parents should use that rating to gauge if their child is mature enough to play Postal or Grand Theft Auto ;)
Shitty parents raise shitty kids.

M rated games for non-M users are all about emotional maturity and context (and it is the parent's responsibility to judge if their child can play the M games responsibly or not) :cool:
Maybe it's a parental testing method, overload their youth and see which ones snap.
 

SRTie4k

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The paper doesn't even make an attempt to measure first hand results, it simply shifts the burden of research off onto parents, doctors and various other third parties. The err in this type of research is the fact that it now introduces bias into the results.

Kid is acting up? Parents now think "oh, it must be the video games causing him to be an insolent shit head teenager". If no video games were present in the house, they'd blame movies. If no movies, they'd blame music. They'd do everything they possibly could to shift the blame on some intangible source to avoid looking in the mirror and taking responsibility themselves. The same holds true with doctors and every other source in this article.
 

SRTie4k

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Let's also ignore the fact that violent crime per capita has plummeted in the past several decades, which kind of puts a damper on the whole "video games cause violence" theory.

If you want to go by trends, it seems our most violent generations were born before video games became popular, and each successive generation has become less violent as the advent of in-home entertainment exploded.

But no, we still find the need to blame all violent behavior on something other than parenting (or lack thereof) and culture.
 
5

5icko

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This looks like the same methodologies used in studies used to promote global warming.

"Depends on what your definition of 'it' is."
 

Time2Kill

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There was a time when you could of asked everyone if the world was flat, and they would of said yes. Awesome scientific research we have here. :rolleyes:
 

wicked_chicken

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So I shot off an email late last night asking a person much smarter than I to decrypt the statistical error mentioned in the article. I was on the right track. Their data didn't satisfy their a priori criterion, so the change the criterion post hoc.

That's a sub-fucking-par paper at best, and it should be recalled, because that type of research practice is known to be dishonest. The journal should remove it on the ethical grounds, at a minimum.
 

Stiletto

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The science is settled. There's no need to debate anymore. If you are a video game violence denier, you should be locked up, because this threat is real. There's a consensus, and only anti-science people would disagree.
 

DeathFromBelow

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This looks like the same methodologies used in studies used to promote global warming.

"Depends on what your definition of 'it' is."

Are we calling political commentaries 'studies' now? The research on global warming is absolutely clear: since the industrial revolution there's been a steady, rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 accompanied by warming that cannot be accounted for with other known factors like solar output. At this point the debate isn't about whether or not its real or if its man-made, the real difficulty now is building accurate models of exactly how this process is occurring to enable better forecasting, and that's far more complicated than simply identifying the trend.

What we're seeing with the violent video games/music/TV studies is exactly what you would expect if there is no correlation with violent behavior: randomness. Some studies show a link, some don't. When you look at all the data points no clear connection emerges.
 

wicked_chicken

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The science is settled. There's no need to debate anymore. If you are a video game violence denier, you should be locked up, because this threat is real. There's a consensus, and only anti-science people would disagree.

There's only consensus because the definition of consensus was fluid.

When we approached the editor in charge of handling the submission, Professor James Kaufman, he said that, “with the permission of both myself, APA Publishing, and the commentators who first noted the error, the original manuscript was modified with the correct analyses, with the footnote included so the entire process could be as transparent as possible. In my judgment as editor, the modified analysis did not substantially change the content of the paper or merit an additional round of further review.”

But the footnote in question tells a different story, one in which the authors changed the very definition of “consensus” to fit their conclusions, “In reviewing an earlier draft of this manuscript, the authors of a comment on this article…correctly pointed out that these results could not be interpreted as consensus. The editor gave us permission to conduct a new set of analyses using a different operational definition of consensus.” (emphasis added). If that doesn’t count as a substantial enough change to warrant re-review then what possibly could?
 
5

5icko

Guest
Are we calling political commentaries 'studies' now? The research on global warming is absolutely clear: since the industrial revolution there's been a steady, rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 accompanied by warming that cannot be accounted for with other known factors like solar output. At this point the debate isn't about whether or not its real or if its man-made, the real difficulty now is building accurate models of exactly how this process is occurring to enable better forecasting, and that's far more complicated than simply identifying the trend.

What we're seeing with the violent video games/music/TV studies is exactly what you would expect if there is no correlation with violent behavior: randomness. Some studies show a link, some don't. When you look at all the data points no clear connection emerges.

Bullshit.
 

SRTie4k

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There's only consensus because the definition of consensus was fluid.

When we approached the editor in charge of handling the submission, Professor James Kaufman, he said that, “with the permission of both myself, APA Publishing, and the commentators who first noted the error, the original manuscript was modified with the correct analyses, with the footnote included so the entire process could be as transparent as possible. In my judgment as editor, the modified analysis did not substantially change the content of the paper or merit an additional round of further review.”

But the footnote in question tells a different story, one in which the authors changed the very definition of “consensus” to fit their conclusions, “In reviewing an earlier draft of this manuscript, the authors of a comment on this article…correctly pointed out that these results could not be interpreted as consensus. The editor gave us permission to conduct a new set of analyses using a different operational definition of consensus.” (emphasis added). If that doesn’t count as a substantial enough change to warrant re-review then what possibly could?

I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic.
 

wicked_chicken

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The sarcasm wasn't lost on me, but his sarcasm was based on a serious methodological error that people without research backgrounds might not pick up on.

Unfortunately, bad science like this propagates bad policy.
 

Armenius

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The sarcasm wasn't lost on me, but his sarcasm was based on a serious methodological error that people without research backgrounds might not pick up on.

Unfortunately, bad science like this propagates bad policy.
I agree with your response. Unfortunately this is how misinformation spreads that eventually becomes considered fact by the masses. It's a bad comparison, but it's like how people polled hate "Obama-"care but like the Affordable Care Act, even though they're both the same thing by a different name.
 

wicked_chicken

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fd7a9366ded5ff513042b41f6342ebebd4650c238f3765f70749d2bb94929ec3.jpg


There's no end to idiocy. In the war against stupidity, we're losing.
 
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