Does violence stem from video games

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"Does violence stem from video games?"

No, games are just art and art imitates life. The first shooting games weren't made because games are violent it was made because people find violence to be fun.

Games create a world where people can be as violent as they want to be, without any real consequences to there actions.

Studies have looked into violence in games and there effect. The problem is that for every study that proved games make people more prone to violence there is one that proves games are a good outlet for violent people, preventing them from causing harm.

For every study that shows games can push a already violent person into a raging fit there is one to prove that it can calm violent people down.

In other words the game is not the most important variable here, it's the person playing the game.

 

As for games and violence they go hand in hand,  both is important to survival.

As long as there is a smart living animal there will violence and games, and violent games. Even dogs play violent games with there pups to teach them about danger, lions play hunting with there cubs to teach them to kill.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Interesting question. Try asking the question - How long have we been killing each other for and how long have video games existed?  The evidence should answer this question for you. Perhaps one should ask oneself if anything is violent if it is a matter of survival. In that case - violence only exists among humans in senseless hate or with psychopaths. And psychopaths does per definition not need a reason for violence, which renders the question, once more, - irrelevant.    In my personal view, video games is as much a catalyst for violence as semi-cold chocolate milk. I hate room temperature chocolate milk. One day I might kill someone over the last cold cocoa.   Fake lord have mercy on my soul.

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We are still living in the least violent times in recorded history , so no, violence does not come from games. There are people who may have violent tendencies , and violent media may help embolden it, but it is not the source or root cause. 

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I wouldn't give you very good marks for this survey...

Quote

Do You Think That Violent Video Games Influence Peoples's Behavior?

The word "influence" here is extremely broad. Take this for example:

Do you think that art has an influence on the viewer?

Of course it does! If art doesn't influence us, then it's crappy art. Game are activities about the player making guided choices - the whole purpose is to create a space in which different behaviours can occur, and to influence the behaviours that will be chosen.

So, in your survey, I'm forced to say "Yes, video games influence behaviour", but it seems like what you're really trying to ask is "Do violent video games make people violent?", to which the answer is "no", and you can cite the academic research to back that up objectively instead of basing it on an opinion poll.

So you've asked me one question, to which the answer is unarguably "yes", but you're going to interpret the results as if I was answering a completely different question, to which the answer is "no".

Quote

If A Child's Behavior Is Because Of A Video Game, Is The Behavior Down To Bad Parenting?

Again, this is terribly worded. What behaviour? That they can perfectly time the button presses to perectly duck and jump through the Battletoads Level 3 Bike Sequence - Turbo Tunnels? If so, no, that's not bad parenting at all. In this situation the game has encouraged the child to develop superhuman memory and timing skills!

If what you really meant to ask is "If a child has become violent from playing violent video games, are the parents to blame?", then again that's survey design because you're begging the question -- assuming the truth of an argument so that the conclusions that support that argument can follow. It's illogical.

 

Any results that you get out of this survey are worthless.

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On 10/6/2017 at 11:58 PM, MarkJackson2000 said:

I am currently studying games development at college and need a survey answering for my essay.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W2LG7CV

If you answered, thank you. Please share if you can. I need 1000 responses for it to be credible

Although experts agree that no single factor can cause a nonviolent person to act aggressively, some studies (though not all) suggest that heavy exposure to violent media can be a risk factor for violent behavior. Children who are exposed to multiple risk factors -- including substance abuse, aggression, and conflict at home -- and also consume violent media are more likely to behave aggressively.

There are so many great benefits to media and technology, including the potential to teach valuable skills. Doing research about TV shows, movies, or games before your kids watch, play, and interact with them will go a long way in helping them avoid the bad stuff.

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6 hours ago, Hodgman said:
Quote

If A Child's Behavior Is Because Of A Video Game, Is The Behavior Down To Bad Parenting?

Again, this is terribly worded. What behaviour? That they can perfectly time the button presses to perectly duck and jump through the Battletoads Level 3 Bike Sequence - Turbo Tunnels? If so, no, that's not bad parenting at all. In this situation the game has encouraged the child to develop superhuman memory and timing skills!

I think that the most "destructive" effects of video games on child development is not necessarily violence. The problem is the amount of time spent  acquiring skills which are not useful in other contexts. Other recreational pastimes will allow a child to develop important skills.

Reading will teach you vocabulary.

Sports will keep you in good shape, and teach you to be around other people.

Listening to pop music will allow you to relate to a large (ageless?) group of people around you.

Playing a portable instrument will allow you to entertain people at a campfire/field-trip.

Playing 8-ball will get you to go to a club and be part of a local "happening" in your town

etc...

I find the solitary nature of *TV* and pc-games to be worrying. You usually don't develop much as a human being by playing them.

Personally, I started developing because of my fascination with gaming as a child. But most of my gamer friends did not. Also, while I spent alot of time gaming on a couch with other friends (there was no internet back then :-) ), my closest friends as an adult did not come from gaming. Now that I have children, I find my "physical education" skills as much more useful than my gaming skills. Also, I don't have the time to lose myself in the solitude of a good game.

I think computer games and TV are an easy out for parents, because it keeps their children quiet while they can do other things. As such it is very tempting to get your son a Playstation/TV in his room and let them waste away. Then they blame the kids because they are not mature enough to regulate their time...

I would be thrilled if my kid took up boxing because of something they experienced on a computer game. However I think that the only thing most computer games will motivate a child to do is: Play more computer games.

So I think talking about violent children because of TV and Computer games is completely missing the danger in giving kids unlimited access to digital media.

 

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On 10/9/2017 at 5:23 AM, SillyCow said:

I find the solitary nature of *TV* and pc-games to be worrying.

It took me a long time to see it, but I find that the worrying part of games, if there is one, is the use of them as a crutch- as escapism.  Playing games is great, because games are great - but when it becomes a vice, at the expense of experiencing the rest of your life, then that's when it becomes a problem, IMO.  I used to spend enough time playing or thinking about games that it had a significant impact on my health and relationships, but refused to admit it at the time.  I still play a lot of games, but I'm conscious of how much, and it's impact.  I get out and do other things, talk to people, exercise, go to concerts- and my health (physical and mental) is much better for it.

That's not to say games aren't valuable as escapism either.  Nothing wrong with venting your frustrations for the day by firing up Doom for a few hours or something (at an appropriate time)- as long a you remember to go back to real life and actually deal with whatever frustrated you in the first place.

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On 10/9/2017 at 2:23 AM, SillyCow said:

I find the solitary nature of *TV* and pc-games to be worrying. You usually don't develop much as a human being by playing them.

It is true that games are not that beneficial compared to other life skills like playing music or boxing, but I think games bring more value to your life than you have realized, albeit not directly as evident to the aforementioned skills.

It depends on what kind of games you play first. Violent games may not add much positivity to a child's development, perhaps negative even; but a puzzle game, a historical game, or a well-written story in a fantasy game can be as useful to a child's development as reading Alice in Wonderland, perhaps more that games are interactive. I am no child development specialist, but when I was playing the latest King Quest game, I thought to myself how engaging this game could be to a child. The silly but harmless actions and scenes throughout the game, added with puzzle elements, could definitely engage a child's brain.

 

On 10/9/2017 at 2:23 AM, SillyCow said:

Listening to pop music will allow you to relate to a large (ageless?) group of people around you.

Now this, arguably, is one of the most useless aspects in our modern lives. I am not sure if listening to Backstreet Boys then added much to my adult life now. Yeah, it has that social aspect, but you can get your child to socialize through other means.

 

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5 hours ago, trjh2k2 said:

Playing games is great, because games are great - but when it becomes a vice, at the expense of experiencing the rest of your life, then that's when it becomes a problem, IMO.

This is not unique to games.

Entertainment in moderation is a wonderful, and can help make life better.

Excessive entertainment of any form, including binge watching, or being a couch potato, or a lounge lizard, or a book worm, can become problematic.  It does not matter the specific media used, and the problem has been around long before modern electronics. If you are avoiding life by reading novels, or watching reruns, or browsing news feeds, or posting on online forums, or otherwise cease living your own life, that is an issue.

 

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17 hours ago, frob said:

This is not unique to games.

 

I agree regarding TV, because it is passive as well.

However while it *can* become a problem for many other things I don't think that there is the same tendency towards compulsion.

For example: Books require an effort to read, and as such, less people tend to become bookworms. Becomming a soccer fanatic requires meeting people and buying tickets to games.

I would say that electronic media compulsion is more prevalent because it is much more accessible. Maybe like eating compulsion... I would not pre-emptivly discuss "bookworm-ism" with my kids. But I will definitely discuss media usage, because it is all around us. I also find some mobile games to employ predatory tactics (like drug dealers, and casinos). I would actually make a bold statement that some free2play games are designed as casinos for teens and children. I was not exposed to such marketing strategies as a child.

Edited by SillyCow

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^ I wouldn't say books take more effort.  They take very little effort at all, and lots of people get lost in them as easily as games.  The difference, IMO, is that books don't have the image of "this is bad for you" attached to them.

Getting lost in your vices is not unique to games at all, but I think games are sort of in an early state of being recognized as being a vice in the first place.  There's a weird balancing act right now between those who want to "legitimize" and "normalize" games as comparable to sports and books and things, but also the concerns and conversations about their effects, predatory addictive practices, etc.  Essentially all the things TV went through, but with a new face on it.

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The way I grew up (no ebooks): Books had a beginning and an end. When you were done with a book, you had to get a new one (buy/borrow). You had to contextualise and sync into a new book.

Alot of computer games are neverending. For example: You can allways play another RTS skirmish. When I sink into a new book, I can cut myself off for days. But it only happens ocasionally, because once the book is over, so is my compulsion to read it.

It's like comparing a movie to a series to a soap/reality/cable news.

You will not spend alot of time watching movies. The narattive usually ends after several hours.

You *can* spend alot of time binging a show.

You most definitely will spend too much time watching a soap-opera  a reality show or the daily news. In fact, they are designed with exactly that goal in mind. Many countries have a dedicated 24hr "big brother" stream which constantly broadcasts the show's participants to encourage you to never stop watching.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that TV and Video games are in another league of addictiveness. Books are not addictive enough to become a big problem for most people. However games, and facebook are. And a large percentage of the people I know (I hesitate to say "most") are addicted to TV. The one thing games have "going" for them is that they are still less popular than TV": An older parent is much more likely to encourage and participate in a TV addiction with their children than a computer game. ex: eating dinner regularly in front of a TV.

I don't think people realise how much time,experiences, and personal development they lose to electronic media. I don't think the size of the problem is remotely comparable to books. I know many people in my environment who spend several hours daily watching reality shows and cable news and play computer games. I know very few people who read a book a week [although I know some :-) ]. Also parents tend to sit their *toddlers* in front of a TV to keep them quiet. Which sends a very bad subliminal message such as: "You should be watching TV, because that is what people do at home". It creates an impulse at an early age for a developing child to enter the house and hook up to a screen. It also kills any conversation/talking that the members of the household might initiate.  am afraid that computer games have a similar effect.

At least they are not very accessible to toddlers yet. Although mobile interfaces are changing this drastically. You don't need to sit a table enjoy a touch screen game. I have seen many two year olds happily tapping away for hours on their parents' phones. One of these times was on a camping trip. I don't think the child was even aware that there was a happy campfire meeting around them. It makes me sad...

One sign of addiction is remorse: How often have you read a book over the weekend and said to yourself: "What a total waste of time, I should have gone to that party, got some work done, or attended that family meeting". While this has occasionally happened to me with books, It happens to me much more frequently with electronic media. I would say at least once a month.

Edited by SillyCow

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5 hours ago, SillyCow said:

How often have you read a book over the weekend and said to yourself: "What a total waste of time, I should have gone to that party, got some work done, or attended that family meeting". While this has occasionally happened to me with books, It happens to me much more frequently with electronic media. I would say at least once a month.

Gatta avoid projecting personal experience though.  It's easy to say people spend too much time on their phones because you can see it- and because the gut reaction to someone being on their phone is "they're wasting their time!", but you don't see the time people spend with books, and the gut reaction to reading is "that person is expanding their horizons" or something like that, so it doesn't register as wasted time.  It doesn't matter what you've buried your nose in, the effect is the same- that time could have been spent elsewhere, and it's on the individual to decide the value of the activity.  Who's to say someone on their phone isn't reading an e-book?  What if the physical book someone is reading is just entertaining nonsense?

It's easy to suggest that games/tech/etc. are a more common vice because we're in the middle of the kinds of communities who dive deep into those things, but this is a bias - other communities don't care about gaming, and absolutely fall into movies or books whatever else in much the same manner.

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I have seen a few people and I know of (but don't typically see) people who have completely swapped out their real life in exchange for books.

You don't see it because the lifestyles are usually secluded, but if you pay attention in libraries (the real buildings) you'll see people who come in every few days to pick up 20+ cheap romance novels, or read their way through the entire fantasy/fiction section. That is their substitute for a real life.  

There are many entertainments that people will use as a substitution for real life.   It is easier to vicariously feel the emotions of success and failure, love and loss, hope and despair, rather than to experience them in the oft-excruciating pace (and deeper personal connection) in real life.  Entertainment is not inherently a problem, but when it becomes a substitute for real life it is unhealthy.

But usually those substitutes don't incite violence, as the survey is trying to suggest through poor questions.

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2 hours ago, frob said:

I have seen a few people and I know of (but don't typically see) people who have completely swapped out their real life in exchange for books.

You don't see it because the lifestyles are usually secluded, but if you pay attention in libraries (the real buildings) you'll see people who come in every few days to pick up 20+ cheap romance novels, or read their way through the entire fantasy/fiction section. That is their substitute for a real life.

 

On 10/11/2017 at 10:43 AM, SillyCow said:

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that TV and Video games are in another league of addictiveness. Books are not addictive enough to become a big problem for most people. However games, and facebook are. And a large percentage of the people I know (I hesitate to say "most") are addicted to TV. The one thing games have "going" for them is that they are still less popular than TV": An older parent is much more likely to encourage and participate in a TV addiction with their children than a computer game. ex: eating dinner regularly in front of a TV.

Actually a good friend of mine in high school basically swapped out his life for books. He always had his head in a book and his grades suffered badly because of it. He was very literally addicted to books.

It's rare to encounter, because said people are not generally very social, but let me say that it does indeed exist in real life. 

2 hours ago, frob said:

There are many entertainments that people will use as a substitution for real life.   It is easier to vicariously feel the emotions of success and failure, love and loss, hope and despair, rather than to experience them in the oft-excruciating pace (and deeper personal connection) in real life.  Entertainment is not inherently a problem, but when it becomes a substitute for real life it is unhealthy.

But usually those substitutes don't incite violence, as the survey is trying to suggest through poor questions.

This pretty much sums up my feelings, though I will add that entertainment can try to incite violence (e.g. propaganda), although we can argue if it's really entertainment at that point. 

Typically though, research hasn't found any correlation between violence and gaming, nor any other medium of entertainment for that matter. Can playing tons of games be bad for you? Sure, but so can doing tons of "x" be bad for you.

Yes people can get addicted to gaming, but gaming generally gets its bad rep because of how new it is. Comics in the US were also equally criticized, so much so that the US emplaced pretty stringent standards which only recently relaxed.

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3 hours ago, frob said:

Entertainment is not inherently a problem, but when it becomes a substitute for real life it is unhealthy.

What makes it unhealthy?  Isn't this just applying an arbitrary ideal onto other people?

I don't see any inherent problem with escapism if it doesn't cause anyone to suffer.  But you never qualified it in that way.

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Sure, health is arbitrary. 

(Also I understand the psychology folks prefer to call it compulsive, rather than addictive.   Some definitions of addiction require chemical components, but any behavior can become compulsive where the person feels strong urges toward or against it.)

For physical health, you might argue that being unable to run a 5K is unhealthy as healthy people can typically run it, or that being unable to walk a 5K is unhealthy, or that being unable to walk 200 meters is unhealthy.  The line is arbitrary, although I doubt many people would say someone who struggles to stand due to extreme weight would be at a healthy weight.  Even so, I'm sure as an arbitrary line someone could say that if they're not completely dead it must be an acceptable weight.

For mental and emotional health, it is similarly arbitrary.  When a person has difficulty forming interpersonal relationships, difficulty relating to other people, difficulty interacting with people on anything beyond the most basic levels, there are degrees of it being unhealthy.  I've known people who were unable to hold a job or to really do anything that didn't fit the flights of fantasy from the books they were constantly reading.  I've also known people who were constantly in romance novels, and who had given up on real life relationships because none could compete with the dramatically scripted highly romantic plots in the books.  I'd consider both to be unhealthy, but they're not dead, so who knows where someone else would place the arbitrary line.

 

I'd put the arbitrary line at the point where it begins to interfere with 'normal life' or disrupt someone from doing the activities they wish, although that too is arbitrary.  If you are unable (or unwilling due to compulsion) to do what most people are able to do, it is unhealthy. 

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1 hour ago, frob said:

I'd put the arbitrary line at the point where it begins to interfere with 'normal life' or disrupt someone from doing the activities they wish, although that too is arbitrary.

That's pretty much the psychology definition. If it's harming you  it's a disorder. If you can't identify any harm then you're just eccentric :D

 

The scary trend with modern gaming isn't violence, it's gambling. 

We've had a generation grow up playing violent games now and no link has been proven.

However, mobile games have spiralled into the free-to-play-but-please-keep-paying model, where the aim is to dig hooks into a small percentage of your users and hypnotise them into paying for the game over and over again. From a purely business perspective, it's a very good thing if you can get players to become addicted... What's worse is that these companies are better at that goal than ever. The gambling industry now has decades of experience in making addictive video games, and those skills are directly transferrable to our industry (e.g. video slot machines are being made with Unity)... And that's scary as hell. Worse still, we've now got unprecedented access to data on player behaviours -- what used to require an expensive focus test run by behavioural experts can now be achieved by an off-the-shelf analytics service. Scientific experiments are routinely conducted on players, grouped randomly into trial and control groups without their knowledge, to test whether a game tweak will increase spending or addiction. 

And it's not just mobile gaming either, all this monry-making knowledge and practice is being appropriated by every part of the industry, and meanwhile traditional betting agencies are moving into e-sports. You've got kids who start out betting in-game tradable items on the outcomes of e-sports matches, who then graduate to real money (often with their parent's credit card).

 

Large scale exposure to violence is such a 90's fear. Large scale exposure to addictive gambling is the new concern ;)

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I agree with others who question the survey, I tried to answer it and found the questions ambiguous and/or leading. In my case, I abandoned the survey part way through due to these issues. Even if this were fixed, if the majority of the survey respondents are people who have an active interest in game development, that will likely skew the results (unless your aim is to measure beliefs in the game development community specifically).

In my personal opinion it seems unlikely that playing violent computer games at an inappropriately young age is a common cause of real world violence. Sadly there will always be a few outliers, and the sheer novelty of it will attract undue media attention and make it seem to the causal observer that there is a much bigger "problem". While I'm thankfully sheltered from day to day experiences of violence, the little that I have seen anecdotally I would correlated with poverty, lack of education and opportunity and I would speculate that there are cyclical aspects where the individuals were raised in difficult circumstances (e.g. abusive parents).

I find it curious that there is such a focus by some on computer games in connection with real world violence. One possibility is that it serves as a distraction that diverts attention away from the more fundamental issues that would need to be addressed to reduce violence, measures that might be unpalatable to people in power (wealth inequality, etc). Another is that the people who drive these conversations are earnest but have (IMO) "simpler" view of the world, driven by emotionally vibrant anecdotes rather than statistics and seeing direct cause and effect where other people might see co-incidence or mild correlation. Yet another might be that these people object to the existence of the violent computer games and don't mind exploiting tragic circumstances to demonise them in order to regulate and/or censor the games.

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There are really a lot of media out there which definitily makes people more violent and aggressive - this includes music, movies and games and books as well. Even the newspaper can make people violent and agressive.

Also there a lot of games or movies which are really violent but dont need it for telling the story. As a matter of fact, some media makes their story unbeliebable when they overuse violence a lot.

Killing robots or aliens or doing unrealistic stuff is just fine when you mostly dont get the idea about reality. But seeing in a military shooter how the bullet shoots through a humans head with a ton of blood and brain splattering around, seeing all the details or watching humans or animals gets tortured badly: Such things are not needed and will eventually make people really angry, aggressive or violent and some may just go out and do that stuff for real.

There are really rare cases when extreme violence is required to make it more believable.

I think the world would be a much better place, when the violence is used more wisely or be near no-present at all.

Edited by Finalspace

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5 hours ago, Finalspace said:

There are really a lot of media out there which definitily makes people more violent and aggressive - this includes music, movies and games and books as well. Even the newspaper can make people violent and agressive.

[citation needed]

All of the previous discussion has pointed out that no studies have shown that media causes violent behavior.  If you're going to say the exact opposite, you're best to back it up with something. 

5 hours ago, Finalspace said:

Such things are not needed and will eventually make people really angry, aggressive or violent and some may just go out and do that stuff for real.

This is a pretty serious claim though, and would have pretty important implications if it were the case.

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This whole discussion and I think OP just wanted to finish some homework that their teacher assigned them.

I don't think media makes people more violent, but I'm sure it normalizes violence. This is for any media.

This video from Pop Culture Detective shows the use of media (movies) as a medium to (intentionally) normalize the view of war and, by consequence, making army recruitment something more attractive than what actually is. Not exactly the same thing as individual violence, and intentional instead of accidental, but the same principle.

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