Videogames

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DO you think playing violent video games increase violent/ negative behavior (as a rule) in youth?

Personally, I think playing violent video games do not have a prominent effect on mental health/behavior, and if they do, its probably minimal, or the player started playing before they had reached the level of maturity to comprehend what is happening and understand that it’s fiction.

(As a side note, why is the portrayal of videogames in the mainstream-media so overwhelmingly negative? They make it seem every shooting with youth since mortal combat is ’cause of videogames)

 
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As a rule? No. Minds are more complex than psychology can fully interpret, and there is no definitive result from gaming. The American military has experimented with some success by using violent games and films to desensitize soldiers who had a hard time dealing with real world violence. There are also some people who play violent games specifically to vent and avoid taking out frustrations on others.

 
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Originally posted by IceWeaselX:

The American military has experimented with some success by using violent games and films to desensitize soldiers who had a hard time dealing with real world violence.

Do you have a source on that? I know that they tried to use games that way, but as far as I know the main reason the military is using such games is to train strategic manoeuvres.

 
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I’ll see if I can find some sources. The specific instance I’m talking about was something discussed when I was in a college with mostly military students.

Edit: Here’s one source that mentions the practice:
The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence
(Warning: PDF file)

That paper from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology cites a book co-written by LTC (Ret) Grossman, a West Point psychology professor and coiner of the word “killology.”

 
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Another consideration is if videogames are having a positive effect.

When I was younger (couldn’t give exact age, but 8-9-10), I played Final Fantasy 7 for hundreds of hours.
All the engaging dialog encouraged me to read much more than what an average child of that age would read. The various strategies required to successfully play the game also encouraged me to think carefully and critically (good real world skills).

I’ve also played lots of pointless, violent, videogames too though. And after seeing lots of gore via the internet, I can tell you 100% I am not desensitized to it. Seeing real world, violent situations still disgusts me.

 
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I used to find games like Mortal Kombat ridiculously entertaining (and to an extent, still do). I still can’t stomach slasher films, and the idea of a throat wound makes my stomach clench.

If humans reacted uniformly to the same stimuli, it would be easier to issue a blanket statement regarding the effects. We just don’t. Some compartmentalize fictionalized interaction and realistic interactions into separate experiences, and some allow the perceptions to intermingle.

 
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It seems to me people are just using (violent) videogames as a convenient scapegoat. We’ve seen it in America before with lots of other activities enjoyed by youth (retro arcade style games, comic books, heavy/ rock music, etc).

Living in New Zealand, which has the same access to violent video-games, yet almost (virtually none) no gun violence, I can’t help but think the problem with America has more to do with its crazy gun culture and ease of access of dangerous weapons.

 
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It probably affects some people in certain ways, but those people would have been affected by something else anyway so it’s only providing an alternative fuel source for their unsociable behaviour.

Originally posted by sanii:

(As a side note, why is the portrayal of videogames in the mainstream-media so overwhelmingly negative? They make it seem every shooting with youth since mortal combat is ’cause of videogames)

It’s a nice easy topic to use to create a shitstorm because so many people don’t ‘get’ games, especially violent ones. Blame anything a large portion of the public don’t understand (games, fluoride, drugs) and you’ve got a beautiful rating- and reader-drawing storm of crap, as well as a golden opportunity for an image-enhancing moral crusade.

 
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It also serves to enfranchise some of our prevailing myths. That we as a species do not delight in violence, and that also violence is getting worse. This is a continuation of the baby boomers inherited puritanism and continual self congratulation. If people can enjoy violent fantasy responsibly, and continue to act in a more civilized less violent manner then it is a success of the following generation and a rejection of their pacifist idealism.

 
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that’s because movies still have a root connection to the classical media of theater, both being part art, part entertainment. however, video games are not “entertainment” in the proper sense. instead, it’s part art, part game (and traditionally a game for one, which makes it a toy), and not something that the baby boom generation have much been getting into, at least not before WoW.

because of this connection to the classical media of theater, in being part art, and part entertainment, movies have more respect then games. although there’s been plenty of complaints in the past about violent movies.

however, the effects video games have of desensitizing and all that shouldn’t be greater than that of movies. and there’s plenty of positive to say about games as well…strategy games teach chance-prediction, multi-functioning, cause-consequence etc. shooters train reaction time. and there’s plenty of inspiring content in certain video games. in fact it has the potential for enhanced story-telling if done right, by making you feel responsible for the characters actions.

 
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If playing games desensitizes little kids, so does watching T.V.

 
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I don’t like slasher movies but
I played games like manhunt2 and resident evil 3 at a very early age.
and it has to some extent taken the factor of empathy from me.

 
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No, Murder and crime have been around way before video games. You are just blaming video games for a reason as to why humans are so violent. Even when I was at a young age I knew that stuff was for entertainment. Also, being desenstized to violence is neccesarily a bad thing. What if somebody broke into your house with a weapon? Are you going to freeze up or do what you have to do to save your life?

No age limit for games.

Video games have nothing to do with it because they were already murderers in their head.

 
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Originally posted by Immortal7777:

No, Murder and crime have been around way before video games. You are just blaming video games for a reason as to why humans are so violent. Even when I was at a young age I knew that stuff was for entertainment. Also, being desenstized to violence is neccesarily a bad thing. What if somebody broke into your house with a weapon? Are you going to freeze up or do what you have to do to save your life?

No age limit for games.

Video games have nothing to do with it because they were already murderers in their head.

People who don’t smoke can develop lung cancer, so therefore, smoking cannot cause lung cancer.

Right?

 
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Absolutes are almost never applicable. People are not identical.

 
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Originally posted by sanii:

DO you think playing violent video games increase violent/ negative behavior (as a rule) in youth?

Personally, I think playing violent video games do not have a prominent effect on mental health/behavior, and if they do, its probably minimal, or the player started playing before they had reached the level of maturity to comprehend what is happening and understand that it’s fiction.

(As a side note, why is the portrayal of videogames in the mainstream-media so overwhelmingly negative? They make it seem every shooting with youth since mortal combat is ’cause of videogames)

The same reason firearms are demonized. They are an easy target that makes politicians and some people feel good without actually looking for core problems.

 
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Agreed. Just like guns, video games are incapable of killing anyone.

 
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It might make the crazy crazier, but as for sane people who play these games they should be sane enough to see that it is all fiction and it should not impact their judgement or influence them to commit crimes. That goes for kids as well.

 
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Meh. No! If a child is stupid enough to believe that what he is playing is the right thing to do then ill be damned. Blaming video games is just an easy excuse. I’ve been playing shooting videogames for years now and you don’t see me going around stabbing people in the face. Movies are more likely to have a negative affect on children then videogames (in my opinion anyway). If the kid turns into a raging psychopath i’m sure the parents would be able to notice it. And also, shouldn’t the parents be doing there job? If your kid is younger then the game rating (and you’re concerned about this) then pull your finger out of your bum and be a good parent to prevent this sort of stuff from happening. Take the god damn game off him, it’s not rocket science people. Huh, that’s all I have to say.