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To What Extent Do Violent Video Games Create an Aggressive Society?

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Tori Coutant

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of To What Extent Do Violent Video Games Create an Aggressive Society?

Victoria Coutant To What Extent Do Violent Video Games
Create an Aggressive Society? Playing violent video
games leads to less
empathetic behavior Playing violent games
leads to increased aggression Counter Claims Knowledge Questions Areas of Knowledge Ways of Knowing Broad study: results from 130 research reports with more than 130,000 subjects worldwide
Craig Anderson: distinguished professor of psychology at Iowa State University, director of Iowa State's Center for the Study of Violence
Results:
increased aggressive thoughts and behavior, both short- and long-term
decreased empathy and social behavior
Conclusions hold true across geographies, cultures, genders, ages, and study methods

Potential flaws:
Theoretical reasoning: harmful effects higher in younger children
Scientific results: weak evidence supporting age effects Study 1: Study 2: Focused study: 227 college students who reported both aggressive behavior and video game habits
Anderson: psychologist from Iowa State University
Results:
grade school gamers were more aggressive later
more game play lead to lower grades
Conclusions:
learn to substitute violence for constructive solutions
trigger aggressive thoughts
use game-like violence to solve real-world conflicts

Active participation leads to worse effects
observing violence lead to aggression
participating in violence leads to long-term aggression and violence Knowledge Questions that will be addressed:

What about violent games is so attractive to society?
Do results from the included studies illustrate an unanimous reaction? Areas of Knowledge that will be addressed:

Human Sciences: How can a simple video game influence society?
The Arts: What about the game itself stimulates aggression? Ways of Knowing that will be addressed:

Sense Perception: Results from scientific studies describe human reactions
Reason: Theoretical explanations of long-term results
Language: Reliability of information, sources, and conclusions
Emotion: Effects of otherwise inappropriate behavior WOK: Language
Extensive research done by credible source WOK: Reason
Scientifically unproven, yet logical idea AOK: Human Sciences KQ: Unanimous Results
Far-reaching observations AOK: The Arts
Medium worsens effects Study 1: First study to link violent games and long-term aggression
Random Study: participants assigned game via coin flip, half told to think of ways to improve game play
Results:
thinking about the game after playing lead to increased aggression next day
Conclusions:
remembering game play keeps aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavioral tendencies active
aggression-stimulating effects of the game
persist long after playing

Potential flaws:
those who didn't think about game play were equally non-aggressive the next day KQ: Unanimous Results
Game type didn't affect
aggression after the fact WOK: Emotion
Socially unacceptable behavior becomes natural WOK: Reason
Repetitive thinking becomes memory Study 2: International Study: RWTU, MSU, USC
Recent Issues: latest-generation violent video game
Functional magnetic resonance imaging technology: observe brain-activity patterns
Results:
activity patterns characteristic for aggressive cognition, thoughts, actions,
stemming from violent game play
Conclusions:
causal link between first-person shooting game and aggressive brain-activity
neurological link
short-term causal relationship KQ: Unanimous results
Similar results internationally WOK: Sense perception
Visual activity patterns Study 3: Anderson and Bushman
Ground-breaking study: first to link violent games and desensitization
Real-life Issues: violent versus non-violent games react to observing real-life violence
Physiological data: skin temperature, heart rate
Results:
lower skin response measurements
lower heart rates with real-life violence
Conclusions:
become less aroused by real-life violence
habituate violence
become physiologically numb

Short-term play for study, long-term effects expected to be more dramatic AOK: The Arts
Medium worsens effects WOK: Reason
Anticipated results WOK: Emotion
Unaffected by
commonality of violence AOK: Human Sciences Claim 1: No scientific evidence linking violent game play and youth aggression Violent video games may be one risk factor, only when with
real-world influences
No research shows video games as primary factor
Discover correlating not causal relationships
Represent one relatively narrow school of research
Most studies are inconclusive, criticized on methodological grounds
Media images are removed from any narrative context
May not understand or normally interact with content
Laboratory results cannot compare to real-life scenarios Claim 2: Playing violent video games does not lead to desensitization Media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real-world victims
Same reactions to real-life as video game: symptoms of severe emotional disturbances
Able to express otherwise hidden emotions and impulses
Only that violent play leads to more violent play
Even apes know the difference between play fighting and actual combat
Understand play as not reality: entering the "magic circle"
Using a toy designed for its purpose
Same action may take on different meanings
Understands actions on those terms KQ: Attraction
Otherwise in-check responses KQ: Unanimous Results
No evidence as
singular cause KQ: Unanimous Results
Different from real-life AOK: The Arts
Intended purpose
of materials WOK: Emotion
Distinguished from reality WOK: Reason
Distinguish play
from reality WOK: Language
Unreliable research What about violent games is so attractive to society? Question 1: Behaviors not normally allowed in society:
emotions / impulses
appeals to masculinity

Medium: Vivid images
captures imagination
stays with player
stimulate interaction Question 2: Do results from the included studies illustrate an unanimous reaction? Yes:
International cooperation
Far-reaching studies

No:
Some people are just violent
Other influences affect results
Lab results differ from real-life Human Sciences:
How can a simple video game
influence society? The Arts:
What about the game itself
stimulates aggression? Constantly submersed in violent culture:
Becomes acceptable, common, ordinary

More aggressive in real life
Less empathetic towards real people
Less sensitive towards real-life violence Interactive nature stimulates worsened effects:
Actions become natural to player
Vivid images stay with player
Reminisce about game after play

Intended to stimulate aggressive response
Separate from reality Sense Perception:
Results from scientific studies
describe human reactions Reason:
Theoretical explanation of long-term results Language:
Reliability of information,
sources, and conclusions Emotion:
Effects of otherwise inappropriate behavior Direct Observations:

Study results
Observable reactions of participants
Visually recognizable patterns Anticipated Observations:
Able to predict outcomes

Long-term effects not yet proven
Importance of age not yet proven Credibility of Information:

Well-known sources
Multiple views of discussion
Conclusions written to support analysis Morality of Observations:

Otherwise unacceptable behavior becomes commonplace
Desensitization towards real-life scenarios Works Cited:

Dill, Karen E. "Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression." American Physiological Assosciation. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/04/video-games.aspx>.
Gibson, Bryan, and Brad J. Bushman. "Violent Video Games Cause an Increase in Aggression Long After the Game Has Been Turned Off." Sage Journals: Social Physiological and Personality Science. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://spp.sagepub.com/content/2/1/29.abstract>.
Jenkins, Henry. "Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked." The Video Game Revolution. PBS. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html>.
Moore, Elizabeth Armstrong. "Metastudy: Violent Video Games Raise Aggression." CNET News. CBS Interactive, 02 Mar. 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10462519-247.html>.
"Study: Violent Videos Desensitize People." Phys.org. United Press International. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://phys.org/news73230545.html>.
"Violent Video Games: Aggressive Thoughts?" Phys.org. United Press International. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://phys.org/news7168.html>.
"Violent Video Games Increase Aggression Long after the Game Is Turned off." Phys.org. Sage Publications. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://phys.org/news204196308.html>.
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