APA wants violent games toned down

They seem to be missing two key points:

Kids shouldn't be playing the games to begin with.

Other research shows they have no ill effects.

I particularly love this quote:

"Showing violent acts without consequences teaches youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict. Whereas, seeing pain and suffering as a consequence can inhibit aggressive behavior,"

So, shooting someone and watching them grab whatever body part was just shot doesn't show pain? Watching their head blow off doesn't show they die? But again, none of this matters. "Youth" shouldn't have them, period. Research wasted... again.

Comments (8)

Other research shows they have no ill effects.

What other research? I have not seen any. Even so, I have no doubt there are studies showing games have no ill effects. There are studies showing everything. The question is: who paid for them? The American Psychological Association seems to be about as independent as you can get, so I trust them. Obviously, I don't really know anything about their funding, so... Whatever.

Of course, it doesn't really matter.

Games don't need to be toned down because they're bad for kids. We don't tone down pr0n, books or movies because of the children. We simply don't let them watch or read the stuff that's not suitable for them.

Same needs to be applied to games.

Here's a quick one I read last night:


Jenkins has done a lot in this area. There are some great sources in there too.

The Voice of Reason:

But again, none of this matters. "Youth" shouldn't have them, period. Research wasted... again.

The fact is that youth DO play these games and in great numbers regardless of whether they should or not. So, it is imperative that the impact of this behavior upon society be studied.

As for the results of the study, this study basically confirms what common sense already knows: "Monkey see, monkey do."

"The Voice of Reason" - thats a good one. Anyways. I agree with you. It seems to always be "Monkey see, monkey do." And I agree that kids do play what they are told not to (more common sense that will cost millions to research). But I do not agree when these groups try and stop or slow the advancement of this interactive entertainment that is catering to me. These groups and people have no right to deny me of my entertainment. That is what really irritates me, and they try their best to stop, if not slow violence/sex/andything "bad" in video games.

Video games should not be toned down. Period. How about regulate what a kid under 17 can buy? The Video Game Industry and retailers are not being paid to be your mommy.

I would like someone to study if kids feel agressive when playing football.

I would like to see one where they read a book.

I would like to see one where they watch a fight at school.

See, these "tests" are useless. Just because their brains give off whatever signal it is while they're playing the game doesn't mean they're going to go out and pull a Columbine. It's the same way they're agressive on a football field, but I fail to see studies on that. It's all hypocritical and useless.

I want to know who funded this "research" too. I can't seem to find that info. I wouldn't trust the APA at all. They're the ones making money from parents bringing in their "damaged" kids.


First of all, I finally got around to reading Jenkins' text. It's an essay, not a study, so I wouldn't call it "research", per se. His argument basically seems to be that kids don't learn anything from playing games because they don't learn anything from sitting through his classes. Disregarding that he just called himself a bad teacher: Kids play games because they want to. They're eager and motivated to play them. That puts your brain into a state where it can easily take up new info. Conversely, when you're sitting in a classroom, you're usually close to sleep (well, I was). That makes your brain unsusceptible to new information.

When learning, one of my biggest problem was getting my brain into a state where it was active, eager to take up new information. Games do that all by themselves, no help needed.

Not to mention that nobody claims that games teach you conscious knowledge. You learn behavioral knowledge from games. You do that in school, too: For example, you may not learn how to spell, say, "unsusceptible", but you do most certainly learn how to act so that the teacher won't call on you to spell it out.

As an aside, for everyone who wants to learn Java, I heavily recommend Head First Java, a book which tries to activate your brain while you read it. Works very well, I never learned so much while reading a book as I did when reading this one, even though I already knew most of the stuff inside the book. It's an awesome book.

Now, for the tests:

See, these "tests" are useless.

They would be, if they were as simple as you just described them. However, they're not. I don't think there's a link to the whole study, but there's one to the pdf containing the resolutions of the study. The main problem is not that people feel aggressive when playing games, but that the games reward their aggressive feelings. Simply put, the more aggressive you become, the better you score. Games teach that pattern, and your subconscious learns it.

Adults should be free to fuck up their own minds however they want. Children, well, not so much.

And yeah, I would never let my children play such a sick game as football.

I'll respond fully to LKM later since I have to go to work, but here's something I thought of:

Who would have done research on video games 20 years ago? They were dead. The crash had happened, the industry was dead, and the NES was just coming on the scene. What exactly did they study, and better yet, who would fund something given the state of the industry?

I'll find something else later LKM. In the meantime, Jenkins book is great reading.

Who would have done research on video games 20 years ago? They were dead.

Not really. "20 years ago" sounds like an approximation and probably means "well, you know, the 80s". The VCS appeared in 1977. By 1980, they actually became a huge force and video games started to become hugely popular. It wasn't until a few years later that things started to go downhill. Presumably, people would have been interested in studies about the influence these consoles had on kids by then.

What exactly did they study, and better yet, who would fund something given the state of the industry?

Even assuming that there was no successfull console on the market: Even during "the dark ages" (which didn't actually last that long), there were new consoles coming out. And hopefully, universities wouldn't need private sponsorship to do studies on their effects on children.

I guess such studies were being done for the last 30 to 40 years, unrelated to whether consoles were successfull at the time.

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