So, on my old blog I spent 2-3 hours researching for an upcoming article debunking 10 violent game myths. I posted this article on a social bookmarking site (digg), and tons of trolls came out saying crap like “badly written article, Downvote!” and one even visited a link to the pro-family group I called nutjobs for making up a claim that violent games allow kids to ‘sodomize victims with broomsticks’. Something that I was pretty sure no game had in it…. The trolls then visited the groups site and I had to take the post down and the whole blog, to prevent libel.
But… the actual post that I linked on the site was debunking violent game myths. I am going back to recreate the post and debunk 5 violent game myths… With links to debunk them if possible… Here goes….
I will try to say why I think the lie is being spread, and then disprove it…. Below the paragraph about each lie I will write a section called “Data on Lie”, which will give rough estimates (in %) of how severe the lie is (how drastic the claim is compared to the truth), Popularity (how much it’s being said in the media since it’s conception), recent popularity (how popular it is in the media now), and respread (how much people have spread the lie in comments, etc, intentionally or not)
5: Violent games have controllable Rape scenes in them (really going strong now)
So the following article linked in this debunking of mine is spreading this lie that has been used dozens of times on anti-gaming articles bashing the SCOTUS EMA vs Brown decision. The lie is that there are violent games that have virtual rape in them where the player rapes a defenseless woman character in the game…. You have the Bulletstorm controversy saying that the game could cause real life sexual violence, then a biased claim by the psychologist in the article that violent games have caused real life rapes to occur, without any citing of any real cases… And many, many other articles calling violent games ‘rape simulators’…. Where did this come from?
You get the morons complaining about violent games going to the next level by saying violent games have rape in them to increase the moral panic, that’s what…. And the truth is, is that there hasn’t been a controllable rape scene in a violent game since “Custer’s Revenge” in 1989!, an adult game not even sold in normal game stores, then!
I hear the claim constantly from various people… Including this Connecticut anti-gaming AG complaining about the Cal law being held unconstitutional by the courts before it got to SCOTUS.. I have heard it at least twice in articles bashing SCOTUS, and in many comments of articles I have surveyed in my study looking for anti-gaming comments to see what their severity is.
Data on lie:
Recent Popularity 75%
4: Violent games are marketed to kids
This myth is less drastic than the first one, but is still constantly spread around. The truth is this one has been used in many different ways, all claiming violent games are marketed to kids for different reasons. There isn’t one common reason why this is true… But My article on this (here) basically says that the ESRB ratings are often misconstrued as GOVT enforced by people who do the same thing with MPAA ratings.. They are both voluntary ratings and if a store doesn’t enforce them they don’t get in Legal trouble, unlike what the common belief is. So when you get a biased study like the PTC ‘secret shopper survey’ that says stores sell M rated games to kids 80% of the time, you get people thinking that the industry is marketing games to kids.
The truth is that a recent FTC study says ESRB ratings are even better than MPAA ratings and enforcement in stores… but that doesn’t really disprove the myth…. What does, however is the target demographic of the industry is 18-35 year olds, according to this page. I have heard this on many articles in gaming sites, so I trust it…. If it were 5-9 year olds like all the anti-gamers keep saying then I wouldn’t even try to debunk this… But I have never heard any kind of evidence to support the biased claim that violent games are marketed to kids that isn’t something ridiculous like “violent game ads in our subway”, or “kids in a game store that sells violent games that could be seen by a kid”, or recently someone on a forum said this great claim “Look at all the Lego games, proof violent games are marketed to kids” after saying that since there were violent game ads ‘everywhere’ the claim must be true. Basically it’s a lie.
Data on lie:
Recent Popularity 45%
3: violent games make kids violent
There are many studies that seem to prove violent game make kids ‘aggressive’ but the fact is that this lie is based on right wing journalists and violent game ‘experts’ misquoting these already biased studies by saying they prove the kids become violent after playing violent games. The studies themselves are flawed (as my debunking shows). Basically the studies use brainwave scanning on both groups of kids, kids who play violent games , and kids who don’t. The aggression levels are proven through that, and through a competitive task that pits 2 people (1 from each group) against each other and allows the winner to blast loud static noise into the loser’s ears. The study says that the kids who play violent games hold down the ‘blast’ button longer. They don’t say how much, but from a comment on an article on a recent study, it was only milliseconds. Yeah. Nice proof. But if that wasn’t the only thing making these studies flawed, we have the fact that many of these studies fail to even measure tendencies that could cause aggression in the kids before the study starts, so basically the more ‘aggressive’ kids aren’t even checked to see that another thing is making them ‘aggressive’, and the checks are right after they play the games, no checks done next day, next month. These are short term studies… Not good on seeing if a kid will ‘go violent’ after playing Doom. To make things worse, there is no eliminating gamers from these studies… Using a 18 year old GTA fan as proof of ‘aggression’, by playing GTA is a bit biased. Don’t you think… Now all of this proves the studies have holes. But where did the violence claim come from, the one that says violence is proven by these studies…
From the ‘violent game experts on the news’, the hack psychologists purposely misquoting studies after columbine, on morning talk shows. This lie was spread like wildfire back in 1999 and many people outright believe it without questioning. It’s sad.
Data on lie:
Recent Popularity 25%
2: Violent games make school shooters better shooters in real life.
This one is really alarming, not very popular in lies being spread by the media, but really alarming, none the less. It basically says that Doom, allows players to be better shooters in real life, and uses the evidence in a school shooting predating Columbine as proof. The shooter was very accurate shooter in the shooting, and an avid Doom fan. They said “he had never picked up a gun before!” and then said that Doom made him the better shooter….. Without debunking possibility of him not going to a gun range, and actually practicing for real… Ok… Now the think is that the Columbine Shooters also were Doom obsessed…. But the FBI report mentioned that they missed most of their shots! Why?
Recoil, the force that pushes the gun angle up after every shot.
99% of Violent games don’t have realistic recoil of weapons, Doom had none, Quake had none, Half-life : none, only games that have good recoil are tactical shooters. And they are so unfairly realistic that no one could ‘train’ on them without becoming frustrated. The shots kill not hurt in those games, and the guns are very realistic with realistic recoil and kickback… But they didn’t really get popular till AFTER Columbine.. And since there hasn’t been a school shooting with a real link to Violent games since…
Recoil prevents someone from hitting their shots if they hold down the trigger like they do in the movies and in most violent games. It causes a real life gun to spin out of control, especially an Assault Weapon like a MP5, or any Assault Rifle. The tactic taught in older violent games available in 1999 basically was (run into room, hold down fire button, kill all enemies, let go, rinse and repeat). This doesn’t work in real life. The person would be shooting the ceiling if they tried this for more than 2 seconds. The military teaches real soldiers to fire in short bursts to minimize the recoil… A debunking of this in Doom was done by me recently on this blog… Here it is. There is no way a violent game will make you a better shot. The tactics are incompatible with real life… At least they were before realism was added to FPS games in 2003+. Realistic tactical shooters weren’t really popular till Far Cry (2003). Before that it was all no recoil in weapons…
So no way in hell did the school shooters get better at firing a real gun by playing FPS games of that time.
Data on lie:
Recent Popularity 25%
1: violent games break down the inhibition to kill
Ok… I’ve debunked this in my attack on the amicus brief with tons of lies submitted on CA’s side of the SCOTUS debate (go here for the debunking) but I will debunk it again… The claim is that violent games are used in the military to break down the inhibition to kill. This blog completely debunks the claim, which is another claim spread by the “hack psychologists” after columbine…
Violent games are used in the military to train group tactics, it’s no secret. The Marines licensed doom for this purpose… But there is no branch of the military that uses them to break down the inhibition to kill. The above blog says that the inhibition to kill is part of what Boot camp is for, to make recruits automatically follow orders. This, is really the only way to make recruits fire when they are commanded to… Seriously… A video game won’t do this… You need to break down the recruit by Intimidation, exhaustion, and other factors to make them act automatically. This needs an environment where you cannot leave the environment, and have limited freedoms, and are being constantly screamed at for making any mistakes, and are being worked out so bad that your constantly exhausted. No video game does this. Period.
Data on lie:
Recent Popularity 15%
- New Biased “survey” finds that 39% of all adults want violent game makers sued… (erosionoffreedom.wordpress.com)
- The ESRB is marketing violent games to kids, oh noes! (erosionoffreedom.wordpress.com)
- Continuing my study into anti-gaming posts on articles condemning games… (erosionoffreedom.wordpress.com)