So I was browsing the net looking for a certain candidates views on violent game bans that I was writing about last week, when I came across this lovely right wing Conservative site that is spreading utter BS about violent games to people, claiming to be a trustworthy source. Now I will add a disclaimer, the site may not be Intentionally doing this, but many of the PRO side points are quite suspicious at best, and down right fabrications or bad misinterpretations at worst… Anyone looking at this will believe the points debunked below, because most people believe what they hear: Here is the site I am talking about.
Now on to the debunking, shall we.. After all, this IS what I do here, debunk BS spread about violent games by ANYONE!
“97% of 12-17 year olds in the US played video games in 2008, thus fueling an $11.7 billion domestic video game industry. In 2008, 10 of the top 20 best-selling video games in the US contained violence.”
Really, 97% of 12-17 year olds played video games? Shocker. Notice it said video games, not VIOLENT ones… It then tries to claim that this is the reason that the gaming industry made so much money. Then it immediately tried to assume this 12-17 year olds must have played the violent ones!!! So “10 of the top 20 best-selling video games in the US contained violence” Shocker!!!
Let me tell you one thing. Most violent games aren’t even played by such “young kids”… The target demographic is 18-35, according to the ESA. They also say that the average age of gamers are 30 years old… They even did a study proving this, unlike the article linked above, which tries to imply that 12-17 year olds are playing “violent” games. Now Let me define violent game. A game with Combat in it, and killing. Not neccisarily a Uber Violent one like GTA where you run over old ladies, or games where you decapitate people, BLAH BLAH BLAH. The media for years has been using examples of rare tastelessly violent games as a way to say most games are like this, but it’s more than wrong because, according to a study I did using a wikipedia list of 605 FPS games released since 1986 on my other blog, only 4% or so were what I think most people would consider “tastelessly” violent. That’s 21 out of 605. Not even 1/10! The real number of tastelessly violent games is actually lower than this because FPS games make up only 1/5 of total violent games and tastlessly violent games, at least to me, seem quite rare… Now on to the more severe lies…
“Increasing reports of bullying can be partially attributed to the popularity of violent video games. The 2008 study Grand Theft Childhood reported that 60% of middle school boys who played at least one Mature-rated game hit or beat up someone, compared to 39% of boys that did not play Mature-rated games.”
The sample size is not mentioned here, 60% of anything less than 5000 people means nothing… A lot of studies that try to prove this stuff use small sample sizes to make it look like it’s an serious issue, and by possibly manipulating the results to show high percentages of people pre-chosen to show the result they want they can fudge the study. Recently a study was done saying that 1000 people all supported violent game legislation. 1000 people may seem like a lot to the untrained eye, but 1000 is TINY, like in 625 times smaller than the Population of Boston, MA in 2011, 625,000 or so. So finding 1000 people who support legislation ignores the other MILLIONS who do not. It’s statistically insignificant, and the fact that such studies, more than likely pick and chose 1000 people who support it anyway, means that they should not be trusted. Not saying the study above isn’t trust worthy or the one mentioned in the article but you have to learn how to critically examine such studies…
“Video games often reward players for simulating violence, and thus enhance the learning of violent behaviors. “
Most violent games don’t even do this at all. Ones that do are things like GTA, Sure, and uber violent games like blood, but many games don’t even make dead enemies drop items at all these days. Very few actually force players to even kill any enemies, notable exceptions are quake 2, and serious sam type games. So much for rewarding violent behavior. Yes, killing is part of many games, but to kill, in order to survive hostile opponents trying to kill you, isn’t really rewarding anything but survival. Very Few FPS games that I have played (and I have played 100’s), really give you substantial rewards for killing… The whole realism thing in modern shooters (a BIG thing today) prevents significant rewards because realism requires minimal rewards per kill… A lot of these games focus on puzzles and missions to accomplish as well. Killing enemies is secondary. You can beat 90% of shooters without killing enemies. Just because killing is part of these games doesn’t mean they reward “simulating violence”. Also the claim that games that “reward simulation of violence” enhance the learning of violent behaviors is crazy. Most people who play violent games won’t go out and kill people because they have been rewarded in a game to do so in the game, not in real life… These points mentioned completely ignore that real life violence is different than simulated violence in a game, on purpose many times, to make it look like people who play violent games will want to kill for real…
“Violent video games desensitize players to real-life violence. It is common for victims in video games to disappear off screen when they are killed or for players to have multiple lives.”
There is actually no real evidence to support the idea that violent games desensitize people to real life violence. Define Real life violence, then look at what desensization really means. It means that people who consume violent entertainment get more used to the violence in it. Real life violence is Completely separate from this, Period! There is evidence to suggest that consuming said violence entertainment, or anything really, will make a person more used to it. That’s all the evidence is really saying. Saying it proves that people get used to a completely separate, different thing (real life violence), is a willful, stupid, and deceitful misinterpretation of studies that prove something different. If there is any study that says violent games desensitize people to real life violence, then I seriously doubt that it isn’t flawed like all the other video game “aggression” studies being linked as proof of violent games causing real life violence by anti-gaming morons everywhere for 10 years.
Now on to the claims that there are lots of games that have multiple lives, and disappearing characters. Where the hell did they get this from? Only Extremely KIDDIE games like Super Noah’s Ark 3D have Disappearing characters that completely disappear. Only one recent game series features this, that’s serious sam. Most games have corpses that NEVER disappear. Making Dissapearing characters is way to make a game seem LESS violent to kids, and is only done in KID type games to prevent the game from showing off VIOLENT DEATHS… HELLO! And the idea that people in games have multiple lives. I can name all the popular games in FPS history that conform to this. Wolf3d, Descent Series, and Serious sam. THATS IT. Most FPS games ditched the whole lives thing because it made it too easy. The change was made in 1993 for gods sake, with Doom, which revolutionized the idea that players who die don’t get to come back without restarting the level or loading a save game. Lives in FPS games are almost non-existent.
“A 2000 FBI report (187 KB) includes playing violent video games in a list of behaviors associated with school shootings.”
Ok… So there is this study that lists risk factors for school shootings, and it listed being obsessed with violent entertainment. So a bunch of anti-gamer DickNozzles starting purposely interpreting it as proof that playing violent games is the risk factor, not being obsessed with any form of violent entertainment. Since I couldn’t actually quote the study, I screenshotted it below. Lo and Behold, this proves it again. The people who made this site committed this crime.
Nowhere here does it A) Single out violent games B) Make it so simply playing them is a risk factor like the article linking to it says. The article above is Purposely misinterpreting the facts to create a moral panic. Plain and simple. The FBI study finds that “themes of hatried, violence, weapons and mass destruction Recur in virtually all his activities, hobbies, and past times”. So simply playing violent games will make this happen? WTF! Sounds like these people who posted the article Don’t know people who play violent games mostly Do NOT obsess over real life violence. The study also says “The student spends inordinate amounts of time playing games with violent themes and seems to be more interested in violent images than the game itself”. Where does this equate simply playing violent games with school shootings. NOWHERE. Then it says “On the internet the student regularly searches for web sites involving violence, weapons, and other disturbing subjects. There is evidence the student downloaded and kept material from these sites”. Where does this equate playing Violent games, with school shootings? NOWHERE. It equates being Obsessed with Real violence, Hatred, And wanting to commit real violence, as a risk factor. This whole paragraph DOES NOT simply link playing violent games with school shootings. It links OBSESSION WITH VIOLENCE IN GENERAL. These people are making up BS about this…. The FBI wouldn’t actually link simply playing violent games at all. They aren’t pro family enough to do that… Only right wing nutjobs who want violent games banned do that..
“Violent video games cause players to associate pleasure and happiness with the ability to cause pain in others.”
Looking at the source of this proved that it came from one of the “hack psychologists” going around on talk shows in April 1999 claiming the military uses violent games to break down the inhibition to kill, all while selling his book, a big batch of lies… If a blog run by an actual person who was in the armed forces debunks the claim, then this claim sounds suspicious as well.. I know for a fact that even though I played wolf3d for the first time at age 13, duke3d at age 16, etc, I did not “associate pleasure and happiness with the ability to cause pain in others”. The whole idea that this happens, is using the same analogy as people misinterpreting desensitizing studies to prove that violent games desensitize people to real life violence, not the fake video game violence. This makes it look like games that make people want to cause pain in a virtual environment make people want to do it in real life. It’s BS… Just trust me on that… If it were true, you would have a LOT more cases of gamers hurting real people. I don’t see that, or any evidence that that is actually happening… So this is more than likely bunk too, IMHO.
“A 1998 study found that 21% of games sampled involved violence against women (165 KB) . Exposure to sexual violence in video games is linked to increases in violence towards women and false attitudes about rape (47 KB) such as that women incite men to rape or that women secretly desire rape.”
Number 1, the (probably) flawed study was done in 1998! More than 10 years ago! Number 2, since then most FPS or violent games, don’t even have women to kill in them. And if they do, that’s not saying they do this on purpose to single violence against women on purpose. Then the thing makes up the claim about sexual violence. Like all the other claims of “rape simulators” in violent games, this is also BS, because the last time a game actually had a scene where there was a controllable rape scene where a woman was a victim and the player was a perpetrator was, Custer’s Revenge, in 1989, an ADULT only game not sold in normal stores!!!! Since then only 3 games have even had rape in them, Phantasmogoria, which features the player being raped in a cutscene, and Fear 2, which ends with the evil chick villian Alma, Raping you in arguably the most fucked up ending any game has ever had, but get this, it is most likely a dream sequence…. Not once has there been a game that had virtual rape in it where a women was a victim, and if a guy was a victim, well, I have never heard of it. And the claim that violent games lead to “increases in rape” came straight out of a moron Fox news put on their “bullshitting” on Bulletstorm 3 years ago, which they tried to say bulletstorm causes real life rape, with this analogy “Since Rape is a violent crime and violent games cause violence, then violent games have caused rape”… It’s Fucking bullshit. The person saying this had NO proof that violent games caused real life rape, just said they did without actual evidence.
“Violent video games can train youth to be killers. The US Marine Corps licensed Doom II in 1996 to createMarine Doom in order to train soldiers. In 2002, the US Army released first-person shooter America’s Army to recruit soldiers and prepare recruits for the battlefield. “
Nowhere here, did they mention that the first was a training for group tactics, and was a Modification of the game not the game itself, with HEAVY REALISTIC changes to gameplay, and graphics, almost nothing from Doom in it at all. They want to make it look like the military uses real games like Doom 2 to train soldiers to kill on, but the blog ran by the military dude linked above “design synthesis” disproved that, didn’t it? Now the thing about americas army is true, it WAS a recruitment tool. But it’s the only game that ever was a recruitment tool, period. That’s out of THOUSANDS of violent games, most of which aren’t tastelessly violent..
“California passed a law in 2005 that would have required violent video games to include an “18” label and criminalized the sale of these games to minors. On June 27, 2011, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association (485 KB) that the law violated free speech rights.”
What they don’t say is that this law would have used a really subjective Obscenity clause like language to determine what games would be fined, by saying that games that are morbidly violent and “lack literary, scientific and educational value” are targeted for fines. This would allow them to fine any game they got offended by, period, causing many tame games to be fined, causing stores to pull any game that could be fined under the law off the shelves, causing most violent games not to be sold in stores, causing the companies that make lesser known games go out of business at the least. That’s what the BS article REFUSES to tell people… It claims to be a trusted source on the points made by the experts… All it is is spreading plainly debunkable lies to fuel censorship… It’s stinks, like most of the polished turds that get released by the anti-gamers…