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Long-term exposure to violent video games once again compared to cigarette smoking

"It’s important to know the long-term causal effects of violent video games, because so many young people regularly play these games. Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes. A single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression." - Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University

I'm so happy we can continue blaming media exposure for society's ills. It's so much easier to blame games, movies and music than helping create programs to identify and help people with mental issues.

Link

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20 total comments (View all)
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 17:20

"I'm so happy we can continue blaming media exposure for society's ills. It's so much easier to blame games, movies and music than helping create programs to identify and help people with mental issues. "

What I would say down to the letter.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 17:21

Except for...you know...CANCER
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 17:25

This comparison is like saying watching Barney for long periods of time will make you a nicer person. Comparisons like this are total ****. It's like saying kids who listened to the radio and then played cowboys and Indians 60 years ago as a child turn them into violent individuals? Or 20 years ago with the A-team and the Karate kid. The average human mind isn't that simple or that pliable and if it were I'd have my PhD in psychology because I clearly know human behavior better than these analysts.
No Avatar
17 Dec 2012 18:34

It's stranger to me that people continue to blindly defend video games. I love video games, but it's unfortunate that at this point in its relatively (compared to movies, etc) people are not willing to at least consider the other side of the argument.

If anybody clicks on the link, you'll see that this info is based on a study, not just some guy spewing an opinion. I know that studies can be skewed to show what you want in some cases, but my main point is that we shouldn't just dismiss what somebody is saying because you feel it threatens your Call of Duty games or whatever. Honestly, they aren't even really saying that you shouldn't play violent games, just that too much of them could have a negative effect. That actually sounds reasonable.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 18:35

Not only do they have the part about video games wrong, but even their initial assertion about smoking is incorrect.

Smoking causes mutations in cells within the lungs. Any of these mutations could become cancer. Therefore, it is possible (though unlikely) for one cigarette to cause cancer.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 19:56

@joedick

It's because there is no concrete proof to the assertion. Studies come out and say something and then 9 times out of 10 a new study comes along in a few months or years pretty much refuting everything from the initial study. Translation, it's nothing but speculation and hypotheses.

Show me irrefutable proof that the nutbag with a confirmed personality disorder who shot up the elementary school in Newtown did it because of violent videogames and i'll concede your point. You won't be able to and that's why people continue to defend videogames from people looking for something to blame without real evidence beyond a hunch. I rest my case.
No Avatar
17 Dec 2012 20:41

The point here is that kids are being exposed to violent games that they weren't supposed to be playing in the first place. Parents just don't care. Now you tell me that a 8 years old that is raised on mature games cannot develop an appreciation for violence? If games are saying those kids that killing people is cool, war is cool, stealing cars is cool, assassination is cool.
And don't tell me parents should be responsible for controlling what their kids play, because most of them are doing a pretty bad job. Don't believe me? Go to any Gamestop and stay there for about 30 minutes. You are surely going to see a very responsible parent buying his/her 10 years old the latest Call of Duty.
IMHO this isn't a matter for parents to decide, this is a problem that is affecting all of us and it is time for government to intervene and regulate the sale of mature games for kids. Simple like that.
No Avatar
17 Dec 2012 20:55

I wonder what long-term exposure to Tetris Attack and Dr. Mario can do to you.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 21:04

joedick wrote:It's stranger to me that people continue to blindly defend video games. I love video games, but it's unfortunate that at this point in its relatively (compared to movies, etc) people are not willing to at least consider the other side of the argument.

If anybody clicks on the link, you'll see that this info is based on a study, not just some guy spewing an opinion. I know that studies can be skewed to show what you want in some cases, but my main point is that we shouldn't just dismiss what somebody is saying because you feel it threatens your Call of Duty games or whatever. Honestly, they aren't even really saying that you shouldn't play violent games, just that too much of them could have a negative effect. That actually sounds reasonable.



I would have more confidence if it was someone else doing the research.

http://www.gamepolitics.com/category/to ... M-_qXy9KSM

This person has made an academic career out of being the Jack Thompson of video games studies. He also has views that are contrary to common thought -- but this does not make him wrong, just different. Of four, since his findings supports certain people's opinions, it is popular.

However, since he measures people paying for 20 minutes, it does not mirror reality.

Mike from Morgantown
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 21:04

1. Cigarette smoking impacts the lungs minimally. Pollution effects the lungs more.
2. What cigarettes damage the most is the brain (both through 1st and 2nd-hand smoke), and according to the APA, 47% of smokers could be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
3. Seeing violence does not re-create it.
4. People commit violent acts because anger builds up inside that they can't properly let out through verbal counselling or support groups, because they are seriously mentally ill, because they have lost their minds, or because they are absolutely insane. None of that is caused by playing video games.
5. This makes Ohio State look about as legitimate as the scandals around their former head football coach Jim Tressel. They should fire this guy like how Jack Thompson lost his legal bar, and thus is no longer a lawyer.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 21:07

@opcode

As someone who grew up on Mortal Kombat and ripping the spine out of the people I beat with Sub-Zero, at 11 years old, I'd beg to differ. Violent media and forms of entertainment have always been around. Just look at the 1987 movie Robocop. Basically and hour and thirty-five minutes of pure glorification of violence, and even though it was rated R, it was a character that was mainly marketed to kids. He even had a cartoon and yet back then, kids weren't shooting up their schools everytime you turned around like today.

The problem isn't guns or violent media, it's a break down in values and poor parenting and it's not the governments job to be a parent to kids. It is however there job to recognize the programs that help troubled and at risk youth and make sure they are funded so those kids can get the help that they need so they won't act out and do things like this. But regardless, Call of Duty Mortal Kombat etc. aren't to blame. They're just the easy scapegoats.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 21:14

The problem is society doesn't want to spend a few minutes to help understand people or help me. Society is about me, me, me. Who got hurt by this? Me, me, me. Who's not to blame? Me, me, me. Blame video games.
No Avatar
17 Dec 2012 21:58

@FrenchFryGuy: can you guarantee that just because violent games didn't have an effect on you, that everyone exposed to violent games from early age won't display a tendency to aggressiveness when they become an adult?
And there is a big difference between games and movies. Movies are passive, you aren't taking part of it, even though you are being exposed to it. In games you are the one in control, it is you that is killing, stealing cars, etc.
Sure, I wouldn't go as far as saying that violent games are the only culprit, but simply ignoring that our youth is being exposed to too much violence from very early age just doesn't help either.
User avatar
17 Dec 2012 22:55

opcode wrote:@FrenchFryGuy: can you guarantee that just because violent games didn't have an effect on you, that everyone exposed to violent games from early age won't display a tendency to aggressiveness when they become an adult?


No, but you can't guarantee that anybody who does was as a result of them playing violent videogames either so it works both ways. There are always other more prominent factors that factored into these mass shootings. Like social withdrawal, personality disorder (as was the case with the Newtown shooter) depression etc. and warning signs that provided plenty of opportunity to cut off the chain of events that ultimately lead to the act of violence. Why not spend more time and effort focusing on that then the lame blame game of whatever's popular amongst the demographic of the perpetrators. It gets old real fast.
No Avatar
18 Dec 2012 00:51

I actually think video games have kept many violent acts at bay due to the fact that you can perform them in virtual space. I say video games reduce the amount of violence that people could have possibly displayed by now if they didn't exist.
No Avatar
Anonymous
18 Dec 2012 03:19

Johnknight1 wrote:5. This makes Ohio State look about as legitimate as the scandals around their former head football coach Jim Tressel. They should fire this guy like how Jack Thompson lost his legal bar, and thus is no longer a lawyer.


It's one professor of several thousand. As an OSU student, I now consider you to be an incessant jerk and will ridicule you for as long as you peruse the Interwebz.
User avatar
18 Dec 2012 12:22

to blindly assume that videogames have no effect on the human brain is just as foolish as saying it's the cause of the violence in our society. can't you see that the games are a symptom of a larger problem? of course not, people on go nintendo (or any other gaming site) don't actually care about anything real, they just want more and more and more videogames. so i guess it doesn't surprise that you don't EVER give a thought to the Blatant Fact that violent videogames desencitize a person to violence. on a related note, can any of you realize that these violent games are taking away your own, personal, health? or can you still tell yourself that you can't notice your health failing for the innumerable hours spent sitting still in front of your tv screens watching videogame men being shot over and over on your fancy "new" fps game (which is the same desencitizing drivel sold to you again and again, year after year). no, you're obviously responsible people...

"did you ever get sick, from eating shovel? you say you didn't, but you did..."
User avatar
18 Dec 2012 12:52

also, being an OSU student (i live mintues from that campus, it's students are nothing to write home about) doesn't mean anything towards a person's intelligence or social status or whatever else pineconn is alluding to above. elitist stupidity. i also like (sarcasm) how every time this subject comes up, RMC (or Jim Sterling, or blah blah blah) becomes member of the videogame defense force, and no matter how sensible the initial idea (ie that violence in media affects the minds of the young [and not so young]), it must be attacked. you're all ignoring a social issue That Is Real, in order to protect your "right" to continue your own personal mindless addiction (it IS completely fucking mindless, you know). i'm not saying it's time to ban gaming, but i'm also not saying that games play no part in the OBVIOUS increase in violence in our society which has so much to do with our glorification of violence in media. is it really that hard to see? it is certainly ignorant to dismiss the idea all together (as RMC does directly above, and on EVERY OTHER posting of this type [which seems to be a lot, since RMC seems intent to search out the net for exactly this sort of salacious bs]). maybe i'm wrong, though, maybe it's totally alright to play killing simulators all day, constantly under the barrage of virtual warfare. perhaps all the concrete science about environmental factors shaping behavior is just... um, ah... oh yeah, it's concrete science. turns out there's plenty (no really, it's overwhelming) of proof available from many scientific studies that, without a shadow of a doubt, environmental factors affect brain patterns (thoughts) which then affect habits, which then affect action. five minutes on google could enlighten one to what's going on here. although i already know that most GN readers are only going to ignore or flame me for saying so. (you're all so easily readable, which is again known because of this science of environmental factors. ie, a person unable to deal with this knowledge will lash out, because they are infected with a violent nature, because instead of nurturing that individual, the others in his/her life have chose to let videogames raise them, gifting our society with a selfish, egotistical individual who can't understand why their wants are not the most important things in the world.)

"have you ever gotten sick, from eating s#!t? you say you didn't, but you did..."
No Avatar
18 Dec 2012 21:14

Please state all of your solutions and action items in bullet point format. Thanks.
User avatar
19 Dec 2012 10:18

The answer is personal accountability. Any kind media;art, books, movies, television, video games, newspaper can inspire someone in any number of ways. You can't stop or control that. It comes down to personal accountability. Until you can force that (good luck) it's not fair to blame any piece of media. It's a beautiful/ugly freedom of the United States to have certain liberties. If you change them (even slightly one way or the other) you're going to anger a different group of people. The ESRB exists for a reason and if parents choose to ignore it, they are legally allowed and there isn't a thing can do about it. Kids need to understand personal accountability and you teach that through reward/punishment. End of story. You wouldn't blame playboy or hustler for someone's sex addiction, you blame the individual.

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