And Nanny Nation takes another blow:
Results from the first long-term study of online videogame playing may be surprising.
Contrary to popular opinion and most previous research, the new study found that players’ “robust exposure” to a highly violent online game did not cause any substantial real-world aggression.
After an average playtime of 56 hours over the course of a month with “Asheron’s Call 2,” a popular MMRPG, or “massively multi-layer online role-playing game,” researchers found “no strong effects associated with aggression caused by this violent game,” said Dmitri Williams, the lead author of the study.
Players were not statistically different from the non-playing control group in their beliefs on aggression after playing the game than they were before playing, Williams said.
Nor was game play a predictor of aggressive behaviors. Compared with the control group, the players neither increased their argumentative behaviors after game play nor were significantly more likely to argue with their friends and partners.
“I’m not saying some games don’t lead to aggression, but I am saying the data are not there yet,” Williams said. “Until we have more long-term studies, I don’t think we should make strong predictions about long-term effects, especially given this finding.”
Williams, a professor of speech communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an expert on the effects of online video-game play. He conducted the study with Marko Skoric, a lecturer at the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Their findings appear in the June issue of Communication Monographs in an article titled “Internet Fantasy Violence: A Test of Aggression in an Online Game.”
According to Williams, researchers have suspected a strong linkage between games and aggression “but, with the exception of relatively short-term effects on young adults and children, they have yet to demonstrate this link.”
Interesting. I know some people who are currently conducting similar research, so this will be a fun issue to follow.
When I think of violent video games, I don’t think at all about games from AC2’s genre.
My old roomie and his mates are huge gamers, and they’re the calmest people you’ll ever meet. I mean, it’s hard to be aggressive when you are that high.
John, John John.
Didn’t you ge the memo? Scientific studies are just another tool by the liberal elite who control this country used to try to convince mainstream Americans that their belief structure is wrong. We won’t stand for it I say! If your precious “science” goes againsts my ideology then your “science” must be wrong, because no sissy liberal is going to force me question myself. That’s Commie talk.
I am not a publication elitist, but
Communication Monographs? I can’t even find it listed on a list of journal’s impact factors.
Just because something got published doesn’t mean it is well done science.
I am not saying I disagree with the report, just that it is important to see where something got published.
Comm Monographs is the premiere journal from the National Communication Association, and the best research done in the field. That doesn’t mean this study will stand on its own, but it is akin to the New England Journal of Medicine for Communication Studies.
I’m a gamer and a big proponent of the belief that violent video games do not a violent child make.
That said, AC2? Seriously, if you want to tramautize your kid, try something like Doom III, Half Life II, or Soldier of Fortune. Once he’s done blowing up demons from hell, aliens from beyond, and crazied drug lord terrorists from Uzbekioslovikastan we’ll see how sociable he is.
I’ve been a gamer and been around gamers for a long time now, and I have three unscientific observations:
Games are an outlet for the overly agressive. Some people have, shall we say, well developed predatory instincts. Games give those instincts constant satisfaction. I don’t know if this a good thing in the long run, but it does seem to help them avoid preying on those around them.
Games violent games can make you more sympathetic to bad actors. While playing GTA may not make you think carjacking is wonderful, it will make you sympathize somewhat with carjackers and perhaps look down a little on the victims.
However, and perhaps most importantly, as gamers grow older, they begin to reflect upon violence games at least two conclusions are reached, one obvious, that the violence, if transported into real life would be a horror.
The other hardly mentioned at all in today’s culture, that men in particular are very easily seduced by the thrill of killing their enemy, of crushing other men, and that, the stupid stories that drive video games being the proof, no real justification is needed for it.