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Thread: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I've heard all the things on both sides of this issue, whether or not violent games lead to real violence or not, and I've never really come down on one side or the other of that debate, but I have a bit more insight into it now.

    I have owned a PS2 for a few years and recently acquired a PS3, and most of my collection has been sports games and a few of the many titles set in WWII. The WWII titles were some of the Medal of Honor ones and a couple of the older Call of Duty titles.

    I don't get tired of those games because I've always been interested in WWII since I had to do my own research to find out about the action my grandfathers were involved in. Neither of them would ever talk about it, so I took it upon myself to look things up and do my homework. My paternal grandfather was in the 101st Airborne and was in some pretty harrowing fights and my other grandfather was a diesel mechanic who worked on ships, so he wasn't in the thick of it.

    So with all that in mind, I recently picked up Call of Duty World at War and I've been playing it on my down time this week when I finish deliveries in the evenings. Those who have played or seen this game know that it is a bit more graphic than previous installments in that series. Having never been in combat myself (never even been in the military) I feel that this comes closer than other military games I've played to capturing some of what it must be like. (If you discount the whole go back to the last checkpoint if you die thing)

    What kind of effect has it had on me so far? It's hard to tell, but it hasn't made me more violent. If anything, by showing in a small way the utter brutality of combat, it has given me an increased appreciation for those who have been through it. I have always believed that our military people should be held in high esteem for their sacrifice, but this game has driven that point home more than previous titles that weren't quite as graphic. That doesn't mean that I enjoy the other ones less; in fact some of them are better for a momentary diversion than this one is because, at least for me, it is somewhat emotionally draining. Maybe I think too much about things, and maybe a lot of other people just view it as another shoot em up with better graphics, but this had the opposite effect on me that some say it should have. It didn't make me more violent, but even less so if that could be possible. I guess it really depends on the player and that person's personality.
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  3. #2
    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    IMO it doesnt do so any more than any other form of media that has depictions of violence. They all plant the seeds in the mind just the same. I feel that if a person is mentally not able to distinguish the game from reality, then it would only be a matter of time before they lashed out anyway.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Interesting question.

    Part of me says that unless you have a tendency towards violence, a poor grasp of reality and zero parental direction video games don't do squat.

    Part of me says that the military uses advanced simulations to help train troops to kill and to desensitize them to doing so. There's no difference between those simulations and video games other than the realism and complexity. They wouldn't use them if they didn't achieve the desired effect.

    Part of me says that if you're going to fret over video games you better outlaw football, karate lessons, MMA and wrestling as they not only promote violence, they actually force you to pummel other human beings.

    Part of me says that as a kid I played army, had toy guns and made plenty of weapons out of sticks. In my imagination I repelled the commie horde again and again in the back yard. Today, however, I have zero interest in killing commies, joining the army or shooting anybody.

    Part of me says it would be foolish to let children play games that have "mature" themes. Letting a 5 year old blast zombies night and day doesn't strike me as a good idea.

    ------------------------------------------

    Ultimately, video games, in and of themselves don't do anything IMO. However, combine them with thousands of hours of playing, no parental direction, some emotional immaturity or instability and some other environmental factors and they become part of a big equation that *might* result in violence.

    And lastly, every kid is different. Some can handle them, understand they are entertainment and are one of many different fun activities. Others probably shouldn't play with sharp objects, let alone Castle Wolfenstein.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 05-29-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Only if I'm losing.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I don't have a link, but a study was done that showed that video game violence can actually reduce real-life violence because it gives people an outlet. I think it goes without saying that you don't let children play Grand Theft Auto, but you shouldn't let children watch R-rated movies either.

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I am a pacifist.
    Yet, I love shoot-'em-up games. The Half-Life series, Unreal Tournament, Crysis, Bioshock, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Fallout, Hitman. Love 'em. Some are quite realistic, the others present us with comic book violence. And, I have been playing such games for a good 20 years (longer if the likes of Frogger are considered violent...after all, the froggie did go "splat" a lot).
    Never once in my life have I considered it would be a good idea to move that into reality. It is not in my blood.

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    Attack Cat! OUReds's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    I don't have a link, but a study was done that showed that video game violence can actually reduce real-life violence because it gives people an outlet. I think it goes without saying that you don't let children play Grand Theft Auto, but you shouldn't let children watch R-rated movies either.
    It's likely this study

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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    No.

    And if you disagree, I'll take a baseball bat to your head.
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I love UFC 2009 Undisputed. Yet somehow I don't find myself attempting takedowns and submissions in the produce aisle.

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    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Definitely. If you play violent video games, you will turn into an assassin and start picking of innocent people from the fourth story window of an abandoned warehouse. It is the same way that I became a five-tool prospect by playing baseball video games.

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I play Grand Theft Auto and find myself hijacking cars and being shot multiple times and still living.

  13. #12
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    I play Grand Theft Auto and find myself hijacking cars and being shot multiple times and still living.
    I just love how whenever I need a car I can find one nearby with the keys in it, and the best part is all of the local pay n sprays, nothing like a new engine in 5 seconds
    Go Gators!

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    I don't have a link, but a study was done that showed that video game violence can actually reduce real-life violence because it gives people an outlet. I think it goes without saying that you don't let children play Grand Theft Auto, but you shouldn't let children watch R-rated movies either.
    I know that at the end of a stressful day its always nice to get on xbox live and throw a sticky grenade at someone in halo. It makes me feel much better.

  15. #14
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    When I was in grad school, I took a course from a wizened professor whose life's work had been compiling and doing research on whether media caused people to act in violent ways. His compilation, which was required reading in his required course, showed that there were plenty of studies showing that media did not cause violent behavior, and a slightly higher number of studies showing that it did.

    I can't help but think that games, an even more immersive medium than TV, radio and films would produce similar results in studies. The fact that either side of the argument can be proven with research is what prevents regulation on violent content in media. I assume the same tug-of-war and inertia would apply to games.
    /r/reds

  16. #15
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Do violent games really lead to real world violence?

    I didn't let my kids play violent games when they were young. As they got older, I let them escalate up (well actually, I didn't let them, it just kinda happened). My son actually gave up video games in college and hasn't played them for 2-3 years now. My daughters never played.

    However, I developed a taste for violent video games and am now a homicidal maniac. What is your address?

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