Big New Study Says No, Video Games Don't Cause Violence IRL



well it's a day that ends in Y and that means it's time for yet another study about whether or not our delicate youths are being negatively affected by this proliferation of a scary new technology scrolls wait no I'm sorry I mean books no radio wait motion pictures TV no no I've got it it's video games video games are ruining society just like all those other things we're thought to ruin society prior to it prior to people just accepting those things as a regular part of our society that's not to say that one of those things hasn't ruined our society I mean what Donald Trump be president right now if television was never invented great question sure we wouldn't have Breaking Bad or the wire but maybe we would have something just as good in its place tough to say media has an impact on us both in good ways and in bad ways it can make us care more about some important issues it can teach us about other people outside of our worldview or it could convince us to care less about certain issues to completely change our perspective on other people to the negative and it's also not to say that just because people always say a new technology is going to cause the downfall of society that that means that a new technology in the future can never cause the downfall of society video games in particular are interesting because they are leaps and bounds ahead of television and movies and books in terms of how personally invested you can get into them for instance you can easily get lost in a good book but a video game requires you to make decisions and actually affect what is happening on the screen so how couldn't that have an impact on a person possibly even more than a good book so despite joking around about this topic I actually do think it's worthwhile to study video games and how they affect people the most recent study I've seen comes out of Singapore where psychologists looked at a big old chunk of kids more than 3000 kids around the age of 11 who were followed for two years now this is an existing data set that has been used in previous research on violence and videogames and those previous studies did tend to find connections between violent video games and real-life violence however those previous Studies on this data set have been criticized for possible researcher bias and just bad statistics it's a lot of data so that's a good thing it's good to have a lot of data but it also makes it easier for researchers to either purposefully or unknowingly manipulate the statistics in order to find effects that might not actually be there I've talked about this before it's called pee hacking and when you have a huge data set you can go in without a specific hypothesis and just look for statistical blips and decide that those are your results but this study was pre registered which just means that before they even started their research they submitted their hypothesis and their analytic strategy to a journal so that they can't go back later and say oh wait we didn't find statistical significance there we found it in this other place the other cool thing about pre-registration is that once it's accepted by a journal that journal can't then reject the study for failing to find an interesting result that's been an ongoing problem in published science because it can lead to a lack of replication replication is kind of boring if you're just finding the same result or if you don't find a result at all and it prioritizes studies that are flashy with big headlines over studies that might be really useful while the previous studies did find some suggestion that violence in video games led to violence in real life this pre-registered study found absolutely no at all and they were looking at several possible outcomes including aggressive actions aggressive fantasies and cyberbullying interestingly they also looked at some nonsensical outcomes or traits that are already known to have no correlation to violent video games because it would be nonsense that they did for instance one of them was age of the child when they moved to Singapore which was statistically correlated with violent videogames in this data the researchers point out that if their study wasn't pre registered they could have just chosen that trait to make the focus of the study despite the fact that it's completely nonsensical it's just a statistical blip that happens when you're looking at a lot of different potential outcomes so the headline on this could be violence in video games leads to children moving to Singapore at an earlier age or vice-versa so is this the final nail in the coffin for worries over video game violence hell no this is a very good study but there's always something else to discover for instance a large data set could make it harder to see how violent video games affect a very specific population for instance take cannabis I mean literally take it it's it's very safe there's no ill effects in a large population but very specific populations of people with specific mental disorders can be severely negatively affected by cannabis in the same way while these authors found no link between violent video games and real-life violence overall they did find some intriguing patterns that should probably be explored in future pre-registered studies kids for instance were slightly less likely to be negatively affected by video games if they were girls or if they had a positive family environment and they were slightly more likely to be negatively affected by violent video games if they have poor impulse control so maybe a future study could look civically at boys who score poorly on impulse control or have bad family backgrounds they might actually be negatively impacted by violent video games so yeah keep playing violent video games if you want it probably won't screw you up at least if you're a girl from a good family thanks mom and dad you

22 thoughts on “Big New Study Says No, Video Games Don't Cause Violence IRL”

  1. Silly girl, "the data is the problem". You don't understand why population counts are forbidden in the Bible. Science has obvious to some both unforeseen and unintended consequences. No, they don't cause violence but their production and consumption leads to middle and working class revolutions. Wake up chick.

  2. the study finding is that it is inconclusive whether or not video games cause violence in real life. which is entirely different to saying that games dont influence real life violence. how do you even pass for a sceptic when you miss (purposely?) such basic things?

  3. Except Grandtheft auto 4- vice city for PlayStation.. I played that so much I couldn’t distinguish it from reality when I went out to run errands.. so I had to stop! Turns out having even ‘one star’ in real life is really bad!!

  4. Remember that time where elderly people thought Elvis Presley caused sexual promiscuity in our culture. Now it’s fucking video games

  5. I've watched violent movies and played violent games since I was a wee lad.
    But I still react totally different to real violence.
    Have been watching Ken Burns Vietnam War. And there was a film of a VC prisoner getting murdered (from the famous picture of battle of Hue) and I still found it extremely uncomfortable seeing a man getting killed even if it would be PG13 violence in a movie.
    Reality is very different from pretend even if pretend looks real.

  6. Please Do a video on the short guy who yells at the women in a bagel shop. Your perspective would be great

  7. That is pretty cool to look at such specific outcomes. I do get really sick of hearing that video games make you violent. My cousin had to stop playing racing games because IRL he started speeding and driving more aggressively. I think it would be interesting to look at smaller related issues, like does this specific game cause a certain subset of people to swear more? Do building games like Sim City cause people to be more organized or more caring? There a lot more useful questions to ask than do video games cause violence?

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