News Article

Games Do More Damage Than Passive Smoking, says Doctor

Posted by James Newton

Excuse us while we smoke a Wii Remote

Despite the best efforts of Nintendo to turn gaming into a healthy pastime, the potential link between poor health and video games will be mined for countless years to come, with one such study claiming the negative effect of video games are more widespread than first thought.

Craig A. Anderson, PhD's article Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions was published in the American Psychology Association newsletter back in 2003 but is only just now gaining recognition from the gaming press, due to Anderson's use of his own studies as corroborating sources.

The report attempts to answer a number of myths surrounding the health impact of video games, with one choice quote responding to the 'myth' that the "effects of violent video games are trivially small":

Facts: Meta-analyses reveal that violent video game effect sizes are larger than the effect of second hand tobacco smoke on lung cancer, the effect of lead exposure to I.Q. scores in children, and calcium intake on bone mass. Furthermore, the fact that so many youths are exposed to such high levels of video game violence further increases the societal costs of this risk factor (Rosenthal, 1986)

Anderson's claim that passive smoking has a less widespread impact on lung cancer patients than violent video games do on the general population isn't surprising, though it is grossly uneven in its weighting.

For more nuggets of even-handed wisdom, you might want to read Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions. Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Anderson's thoughts?

[via apa.org]

More Stories

User Comments (96)

Sabrewing

#1

Sabrewing said:

I would think that people would prefer their kids venting whatever "urges" they had on video games rather than going out into the world and performing them for real, but okay.

Link79

#3

Link79 said:

If a violent videogame could make a person violent then He/She was already a little bit touched in the first place. How come no one blames movies but they are always going after videogames?

Bankai

#6

Bankai said:

Watch how all the gamers march in here and dismiss a psychologist's research.

Because, like, they totally know better. Looking forward to seeing your own research papers, lads and ladettes.

Axoloth

#7

Axoloth said:

@4: I think movies went through the same thing back in the day, didn't it?

It's whatever, games will unavoidably become as mainstream a form of entertainment as movies or books someday anyway, then hopefully there won't be as many people looking for controversy when it comes to games.

Also, I actually agree that violent video games has an effect on kids growing up, I mean, it makes sense. However, that's where the PEGI ratings and stuff come in. If they think video games are so dangerous, they should take them seriously enough that they actually pay attention to the age ratings. Maybe even make it illegal to sell video games to people younger than what the rating recommends. That's how it is with movies, no?

NintyMan

#8

NintyMan said:

So if this report was written back in 2003, then it would be slightly outdated since that was before the Wii and Wii Fit. Still, video game bashing is nothing new. I can tell you that I never smoke or drink and I'm still healthy as a gamer. I believe there is a generation gap when it comes to video games. Baby Boomers didn't grow up playing video games, but we did. It's just like when the old 50's crowd didn't like rock and roll and other developing pop culture things in those days. Today's adults mostly snub video games as toys and hurdles to health. I'm all for healthy eating and exercise, but to say the industry is killing people off like cancer is ridiculous. Also, the person has to be insane to think that a video game makes it all right to shoot someone, so it's not the game's fault. I agree with Link79 that it makes me wonder why they don't go after violent movies and books too?

Burning_Spear

#9

Burning_Spear said:

He's not actually saying video games are worse than smoking. He's saying video games are more likely to cause violent behavior than secondhand smoke is to cause cancer. In any case, who really cares? So we stop playing video games and start doing what? Playing sports? Yeah, those guys aren't violent.

Skotski

#10

Skotski said:

I agree with Sushi here...
Don't matter the argument nor how old the argument here.
I think they're missing the biggest factor: Parenting makes the biggest difference no matter which entertainment medium they're arguing against.

madgear

#11

madgear said:

As a child I, personally, had no interest in games until after I was 10 years old. I didn't even own a console until after then (although I had played a few arcade games). I wonder what has changed - it's not like games weren't around when I was a kid, but I couldn't have cared less about gaming.

Usagi-san

#12

Usagi-san said:

I agree that violent games have an impact. The problem occurs when kids are exposed to violent video games when they are too young to play them. Seeing a twelve year old kid with a gun fixation because his favourite game is Halo is a creepy, scary kind of feeling.

Games are like movies and books; there are some they should never see untill they grow up.

Rob_mc_1

#15

Rob_mc_1 said:

Well maybe we need to take a poll. We have enough people here who have played games from a young age that are adults who should show signs of chronic violent tendency from years of exposure.

Hey Corbs. Are you violent or angry?

skywake

#16

skywake said:

The suggestion that video games cause low IQs seems to be at odds with my experience. I'd argue that the average person at a LAN or lining up at a console launch has a higher IQ than the general population. When I was at High School there were probably about three groups of people. Those who did well at Maths/Science, those who did well at the Arts/English and then those who... didn't do well.

Those who did well at Arts/English GENERALLY seemed to spend most of their time either talking about their weekends and social random things or at the Library. Those who did well at nothing played sport or whatever they do. Those who were generally good at Maths/Science talked about games and tech in general. By this observation I'm going to come to the conclusion that Sport gives people a low IQ (equally as stupid but more accurate in my experience)

JayArr

#17

JayArr said:

Am I missing something or does that not say anywhere what videogames effect?

Smoking effects Lung Cancer
Lead Exposure effects IQ Scores
Calcium Intake effects Bone Mass
Video Games effect ????????

V8_Ninja

#18

V8_Ninja said:

So playing games stop children from drinking their milk? Huh, I never knew that...

Kid_A

#19

Kid_A said:

I got so mad after reading this article that I drove a flaming motorcycle into a fast food restaurant and watched as the fiery mayhem ensued.

...oh...

EDIT: wait, this article is from 2003, and the most current citation on the bibliography is from 2002. I'm confused.

Rob_mc_1

#20

Rob_mc_1 said:

Based on Kid_A response, I retract my statement my statement of polling the local populace. Thank you.

Usagi-san

#21

Usagi-san said:

@V8_Ninja: Well if they're more interested in playing video games than drinking milk...

Of course Skotski makes a very good point. Parenting has a very important role in all this. .

EEMarvel

#22

EEMarvel said:

Anderson is extremely biased when it comes to this research. He has been on a crusade against video games for a decade. For a rebuttal to pretty much everything he says, you should check Christopher Ferguson. Craig Anderson is a joke who uses methodologically questionable studies as part of these Meta Analyses.
Don't take this news story as anything more than a joke.

skywake

#23

skywake said:

@JayArr Oh wow, I misread that completely. I thought they were saying that Video games caused low IQs and low calcium. Oops!!

Malkeor

#24

Malkeor said:

This is silly...violence is obviously the larger issue in this long-debated subject, so let's look into it.
I have a feeling these violent video-games tend to lean toward the T an especially M rated titles.

Now let's talk about parenthood!
What do these rating on the little boxes mean parents? Hmm?
To bluntly evaulate the ignorance, the rating are pretty much similar to movies. Now you wouldn't want a child watching R rated movies and such...right? Right.
Mentor your child's habits of video game purchasing untill they get up into the T, and keep on going till they are mature enough to get into the M rated titles, yes that means waiting till they are 16/17.

Let's try this, and do the test again.

RyuZebian

#25

RyuZebian said:

I like to believe that it's all about the magical age when kids learn to seperate fiction from real life! That happens at different ages for different individuals, but when kids stop playing with their imagination they are usually about 12. That's when they know that doing things in games is ok, but doing them in real life is dangerous and bad. It doesn't matter if you feed them Pokémon or Ninja Gaiden, they're still going to try to recreate the characters actions in real life! And hitting someone else with a stick is going to be the same, regardless if it was inspired by Ryu's sword or Marowak's bone club! Letting kids play games where you shoot each other is probably safer, since the recreation of that doesn't actually involve hitting each other! It's all done with aiming guns and making noises... Assuming you don't give them bb guns. But then you're just a bad parent, considering how that's dangerous, games or no games!

ThumperUK

#26

ThumperUK said:

There are nutters in all walks of life, unfortunately this can include doctors. Thankfully this is only a tiny fraction of 1%. Any sane doctor would of course say that passive smoking is massively more damaging than playing a video game.

Link79

#27

Link79 said:

I was watching gory violent movies since I was 5 years old and I didn't turn into a murdering psychopath. Why would videogames be more damaging than movies or cigarettes for that matter? Besides smoking gives you cancer. Has anyone ever got cancer from playing a videogame?

Malkeor

#28

Malkeor said:

@26. Agreed. Like for example as an uncle of many little ones, I have one who especially likes me. I'm like his idol, no idea why. But he will try to do things that I do, like walk, eat, laugh the way I do, shoot up a school or seal clubbing on weekends...(kidding)

But they do try to recreate some of the cool things they see in games, especially dialogue, that's one of the major things they will pick up and start using. Of course this is why you let your children play games that are appropriate to their age level, but again this is obvious.

You have to let the child's imagination run wild though, but as a parent you also have to look into the games you're buying your child as well. Like for movies, you have to make sure all the content is safe for him/her, and if you have to, be extra cautious, but not to the point where you are feeding your child education videos on a regular basis. Talk about boring.

Having fun and being free, of course in a safe environment, and running around like a Power Ranger is part of being a kid, it's just up to whoever delivers these forms of entertainment I.E parents, to make sure that they don't steer in an undesired direction.

@28:
I think I developed palm cancer for that mini game in the first Mario Party where you spin the control stick like a mad man.

Axoloth

#29

Axoloth said:

@26: Actually, it does matter whether you give them Pokemon or Ninja Gaiden. Luckily, I only got Pokemon and the closest thing to a bone club is a stick, so no one got hurt that much. However, the closest thing to a katana is the antique sword down in our basement, so if I had gotten Ninja Gaiden when I was a kid, someone could've gotten seriously hurt. D: D:

SKTTR

#31

SKTTR said:

That pseudo doctor Mister Anderson is linking passive cigarette smoking to violent video games. Aha! Now where's the context pls?

He's just stating the obvious: Too much addiction to one thing is unhealthy. And kids shouldn't smoke nor playing violent games. Yeah. So where's the news, old boy?

How come people give such things the time of day again and again?

RaylaxStaff

#32

Raylax said:

On a side-note, why exactly are we reporting on documents written over seven years ago? Did Young James discover the Temple of Time and jump into the future?
Also starring Corbie as Ganondorf, and theblackdragon as Sheik

bboy2970

#34

bboy2970 said:

I think saying violent video games are harmful is true to an extent. If a very young kid like under 14 plays super violent games, it could potentially screw them up. For example, this kid who is like 9 walked up to my garage sale last year and started thumbing though the couple games I had out. So my dad walked up to him and asked him what kind of games he liked. His response: "violent games" o_O That's just a bit scary. Then my dad asked him if he liked Mario. The kid said no and my dad asked why. The kid's response: "It doesn't have any guns." Clearly this was a child who was exposed to violent video games far too early in his life and he is potentially damaged because of it. So what this doctor says seems true to a point although, the biggest issue here are the parents. None of this would be a problem if parents would just parent their damn kids! There is your issue, the parents. Not violent games or movies. They're doing their job by blatantly putting up ratings that outline who should and should not be exposed to it. Now its the parents job to not buy their 9 year old a game meant for folks 18 and up! I'm sick of people jumping down the throat of the game industry. Are they not to make mature games because kids might play them? No! Its not like they try and hide it. If a game is meant for a mature audience, there is a nice box right on the cover with a big "M" on it. Plus stores can't sell such games to minors. What more can game makers do?? Stop blaming them and start blaming the parenting of today!

Wesbert

#35

Wesbert said:

There are some things that bother me about Mr. Andersons's article.
1) He doesn't define violent games more clearly, nor does he mention differences in psychological effect between violent and non-violent games. Neither does he give closer definitions of the "ultraviolent" videogames, and how they in turn differ from merely violent ones. This makes his observations arbitrary and hard to verify, thus scientifically quite useless.
2) In an article concerned with video game violence, the sentence "Some include cut scenes (i.e., brief movie clips supposedly designed to move the story forward) of strippers" is beside the point, since no connection with the violence in video games and real life is established. It rather suggests he is writing for groups with certain political views, instead of a professional audience.
3) Almost all of the references he gives are his own works (Anderson, C.A). The only two articles not co-written by himself is one written by two of his previous partners (so no new sources) and another one from 1986, from a time when video games were not yet very advanced (specially not for the ultraviolent games from the 1990s). In other words, he merely restates his own frequently articulated beliefs and sells them as new. But merely repeating yourself is not research and definitely not science.
All in all, this sounds like sensationalistic pseudo-science, rather than genuine research.
(Please note my incredibly violent and aggressive tone after playing DOA: Dimensions)

@ WaltzElf: You don't need a degree to spot shoddy research and flawed reasoning. The ability to read and think are quite often sufficient.

RyuZebian

#36

RyuZebian said:

@29
My most recent experience with violent children was about a year ago, but that was an intensive one. Kids (only the boys though) were hurting each other all the time! Their biggest inspiration? Star Wars: The Clone Wars...Which is rated 7+ in most countries, I believe. One of them told me that he had played GTA, too. Yet it was fighting with sticks that was cool, not pretending to rob and shoot people! xD I agree that parental supervision is the best thing for the kids! There's nothing as effective to stop violent play as an adult stepping in.
@30
I think it's about peer pressure - It's the things that are hot among kids that they're going to imitate. Not the thing that is the most violent! I had friends who played Counter Strike, for crying out loud! Yet I never played it, in real life or in game. I remember playing with sticks, mostly. Ah, finding a perfect one was sooo rewarding... :D As for real swords, I still want one... Slicing veggies could become a real hobby! :)

Rathe

#37

Rathe said:

I'd blame video games for all the world's problems too, if it would get my medical practice some massive attention.

NIN10DOXD

#39

NIN10DOXD said:

YOU CANT EVER COMPARE ANYTHING TO SMOKING AND LUNG CANCER!
THIS GUY IS A ****** BAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EEMarvel

#40

EEMarvel said:

I'm a Clinical Psychology PhD student and am also, like 97% of young people (Pew Research Center), a video game player. I did a presentation on this issue and was astounded by Anderson's bias and shoddy research. Some of the important things that I found were:

The main finding of Anderson et al.’s (2010) meta-analysis had an effect of r = .15. This small effect size is smaller than the effect size of many other predictors of aggression and crime. For example, the accepted effect sizes of the relationship between aggressive personality and violent crime is .25, and that of poverty on crime is .25 as well.

Ferguson and Kilburn (2010) cite other research that purports that when other risk factors, such as depression, peers and family are controlled, the effect sizes of violent video games are decreased almost to nothing.

Finally, Anderson's results can be questioned from a real-world perspective. In contrast to the predictions that one would make as a result of the meta-analysis cited in Anderson et al, (2010), as violent video games have become increasingly popular, violent crime rates among young people, according to reports from the US Governments’ website, childstats.gov (2008), have dropped to their lowest rate in four decades.

In contrast there have been studies that have found that Video Games DO NOT lead to violence. A longitudinal study regarding the effects of video game violence was done by Williams and Skoric (2005). 213 individuals played a violent video game for at least five hours a week for a month. The results of the study really demonstrated the incomplete picture given by bivariate correlations in video game violence research. While violent video games were associated with both aggressive beliefs and interactions, this significant association disappeared when controlling for trait aggression, age, and time one aggression scores in a controlled regression study.

There is plenty of research to contrary of what Anderson concludes. Unfortunately, Anderson is extremely vocal in his position and is constantly in front of judges arguing against video games. With the upcoming supreme court case, we need to be careful about letting Anderson control the debate.

EEMarvel

#41

EEMarvel said:

@41 I agree with you, he is a "bag," but he is being taken out of context. He isn't saying that video games compare to cancer. He is saying that the effect sizes (a statistic about how strong a relationship is) is similar from video games to aggression and smoking to cancer. But I agree, he's a jerk.

Robo-goose

#42

Robo-goose said:

@WaltzElf
Those are my thoughts exactly.
If some doctor wrights up some article that DARES to say video games can be unhealthy for people, gamers immediately start butt-hurting without even reading the dang thing!
Thank God this isn't Destructoid.

Blaze

#43

Blaze said:

I think i speak for everyone. We don't give a ****! :-0 These things are all too common, we get the picture already.

Wesbert

#45

Wesbert said:

@ 44: Just out of curiosity: Have YOU read the dang thing?

@ 42: Thank you for actually checking the facts for us.

DarkKirby

#46

DarkKirby said:

@ 4. Link79

Before parents/people were blaming video games for why their kids aren't to their liking, they were blaming comic books (the new popular pastime older people didn't understand or want to for that matter). Before that, I'm sure it was something else. Whatever the case, it's NEVER because parents did anything wrong in the child raising process, it's always "some evil force they couldn't control". If it wasn't for that, my kids would be perfect.

DarkKirby

#47

DarkKirby said:

As another example of parents blaming something else for their kids not being to their liking.

Lets not forget the organizations that are currently demanding McDonald's stop advertising because it's one of the leading causes as to why so many American kids are obese (so they claim). You know, it's not because of the parents who bring their kids to McDonald's all the time because they don't want to hear their kids complain (or want to eat their themselves) nor is it the fault of parents that don't control what their kids eat and make sure they exercise. It's the fault of McDonald's for advertising. If they didn't do that their kids would surely be thin and in shape!

chiptoon

#48

chiptoon said:

@ Burningn Spear - best summary I've heard. Kids too violent? get them off the couch and outside. Maybe a game of rugby? Perhaps some boxing for the little tykes?

killer6370

#49

killer6370 said:

Lol who cars what Dr stupid says? hey we are gamers we eat only fast food and drink coke so this alleready says we don't care about our health and by the way preffer a few years less of lifetime than a stupid life without games

Robo-goose

#50

Robo-goose said:

@Wesbert
At the time of writing my last comment, I did not, I have now read the article, but from what I wrote in my last comment, it didn't matter whether I had read the article or not.
My point was that people should read the doctor's article before dismissing him as a " ****** BAG!!!!!!!!...", not "there is good info in that article! Shut up!".
You (and a few others) read the article, you have the right to say whatever you want about it.
Others did not read the article. They need to keep quiet about it.

TrueWiiMaster

#51

TrueWiiMaster said:

I half agree with him. Though I doubt violent games are worse for people's health than second-hand smoke, I do think violent video games have ill effects on kids. If you disagree with that you should try playing some Call of Duty online on the Xbox; the many, many kids that play there make my case for me (they're not exactly agreeable). That said, it would be difficult to gauge how much responsibility gaming should take for their behavior, especially when so many media outlets can be just as bad or worse, not to mention the incompetence of the parents in raising their kids. Personally, I think it would be better for no kid under 15 to pick up any M game, and I think some M games should be rated higher (maybe double M?) and kept away from anyone under 18 (comparing the violence in Gears of War with the violence in Call of Duty would lead one to believe they are on different levels altogether, but for some reason the ESRB disagrees).

BTW, is it true that in some countries in Europe it's illegal to give a minor an M game? I heard something like that somewhere, but I have no idea how true it is.

Wesbert

#52

Wesbert said:

@ 52: I didn't want to shut you up or insult you, I really was merely curious ;)
I agree with your general sentiment (read something before you comment), but I feel I need to correct you on one point: Everyone has the right to voice his opinion on such an article, whether he's read it or not (that's what free speech is all about). Whether we attribute any sort of value to their opinion, though, that is up to us.

theblackdragonAdmin

#53

theblackdragon said:

@Robo: ... so you're saying that it's only okay to not read the article and yet leave a comment anyway so long as you're convinced a real, live doctor was involved at some point in time, and he had things to say that were supposedly (after all, you hadn't bothered to read the article yourself to make sure) quoted in the aforementioned article? good to know, lol.

Robo-goose

#55

Robo-goose said:

@Wesbert
I'm glad to hear that you weren't angry, sorry for the cold response.
@theblackdragon
To simplify my last two comments, I have this to say: one part of an article isn't sufficient for a judgement of the entire thing.
Complaining because people whine about something is another case all together.
I complained about the comments, not the doctor's article.
The comments that I complained about were aimed at the doctor's article, they were about the NL article.
"That is all. By your leave, I will excuse myself."-Soren

Davidmoreaux

#56

Davidmoreaux said:

Gotta love how all are tax payer money is going to this type of research instead of creating jobs.

Colors

#57

Colors said:

You know, they just made this really cool thing. It's called ESRB! But it dosen't matter since nobody follows the guidelines and you could find 10-year olds playing M-rated games. They also have another new thing, yeah it's called parenting.

Amorous_Badger

#58

Amorous_Badger said:

Massively misleading headline. The key phrase is 'Meta-analyses reveal that violent video game EFFECT SIZES are larger than the effect of second hand tobacco smoke on lung cancer, the effect of lead exposure to I.Q. scores in children, and calcium intake on bone mass. '
Effect size of a measure of the strength between two variables in a study.
It's NOT saying 'games are worse for you than smoking' it's saying 'there's quite a strong corealation between findings and theory'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_size

Davidmoreaux

#59

Davidmoreaux said:

@ 59 yeah at some point you got to admit its the parents who have control. My parents never bought me any M rated games when I was little.

armoredghor

#60

armoredghor said:

@2&variousothers exactly. this is not the game industry's fault the average target audience is actually 25-35 year olds. If you're not even gonna look at what they play, you might as well just drop them in a room a stack of Final Destination movies, happy tree friends season and a single copy of Watchmen.

BulbasaurusRex

#61

BulbasaurusRex said:

I agree that M rated games (and T rated games for younger children) have a negative influence on mental health, although whether or not it's a bigger effect than second-hand smoke on physical health is up for debate. I'm 26, and I still refuse to play M rated games. It's one of the reasons I prefer Nintendo's consoles. Most M rated games could be edited into a T rated version without affecting the core of the game, anyway.

Infernapeking

#63

Infernapeking said:

This why I don; play many M rated games except Battlefield and Call of Duty. I don't like Grand Theft Auto. I mainly play E-T since that what Nintendo Console and Handheld are.

TikiTong

#64

TikiTong said:

Well,when I play M rated games,i remember it's just a game,and not to let it go to my head.I'm still a genius in my class,so i guess my IQ hasnt dipped

komicturtle

#65

komicturtle said:

Video games don't make me angry.

People do.

Been exposed to so many people, that my blood pressure sky rockets some times because of how irritating people can be.

Is that the video games talking?

The_Fox

#66

The_Fox said:

@EEMarvel (post 42)
I'm glad we could hear from someone that has done some research of his own on the topic.

@TrueWiiMaster.(post 53)
That's really more of an issue of the anonymity of the internet. A**holes are easy find online regardless of what they're playing or doing.

kkslider5552000

#70

kkslider5552000 said:

Let me just quote the best thing Adam Sessler has ever said, which is my main reaction to anything like this:

"You know, it's kind of preposterous and really disturbing and intellectually dishonest and somewhat pernicious to try to say that with all the other ills in the world. We have kids getting absolutely poor education in public schools, where they're not getting good medical care given to our health care system, and with the fact that people can't seem to get a decent job, what is the problem with America's youth in schools? Oh, it has to be a video game! Anyone with thought should find that insulting at the face of it."

Link79

#72

Link79 said:

@ Gamesake
Yeah Madworld taught me one thing for sure. If some guy comes up to you with an attitude just Impale his ass on a signpost! :)

OverlordMao

#73

OverlordMao said:

Okay, story time. I myself, have been gaming since a little after I could walk properly. Picture a two year old holding a Playstation controller or a game boy color and that was me. Now, I will admit I played Teen-Rated games WELL UNDER the age limit for the games, but as long as I was young I didn't really know or care and the blood/violence didn't affect me at all. I didn't play M-rated games until I was at least 10 though :P I've never been negatively affected by a violent video game in my life, due to being a sensible, fun-loving person.

After all, video games aren't a drug, they're an ANTI-drug. Yes, I did just make that dumb joke :D

wes008

#74

wes008 said:

Second hand smoke doesn't cause lung cancer (unless you were already on your way to developing it), so the effects of violent video games could be anywhere from very minimal to severe :P be more precise doctor! I honestly think they do in terms of behavior and I.Q. scores, but not to a damaging or unhealthy degree.

Moco_Loco

#75

Moco_Loco said:

If games are that dangerous, gaming on a cell phone must be even more so. You will turn violent and get finger cancer from the radiation all at the same time.

Joetherocker

#77

Joetherocker said:

More living people have been effected by violent video games than dying.

VIDEO GAMES ARE WORSE THAN DEATH ITSELF!

dizzy_boy

#80

dizzy_boy said:

what the heck. it`s a bit like saying kids are going to be cruel to animals because they`ve watched tom and jerry cartoons.
obviously, i won`t give younger children games that are pretty graphic like the resident evil series or HotD overkill.
but then, playing duck hunt never made me want to shoot real life ducks, or anything else for that matter. and playing super mario has never made me want headbutt bricks and throw fire balls either.
tbh, kids are actually far smatter than most adults will give them credit for, any kid will understand the difference between right and wrong, fantasy from reality if they are taught these things. it`s the parents that need stop the stupidity of worrying over trivial things.
besides, if you`re a perant stupid enough not to teach you child how to behave, and willingly give them things they shouldn`t have. how on earth do you expect them to grow up and not be disrepectfull, unruly, or violent. bad parenting tends to lead to bad behaviour in children, not playing video games.

Marvelousmoo

#81

Marvelousmoo said:

Quote, we need your help! The Doctor came back from the dead! Grab your gun; we need to kill that son of a...

Chris720

#82

Chris720 said:

And this is news... how? People will teabag video games until they are no more.

Also I grew up with Zelda, stabbing stuff with a sword in a game, but I didn't reinact it or start loving violence. There's a fine line between killing a pixelated dude on a screen and killing a dude walking down the road.

Also if people are that worried, look at the PEGI/ESRB rating and learn to be a proper parent.

danschemen

#83

danschemen said:

i'm pretty sure they are talking about black ops and the other M rated games for the ps3/xbox360 because little kids play those games a lot more than little kids play mario

Noire

#84

Noire said:

Well that fact is worded oddly. I thought they were saying playing video games was giving me lung cancer and affecting my bone growth. o___O

motang

#85

motang said:

Wow that's a lot of cigs that dude is lighting up...and this "research" makes no sense.

AltDotNerd

#86

AltDotNerd said:

"Furthermore, the fact that so many youths are exposed to such high levels of video game violence further increases the societal costs of this risk factor (Rosenthal, 1986)"
Since when were games from 1986 so violent that they affected people?
How many people play Call of Duty?: Millions
How many of those people commited murder influenced by COD?: 0

Wolfenstein83

#88

Wolfenstein83 said:

This is crazy talk, how can games, a form of entertainment, become harmful to anyone?
Unless the person in question is already mentally unstable, there shouldn't be a problem.
Granted of course, there have been some tough games that may have cause my blood pressure to go up a few notches, I came out okay in the end.
There is plenty of violence in the news, and other media, so we should stay away from that too, because it might be hazardous to our health to learn about world events.
It reminds me of way back when comic books were considered too violent, and etc.
Also, I am not a total idiot, but what the heck is "Meta-Research" anyways?
Is that research that isn't based on facts?
Cause if that's the case, then I think it should just be called "speculation."
Anyways, I am going to go play some unhealthy, mind-altering games, cheerio!

Lolza64

#90

Lolza64 said:

Look, of course violent video games can have an effect on kids, but no more of an effect than violent movies, books or any other media that portrays violence can. People need to stop being lazy and blame video games for society's problems, instead they should actually take proper action to deal with the issue itself. It's like the same thing happens every time some new medium becomes popular with the current generations youth, older people don't necessarily understand it so they try to create something negative out of it. Video games are just the scapegoat of today's day and age. And just because this guy has a PhD doesn't mean that he can't be wrong on the subject matter he's supposedly researched.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#91

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

If kids play games that are not age appropriate ; and play them often without doing other things kids should do - of course it'll effect them!. I'm an healthcare professional and read research papers as part of my job. The study, as indictaed byb the PhD student NL member (no.41) here is very flawed. How can you quatifiably comapre video gaming EXACTLY to passive smoking anyway? There's too many anomalies.

If played as part of wide range of activities, if time limited and age appropriate, I've observed that it is BENEFICIAL to children. Especially Nintendo;s, social gaming...

NocturnalYoshi

#94

NocturnalYoshi said:

I see a little bit of where the doctors comin from. I don't think its harmless to let a 5 year old play things like grand theft auto, but to say that all video games are a health risk, or at least as much so as tobacco second hand smoke, is rediculous. I've been playing video games since i was 5, and i have never thought of it as OK to kill someone, nor am i overweight and at risk of heart problems,etc. Videogames are not one of the bigger problems. Video games are only a problem when they get into the hands of audiences that are just too young both in age and mentality for the content. Thats why theres the ESRB ratings.

TheGameSquid

#95

TheGameSquid said:

Yeah, and I think red is prettier than a car. If you want to have a serious discussion about this, they better start making comparisons that make sense instead of making them sound sensational. Don't get me wrong, I understand the comparison he's making, but what's the point here? Undoubtedly the ties between people who own a car and people who interested in owning a car are extremely strong. What does that tell us? Let me put it bluntly: a lot of young boys are interested in violence one way or another (take a slightly more abstract view if you will), so is it really all that surprising that those kids also play "violent" games, and at the same time display "violent" behaviour? Not to me. Studies have also shown that playing video games have had a very positive effect on children's ability to solve problems. Does that mean all games are positive for children? No. If there's one thing I'm sick and tired of, it's approaching sociological problems with statistics, just so you can catch a headline or two.

And while I know that it's just a stupid comparison he's making here, it's worth pointing out of course that cancer isn't the only reason you should smoke. There are many more negative side-effects to smoking, so the cancer comparison isn't a good one, since it doesn't show a good "use vs. damage caused" relation.

ToastyYogurt

#96

ToastyYogurt said:

Yeah, ever since I've played Mario, I've had the urge to jump on people's heads. /sarcasm

Seriously, not all games are damaging, it's more of an effect of violent games on children. Whatever they see normally in their early days has an impact on what they think is normal. No kid should think maiming people is normal. Really, those kids need to stick to E rated games. I'm surprised at how many 5-year-olds play COD...

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...