Study Claims Anti-Game Research More Reliable

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Study Claims Anti-Game Research More Reliable

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A team compared the studies cited on both sides of the Supreme Court case against violence games and had some surprising findings.

In preparation for the Supreme Court case heard back in November on whether it was Constitutional to restrict videogame sales as if they were guns or pornography, both sides prepared amicus briefs citing research that upheld their arguments. The State of California's brief - called the Gruel brief after the lead lawyer on the team - was signed by 115 people who believe that violence in games promotes violent behavior, while 82 people signed the Millet brief in support of the EMA's position that games are protected by the First Amendment. An independent group of researchers analyzed the two briefs and found that 60 percent of the 115 on the Gruel brief had been published in respectable scientific journals while that was true of only 17 percent on the Millet brief. Their findings therefore conclude that research that claims violent games cause harmful effects are quantifiably more reliable.

"We took what I think is a very objective approach: we looked at the individuals on both sides of the debate and determined if they actually have expertise in the subjects in which they call themselves experts," said Brad Bushman, a professor at Ohio State University specializing in communication and psychology.

Bushman also reported how many authors listed in each brief had specifically done research on violence in the media. Only 37 percent of signers of the Gruel brief had displayed expertise in that area, but it was even less of a ratio amongst the supporters of videogames in the Millet brief - 17 percent.

"The evidence suggests that those who argue violent video games are harmful have a lot more experience and stronger credentials than those who argue otherwise," Bushman said.

In the final piece of evidence put forward by Bushman's study, he found that if you only compare the studies published in more strenuously peer-reviewed journals, the anti-gaming Gruel brief has a staggering 48 times the number of "respected" studies in the Millet brief.

Bushman believes that if the nine Justices of the Supreme Court were to look at these statistics, they'd have to conclude that the Gruel brief is superior to the Millet. "We just wanted to point out to the justices that not all briefs are the same. In this case, the credentials and experience of those who signed the Gruel brief far exceeds that of the ones who signed the Millett brief," he said.

I have several problems with this logic. First, one cannot simply use sheer numbers to judge whether something is true. If that were possible, we'd all be forced to believe that Twilight is the greatest piece of art created in the 21st century or that the world was flat in 1492. The Justices are intelligent people and they will have to judge whether the research found in both briefs is sound based solely on the merits of each study, not how many of them there are.

Secondly, I think the discrepancy in numbers has more to do with how our culture funds such research. It is much easier for politicians to siphon public funds to pay for research to "save our children from the videogame menace" than it is for private advocacy groups like the EMA and ECA to conduct their own research. Plus, many scientists or researchers are reluctant to speak out in support of unpopular sentiments - like being pro-gaming - because it might impact their ability to receive public funds in the future. It's the same with research concerning marijuana - no scientist wants to be known as that "stoner guy" because then he won't be able to conduct research on other topics.

So, Justices of the Supreme Court, please take Mr. Bushman's study with a very large silo of salt and be sure to look at the agendas behind each and every study submitted for both sides. It's the only way justice will be truly served.

I'm looking forward to the decision, sources predict that we'll see it released in the next few months.

Source: Science Daily

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Science at this point hasnt observed children bieng raised to examine this yet. So nobody really has conclusive proof.

Since this is a scientific research problem, let me answer in a scientific way.
As with all those studies, you cannot claim causation based on data alone because there might be conflicting variables which interfere with the data, like here's one:

They say that the people who make "anti-videogame" studies have more experience. Yes, because they are older, and thus have less interest in promoting videogames, which is why they go the other way. With gaming as a young medium, of course the defenders will be younger, more inexperienced, and fewer in number.

i do have to agree. quantity dose not equal quality. all "respected" means is that the research was done by a legit group of people that know what they are doing. that should be the standard not the exception. especially in a supreme court case.

As obsurd as it sometimes seems, that's academia for you. All that matters is your credentials. Where you've published. Who you've worked with. You could be a retard who has only been a lab tech, but managed to get your name on some popular papers in big journals and garner lots of respect...

Anyway, what's imporant is whether the tests were conducted following strict scientific code of conduct... We'll see what happens.

Sample size for this case: 197 people.
This court is not just jumping to conclusions, it's taking a red-eye transatlantic flight.

Ah the good old "the people on my side of the fence are better then yours" legal argument.

I say the problem is that there are a fuckton more people trying to accuse video games than there are people defending video games with these tests.

Its no wonder the statistics are so skewed when one side has a couple hundred more "studies" than the other side.

It is exactly the point which I made the other day - It is often in those cases that the research is made to fortify someones opinion, not to bring realistic results. Politics should keep away from science... just like Glados likes it.

Scientific study in the public sphere is grievously political.

Studies can say anything you want them to. Especially when you're trying to impose your position and limit the rights of citizens.

Just cause they somehow found enough white republican scientists(Who knew!) it makes it more reliable?

So the old people have been spamming research journals?

Our studies must be better because they come from better sources = Appeal to Authority = logical fallacy = FAIL

QED

I predict that the anti-gamers will win by a landslide, because policitians (and the people that are supported by them) lack the spine to stand up against anything unpopular. Since gaming is demonised in much of the media the average (read brain-dead, drooling retard) person is firmly convinced that games are evil!

Policitians, as we all know, are in the business of getting elected. Running the country is only what the pretend to do. Since an election is simply a popularity contest of average (see above) people, politicians cannot afford to back RIGHT, unless it is also POPULAR.

So games are gonna come short. Again.

This just in: Survey Suggests Study Subject to Suspicious Scrutiny.

Well, this is hardly surprising. I've read some of the scientific literature, and violent videogames do cause some degree of violent behaviour - a literature review I looked at had the studies overwhelmingly on one side of the fence.

The thing I have a problem with is that the view that 'violent games cause violent behaviour' and 'violent games are protected by the first amendment' are not mutally-exclusive positions, and I don't see why the courts are treating them like they are.

I don't know, I honestly can't say I think this is the wrong approach to take, at least not entirely. I mean, they're examining the numbers, checking their sources, it seems like the reasonable thing to do. Not that this proves anything, but you still can't be entirely dismissive of it...

People will Believe anything, PROVING it is another matter entirely.

gigastar:
Science at this point hasnt observed children bieng raised to examine this yet. So nobody really has conclusive proof.

Even then there won't be conclusive proof. Because despite the advances in psychology, we still don't know the answer to why exactly we do the things we do. Theories, yes, but no "facts."

The Dark Canuck:
Bushman himself has authored several studies claiming video games cause violence. He's hardly a disinterested party here. See:
http://psp.sagepub.com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/content/28/12/1679.short
http://lol.medieraadet.dk/upload/mulige_aasager_social_hensynsloeshed.pdf
http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=5000597760
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/43/4/1038/
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2010-03383-001

You might want to give public URL's for those, because most databases require you to enrolled at a certain institution or college. Or, if you really, really care about this upload PDF's on scribd.

Despite this negative news, I've heard more news stories in favor of the games industry over the last few months... so I wouldn't abandon all hope just yet.

Veloxe:
Ah the good old "the people on my side of the fence are better then yours" legal argument.

Not to nitpick but that's actually a perfectly good legal argument. 'Of the two diametrically opposed experts we have here one is qualified' is a hell of a good point if I'm honest.

gigastar:
Science at this point hasnt observed children bieng raised to examine this yet. So nobody really has conclusive proof.

i agree. and how is it possible to determine that video games affect people at all everyone is different and there are too many variables in a child's development to isolate the effect that video games have.

is ACTIVISION really so cheep that they cant bribe enough people to make sure they win this case, wow Kotick is disappointing me.

in seriousness, this case does not worry me, I think that even if the state "wins" they will not get everything they want.

Generic Gamer:

Veloxe:
Ah the good old "the people on my side of the fence are better then yours" legal argument.

Not to nitpick but that's actually a perfectly good legal argument. 'Of the two diametrically opposed experts we have here one is qualified' is a hell of a good point if I'm honest.

Except it's not really that one side is qualified and the other isn't. They are trying to say that because they have more people that implies that their 'truth' is better then another one and that their 'experts' are more qualified because of that 'truth'. So basically it's they are better because there are more of them and they are on the same side of the fence as you. Not you specifically of course.

Veloxe:

Except it's not really that one side is qualified and the other isn't. They are trying to say that because they have more people that implies that their 'truth' is better then another one and that their 'experts' are more qualified because of that 'truth'. So basically it's they are better because there are more of them and they are on the same side of the fence as you. Not you specifically of course.

Well it's more like more people generally and more qualified people but you're right in that it doesn't necessarily mean they're right. In fact I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

What it does do is makes them look right and does rather increase the probability that they're right. As I say I don't think the effects are cut and dried and certainly not that way but it gets harder to argue when it turns out that most of the 'talent' think the other way. As a purely legal argument it is a kicker.

So how much pro-gaming research HAS been done? Saying there's more credible research in anti-gaming could mean that research concentration has been essentially one-sided.

Greg Tito:
signed by 115 people who believe that violence in games promotes violent behavior, while 82 people signed the Millet brief in support of the EMA's position that games are protected by the First Amendment

Gamers need to take off the blinders and realize that OF COURSE violent games can cause a behavior change in its consumers, its common sense that it would. Sure we haven't raised one child in a test tube, raised its clone in another test tube, and had the ONLY difference between them be whether they played Halo vs watched Barney and Friends, but that's a higher standard than can be feasibly met. If you ask for that, you'll never be able to admit to learning anything about the world. Science is a set of things we probably know to be true, not a set of 100% no doubt cause-and-effects. Besides, if your games DIDN'T have the potential to effect you, I'd call that pretty shitty "art", as good art SHOULD change its viewer.

Note that I still support private regulation of the videogame ratings industry, since games should still be considered free speech, just like movies and books, etc. Being art and causing violence are not mutually exclusive. Just look at the guy who burned the Korans. Obviously cause violence, but I would never in a million years suggest that he should be prevented from doing so, as he was making a political statement, a right that should be protected at all costs. Let people who actually DO violence pay for their actions, not those they blame for it.

Congrats to those of you who read my whole post instead of reading the first few lines and then flaming me.

BTW people: you don't "fund an anti-gaming study", you fund a gaming study, and then see which way the results go. If you think science is THAT biased, again, we can never truly learn anything from anyone.

So can they really say something is more legit when it's a seemingly one-sided argument? How much pro-gaming research HAS been done? Seems this discussion should be dropped until a more balanced case can be made.

vid87:
So how much pro-gaming research HAS been done? Saying there's more credible research in anti-gaming could mean that research concentration has been essentially one-sided.

Research is neither 'pro' nor 'anti' gaming, they all ask the same question and some come to a positive conclusion whereas others come to a negative one. If you set out to prove a specific viewpoint then your research is already fatally biased.

Don't care about the quality of the studies, neither side has been able to produce definitive evidence either way, so the question is unresolved.

But this is really simple, if making 'crush videos' and protesting soldiers funerals are protected under free speech (as the court has already ruled), so are video games, end of....

Lawyer105:
I predict that the anti-gamers will win by a landslide, because policitians (and the people that are supported by them) lack the spine to stand up against anything unpopular. Since gaming is demonised in much of the media the average (read brain-dead, drooling retard) person is firmly convinced that games are evil!

Policitians, as we all know, are in the business of getting elected. Running the country is only what the pretend to do. Since an election is simply a popularity contest of average (see above) people, politicians cannot afford to back RIGHT, unless it is also POPULAR.

So games are gonna come short. Again.

The Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life so their decision will have no effect, what so ever, on whether or not they keep their jobs. There will be some political pressure, don't get me wrong. The point is the Supreme Court is the last place where popularity does not always win.

Does anyone else see the lovely irony in the title?

-Dragmire-:
Does anyone else see the lovely irony in the title?

yeah. its pretty meta if i do say so myself.

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