Violent Videogames Cause "Macbeth Effect"

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Violent Videogames Cause "Macbeth Effect"

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Scientists in Luxembourg have determined that violent videogames can have a statistically significant impact on the gift-shopping habits of inexperienced gamers.

If you were paying any attention at all in high school, you might remember that Macbeth's wife pushed him into some bad business but didn't have the stones to deal with the fallout. "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!" she said. "One: two: why, then, 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?"

From that, we get the "Macbeth effect," a description of a tendency to self-cleanse after committing a shameful act. The effect has been documented in previous experiments, such as the 2006 study "Washing Away Your Sins: Threatened Morality and Physical Cleansing," and has also now been recorded in gamers, specifically those inexperienced with violent videogames.

A recent study conducted by the University of Luxembourg had 76 people play violent videogames for 15 minutes, after which they were told to select gift items for others. Those who were "inexperienced" with violent games were more likely to select "hygienic products" like shower gel, deodorant and toothpaste than those who played violent games on a regular basis.

"The need to cleanse to keep moral purity intact, the 'Macbeth effect,' is a psychological phenomenon in which a person attempts to purify oneself in order to cope with feelings of moral distress," said lead researcher Dr. Andre Melzer. "We find that the Macbeth effect can result from playing violent videogames, especially when the game involves violence against humans." Experienced gamers, he added, use "different strategies" to cope with in-game violence.

I'm not entirely clear on what exactly this study proves, except perhaps that you shouldn't send a n00b to do a l33t's Christmas shopping, but people smarter than I assure me that this is in fact a legitimate method of conducting research into the impact of external stimuli on human behavior. Melzer will present his findings at the 2012 World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression and publish his results in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. He also intends to conduct future studies "aimed at bridging moral psychology and the effects of violent media" to help "reveal how the long term exposure to violent media negatively affects attitudes towards aggression."

Source: University of Luxembourg

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I'm almost tempted to give a "lol wut?"

Perhaps people inexperienced with violence should spend more time learning about their nature than buying cleaning products as gifts.

So gamers give better presents? I can live with that. :)

So there's a study on the effects of vieo games that isn't trying to paint them as serial killer training? Someone pinch me, I must be dreaming.

On topic, I know that feeling. There are some times when I played a game, and I did something that I thought was good but then it bit me in the ass later and I did just feel dirty and wrong for it.

Forsooth! What sent in younder armpit reaks?
Tiss the Ax, And said Gamer, is the noob.

Haha that's certainly interesting.

Interesting. I think it'd be more interesting to study the effects of violence in relation to behavior over time, say by taking a sampling of people with a gradient of expose to violent video games and seeing how the the behavior evolves over time. Then they can do a psychological analysis to examine how people identify with the content over time and how closely or distinctly they associate the violence with themselves. Examining the issue of identity in relation to hyperreal environments is a fascinating subject and one that can permanently end this whole violent video games nonsense.

Edit: Okay, what the heck. I come here, see an interesting story, post a comment and leave and later return and what do I see? Patrick Steward is on in the article. Goddamn Star Fleet Captains think they can boldly go wherever the hell they want.

So does this imply that "experienced" gamers that play a lot of violent games are desensitized to violence and gore because they don't exhibit behavior common to "inexperienced" gamers that have had less exposure to violent games?

But they gave the hygiene products to other people, they didn't take them for themselves.

Shit, I just ripped a dudes heart out. Now I need to brush my teeth!

But srsly...biggest load of bullshit I've seen. All I can tell that this prooves is that some people are more likely to buy hygiene products than others. And as a gift? That just proves that they have no idea what to actually get someone, since 'hygiene' products are used by most people, so it's a roundabout (If rather cheap) gift.

I think this just proves that casual gamers have better personal hygiene than hardcore gamers.

J Tyran:
So does this imply that "experienced" gamers that play a lot of violent games are desensitized to violence and gore because they don't exhibit behavior common to "inexperienced" gamers that have had less exposure to violent games?

No, this only proves that experienced gamers don't think it's morally questionable to play a violent videogame. I doesn't look like they are trying to proof that gamers are desensitized only that they perceive the games different.

J Tyran:
So does this imply that "experienced" gamers that play a lot of violent games are desensitized to violence and gore because they don't exhibit behavior common to "inexperienced" gamers that have had less exposure to violent games?

Actual violence doesn't really come into it, only the sense of having participated in something unclean. Experienced gamers don't find violent gaming to be a behaviour which taints them, it would seem.

Edit: Beaten to the punch. Curse my slow posting!

Finally a study on violent video games that doesn't "prove" they are the bane of society.

Interesting about the Macbeth effect though (shouldn't it be called the "Lady Macbeth" effect?), I'm surprised this is a thing.

Will learn more cause it seems interesting, but i want to know if it would apply to games set in WWII with the killing of the nazis. Just the thought that popped into my head, does this extend to persons we view as universally evil. I want to know if they conflict.

Should take a break from Company of Heroes.

I just come back from watching the Scottish Play and the first thing I read on here is this effect? Oddly odd, I'd say.

cleaning and cosmetics companies will be delighted to hear that.

if they only would use that data:

C'mon everybody, science congo line time!

Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo...SCIENCE!
Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo...SCIENCE!
Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo...SCIENCE!

Captcha: "toe the line"

Ah that makes sense.
After seeing duke nukem forever, I had to take a shower.

I've re-read the article over a dozen times now, carefully, trying to find the slightest hint of correlation and causation. And I still get nothing. In fact, this "recent study" is so pointless it almost makes me think the whole thing is a self-satirizing hoax.

People on this thread doth complain too much.

Are you kidding me?

Violent videogames do not cause me distress in the slightest. Why "purify" oneself for that?

This article challenges my view that there is absolutely nothing wrong with violent videogames, so it's wrong and stupid, QED.

Oh God. This reminds me of how annoying high school English was.

I am actually kind of curious as to what games were used here.

Taking a quick look at my library a lot of different games have 'violence' in them.

So, one detail, what was the selection of gifts they were choosing from, and what did the 'experienced gamers' pick?

Scrustle:
But they gave the hygiene products to other people, they didn't take them for themselves.

That's because they were told to select gifts for others, not themselves.

DragonWright:
So, one detail, what was the selection of gifts they were choosing from, and what did the 'experienced gamers' pick?

That's what I was most curious about. I wonder what types of gifts were made available to those of us desensitized to video game violence.

Andy Chalk:
I'm not entirely clear on what exactly this study proves,...

Basically, this study is trying to prove something slantways: If those inexperienced with violent games tend to demonstrate more "guilt" after playing, it means those that are experienced with violent games demonstrate less "guilt" after playing. The implication here is that exposure to violent video games desensitizes people to the guilt-inducing effects of engaging in violent behavior.

Okay, seriously?

Andy Chalk:
A recent study conducted by the University of Luxembourg had 76 people play violent videogames for 15 minutes

That is pathetic. A fundamental of the scientific method is that the larger your sample group is, the more accurate you are going to be. 76? That's nothing. Also, what does 76 "people" mean? What ages were they? What kind of people in general? Was any social science included here at all?

It's not like "People who game a lot tend to not buy cosmetics as a present" is a bad stereotype, but this experiment is a joke.

Macbeth is an awesome tragedy. Lady Macbeth is an awesome character. I'm cool with whatever goods or services these people are peddling.

Not surprising, really. After all, Macbeth was one of the first programmers:

"...we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor..."

--Macbeth, Act I, scene vii

Had I three eyes, I might read thee.

Oh wow, people who have been exposed to fictional violence aren't as susceptible to the impact of fictional violence.

AWESOME JOB, SCIENCE!

This article needed far more Captain Picard.

Wow...okay. So I think I've just found my career.
Step 1. Form Independent study group.
Step 2. Get some folks to play "violent video games."
Step 3. Have them pick from some stuff. (Soda, food, office supplies etc. )
Step 4. Publish findings
Step 5. Wash rinse repeat.

It's an endless cycle of grant money sucking non-science. The wold must know if violent video games cause people to choose Coke or Pepsi. McDonalds or Burger King. Marvel or DC!

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