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Violent Games Harm Kids Study at Health Central

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by chevalier, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Health Central has published a study overview, attempting to prove and describe how violent video games ill-affect children. Sexually explicit content was also taken into consideration. Here's an excerpt:

    In the third study, a team led by Kimberly Thompson, an associate professor of risk analysis and decision science at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that 81 percent of mature-rated video games have violent or sexual content not noted on the label.

    In its study, Thompson's team played 25 percent of the mature-rated video games available.

    "We found that the games contained depictions of substances or sexual themes or profanity that was not noted," Thompson said. These findings mirror findings the same team has noted in other video games rated for younger children, she said.


    No matter what publishers say, trying to dodge labels and ratings is bad. They can't really claim their rights are being broken and they are being unjustly burdened with labels and ratings being legally enforced if they already keep disguising content now that there's no legal enforcement. If they want to come to equity, they should come with clean hands. Even if the influence of games is way overrated and dramaticised by people who don't have a problem with similar things on the TV. However, Health Central doesn't belong there:

    Other reports in the same journal issue found trouble with what children and teens are watching on TV. One report said that children exposed to violent media had a significant long-term increase in aggressive behaviors, aggressive thoughts, angry feelings and arousal levels.

    And a fifth study found that children who watch more TV eat more and gain more weight than children who watch less. Another report revealed that, among teens whose parents expressed disapproval of teen sex, those who watch more than two hours of television a day may begin having sex at a younger age than those who don't.


    And here's a proposed solution:

    Guidelines are needed for what makes up educational TV and video games, he said. "Guidelines should be based on solid evidence, and they should be enforced," he added.

    In addition, Christakis thinks that advertising aimed at children should be outlawed. "We need to consider such action once we recognize media as a public health issue," he said. "We have to be bolder."


    Yeah, I agree there. What's the point of rating games adult or mature if ads are targetted at children? Any kind of advertising aimed at children is problematic, anyway, in my humble opinion.

    Read the rest at Health Central.
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bah! I am really getting tired of "studies" in this day and age. It seems studies are no longer performed impartially with scientific merit because for every study that concludes one thing there's another that concludes the opposite.

    Studies designed to give support for one's political views such as "recognizing the media as a public health issue" are the most suspect in my mind.

    As to the games with mature ratings, I'm not sure I care if every minutia of mature content is called out on the label. The fact that it has a mature rating is enough for me.

    Besides, I thought the ratings were decided independently by the ESRB, not by the publishers...
     
  3. Michael Walker Gems: 1/31
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    Yes, we all know, games with violent or sexually(not to mention that it is ridiculous to say that such a natural content is to have an bad effect on the youth) content are evil and are the reason of all the crime on this planet.

    I would really like to read a study about the bad influence of false parental behaviour or early experiences in sibling quarrels...
    This would be much more interesting than the "well-known" bad effect of computer games...

    I hope my English is not to bad, it is my first post here and I'm not yet fully used to this English atmosphere ;)
    you may forgive me^^
     
  4. arlecchino Gems: 1/31
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    Well the thing is Im sure on some level violent games can have an effect on some children given the right situations. However, many of these studies are skewed so that the reader will infer that ANY exposure to games of this nature will ALWAYS result in problems in children and that is just plain false. The other issue with this is many parents will just use this as a chance to not do thier jobs as parents and take time dealing with their kids and talking with them about games of this nature and how it is fantasy and behavior like this in real life isnt acceptable.
    Besides ANY THINKING RATIONAL ADULT KNOWS YOU DONT GIVE A KID UNDER 18 GTA OR GAMES OF THAT NATURE. Unless you talk with them about it. A study isnt going to stop kids from getting the games and its not going to stop parents who do give thier kids GTA or the like from giving them the game, because they arent rational people or they have taken the time to give thier kids a context to understand the game and its realtion to reality.
    Frankly this is ALL POLITICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Its elected officials trying to show they CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN. But insted of spending money to help parentless kids or kids lost in foster care to get placed with lovng parents, insted of spending time and money trying to help rase educational standrds by paying teachers more so that they can hire and keep really good teachers, insted of trying to HELP THE CHILDREN by making sure that the poor children in the most prosperous country in the world dont go to bed homeless and hungry, they would rather spend time,effort and money on stupid crap like this that really only effects the weathyest of Americans.
    SUCH A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.
     
  5. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Yeah, you always need to take a look at who's sponsoring it. It sucks, really. Too bad there's nothing independent to conduct such research because everything is privately owned and tangled with big business.

    Yeah, it already speaks volumes and I think parents should already be alarmed. But they're still entitled to know if it contains violence or sexual content or both.

    Publishers can still dodge ratings and hide content, such as the GTA coffee thing. ;)

    Your points are good, Michael Walker. But there's one thing that eludes you: if you keep saying that other problems are more important, that there are many other problems, and so on, you will end up neglecting each and every problem just because there are other ones.

    As for parents and ratings and all, parents can often screw up, but there's no need for publishers to sell violent and sexual content to minors who are not supposed to receive it. In my view, parents mostly do their job, better or worse. Sometimes worse. Publishers, in turn, simply make cash by selling improper stuff to minors on principle and that's bad. They know teenage males like sex and violence, so they provide it. They should be cracked down on, I think.

    Ditto! First of all, the whole stealing things cars, running over cops and taking part in gang wars theme is already bad without sex attached. Why parents let their kids indulge in stealing cars, shooting cops and so on is beyond me. It's not like they can prevent it without searching the computer (which won't always work, either), but how often do they just not care?
     
  6. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Blaming tv and games is a way to get the attention away from the parents to an outside source of evil. But tv and other media like games have an effect.

    What morality defenders fail to see is that the kids understand that games like carmegaddon and Half-life are not real. They also understand that Tom and Jerry is not real. It is not the games or the the movies in cinema. They know the differance between real and pretend. Still the age-labels are there for a good reason. store that sell high rated games to minors should be closed on the spot for months. Advertising aimed at minors banned.

    Take smoking. Young children get the point but why do adults do it they ask themself? It can't be that bad if they all do it? I want to be adult, so I will act as one... children copy us, so do not be surprised when they act like us and look for a scapegoat.
     
  7. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I don't think it's just the recognition of real and imagined which is the whole problem. Sometimes it's a compensatory inner world in which the child isn't bound by any rules and can be as bad as it wants. It's a bit like with people who always play evil characters and do it a lot. For some, it's just being mean more than anything and they are just having fun. Some others, however, revel in it and it's scary. It's scary when a thirteen year old is roleplaying an evil necromancer with a lot depth of character. But is everything really okay if adult people do it? It's parents' responsibility to assess what their children are playing and if young children are able to play bad games without parents knowing, then there is a problem that reaches beyond just games. Still, publishers shouldn't be able to aim at children games which shouldn't be played by children.
     
  8. Michael Walker Gems: 1/31
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    Oh, there were several studies about this topic in Germany as i can remember. It was nice to see that other people are taking the effort to make a clear and unprejudiced report about the negative influence of such games. The results of this research showed that such games with violent content barely have a negative effect on the behaviour.

    I don't know which of these researches are more precise but according to the formulation of the text and its writers understanding of the subject i assume that the writers who are against statements, like this recently published article does, did a better job in research.

    i have often seen stupid argumentation like "in doom 3 the only purpose of the game is to kill monsters and women(i don't know what this author has smoked, which enables him to see women in doom 3, but it must be good stuff ;) )"

    But the problem is that the politicians are listening to this stupid "researches" and are intensifying the already strict rules for censorship of games with violent content.
    this ignorance to facts is kind of sad and shows how much they care about a well founded argumentation.


    ah, i don't think so. I'm just saying that there might be other reasons for a destructive behaviour like an suicidal run through schools.
    I mean, just because this guy has played Counterstrike it's not predicted that everybody who is playing CS is becoming like this young man.
    There are always different reasons. In this specific case(I'm talking about Erfurt in Germany), this man was in a rifle association(where he certainly learned how to use a gun), had familiar problems and no friends.

    I don't want to say that games doesn't have any influence on mentally unstably people, but the ignorance of the additional facts are making me angry.

    It's just not productive what the politicians are doing...
    working together with well informed people could have solved so many problems in past, but instead of that they are still fixed on the "it's the games fault"-thing
     
  9. arlecchino Gems: 1/31
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    I see your point, but I dont buy it that it is a problem. Where are these games and how are they getting aimed at children? Most Kids television has tight requirements as to what does and does not get put on the air. Take Nickleodin as an example, I have never seen GTA or Doom advertised there. ANd its not in that networks best interests to do so. Its not a game for kids and that network doesnt air ads for it because there is the risk that parents can see it and start a boycott of that station. Im not denying that games of this type should not be aimed at kids, but I think what is being missed here is these games are getting in kids hands by parents who dont monotor thier children well. And by kids I mean under the age of 12. The main complaint about the hidden level of GTA was with a kid at the age of 15. I as a parent would not want that game in my 15 year olds hands, but I hope that I was doing my job as a parent to let my kids know the diffrence between what is acceptable and what is not and trusting that the valuse I am instilling in my kids are not going to be shaken by a simple game. ALso, the shootings at Columbine are blmaed in part due to violent games and Marylin Manson music. That is just absurd. The reasons for those shootings were because of the culture of bulling that existed in that school and towards those kids. Im not saying that they had every right ot go on a shooting spree, but using a game or music as the reason for their actions and not taking a look at the culture that existed in the school is just wrong. If anything those kids were drawnto those games and music as a reflection of their internal feelings of frustration about being bullied and not accepted by thier peers.
    Its just shifting hte blame to something simple rather that address a deeper issue that would be harder to fix. We are obsessed with the simple fix rather than facing up to the fact that there is a deeper systemic issue at hand.
    Yes porn, beer, drugs and violent games should not be aimed at kids, and I think, for the most part the system works. But its easyer to blame the large anonymous companies than to take responsiblity for ones own actions. If anything I think studies and legislation along these lines make the problem worse for two reasons:
    1) Whats the quickest way to get a kid to do something? Tell them NOT to do it.

    2) and more importantly I think this sets up a culture where people no longer take responsiblity for thier own actions and decisions in life and insted shift the blame to an outside source.
     
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