Posts Tagged ‘violence in games’

Survey: Babies Most Likely To Be Eaten By GTA V

By John Walker on December 19th, 2013.

Tis the season for it. As people who do important things get distracted by baubles, the press starts to look for anything to fill their pages, and canny PR companies begin sending out headline-filling anythings to fill the void. So it is that today we’ve been contacted by babies.co.uk to let us know that mums (just mums, apparently) are most scared of their precious ones playing GTA V. Even more so than Killzone Something and Dead Rising: Dead In The Title.

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Study Finds Violent Games Reduce Violence – Hmmmm

By John Walker on February 14th, 2013.

Please don't let your children see this.

Polygon reports news of a study mentioned in the New York Times that says it demonstrates the rise in sales of violent videogames does not cause a spike in the rates of violent youth crime. In fact, they say, it may even lower it. Hurrah! you might cry. But let’s stop and do some science.

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Dishonored Dev Joe Houston On Violence In Games

By RPS on January 14th, 2013.

Just before Christmas, Nathan wrote a piece asking for a conversation about the role gaming violence plays in our lives. And as so many have when discussing the topic, he featured an image from Dishonored at the top – a man getting stabbed through the neck. For Joe Houston, the former Arkane developer who created that stabbing scene, this was the prompt he needed to give his own perspective on the subject.

Whenever I’m clicking my way through game industry opinion articles, I tend to get hung up on pieces about video game violence. This is mostly because the image plastered across the top of the post is a screen grab from Dishonored. You know, the one where a member of the city watch gets his jugular opened in a first-person blast of arterial spray. But it’s not the shock of that image that stops me. No, I pause because I’m the guy that wrote the code to make the player do that in the first place.

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The Very Best Of RPS 2012: Campaigns

By RPS on December 30th, 2012.

At RPS our knickers are almost permanently in a twist. And that’s because we operate in an industry that’s worryingly busy with pantie-bunching nonsense. We’re also not the sort of site that likes to stay quiet about such things, and whole-heartedly believes that by making a fuss you can make a difference. Sometimes we have, sometimes we haven’t, but we’ve tended to have an opinion either way.

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How The Daily Mail Uses Tragedy To Spread Gaming Fear

By John Walker on September 5th, 2012.

The Daily Mail has again tried to prove that playing games is deadly. The tragic story of a 14 year old who killed himself has been twisted by the national newspaper, in a attempt to profit from his death by propagandising the cause of his suicide. This is too sad.

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Teachers Blame Violent Games For, Um, Everything

By John Walker on April 4th, 2012.

Back in the good old days, when the world contained no violence.

Like the return of the tides, so it must be that every so often a body calls for better regulation, tighter legislation, or the outright banning of violent video games. While we absolutely agree that children should not be playing adult-rated games, there’s no peer-reviewed evidence for a long-term, significant negative effect on young people from playing violent games (and that’s despite so very many organisations funding research that would prove it), but once more the press is bursting with scare stories over the indelicate subject. This time it’s UK teachers claiming younger class members are having their behaviour and health influenced by games. Are there new findings we should be taking notice of to support these claims? Guess. And there’s a reason why this is more serious than our rolling our eyes at yet another scare story. There is potentially great harm to be caused by this. Below I argue why.

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Gaming Brain Studies & Who’s Behind Them

By John Walker on November 29th, 2011.

Turns out there's only so many times you can read violence before it looks REALLY weird.

A number of people have got in touch to let us know about a new study that has been published, identifying once again that violent videogames may have an effect on the brain of the player. It’s a finding that, in general, is worth taking notice of – last week I wrote about a meta-analysis discussion conducted by Nature that showed a consensus amongst researchers that there is a noticeable change in the brain after prolongued exposure to violent videogames. However, things get more interesting when you dig into who was funding it. Which turns out to be a campaign group who have some dubious claims of their own.

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The Fox News Debacle: TechSavvy Update

By John Walker on February 10th, 2011.

I'm getting sick of seeing the logo too.

Here’s an update to my investigating the story Fox News printed in which they astonishingly suggested that Bulletstorm would cause rape. Scott Steinberg, CEO of TechSavvy Global, and all-round industry guru, got in touch with me to show me the answers he submitted to Fox when they approached him for comment. The full answers are reproduced below, because what results is a fantastic interview on the subject of adult game content and regulation.

Fox chose to use none of Steinberg’s comments in their final piece, opting instead for the more sensational claims of those with no expertise in the subject (neither of whom have found time to reply to our emails). But seeing these answers also provides further insight into how the mainstream media coverage of gaming stories works. Far from being a reporter ignorant of the subject and twisted by naive contributors, Fox correspondent John Brandon was equipped with a wealth of factual information and informed opinion before composing his frantic article. The below, combined with our previously reported unedited response from M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon, show quite how determined the final story was to ignore the facts in favour of scaring its readers.

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Will Bulletstorm Murder Your Children? (No)

By John Walker on February 9th, 2011.

OMG I'm going to do a violence now!

Yesterday Fox News asked the headline question, “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” Which is spectacular. It’s a quite remarkable piece of writing, worthy of our own Daily Mail. And why is it the WORST GAME IN THE WORRRRLD? Because they’ve named some of the Skill Shots with sexual innuendos. Which, they absolutely astonishingly claim, causes rape.

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Academic Studies Of Violence Cause Violence

By John Walker on October 19th, 2010.

This makes us look smart.

There’s some wobbly reporting going on today, with yet another study claiming to demonstrate a link between a young person’s viewing violence, and being more tolerant of violence. Which is discussed as being about videogames. Which is a peculiar way of viewing a study that shows images from films to 22 teenagers, and demonstrates that as the clips progress their brain reacts less intensely, and not surprising since the study’s authors also make the same wild leap. However, it’s still an entry into the argument about whether violent images beget violence.

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Do Violent Games Create Violent Players?

By John Walker on June 9th, 2010.

Clearly there's been too much Peggle.

When analysing the claims made by those from various fields with regards to the negative effects of gaming it’s tempting to come to the same conclusion each time. These claims, inevitably presented without evidence (and unable to offer evidence when it is asked for), tend to rely on uncited anecdotal stories of individual cases. Whether it is suggestions that games cause addiction, violence, sexual crimes or murder, we are told about one child, or one individual, whose behaviour appears to be adversely effected while playing games. And the conclusion that’s so tempting to reach for each time is: perhaps this individual has unique circumstances that reach beyond a pathology created by the games they play? But there’s a problem. While this conclusion may appear extremely reasonable given the evidence, it’s still an unproven assumption. It’s just as bad to declare as the unproven assumptions being contested. Which makes a new study (as reported by GI.biz), that finds violent behaviour in response to games to be directly linked to individual predispositions, something of enormous interest.

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