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#1 compl3x

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 15:23

The former White House "video game czar" (official title: senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology) Constance Steinkuehler tells the Christian Science Monitor that the discussion about Grand Theft Auto's part in yesterday's shooting involving an 8-year-old in Louisiana is simply bait for pageviews and viewership because there's no research to support such claims.

 

"If you look at the state of research right now, there isn't a causal link between violent media and violent behaviors," said Steinkuehler. "That's contested in some corners," she adds. "You have to keep in mind that in much of that work that's trying to assert there's a positive relationship, it's pretty tenuous – showing, for example, that after 20 minutes of playing a game subjects have an increased likelihood to fill in a letter in a word that is EXPLO_E as 'EXPLODE' rather than 'EXPLORE.' ...There are a lot of inferences that you have to draw in order for that to work."

 

Last year Steinkuehler served as the senior policy analyst for the White House Office of Science and Technology, where she briefed Vice President Joe Biden on violent media in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting in late Dec. of 2012. While Steinkuehler has serious doubts on research showing a link between games and violence, she won't entirely dismiss it either.

 

"If you want to hold the stance that games are a powerful vehicle for learning in subjects like social studies, or history, or science, or math, but not in terms of violence, or things that concern us ... I find that argument difficult to swallow," she says. "I have a hard time dismissing the concerns of the public over violent media."

 

But she continues by saying that the thing that she finds most troubling about this research is that they "jump to variables like video games instead of the most obvious variables in the circumstances – there's a loaded gun in the house."

 

"There's an 8-year-old playing a mature title.... I find it an incredible distraction when something like this happens, and there's this incredible tragedy, that we jump to these variables that if they're part of the equation they're almost negligible," she says.

 

Steinkuehler believes that some of the most important factors fade to the background when the media reports on a video game-linked killing. These other factors, she says are important and need to be examined.

"It's amazing how quickly we'll jump to implausible explanations when the obvious ones are right in front of us," she says. "[We focus on video games] instead of worrying about things like poverty, safety in the home, making sure there are two parents in the home, making sure the media children consume are developmentally appropriate, and keeping them away from loaded guns," she says.

 

Finally, she says that solutions for youth violence are obvious but more complicated than banning or further regulating games like Grand Theft Auto.

 

"The obvious issues aren't as easily solvable and politically savory. You want to make a difference in children's lives? Address poverty, number one. Address the fact that children are homeless, and in unsafe environments. It's just not as politically sexy as claiming that GTA is murdering children."

Source: CS Monitor

 

http://gamepolitics....ng#.Uh4VYhunoWc




#2 soniqstylz

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 21:43

:busted:



#3 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 21:58

 

 

 showing, for example, that after 20 minutes of playing a game subjects have an increased likelihood to fill in a letter in a word that is EXPLO_E as 'EXPLODE' rather than 'EXPLORE.' ...There are a lot of inferences that you have to draw in order for that to work."

What a stupid test...

How about doing something meaningful like giving the person a water gun or loaded pistol and see which one they use.



#4 OP compl3x

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 22:21

I've seen these "fill in the letter' test before. I don't know how useful they are in psychology/psychiatry 

 

The one I remember is that people were asked to punch a punching-bag or some other "violent" activity and then fill out a form with a "fill in the letter" system. One of the words were R_PE and people would put in RAPE instead of RIPE or ROPE. Couldn't it be simply argued that, looking at the word, knowing the syntax of the english language you would know that the next letter had to be a vowel and A is the first letter of the alphabet so that is the one you put it?

 

With EXPLO_E - D is the first letter in the alphabet which would fit that word, so it is the most convenient. Once you find a letter that fits, you would use it. You're simply asked to make a word, not put the word into a context. Why would you go

 

A B C D (skip that) E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R(ok, I'll use that)?

 

It seems like one could bias the test by picking words which are "violent" and would be the first one you would create. 



#5 Growled

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 22:44

This is just political hot air.



#6 spenser.d

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 23:21

I've seen these "fill in the letter' test before. I don't know how useful they are in psychology/psychiatry 

 

They might be useful, but not in the way these guys are using it.  You could probably come up with some hypotheses about how context affects how you see things - as in if you play violent video games, you're probably more likely to come up with EXPLODE in that situation because you saw something explode, or you blew something up, or that goes right along with what you were doing.  It doesn't really have any basis on that person being more violent though, and doesn't prove it either.



#7 xWhiplash

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:18

They might be useful, but not in the way these guys are using it.  You could probably come up with some hypotheses about how context affects how you see things - as in if you play violent video games, you're probably more likely to come up with EXPLODE in that situation because you saw something explode, or you blew something up, or that goes right along with what you were doing.  It doesn't really have any basis on that person being more violent though, and doesn't prove it either.

 

That means nothing for video games though.  What if you saw something explode in a YouTube video?  What about a movie?  TV Show?  Read it somewhere?  There has got to be a book somewhere that has the word Explode in it.

 

Also, I wouldn't call Minecraft violent (sure there is fighting, but I do not consider it a violent game) yet creepers explode.  That is the most popular game these days with kids (and adults too since I play it!).



#8 spenser.d

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:20

That means nothing for video games though. What if you saw something explode in a YouTube video? What about a movie? TV Show? Read it somewhere? There has got to be a book somewhere that has the word Explode in it.


That was my point...

#9 xWhiplash

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:22

That was my point...

 

Yeah I know, I agree with you :)