Wednesday, October 09, 2013

There Are Rational, Non-Gamers, On Our Side

An international group of accredited media scholars, psychologists, and criminologists, 228 to be exact, are asking the American Psychological Association to review their stance regarding media violence in a letter addressed to the APA.  In 2005, the APA released a statement that advocates the reduction of violence in video games and interactive media marketing to young children. Of course it was met with controversy, and FoxNews drool puddles. The idea of video games linking to real world violence is a “classic illusion correlation” according to the letter-writing scholars.

Gaming theory and studies are still in their early years. No one has provided conclusive evidence that there is a link between violent games and increased violence in children. The main reason, as the Time article points out, is there is no quantifier for aggression. Does playing a violent game cause more aggression then watching a sporting match? (And let me tell you, having gone to conventions where there are football events that same weekend, the sports fans get way more out of control then the gamers by a million times in comparison: but we’re labeled the bad ones because we like video games.) There is no template to measure what is aggressive, and what may trigger one person’s aggression may not in another.

Since receiving the letter, the APA is reviewing their policy. They want to keep the science straight and not muttle it with invalid facts or lack of information. Or, as the 228 academics have stated, illusion correlation. Heck, it’s a stereotype at this point. “You play a game? Oh you must be super violent.” We need to remove these factors from the equation, and I hope the APA will look at the issue from a professional perspective.

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