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He finds they negatively influence relationships

Published: Saturday, Jan. 24 2009 12:26 a.m. MST

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@Jamie A

1: Because Science that is not questioned is Dogma, as any scientist would know.

2: Because there is already research that disagrees with this result, it's just that censors choose to ignore it because it doesn't suit their agenda.


The funniest part is the fact that all these people shouting 'I told you so! Games are Evil!' obviously haven't read the report, which, all by itself states that a the numbers are in no way indicative of a Causal relationship, that's the researchers saying that, not the gamers. They also stated that the social impact was minimal.

Personally, I have my doubts about the 'self esteem' research, 10 questions is nowhere near enough for a proper psychometric evaluation, but then, seeing some of the assumptions made about Video Gamers, I wouldn't be all that surprised.

Whatever Works?

I really Disagree with the article that i watched on the news lastnight , I think if a kid wants to play Video Game that should be his right he dosen't need to have someone tell them that to do and what not to do Get with it,


Well, in all honesty, it is a parents job to tell their child what they can and cannot do, but I guess that is the whole crux of the matter, it is the *parents* job to do so, not the governments.

If legislation is introduced, it starts with Games, but where does it end? Music? TV? Books?

If parents don't like their children playing video games, it is their responsibility to put their foot down, if the 'child' is a 20 year old adult, then they have to make their own decisions, it's up to parents to teach them moderation when they are young.

Do any of the posters on here *really* want the Government to start to dictate to your children what is Right or Wrong? Do you want to hand that power over to them, because, if you do, you will never, ever get it back.

Hate Video Games if you like, but if you value your right to be a parent, fight Legislation every step of the way.

Agree or Disagree?

I am not disagreeing with the news but with the lady that they interviewed last night on the news from BYU, I really disagree with her Big time


813 College students is not a proper study size. 813 people of varied ethnic, social, economic, & age would be a proper study.

Anyone who lays the blame for the social ills of the world on any one topic (today video games, yesterday rap, before then rock music, before then cowboys & indians, before then not attending church, before then literacy...) is a fool.

How much time do people waste reading trashy novels, or non-educational materials? Watching TV? Bolwing? Fishing? Knitting? Not intervening to help loved ones who are addicted to something?

Water is good for us; so why does it kill us if we drink a lot of it? Because ANYTHING is bad for someone if one uses it too much.

This story fails to observe the benefits of what they are researching, it fails in being non-biased (the researcher began with the presumption that 'games are bad m'kay'), fails to investigate what the cause & effect is, & fails to study a broader audience to provide a proper result.

Also, BYU found physical disabilities makes married people happier in another study, easily found on their own December 2008 archives.



Russell Carroll: I'm curious. You made a rather blanket statement about how sad it is that video games do not strive to become a more positive influence. What games from what genres have you played that gave you this opinion, or which studies did you read?

The Pew Internet & American Life Project in October of 2008 found "...that avid gamers are just as likely to be civically and socially active as occasional gamers." amongst 12-17 year olds.

"The study also found that certain types of video games can have a positive effect on a players participation in civic activities. Most kids who were civically or politically active played games that involved social, moral or ethical issues, or played games that involve helping others or forming groups."

Not all games involve blowing something up. Many are very inspirational in their story-telling and artistry. Many games too promote verbal communication skills, teamwork, critical-thinking, judgement, and strategy, mathematics, athleticism...the list could go well past the 200 word limit.

But like anything, games should be played in moderation, just like eating, drinking (non-alcoholic drinks included), or any other activity whether day-to-day or for recreation.


I wrote a report in college just about 4 years ago about video games and how they affect teenagers. I could only use scholarly peer review material and could not insert any of my own opinions. The peer review literature was quite similar to this article - that teenagers are less cooperative and harder to get to work, etc. when they have been playing video games. However, it affects some kids more than others. The teenagers who spend lots of time on video games (addicts) have lower grades in school and less social skills. The violence in the games contribute to a desensitization to other people's feelings and a violent psyche. In the games, they view themselves as the perpetrators of the violence. There was nothing in scholarly peer review material that had anything supportive or psoitive.

For those of you who don't know what scholarly peer review material is - it is research done largely by university professors that has been accepted by their peer community as accurate.



4 Years is a long time in research, you may want to check over some of the more recent scholarly reviews on the subject, many of which disagree with elements of the original findings. Yes, 4 years ago Games were found to have many negative effects, however, nowadays, even the concept of Video Game addiction is somewhat debated, since Keith Bakker, founder of the Video Game Addiction Centre has stated that 90% of the people who were originally though to have Video Game addiction were usually sinking themselves into games in order to escape social and familial problems, and that the solution may lay more firmly with communication and interaction skills.

You may also be interested by work by people such as Bavilier and Green, Kutner and Olson and Professor Arthur Kramer all of whom state that there are definite beneficial effects to moderate and sensible Video Game playing.


The "bias" that is the problem here isn't that of the researchers themselves but their methods. Anybody who has studied econometrics/statistics in the most basic sense knows what an omitted variables bias is. I would love to know how the researchers determined causation in the sense that increased video game playing causes a bad relationship. How did they determine it wasn't that a bad relationship that causes undergraduates to play more video games. What they are not including in the model (study) is most certainly correlated with what is included and therefore causes any conclusions to be biased (useless).


Bias is an interesting concept.

There's an interesting bit of research by Prof. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M International University, which states that there is no link whatsoever between Violent games and school shootings.

I quote from it:

'As for the news media, it has long been recognised that negative news... sell better than do positive news... As for social scientists, it has been observed that a small group of researchers have been most vocal in promoting the anti-game message... oftentimes ignoring research from other researchers, or failing to disclose problems with their own research...'

No doubt there are a whole bunch of people here who will immediately assume that this report is biased because it says something they don't want to hear.

No matter like this is ever black and white, and trying to say simply 'Video Games are Bad in every way' is bias in and of itself.



Your post wasn't up when I posted mine, spooky how we both mentioned bias, just wanted you to know that wasn't aimed at you.

With regards to your post.

Exactly, it's all about the numbers and how they are interpreted and used. As I stated earlier about Keith Bakker, what he originally thought of as an addiction is looking more and more like an escape from social and family problems, the low self-esteem and social problems led to the Game playing, not the opposite.

I don't see this report so much biased (it even states that parents' shouldn't rush out and remove Video Games), but I think there's some lack of investigation over cause and effect and which is which.


IMO, I don't think games can really affect how a person behave, to me its more about their own self control and their environment they were brought up in. I know many people(including me) who play games and we all live a successful life( no drugs, no criminal record, and a good social life also). In fact, games had a positive effect on us, I learn many things that help me benefit in class, for example stuff related to engineering. In fact some people I know who aren't that bright and cause trouble don't really know much about games. And how about those puzzle games, they prove to be beneficial and about those violent games that cause kids to act out, the fault lies with the parent for disregarding the rating. Well the only negative effect games have is well it made me wear glasses lol but of course this is my opinion


I agree with DGY, I'd be more afraid of vision issues than anything else. I too have begun to need glasses after more than a decade of computer use.

I have a good friend who is one of those sterotypical World of Warcraft geeks. He admits he has no time for anything else since he has been playing 8+ hours a day for years now, he even took a semester off of college just to play 24/7. I've grown up with this guy since elementary school and I can tell you he has ALWAYS been like that and he wasnt allowed to touch video games till he was 16. The only difference was that instead of Pwning N00bs on WOW he was throwing kids lunches at them and pushing people.


"Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20, SD = 1.87) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents home (90%)"

So the study consisted mainly of young white college students...could you have pigeon holed this study any more???


Nuclear Geek details an exchange with BYU's Laura Walker. The professor, who previously told the Deseret News, "Everything we found associated with video games came out negative," attempted to clarify her remarks and indulged in a bit of the media blame game:

One study does not claim to be representative of all gamers, and we were in no way making that claim. We are not even claiming generalizability to the 18-25 age group, this is just what we found in our sample.
Media has a way of really spinning these stories that are not always accurate. However, in our study, we did find that video game use was related to only negative behaviors for students this age. Does that mean this applies to all gamers? No. Does that mean video game use causes these outcomes? Certainly not. It is possible that video game use could be positive in a number of ways, but given the variables we measured in our study, it was related to only negative outcomes...

blah blah

I think it is safe to say that anything that is extreme is bad, i.e. playing video games everyday for hours at a time, watching TV for hours on end, or anything and I do mean ANYTHING! regulate yourself and your children, is that too much to ask. also some games like Metal Gear are not even meant for ADULTS, let's be serious! It's ridiculous.


Haha, I am an avid gamer, I love gaming and I can tell you that multi-player games are much better than a solo game, all the talk about anti-sociality may be true, but I believe that some can gain great bonding experiances as placed in this article.
I am in a guild of great friends and the leader and his wife both play, and they have a great social life, with me, and others perhaps its the MMORPGS that should be better monitered to decide what constitutes as negative sociality.

Gotta Love It

I love how the people who immediately say how "video games are bad" are the ones who don't play it that much, or are the ones who play it in excess. I'm a female gamer. I have a PSP, a Wii, and at my parents house, we have several other types of consoles. Yet my parents are in a loving relationship, my brother is a social butterfly (And he's the one who plays these games the most) and my sister is an outstanding third grader who's very intelligent for her age. I believe there's no real evidence for or against video game playing, as, GUESS WHAT!? It effects different people different ways. What people choose to do with their time is up to them, and what they choose to do with the information is also their choice. I honestly, however, think that this study is biased, and completely excluded some facts.

Our family eats dinner together, has talks, even plays some games together, and we're never stronger than when we're doing a great activity like that. Video games don't ruin lives. Ignorant people do.

Salt Lake City, Utah

.The problem I have with this study is that I feel it was bias and narrow minded. They, for one, only asked college students, who make up the majority of pot smokers and heavy drinkers and also only make up a small percentage of young adults who play video games at the same time assuming all young adults are college students. They dont take into account college students who say spend a lot of time playing Rock Band or any of the Wii games that incorporate many players at the same time which could in turn strengthen relationships with certain people. They dont reveal what questions they asked to get their statistics and dont give any real statistics what so ever. The lead author of the study is Laura Walker, a BYU professor in the School of Family Life. With such a background, I question Walkers ability to be unbiased.

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