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Comments about ‘BYU Hinckley lecture: Science is clear, violent video games cause aggression’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 13 2014 9:50 p.m. MST

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Screen Name1
Decline, CA

FBI statistics indicate that violent crime rates have fallen substantially in the US from the early 90s through the present.

www.fbi.gov /about-us /cjis /ucr /crime-in-the-u.s /2011 /crime-in-the-u.s.-2011 /tables /table-1

Per the table linked above the rate of crime decreased markedly across all categories of violent crime through this period.

I don't have a cite handy, but I think it's clear during the same period of time there was an increase in the absolute number of video game users; the proportion of the population using video games; time spent gaming/user; and in the quantity and realism of video game violence. In fact, it seems that the increase in video game usage increased across all a range of age groups during this time, with players first playing younger and older people playing at higher rates than they did in the 90s.

The link above is deliberately broken as DN is calling it a non-wrapping long line. Remove the extra space before each / for the functional link.

Cougar in Texas
Houston, TX

Church member

The term "science" covers a large spectrum. It ranges from a single discovery to years of accumulated controlled statistical studies. In the case of Bushman's assertion, he relies on what he claims are hundreds of controlled studies that support his claim.

You distinguish science you can trust from junk science by actually reading the studies that are produced. In this way you can understand the scope, organization, and assumptions of the study to then properly interpret the results and apply the conclusions.

Therefore, you indeed CAN have it "both ways". Not all studies are conducted with the same discipline, controls, and care. And scientific discoveries providing a single date point can rightly be called "science", but usually tell us little about the world around us.

Cougar in Texas
Houston, TX

Screen Name1
Bushman's conclusion from the 300+ studies is that "Playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, emotional arousal and aggression." They also make people "numb to the pain and suffering of others." He made no claims to an impact on overall societal violent crime.

One look at the comments sections of US News outlets shows the numbness many feel toward the pain and suffering of others.

As for the reason for the decrease in violent crime since the mid 1990s, the most offered cause is our aging population. Most violent crime is perpetrated by males between the ages of 15 and 29. When that group's relative numbers go down, so do violent crime rates.

CNN says that criminologists offer the following causes of the decrease: "...a more settled crack cocaine market, an increase in incarcerations, an aging population, data-driven policing, and changes in technology that include a big increase in surveillance cameras." No mention of video gaming.

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

If media exposure had no effect on people's behavior, Madison Avenue has wasted more of advertisers money than I thought. Fashion, language, brand names, violence, social behavior and weapons are used to entertain and often become societal norms.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

Random Fact: Video Game conventions & competitions don't result in people throwing punches nearly as often as you find in any soccer, basketball, football, or hockey game.

I love BYU, but perhaps they should invite people to study the effects of college football on aggressive behavior. Somehow I don't think that would be accepted.

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