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Are video games evil?


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#1 dudeitsme

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 08:20 AM

I have heard a lot on this topic. I do have my own biased opinion, and will share it, but I would like to hear what everyone else thinks on the topic. It also doesn't just have to be about if they are evil or not, but do they create satanism, or do they rot your brain?



"If everyone cared and nobody cried. If everyone loved and nobody lied. If everyone shared and swallowed their pride. Then we'd see the day when nobody died....." If everyone cared by Nickelback

#2 cwes99_03

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:39 AM

I know that I had an Atari for a short while when I was a kid. We would come home and play it and my grades didn't slip too much, but my dad got rid of it just a couple of months after we got it because he thought we were playing it too much when we could and should be doing chores (lived on a real farm with animals and stuff). I ended up reading a lot more (anything to avoid chores) and doing really well in school.
In college I started playing a lot of games (computer and console) after my freshman year and my GPA dropped from a 3.7 to a 2.7. I cut back and my grades improved once again.
Were the games the problem? Directly I would say no. It was the laziness that accompanied the games. I procrastinated, and hey what better way to do that than to sit in front of a game for like 4 hours.
They certainly do not help.
As to whether they make us more violent. I would say yes, there is the propensity. Watching violence like in a movie or something like that rarely gets the individual directly involved on more than a subconscious level. Playing a video game and pulling the trigger to blow somoene's head off, or to beat someone to a bloody pulp, gets the individual to take one additional step, not just passively watch, but actively participate.
Go bump into a kid after he's played mortal combat or Navy Seals for a good hour and see if he doesn't react more aggressively than had he been reading a detective novel.

#3 Racoon

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 11:25 AM

I think the answer to question is No.

However the Psychological studies that have been done prove that violent video games DO increase aggressive behaviors! :eek: There is Positive correlation. (about .3 - .4 If I remember)
To the degree they do so is also dependant on the personality of the gamer.

Surprisingly, Women and Girls show greater increase in aggressive behavior, than do traditionally more aggressive Men and Boys.

Did a reasearch on this in basic Psych 101.
Damn I wish I wouldn't have sold my textbook back. :eek:

I do not play video games at all. Only very rarely with my Nephews when I babysit. Violent or not, they're a complete waste of time!!! Get out there and ride your bike or build a model or SOMETHING! :hihi:

Occasionally they are OK, when weather is bad and there is nothing to do. :)

#4 dudeitsme

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 11:50 AM

I would agree and disagree. As opposed to the point of your grades dropping, it depends how much you actually need to study. I don't consider myself smart, because the school I go to doesn't really teach, so I don't really have to study. I love to play video games and I am planning on becoming a video game programmer. I play them at least 2 hours a day and my grades have never been affected. I also do not consider myself a violent person, but I do play a lot of violent games. They can make you more agressive immediately after playing, but I don't think it will actually stick. Now there are stories about people who have committed suicide from video games and I don't totally believe them either. I guess it might depend on how stable your mind is, and if you have a tight grip on reality.


Mankind has a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it. Samuel Johnson

#5 InfiniteNow

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:26 PM

I think the answer to question is No.

However the Psychological studies that have been done prove that violent video games DO increase aggressive behaviors! :hihi: There is Positive correlation. (about .3 - .4 If I remember)
To the degree they do so is also dependant on the personality of the gamer.


Indeed on the individual differences issue. However, I think many of those studies had some sampling errors, whereby the sample was not an accurate cross section of the population.


Surprisingly, Women and Girls show greater increase in aggressive/violent behavior, than do traditionally more aggressive Men and Boys.


Are you aware of any information showing correlation by age? I'd be led to believe, for example, that teenage boys differ from men in their 30s... likewise, women in their 30s may be more aggressive than girls in their teens. That sort of thing...


IMO... anything is evil if you let it be, however, there's a bit of a forbidden fruit concept at play whereby if you make something taboo, it becomes that much more attractive to the youngins...

#6 Racoon

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:30 PM

True InfiniteNow!

They Use College Students who want to earn easy Credits! :hihi:
Not a typical cross section, but its hard to study otherwise..

#7 Jay-qu

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:47 PM

They deffinitly arent evil - but if parents dont moderate how much their kids use it then it can get out of hand. Possibly leading to obeasity, poor grades and even violence. But otherwise they are fine - I love a good game.

#8 Mercury

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:24 AM

Nay, video game aren't evil.

However the Psychological studies that have been done prove that violent video games DO increase aggressive behaviors!

Well, I always thought that it is the other way round. Video games tame down your violent tendency. You vent all your anger and frustration through zapping aliens and such. My favourite is games with lots and lots of mazes. This particular game, for example, has so many dungeons that needs one to commit most of his or her attention so to not get lost in any one of its levels. And there is this immense sense of accomplishment when you finally outwit an enemy or beat the game.

Video games = great stress reliever / entertainment. :eek2:

#9 Tormod

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 06:34 AM

They deffinitly arent evil - but if parents dont moderate how much their kids use it then it can get out of hand. Possibly leading to obeasity, poor grades and even violence. But otherwise they are fine - I love a good game.


I agree. If video games are to blame for violence, then we should look into *why*. Is it lack of parental supervision? What can parents do?

The last study I read here in Norway (sorry, no link at hand) suggested absolutely no link between computer game violence and violent behaviour.

#10 Queso

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:30 AM

ok so i just sat down
and played video games.
Was it evil?
Absolutely not.

the sun is almost up and i just pooped.

#11 Racoon

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:14 PM

Glitch!

#12 Racoon

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:23 PM

OK here it is again... Hate when that happens..

They did study with the Violent Video Game Wolfenstein 3D, an older game yes.
Subjects were put in Cubicles and paired with an opponent. If they won the level, or beat something, they could administer an electric shock!! (or so they thought)

The other group played a non-violent Tetris like game, and the shock option was also available.

The result was those playing the Violent video game administered significantly more shocks to their opponents. :eek2:
Especially the Female gamers!

I will try and find the research on this in my back files of papers and research assignments.

#13 Drip Curl Magic

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:25 PM

i spent a little too much time palying sonic the hedgehog as a kid... and as a teen, I've spent quite a bit of time playing CS.

my opinion... life is a balance. If you let video games take over your life.... then sure, they are bad. But as long as you balance out your life. Moderation, my friend.

Parents must teach their kids moderation.... and if done properly, no video game will ruin any kids life.

#14 Kriminal99

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:44 PM

IMO Video games will only get more and more like addictive drugs without the physically harmful side effects as they get more and more sophisticated.

I believe in life there are things that you want to experience, because when you experience them your brain gives you a chemical that makes you feel good. Normally, if for instance, you like seeing an attractive female smile, you might have to go to rediculous lengths in order to achieve it. You might think you have to get alot of money which in turn means being a shrewd investor or having a succesful career which in turn means doing good work etc.

But then come drugs... you take drugs and you get the chemical. That simple. People who don't do drugs look at a doped up homeless person on the side of the street and think, wow what a loser. Probably noone likes or cares about him. But what does it matter if people like or care about you? IMO such a statement boils down to "Theyre not getting their happy chemical".. But they ARE! They take a drug, and they get everything out of life that you do when you say go on a date with a hot girl and she comes home with you.

Video games are slightly different. The end result is, you can experience whatever you want to. Weather its real or not real, possible in the world we exist in or not possible. Video games are basically designed to show you things that get you your happy chemical.

Now I think there is a complicating element of this, but in general this is how I see video games. And I think it raises serious problems because if someone is getting everything out of life from a video game they could possibly want then how can you get them to stop? Do you have the right to get them to stop if they are happy? Etc etc.

We could quite possibly evolve into a race where the only production was life support to support our usage of some AI computer program designed for entertainment... Much more entertainment then soemone typically gets out of life...

#15 Racoon

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:51 PM

OK here it is again... Hate when that happens..

They did study with the Violent Video Game Wolfenstein 3D, an older game yes.
Subjects were put in Cubicles and paired with an opponent. If they won the level, or beat something, they could administer an electric shock!! (or so they thought)

The other group played a non-violent Tetris like game, and the shock option was also available.

The result was those playing the Violent video game administered significantly more shocks to their opponents. :eek2:
Especially the Female gamers!

I will try and find the research on this in my back files of papers and research assignments.


Don't like quoting my own stuff, but I am!
Nice ideas presented by Kriminal...

To the question at hand....
Evil?? No.
Violent Video Games Do however Increase Aggressiveness.
Have you ever Went from watching a Documentary, to Playing Madden NFL??
You get More Aggressive!
Again I would allude to study I (and the class) spent 2 weeks in Psych 101..:)
sorry, blowing my own horn here

PS. Since Video Game Technology is relatively New, there is still no evidence of Long Term effects Yet.

#16 Jay-qu

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:04 PM

Yeah I sure dont believe it is - but it keeps getting blamed for it. My mum encourages me to both buy and play sport games rather than shoot and kill ones.. but like I said encourages me, and I do sometimes but not because of what she says just because I love amped 2 :eek2:

#17 cwes99_03

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:47 AM

Had an interesting quote from a magazine to post, but for some reason this thread has been dead to new posts.

Guess it is back up.

Basically it was a quote from a guy who wrote about training the millitary and how today's violent video games taught the skill and the will to kill better than any target practice at a shooting range.

Another article pointed out that violent video games are much more harmful to children than say watching a violent movie, largely because a child will play a video game for 60-100 hours to master it, while the same child will only watch a violent movie once or twice for and hour and half each time.