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Games and violence: “No proven scientific link”

Wednesday, 8th August 2012 03:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Games and violence have never been demonstrably linked, UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist told VG247 in response to recent comments from an Australian police representative.

“There is no proven scientific link between playing games and violence, or that playing games de-sensitises people to violence. In fact, research has shown that children can very clearly distinguish the difference between violence in games and the types of violence they hear about on the news,” Twist told VG247 in a statement.

“Games are enjoyed responsibly by millions of people and our survey shows that 92% of parents recognise the positive impact of games.”

Twist’s statement was provided in response to a request for comment on NSW Police commissioner Andrew Scipione’s linking of games and violence while speaking to Australian press.

The executive officer said the UKIE encourages parents and care-givers to inform themselves about age ratings and content advisories, so they can approach games the way they might any other form of media their children are exposed to.

“Some games deal with adult themes in the same way that films, TV programmes and books do,” Twist To make sure that games intended for adults are only played by adults, the PEGI age rating system, which has just become the single legally enforceable age ratings system in the UK and Europe, gives the guidance to retailers and to buyers about which games are appropriate for which audiences. We have also launched askaboutgames.com to give parents and carers all the tips and info they need to help them and their families get the most out of games.”

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14 Comments

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  1. Virginityrocks

    All that needs to be said is simply this…

    Correlation is not causation.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. HauntaVirus

    Pervasive and prolonged exposure to violence or anything else for that matter is not healthy. In my opinion, someone who plays violent video games is more likely to be violent. That’s simply common sense. Another way to look at it…hang with friends who use drugs and you’ll be likely to start using as well.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. PEYJ

    “Correlation is not causation”.

    But it doesn’t exclude the possibility that it is either.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @3

    Since several studies by credible sources have found no link to video games cause violence infact their study has proven that it lessens the aggressive behavior of people.

    @2

    My family are all alcoholics, smokers and drug users prescribed and recreational and I have never smoked a cigarrette and have never touched any sort of drugs besides aspirin or antibiotics and only drink in social event and never get drunk just don’t like the feeling of not controlling my body.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. sonny

    @2 “In my opinion, someone who plays violent video games is more likely to be violent.”

    If your “common sense” was true, we would probably have a lot more psychopaths running around, considering how many people play those games.
    In my opinion, it’s actually the other way round: Someone who is violent to other people is very likely to play those violent video games also.
    The roots of their violence clearly have to be found somewhere else, not in video games.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    I think if you were able to survey every gamer on the planet you’d probably find that the vast majority of people (high 90th percentile) are not affected negatively by videogames – these people are able to recognise the difference between the game world and the real world and completely detach the 2 – that means we are able to fire up games like GTA4 and be Niko Bellic , jack cars, commit murder – even on a mass scale if we want, get involved in organised crime etc etc, but when we hit “exit game” we’re Joe Public again and we take nothing from the game world with us except maybe a couple of stories to tell our buddies.

    There will then be a significantly smaller percentage of people for whom the lines will be somewhat blurred – the people who were never taught the differences between the real world and the game world or who were never able to make the link on their own. These people have the potential to bring the violence from games into the real world, however we can easily avoid this by ensuring as parents we make sure to teach young ones the differences between what is acceptable in a game world and what is acceptable in the real world – the same goes for other types of entertainment and media.

    Finally you have people who already have a tendency to violence be this genetic or learned through other life experience. I don’t doubt that these people exist, and I don’t doubt that games potentially make them worse, but I do doubt that videogames made them that way.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. silkvg247

    In other news.. human being breathe air!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. HauntaVirus

    Ya, I have mixed feelings about it overall. I see where you guys are coming from. One thing I do know is that everything has an affect on people, some more than others.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Stoopid_Snot

    @2
    what #5 said
    that’s all

    #9 2 years ago
  10. deathm00n

    We should just give a free copy of persona 3 to everyone, then it’s done, everyone who is affected by videogames would end up in a mass suicidal news

    Now without the trolling, this topic is always brought up again here in brazil thanks to a television program full of BS that almost all brazillians watch called Fantastico(Fantastic), and they always end up saying it’s the videogame that make people mentally unstable, and there was even a law(I don’t know if it passed or not, but it was really made by an old dude in the government) that said videogames should be banned from here

    What we really need is to find a way of informing people that this numbers in the games, movies, and television are called Age Rating for a reason

    #10 2 years ago
  11. HauntaVirus

    I love gaming, I’ll always be a gamer. I’m not trying to say violence shouldn’t be in games. All I’m trying to say is that violence in general is a negative thing, therefore it generally has a negative affect. Again, this is my opinion.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. ArithonUK

    #2 So by your logic, if I program all day in HTML I will be more likely to speak to my family in HTML code when I get home in the evening? Common sense. Right.

    I’ve played games since my teens and I’m now in my mid forties. I still catch wasps alive and let them out the window and I’ve never hit anyone in anger. So where’s my “violent tendencies” then? Your theory and theirs are just stats and hot air.

    You can statistically prove 80′s sales of bubble gum correlated with the rise in road deaths. We theorised (in school) that people were blowing bubbles and crashing cars as a result. Plausible and the stats “proved” it, but what this school lesson showed was that statistics can prove any cock-eyed theory, but don’t amount to any fact.

    The media and certain groups have been spouting this nonsense for years, but it’s nothing more than that.

    I played PACMAN but I haven’t developed a pill addition or a desire for fruit or ghost hunting either!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Fin

    @12

    Ahem.

    HTML ain’t a programming language bro.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. HauntaVirus

    ^
    Thank you!

    #14 2 years ago