01 May 2008

More Fun Policing from MADD (The Video Game Edition)

The angry ladies over at MADD have seen fit to save humanity once again. This time by chastising the new game, Grand Theft Auto 4. From a MADD press release (h/t Reason):

This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players can drive drunk. Drunk driving is not a game and it is not a joke. Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime and it is also 100 percent preventable.

Where have these people been the last twenty-plus years that video games have been around, hiding in some booze-free convent? If entertainment consoles had any bearing or influence on real life, I would've grown up to eat mushrooms all day and shoot fireballs out of my hand at the hammer brothers. There is absolutely no link between video games and violence, and the busybodiness and self-righteousness of MADD is really going to anger a lot of their would-be supporters. Besides, if MADD thought that a pixelated game imitated life so much, wouldn't they want to combat some of the more egregious social ills in the Grand Theft Auto series like shooting people in the face and beating the shit out of hookers with a baseball bat.


Root of What Plagues Society

7 comments:

KJ said...

Gahh... I miss nintendo.

ABWF said...

LT Nixon wrote: There is absolutely no link between video games and violence

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this is incorrect. Video games are associated with increases in aggression and violent behavior, including games that are rated as suitable for all ages and/or completely cartoonish and unrealistic. These findings are based on both laboratory experiments and "field research"

More information on the Myths,facts and questions about the impact of video games can be found via this fact sheet published by the American Psychological Association (including information about areas for further research)

Some information included in the fact sheet:

"Myth 6. There are no studies linking violent video game play to serious aggression.
Facts: High levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior (e.g., self-reported assault, robbery)."

"Myth 9. The effects of violent video games are trivially small.
Facts: Meta-analyses reveal that violent video game effect sizes are larger than the effect of second hand tobacco smoke on lung cancer, the effect of lead exposure to I.Q. scores in children, and calcium intake on bone mass. Furthermore, the fact that so many youths are exposed to such high levels of video game violence further increases the societal costs of this risk factor (Rosenthal, 1986)."

A more recent press release concerning a review of the research literature is also available here.

An overall summary of issue related to violence in video games and the psychological impact on children and adolescents can be found here

ABWF said...

Sorry for leaving such a long comment (again). I'll try to not get carried away like this for a while.

Ms. Kiyum said...

I don't know about violence, but I sure as hell remember the secret contra code. And I'd feel really bad about beating up hookers with a baseball bat, even if they are video game hookers.

LT Nixon said...

ABWF,

That's quite a lot of evidence, but I still maintain that violent video games are cool and contribute to young boys not being a bunch of whiny weenies when they grow up.

KJ,

Same here!

Kiyum,

I used the contra code last week when I was in a jam at work. Man that thing comes in handy.

Bag Blog said...

I'm with abwf on this one. There is much evidence that video games can lead to violence. If video games "contribute to young boys not being a bunch of whiny weenies when they grow up," wouldn't that prove that they are an influence?
Of course, I have not played any of video games since Pong and Pac Man, but I often have the urge to gobble someone.

ABWF said...

I'm still astounded at the parents who freak out if their little kids want to use toys guns but don't blink an eye at the content of the video games they play as teenagers. It boggles the mind.