Last week The Daily Mail ran this worrying sounding story about how apparently it’s been PROVEN that games make us all violent. Or it would be worrying if The Daily Mail didn’t reserve a page in its despicable publication each month to run a story besmirching videogames by bending statistics to its own bullshit agendas.
So apparently games do make us all more aggressive, according to the headline. But do they really? Is the Daily Mail headline telling the truth this time or is it still a pile of dirge?
Reading on you realize that what this new study found is that when we play violent games different bits of our brains light up and we do, essentially, become more aggressive. I believe what they’re saying, once you get in to a game and are just mowing down enemies, you do want to continue, and I have sometimes felt pretty pumped and, well, aggressive, whilst playing a game. I then stop and return to my normal placid self.
As you continue reading it becomes clear that the study is actually focusing on the immediate experience of playing a game, giving scant regard to any lasting effects, until the very end of the article.
What? They found NO CONNECTION between players behaviour and game playing? But didn’t you just say? But, the headline said…
Yeah the headline did say but as per usual The Daily Mail was being alarmist with its headline to try and cause a furore, thus getting more people to buy their pathetic excuse for a paper. This kind of unrepresentative headline is irresponsible journalism, they’re pushing for sales at the expense of giving the truth, being well aware that many people just read the headline.
It really makes me angry, its tantamount to lying to thousands of people from a position of power. Anybody with a touch of common sense can deconstruct this article and see it for the rubbish its peddling but sadly there’s a large number of moronic Daily Mail readers.
The study has a sample of 22 men of 18-29 which in any terms, is not representative of the population as a whole, nothing can be determined from 22 people, let alone 22 people from one gender and such a limited age range. The study is about plasticity of the brain, at 18 you’re pretty much set, if the study was done over a significant passage of time on 3-18 year olds maybe there could be some interesting statistics but that would of course be illegal seeing as violent games tend to have 18 or M ratings.
It’s also dodgy on the science. Apparently playing games ’causes plasticity’. That’s not even what plasticity is or what it means. Plasticity refers to how the brain can be molded and how that shapes us as people. The brain has a certain amount which reduces over time, hence why people get stuck in their ways, its where the ‘you cant teach an old dog new tricks’ phrase comes from and why your favorite bands get worse over time as they can’t come up with new ideas until they release an album of covers.
The brain ‘has’ plasticity, nothing ’causes’ plasticity. I’m not blaming the study for this, I’m confident they know the English of science, The Daily Mail obviously doesn’t however.
Its crazy that The Daily Mail has been on this vendetta for so long, frankly its embarrassing. The worst thing about the article is that there’s nothing wrong with 18 year olds playing 18 rating games, as is the point of age ratings, but having a toddler playing GTA San Andreas is in fact illegal.
I do sort of wonder why they do this. The only reason I can fathom is that The Daily Mail’s editor was crap at Pong when he was a kid and got bullied for his ineptitude, and from that young age he decided he wanted to rid the world of all video games. Poor little bugger, now stop being a twat.