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Games Lead To Violence and Drugs? 228

Posted by Zonk
from the unlikely dept.
A joint University of California, SFO/University of Pittsburgh study has been released which finds "playing violent videogames can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol", Gamasutra reports. Reuters is also carrying the story, with some information about methodology available in that piece. From the article: "Brady and Matthews had a group of 100 male undergraduates aged 18 to 21 play either Grand Theft Auto III or The Simpsons: Hit and Run. In the Simpsons game, players took the role of Homer Simpson and their task was to deliver daughter Lisa's science project to school before it could be marked late. In Grand Theft Auto III, players took the role of a criminal, and were instructed by the Mafia to beat up a drug dealer with a baseball bat."
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Games Lead To Violence and Drugs?

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  • Other way around? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WilliamSChips (793741)
    I have a feeling that it's probably the other way around: people who don't like drinking and marijuana in real life probably will be less likely to play GTA.
    • Re:Other way around? (Score:5, Informative)

      by diamondmagic (877411) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:53PM (#15108755) Homepage
      If you bothered to read the article at all, you would know that this was not an observational study, but a scientific study in which the subjects were required to play a randomly selected game. GTA resulted in the worse-off outcome. That's it, that is all there is.
      • by Kesch (943326)
        I actually did RTFA (after giving an earlier testimonial spiel) and it was interesting. Something in me is screaming common sense though that GTA might make people more competitive and get the heart racing a little more than Simpsons Hit and Run.

        "Oh noes, I'm going to deliver the science project before you!"

        Also, they only seemed to study the short term effects. They didn't see if the subjects were still as hostile the next day or the implications of more chronic video game playing.
        • It is common sense. The more engaging (the bigger the adrenaline rush) the higher your blood pressure is going to be. All the outcomes mentioned are in line with any activity that raises the "excitability" level. You want to talk high bp and a tendency towards violence, let's compare this to say, a similar group of men who just watched their favorite sports team lose a close game.
      • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:17PM (#15108959)
        GTA resulted in the worse-off outcome.

        So did scientists provide the booze and pot aftwards?

        Or did the test subjects have to fend for themselves?
    • Simply put, what came first. The chicken or the egg.

      Is the fact that these "kids" play GTA because they are already inclined to activities that are illegal in their legal system OR does the game make them inclined?

      Simply put, do violent games make people aggresive OR do aggresive people play violent games.

      The problem is that "violent game" is such a vague term. Almost all games are violent but 99% of the time you are the good guy fighting the legions of evil.

      GTA San Andreas has you drowning a rapper and

    • Not entirely true. I might be the exception, but I don't drink, or smoke, never have and quite possibly never will (alcohol simply doesn't appeal to me, and smoking is a disgusting nasty habit, which does nothing worthwhile for you), and I love the Grand Theft Auto franchise. My Liberty City Stories-armed PSP is always with me, and I try to get as much as possible out of the larger offerings. I think they're really good games (from a playability standpoint, not necessarily the morality.)
      • Smoking stops you from doing dangerous things like "jogging". Remember, it is joggers who find the dead bodies on the side of the road. Nobody finds a dead body sitting at home and playing GTA

        Apologies to dave attell
    • Oh GTA, what won't you take the blame for?
  • by nb caffeine (448698) <nbcaffeine@nosPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:48PM (#15108704) Homepage Journal
    and play Kirbys Avalanche. OH NOES, puzzle games lead to selling yourself for smack. Totally.
    • It's true! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Jelizabug (674745)
      It all started with Tetris, the gateway game... that led to Final Fantasy, but it just wasn't enough. Before I knew it, I was playing Halo every night. Then I took up kickboxing (hitting those pads - what a rush!), and most recently I have had to overcome an addiction to Tylenol.

      Thanks, Tetris.

      • Oh man, dont get me started on tetrisDS. Its too bad the game doesnt have a "total play time" counter built in, or I'd realise how addicted i really am :) Its time to go try to beat my friends times on mission mode :)
  • correlation != causation
    • by egomaniac (105476) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:19PM (#15108973) Homepage
      correlation != causation

      A valuable thing to remember, but completely irrelevant here.

      The "correlation != causation" caution applies when it is possible for there to a third, unexplained phenomenon which causes both the supposed cause and the supposed effect. For instance, ice cream consumption and heart attacks both increase in the summer -- but the actual cause of both increases is the summer heat.

      That sort of relationship isn't possible here. The "cause" in this case is whether or not the students were assigned to the experimental group -- students in the experimental group had a different experience than students in the control group. Given that the students were (presumably) properly randomly assigned, no factor can possibly have influenced whether or not they were in the control group, and therefore the only possible causes for the differences in the experimental group are the experiment itself or randomness. The latter can be largely controlled by increasing the size of the trial to increase our confidence that we are seeing a real effect.

      Think about it this way: imagine the experiment were to decide the effects of gunshot wounds to the head. You divide the students into two groups, and shoot all of the experimental group students in the head. They all die. None of the control group students die. Now, say "but correlation doesn't equal causation!" and realize that it doesn't make any sense. There just isn't any way for some unexplained effect to have altered both which group the students were assigned to and whether or not they died.
      • by crabpeople (720852)
        I think what he was trying to get at was that this study is really fuckign stupid.

        Did they ask them whether they thought it was ok for gays to marry? or whether pre marital sex is an ok choice?

        i dont see why not since they seem to be linking all sorts of random shit together. this whole article is sensationalist nothing trying to be meaningful something. Its like asking people to play a game of basketball and then getting their opinion on the italian election. These things are so far removed from having any
        • It's actually really simple, and makes sense. The way they worded the abstract was a bit weird... but it was the thing about blood pressure that should stand out. I'd be pretty willing to bet that if you had a hundred people, and had half of them sit on a couch for twenty minutes, and the other half get on a treadmill for twenty minutes, you'd probably get the same result as comparing cartoon vs. realistic simulated violence.

          So... umm... Exercise leads to violence and risky behavior?

      • by jusdisgi (617863)

        The "correlation != causation" caution applies when it is possible for there to a third, unexplained phenomenon which causes both the supposed cause and the supposed effect.

        This statement may be technically correct; it's also extremely misleading, because the phrase "when it is possible for there to be a third, unexplained phenomenon which causes both the supposed cause and the supposed effect" is equivalent to "always"

        This is why the maxim "correlation does not imply causation" is not instead, "correl

        • by egomaniac (105476)
          You have completely and utterly misunderstood my argument.

          You can indeed eliminate all external causes in this case. The two factors that are correlated are "student was in the experimental group" and "student experienced increased permissiveness of violence and drugs". Since the first factor (student was in the experimental group) was random, it by definition cannot have any influencing factors. It is therefore impossible for there to be a common cause of both "student was in the experimental group" and
      • the only possible causes for the differences in the experimental group are the experiment itself or randomness.

        Or bias in the group's selection. Or the person assigned to complete the task with them wasn't as cooperative with this group (expecting them to be more violent). Or the question were designed to get different answers based on these specific games. Or they purposefully misinterpret the data. Or whatever else could have tainted the scientific process. Science is only ever as good as the scientist a
    • by shotfeel (235240)
      And lets also not forget that all kinds of activities cause short-term changes in physical states (like blood pressure) and psychologica states (like attitudes). Including "healthy" ones like exercise, or "normal" ones like driving in heavy traffic.

      This study still does not address long-term changes, at least based on the little bits available.
    • Or at least the summary. This isn't a study where the gathered some people who like GTA and people who don't and compared the two groups' behavior. Half the sample group was RANDOMLY ASSIGNED to play GTA, the other half to play the Simpsons game. If the GTA crowd acted more violent and drug-friendly after some time played, then I really don't see how correlation WOULDN'T indicate causation in this case. Unless they randomly selected the GTA players with a beer bong or something.

      If you're gonna criticize thi
      • Yes but as pointed out elsewhere, it could have been a secondary causation. Playing violent games leads to temporary increases in stress/hormone levels, increases in hormones levels causes peoples perception to change.. Primary causation is almost impossible to prove unless the test was hours later, and I doupt it was.
    • It is true that correlation != causation... in a rational discussion. But if demigogs are looking to fuel hysteria so they can get elected on some issue, correlation is all you need.

      The big goal, right now, is to claim that there are "health issues" with regulating video games, so the government can regulate video games the same way it does drugs, or guns, or automobiles. That way they can bypass the whole First Amendment Free Speech arguement.
  • Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gerbalblaste (882682) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:48PM (#15108707) Journal
    Someone please mod this article +5 flamebait.
    • I would like to see the study that showed that drinking and smoking pot make you more inclined to play moronic violent games - because surely being pissed and stoned is not a state to be in if you want to be able to play very well.
      And where is the study that says watching ultra violent films is good for your mental health. Dodgy entertainment has always been bad for your outlook, thats why throwing christians to the lions isnt on the tv anymore, or bear baiting or any number of unsavory visceral entertainme
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:48PM (#15108708)
    How many "studies" are we going to read on this? How often are we getting told "games make you violent"? How often are we going to say "bullshit"?

    It doesn't accumulate more truth by saying it more often. Games make you as violent as D&D did in the 80s, TV did in the 60s, radio did in the 30s and books did before that. It's the same "old generation who don't know jack about X blames it for the problems created by the way people are" shit we've been seeing for centuries now.
    • by Psmylie (169236) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:55PM (#15108777) Homepage
      Speaking of D&D... this type of argument has gotten under my skin since the early 1980's, when I started playing D&D. That's when I first started getting irked by the whole "[blank] makes kids violent/drug users/satanists" thing. My own father, a smart enough man normally, felt the need to sit me down and ask me if I understood that I wasn't really casting spells and fighting monsters. All because of the stupid hype generated by people who grossly misrepresented a pretty harmless hobby.
      • My own father, a smart enough man normally, felt the need to sit me down and ask me if I understood that I wasn't really casting spells and fighting monsters.

        Be thankful...you've got a good father. The question may have sounded stupid to you, but if your dad actually bothered to ask you what you are up to, get your feedback on why it interests you, and trust your judgement as to whether it was a healthy hobby, I hope you are walking around knowing he's the shit.

        Hell, invite him to join your next session.
        • by Psmylie (169236) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:45PM (#15109169) Homepage
          This is true, and I don't blame my dad for being concerned. Parents need to know what their kids are into, if only to provide proper context for them. I blame the irresponsible people in the media who put out frantic warnings about cults, suicides and violence, which led my father into thinking that this game might be seriously messing me up. As we all know, it's not the game itself that has these effects... it's the Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
      • Lucky guy. My mom donated all my manuals to the Goodwill after reading a particularly inflammatory article. I like to tease her about it now by showing her how much they're currently worth.

        ((and yes, I still totally hold a grudge for Tom Hanks. Tom, you DO have enough spell points to fly. Go for it man!))
      • sit me down and ask me if I understood that I wasn't really casting spells...

        So you had hidden your bag of, um, 'spell components' before he came in, right?

        Just kidding, but actually, I had similar crap from my dad too... At one time, being into Dragonlance at the time, I had collected the ingredients and made a batch of Raistlin's Tea, which actually doesn't taste that bad, and does work well on coughs - recipe found in Leaves From the Inn of the Last Home. He found the jar of it in my room, and confronted
        • Not that I made it easy on them anyway. I later got into Ceremonial Magick and joined the O.T.O. after I turned 18, which opened a whole new series of fears for them. Entirely unfounded, but it certainly damaged our relationship the night he suddenly stated (after having seen the dagger on my dresser - for ceremonial purposes only) that if I ever tried to hurt any of them I'd better get it right the first time because I would only get one chance. I downplayed his concern but inside I was all, "Fuck YOU you

          • See there you are, knowing nothing of the actual nature of things (Ie: cult of 'wizards' - you couldn't be more wrong) you leap to conclusions. Thank you for proving my point that people have stupid prejudices that they will act upon without due research.
    • There was a Wired article on this a couple days ago. Choice quote:

      Comic Books "Many adults think that the crimes described in comic books are so far removed from the child's life that for children they are merely something imaginative or fantastic. But we have found this to be a great error. Comic books and life are connected. A bank robbery is easily translated into the rifling of a candy store. Delinquencies formerly restricted to adults are increasingly committed by young people and children ... All ch
      • I think that about covers the legitimacy of this study.

        John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy were also Christians. Shouldn't that lead to the conclusion that Christians like to kill people?

        I could provide a much longer list of "Christians" who have committed various violent crimes, but I don't really think that's necessary.

        How many of you were in Middle/High school at the time of the Columbine shootings? How many of your schools outlawed trenchcoats after that? Because everyone knows that wearing a trenchcoat means
    • old generation who don't know jack about X blames it for the problems created by the way people are

      Speak for yourself, after playing hundreds of hours of Final Fantasy, I now run around town casting Firaga on people while drinking "potions".
  • A datum (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kesch (943326)
    Ahem, I would like to testify that I have played GTA and other violent video games.

    I do not believe it to be legal (in the US. This anwser is subject to change in other countries.) or responsible for teenagers (like me) to use marijuana or alcohol.

    Finaly I would like to add that I understand a datum does not a study make and that correlation!=causation.
  • by egomaniac (105476) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:53PM (#15108761) Homepage
    This is a very small trial -- only 50 people in each group. I wonder how significant the results are, and if they would still exist in a larger trial (my guess is most of the effects would disappear). While I can certainly believe blood pressure increases and other physiological effects, I'm very skeptical that a short time playing a violent videogame would somehow change your attitude towards marijuana.

    It's not impossible, of course, I just want to see the results validated in a larger trial. At the very least I want to see the numbers from this trial -- I suspect that the effects are very small and just on the edge of statistical significance.
    • I'm very skeptical that a short time playing a violent videogame would somehow change your attitude towards marijuana.

      Seriously, I don't know where they get that B.S. from. The article merely says that people who played GTA had "more permissive attitudes toward using alcohol and marijuana." First of all, can you be any more vague, please? I want to know what questions they asked to discover this type of attitude change from individuals in the expirement. Of course, they neglected to put such informatio
    • While I can certainly believe blood pressure increases and other physiological effects, I'm very skeptical that a short time playing a violent videogame would somehow change your attitude towards marijuana.

      Well, for a short time it might. Or, to be more precise, if you were calmly sitting on a couch for a bit, and somebody asked you about some risky behaviour, you'd be more likely to examine the issue than if you'd just be jogging for awhile.

      So, as I said in an earlier post... Exercise leads to violenc

    • I've lost count of how many times I have to point out that if they've gotten statistically significant results, it's already taken into account sample size, so comments like the parent are irrelevent. 50 people in each group is NOT a small study anyway, psychology isn't like internet polls where typical samples are in the tens of thousands.

      ...and you apparently aren't aware that the smaller the sample, the larger the size of the effect has to be to be significant.
      • Everything you've said is (usually) correct, but I've seen studies with poor methodology get published in peer-reviewed journals, even in the hard sciences like chemistry. Abstracts are almost always written by the authors, so it's necessary to actually read the full text of the article before making a conclusion.
  • Standard FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RsG (809189) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:55PM (#15108776)
    If you read the link about their methodology, it becomes clear that the study is crap. According to Reuters:

    "Regardless of whether they grew up in a violent environment, the researchers found, young men who had played the violent game were less cooperative and more competitive in completing an assigned task with another person, compared to those who played the Simpsons game. They were also more likely to have permissive attitudes toward alcohol and marijuana use."

    How exactly does one get from "have a more permissive attitude" to "more likely to use drugs/drink"? Fucks sake, I've got a completely permissive attitude to other people's bad habits, but that doesn't mean I'd like to share them. If you spun this study the other way, it'd be saying "gamers more permissive, less likely to force their views on other people".

    Either the study itself is politically funded crap, or the spin being put on it is.
    • Adding to that, who are we really studying here? 100 male undergraduates in a small age bracket who go to a single university. Likely either participating in this for class extra credit (for which we can assume this only applies to male Psych 100 students or whatever) or as individuals answering a call for volunteers for a study (what kind of male responds to an "experiment involving video games" flyer?). Even with the small sample size and completely nonrandom sample, where's the hard data on how MUCH more
    • If you spun this study the other way, it'd be saying "gamers more permissive, less likely to force their views on other people".

      Actually they had 2 groups playing car games. They just had different games.

      I dig the rest of what you said though, just, that bit is off : )
  • by GutSh0t (91783) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:56PM (#15108789)
    Adventure turned me into the depraved shell of a man that I am today. But the colors...
  • They asked college guys if they liked drugs and alcohol after playing GTA?

    They probably liked them before GTA!
    • They asked college guys if they liked drugs and alcohol after playing GTA?

      No kidding, when I read "videogames can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol" in the summary, I was thinking that college students are the target market for marijuana and alcohol.

      Next, I'm sure they'll figure out how to link those girls in those "Girls Gone Wild" tapes to videogames somehow.

      While I'll concede that it certainly looks like violence, drugs and alcohol, and sex are a lot more pr

      • Hell, Caramilk bars now have an ad which is a parody of the "Kama Sutra" -- you could never do that 15-20 years ago without causing a huge uproar.


        Way off topic, but... It's funny you say that... when I was in college [msus.edu] my dorm was actually called Kama Sutra...

      • While I'll concede that it certainly looks like violence, drugs and alcohol, and sex are a lot more prevalant than when I was a kid ... the imagery of them is a whole lot more prevalent EVERYWHERE than when I was a kid. The music is more violent/explicit. The movies are more violent/explicit. The TV is more violent/explicit. The video games are more violent/explicit.

        Or maybe you just didn't pay as much attention to sex when you were a kid and didn't have the proper hormones active yet. Or maybe your par

  • by BoredWolf (965951)
    It amazes me that any news group or individual is willing to place the equivalent of 'blind faith' in these purported studies. How were the test subjects selected? Was there a control group? Do young men in general believe that it is OK to smoke marajuana and drink alcohol? Was the study designed to prove this particular outcome, or did it stumble upon this while 100 guys were playing GTA? Anyone who knows anything about statistics can see that information in such studies is warped or misrepresented in
  • Yeah, just like.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by netfool (623800) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:03PM (#15108847) Homepage
    ...comic books, the Waltz (no kidding, look it up!) and Rock & Roll.
    • Don't forget D&D, rap and the automobile (oh noes! Billy and Sue can drive off to lover's lane! /moral outrage).

      Actually, a better question: Is there anything remotely enjoyable that senile reactionaries haven't been opposed too?
    • the Waltz (no kidding, look it up!)

      Ankles everywhere! It's like a modern day Ghomorrah!

      But, they were right you know, first it was the waltz, then blues, swing jazz, rock and roll, and now it's the Black Eyed Peas and "My Humps".

      I'm not sure how I feel about that...
  • If only we never invented video games, teenagers would have never gotten interested in rebelling.
  • In that case (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcocos (128532) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:10PM (#15108894)
    "playing violent videogames can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol"

    If this also works on older men, I'd be willing to give my copy of GTA3 to a Senator or Representative in the hopes that it would change their minds about smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, to make it legally acceptable.
    • I'd be willing to give my copy of GTA3 to a Senator or Representative in the hopes that it would change their minds about smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol

      Yeah, they should really cut that out. Have you seen the laws they're passing these days?
  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw.yahoo@com> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:13PM (#15108921) Journal
    [P]laying violent videogames can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol.

    What the hell? Are they saying it isn't?? What else am I supposed to with my evenings?
  • Umm, so what I don't get is, how is this a bad thing? None of these things mentioned, alcohol use, marihuana or sex without a condom are a problem when used in an informed, smart way.

    I don't get it.

    That is like saying, reading href="http://www.intowine.com/">In to Wine causes people to want to use alcohol.

    I mean come on!
  • by jevvim (826181) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:25PM (#15109028) Journal
    I believe this is the abstract for the published study: Effects of Media Violence on Health-Related Outcomes Among Young Men [ama-assn.org]

    The abstract makes me think this was a poorly conducted study. Where's the control group that played no games? What if playing games reduces these thoughts in a way that varies based on the game? You could also have gotten this result by baselining the attitudes of the subjects before the experiment, but then you also might have lost all the interesting quotes like "Media violence exposure may play a role in the development of negative attitudes and behaviors related to health."

    They did find that blood pressure tends to go up while playing games. In addition, those with exposure to home and community violence had a more sigificant blood pressure change with the violent game than with the other game. I think they might have just verified post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • The results of a related study:
        Doing stupid studies can lead young men to believe it is unacceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol.

    Of course, it is no good idea to drink/smoke too much or to do it and drive afterwards, but as long as it happens within acceptable limits, I see no problem.
  • ...can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol

    But it is acceptable! Nothing wrong with either of those activities, as long as you do so responsibly :)

    Besides that... aren't those 2 activities (and playing video games) the primary activities for most college-aged males? Sure was when I was in college :)
  • I've seen a lot more people that would sit around, get high, and then sit their lazy asses around and say something to the extent of

    P1: What do you wanna do
    P2: I dunno
    P1: Wanna go out somewhere
    P2: Nah, I'm comfortable
    P1: Wanna watch some TV and play videogames
    P2: Yeah sure, that's cool

    So with their lazy asses is parked on the couch, smoking a roach, they play games. Note that the roach was there before the games, and the games are a by-product of their lack of willpower to move their sodden butts.
  • by Deagol (323173) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:40PM (#15109133) Homepage
    Back in my day it was D&D, before then it was comic books and Mad Magazine, and now it's Video Games.

    I would bet my next paycheck that a good, solid study could find a correlation that watching daytime soaps and prime-time drama leads people in their 20's and 30's to getting the idea that infidelity is normal and then proceeding to emulate their TV drama stars and be unfaithful themselves. Gee -- there's a shocker.

    Yet, do you see the Family Values people lobbying daytime television producers to clean up their shows? It probably would help imrpove the state of the American family if we weren't bombarded by perfectly beautiful, young, cheating couples on 95% of the programs being shown. But mo, they'd never attack an entrenched mainstream form of entertainmens. Ditto movies (except if it's wildly successful and has gay cowboys, then they'll attack it). Or how about the violence of professional sports? Isn't Superbowl Sunday reportedly one of the worst days of the year when it comes to wife abuse?

    Such double standards.

    I think regulation of expression is a last-resort option. People are free to take their own actions, for better or for worse. I however think that we should address all forms of entertainment with a similar statndard. Well, except for porn -- that's a slightly different can of worms.

    • Well, except for porn -- that's a slightly different can of worms.

      Dude - if there's cans of worms in the porn you're watching then you're into some seriously sick shit.

      Otherwise, very insightful post - glad to see the +5. One friending coming right up.
    • Well, I'd like to suggest that you get used to it. I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day who just happens to be an English professor at a local university and he told me something interesting: Apparently novels used to be quite the questionable media. They were blamed for, among other evils, corruption of young ladies moral characters. Novels! Those Bronte sisters were pretty wild, I suppose. Anyway, my point is only that every new media goes through a phase where the established power st
  • i blame the rise in drug use and lawlessness on the teletubbies. have you ever SEEN the baby-faced sun? if that's not a drug-inspired and -inspiring image, i don't know what is.

    as an aside, claiming that GTA:SA encourages drug use is silly. everyone knows GTA:SA encourages wreckless driving, beating hookers, assassination, and theft.
  • As a child of the '70s I found that drugs lead to gaming so there! =)
  • So, they say "playing violent videogames can lead young men to believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol."

    Let me rewrite this: "playing violent videogames can lead young men to believe that the government does not have the right to forbid you from consuming mild mind-altering substances, as long as your actions do not harm others' lives."

    Sounds pretty good to me.
    • Hrm... so that explains why I voted for Badnark last election.
  • Is this phenomena unique to video games, or are other media outlets (*cough*television*cough*hollywood*cough*) being ignored to focus on "Satan's Own?"
  • there actually exists some people in college who believe it is unacceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol.

    What an amazing discovery? This is Nobel prize material, no doubt.

    Screw cancer, let's work on the evil video game industry.
  • The violence and drugs part is good and all, but I really wish my l33t skillz would get me the l8dez. :-(
  • There were two questions these "researchers" forgot to look into before jumping to their conclusion:

    1) What were the numbers looking like about two hours after the kids finished playing their games? Were the effects of playing GTA 3 simply temporary, meaning that playing this game is likely not the cause of kids going on murderous, drug-induced rampages and the like?

    2) How do the effects of playing GTA compare with the effects of watching the violence on the evening news? If I'm correct in my assump
  • After playing the game, study participants watched a scenario in which a teacher told a class he suspects some students of cheating on a test, and that while he is very disappointed in those who have cheated he is proud of those who did well. The teacher then asks to see "Billy" after class. The study participants were told to imagine themselves as Billy, and asked how likely it was that the teacher was going to accuse them of cheating. Students who'd played Grand Theft Auto were more likely to think they'

  • In related news, reading Mario Puzo's The Godfather [amazon.com] may make you think that it's cool to be in the mafia.

    Shall we ban the book along with the video game [amazon.com]?

    Perhaps the movie [amazon.com] should be first?

  • "believe it is acceptable to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol"

    Since when was it not acceptable to drink alcohol?? OK - I know they're a bit funny about it in the states but here in the UK it's hard to walk down a street without seeing a pub or 2.
  • by tobe (62758)
    .. it *is* acceptable to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana.
  • Everyone knows video games lead to behavior in real life.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator made me get my pilot's license.

    Sim City drove me to get a master's in urban planning.

    Civ II inspired me to travel back in time to the dawn of man and take control of a group of wandering settlers, start a city, and grow my civilization through thousands of years.

    Oh yeah, and the Grand Theft Auto series reminds me to lock my doors when driving my car.

  • Since when has it been unacceptable for young men to "smoke marijuana and drink alcohol"?

    How many young men have actually never smoked marijuana and drunken alcohol before? ...It's called having a life (my apologies to most here then :) ).

    My father (who is always reminding me of the dangers of abusing these two substances) admits it was the same when he was young also.

    The relgious conservatives need to jump forward several hundred years, get with the times and realise America isn't a few colonies full of re
  • "A joint University of California, SFO/University of Pittsburgh study has been released which finds"

    Wait, wait, you lost me at "joint." What?!? you don't actually have a joint, well fuck you then I'll kill you!

    Poor choice of wording? Subliminal message? You decide :)

To be awake is to be alive. -- Henry David Thoreau, in "Walden"

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