The copyright fundamentalists should have taken the OPEN Act (which itself still needs some tweaks; see the EFF write-up) and called it a day. It really says something that the voices for fair use—Ron Wyden, Zoe Lofgren, Jared Polis, etc.—were the ones introducing a bill to create a mechanism to starve allegedly infringing sites of funding.
Previous legislative processes, e.g. the development of the ideas that became the anticircumvention proceedings in the DMCA, showed at least some willingness to compromise and listen to critical input—hardly done in a good-faith effort to craft good legislation for the 21st Century, but at least willing to hold multiple hearings and actually hear from all of the critics. That at a time when there weren't nearly as many critics!
This time around, the copyright zealots and their allies in Congress decided on a fingers-in-the-ears, ram-it-through-ASAP strategy. That is, until January 18. Now, suddenly, they're claiming that the tech industry and civil society groups need to be more willing to sit down and talk. This while Chris Dodd won't even make time for lunch with Gary Shapiro—the head of the Consumer Electronics Association, not exactly Richard f'ing Stallman.
The gall these folks have shown in the last two years, the pure nerve, is amazing—even in the context of the copyright debate for the previous 25+ years, a time when they've some real chutzpah.
This is a much, much more thoughtful response. Thanks! Sorry I called you a jerk, glad you apologized. (Travel has a significant crankiness effect, even when controlling for other variables, though effect size depends on the scale used.) You're clearly a thoughtful researcher.
I don't have time at the moment to read the articles or write an extended response, but I'll try to do so and reply here. Also, please do look me up (Bill Herman, pleasure to curse you out online) and send me a private email. I'd like to see your CV.
One note, though, that made lead the 3.5 people still reading at this point astray: You and I both know the peer review process is double blind. The authors don't know who reviewed the manuscript, and in principle the reviewers don't know who authored the paper. Thus, Anderson and company don't have an obvious benefit from being established authorities in the field--however that field is defined. (I assume you mean that reviewers often recognize famous authors' work and that does shape their evaluations. This can happen, but it's less common than one might think. Further, if I think your work is bullocks, my anonymity allows me to say so without repercussions, which I've done repeatedly--although I try to be polite about it. That most of their peers think it's sound research says they're doing at least a respectable job.)
Having served on both ends of that process, I know for a fact that most journal editors try to find reviewers who are experts in a paper's subject as well as its methods. If I were editing a journal and got any of these papers, I'd look for an expert on game effects to read it--and one not closely associated with the author(s). As you note, there aren't a lot of people who are gamers and media effects researchers, which definitely limits the pool, but every editor who's assigned reviewers has almost certainly tried hard to find them all. Are you an untapped resource here? If so, start publishing--even a more formalized version of what you're saying here is a good start.
Thank you for the cites. I'll look into them at some point. Hopefully you will have been in touch by then.
OK, I've been stuck in a crap airport for 8 hours because of a cancelled flight by a crap airline (airport and airline needing not to be specified), and I'm not even capable of being polite or coherent right now. But let's start with the foul language I'm keeping to myself but which you totally, totally deserve. Because you baited me (with, by your own admission, a trollishly innocent-sounding question), I wasted an hour I should have spent doing work on my own research or teaching prep--or just reading or relaxing. What you just did was 100% awful and shameful.
Before I even think of responding, though, I'll put the burden on you. Produce a cite to a sound meta-analysis--that isn't by one of the hacks Huessman & Taylor diss and that uses sound meta-analytic methods--and comes to the opposite conclusion. You do research in this area? Great! Post some and let me tear it apart. Don't hide behind a bunch of two-sentence attacks on established research. (If this is all such obviously flawed work, why do the best journals keep accepting it?)
I have more to say here (note how I'm not trolling you, jerk), but until you make more constructive contributions to this discussion, I'll hold off. Until then, put up or shut up.
Glad you read the chapter!
By video game tech standards, it's pretty dated (2003), and they suspect that's part of the limited effect size. Looking for violence effects from games that involve killing the grey blob with your blue blob (a not-too-uncharitable description of 8-bit gaming) created a lot of earlier studies with a more limited effect size. It's less obviously relevant to real life than film or TV footage of real people committing much more realistic-looking violence. That's NOT the same thing as finding no effect--just a diminished effect. They provide citations to the best, most relevant lit to that point.
I'm not a violence effects researcher specifically (though I did my PhD at a school where everyone learns a lot about this work, and I’ve done a good bit of reading since then), so I'm not sure how estimates of effect size have changed over time. That said, the quality research in the last decade has only cemented findings of a causal effect with real-world significance. The experiments continue to provide further evidence of a causal link, and the correlational and longitudinal studies continue to find that these effects take place in the real worldnot just in laboratories.
Here is a not-necessarily-definitive list of a few more recent studies that are video game specific and come to the same conclusions:
1. Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent video game effects on children and adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press.
Obviously, buying or borrowing and reading a whole book is overkill. This contains a shortened version of the same findings:
2. Video Game EffectsConfirmed, Suspected, and
Speculative: A Review of the Evidence
Bartlett, Anderson, & Spring (2008), Simulation & Gaming 42(1).
Here’s a relevant quote:
Aggressive behavior. Many methods and tools are used to measure aggressive behavior (see Bushman & Anderson, 1998; Ritter & Eslea, 2005, for a review of laboratory-based methods). Methods used to assess aggressive behavior range from observations of children at play (e.g., Schutte, Malouff, Post-Gordon-Joan, & Rodasta, 1988) to reports by oneself, teachers, parents, and peers (e.g., Anderson et al., 2007, Studies 2 and 3), to standard laboratory paradigms (e.g., Konijn, Nije, & Bushman, 2007). Results using these and other measures show strong support for the causal relationship between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior. Overall, experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies have all found that exposure to violent video games leads to increased physical aggression (for comprehensive reviews, see Anderson, Berkowitz, et al., 2003; Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson et al., 2004; Anderson et al., 2007). (p. 382)
3. Longitudinal Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggression
in Japan and the United States
Anderson et al. (2008), Pediatrics 122(5). [Speaking of publication quality, the 2009 ISI citation analysis ranked Pediatrics as the 3rd most-cited of the 94 included journals in the pediatrics category.]
This is a longitudinal study of both US and Japanese youth. A significant result was found in these real-world conditions (for those of you who would dismiss experimental studies as failing to establish results that matter in the real world).
and Consequences of Exposure to Video Game Violence: Hostile Personality,
Empathy, and Aggressive Behavior
Bartholow, Sestir, & Davis (2005), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 31 (11).
Study uses both longitudinal and experimental methods to show a link between violent game play and violent behavior.
5. Causal effects of violent sports video games on
aggression: Is it competitiveness or violent content?
Anderson & Carnageya (2009), Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (4).
Playing violent sports games is significantly more correlated with violent effects (violent thoughts and behavior) than other sports games that are competitive but not violent.
Obviously that’s way, WAY more than you asked for. But I hope that, if the dozens of commenters above are still paying attention to this thread, some of them will read some of the literature andmore broadlyconsider this as the scientific debate that it is rather than jumping to premature, ill-founded conclusions based on their policy views on whether and how to regulate games.
I'd say more, but these folks do a MUCH better job:
Read this chapter, read some more of the evidence, then share your thoughts based on the actual data. Don't oppose scientific findings based on policy preferences.
To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton