Wednesday, September 13, 2006

As much as I agree with you, this does not prove much

Ok, so I'm still playing devil's advocate here.

I do not believe games significantly stimulate violent behaviour. I don't think a teenager (or even a child for that matter) will start killing his peers just because she/he has played too much GTA. That's just my personal opinion, which is based on my personal experiences. As any other game enthusiast, I am not pleased to read about suggestions of links between video games and violence.

Still, I would never defend violent games based on the graph below:

Taken from The Economist, it first caught my attention on a Ludologist post entitled The Diagram that Says it All. I immensely respect Juul's views on video games, but there is no way to convince me that this diagram says anything more than two disconnected pieces of data. It does not serve as pro- or anti-games evidence. If so, it would prove that games stop violence from happening. It actually encourages game detractors from making cynical comments like:

- Hey, maybe if the US government spend $4,000,000.00 in games during the next 9 years, then the criminal rate would drop to zero.

If games cause any violent act, the numbers would be so low that it would not show in this kind of diagram. It's not so much a quantitative matter.

- If so, what would have caused the violence raise from 2002 to 2003? Duke Nuken Forever being delayed again?


Patrick Dugan said...

Nice dissemination there Chico. Its easy for even PhDs to sometimes forget that correlation doesn't imply causation, as much as we sometimes wish otherwise.

Jesper said...

Of course it's not a proof, but: It shows that it is wrong to think that "the world is going to hell and video games are to blame".

chico queiroz said...

I agree, Jesper, although I think it contests the former (the world is going to hell) more than the latter (video games are to blame).

Of course games would not cause massive violence statistics (and maybe this can be proved by the diagram), but it's about their possible influence on individual cases I worry (although I tend to believe they are in no way responsible).

Thanks a lot for dropping by!

Copyright, Chico Queiroz