The Instigator
debatability
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

Violence in video games does not significantly contribute to real world violence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
debatability
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,113 times Debate No: 58595
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (205)
Votes (15)

 

debatability

Pro

Wylted and I will be debating this topic.

Definitions
Significantly- in a way that is relevant or has an important effect on something
Observations
This debate is about the impact of violence in video games, not about the impact of video games themselves.

I am looking forward to a great debate!!
Wylted

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
debatability

Pro

What began the controversy:
It is obvious that violence has been a major issue in society today. Events such as the school shooting in Newtown and the bombing of the Boston Marathon have made people begin to wonder what exactly pushed the guilty individuals to commit such atrocities. Many people have concluded that one of the major factors that promotes violence today are video games. Jay Rockefeller is one of the activists against video game violence. Minnesota Post explains that Rockfeller introduced a legislation instructing the National Association of Sciences to investigate the effects of violent video games on children, saying, “People believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. Parents, paediatricians, and psychologists know better.” (1) The effects of video games on the minds of young children has been studied for years, and the data quite contradicts Rockfeller’s conclusion.

What really causes violence in teens:
Serious Crimes
Adam Lanza, the gunman from the Sandy Hook shooting, played violent video games regularly. This caused many to believe that this is why he committed his violent crime. However, this was not the case. Eric Huey explains, “It turns out that delinquent peers, depression, and an abusive family environment account for actual violence incidents…” (2) Obviously, mental disorders would be another thing that promotes such violence. Here we can see that video games did not compel him (or most other school shooters) to commit the crime.
Aggression
A common argument against violence in video games is that violence in video games cause aggression. This is actually not the case. Carol Pichefsky notes that aggression is not caused by violent video games; rather, it is caused by a competitive environment (3). So, a game of MarioKart would be just as likely to result in aggression as a game of Call of Duty. This is not exclusive to video games either, competitive sports and competitive debate (especially on this website) are just as likely to result in aggression. So, it is certainly not the violence in video games that causes such feelings. The last thing I would like to note is that aggression and violence are two different things. Aggression is an intention. Violence in an action (4). My opponent showing that video games cause aggression is simply not enough.

Violence rates:
Here is the most important point of this debate. Logically, if violence in video games significantly contribute to real world violence, violent crime rates would rise as video game sales rise. This, however, is untrue:

Now, I don't claim that this decrease is due to video game sales (a lot of other factors could have affected the decline). However, this decrease makes mockery of the idea that video games have legitimately contributed to the rise of violence in society today (5).

Video game's effect:
Releasing Aggression
Studies suggest that video games give individuals an outlets to release aggression; there was a study done on inmates. An observer notes "If you give them video games, they’ll be less likely to start fights. So once a week we’d hook up a bunch of TVs in a classroom so all of the murderers and rapists could play Halo. There’s nothing more interesting than seeing guys who have killed multiple people deathmatching each other (6)." The inmates clearly were able to release their aggression in a way that doesn't hurt other people. This can be applied to other people as well. Logically, if violence in video games makes inmates less violent, they won't have an opposite affect when it comes to kids.
Enjoyment of Violence
This is an important part of the debate. Many people don't become violent because of violence in video games. Rather, they play violent video games because they enjoy violence. In order for con to win this point, he must prove that the violence in video games causes the violence. A simple correlation between violent people and people that play violent video games is not enough.

(1) http://www.minnpost.com...
(2) http://www.sfgate.com...
(3) http://www.forbes.com...
(4) http://www.goodtherapy.org...
(5) Chasing the Dream, “The Economist”
(6) http://freakonomics.com...

Wylted

Con

Thank you Liz for thinking of this interesting debate topic. I've been meaning to explore some things that coincide with my arguments and this is a great opportunity to do so.

TRAINED TO KILL

I'll explain this more as I go along, but the fact is kids are being trained to kill. Everyday they are on their video games simulating acts of murder over and over. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto all these games work to desensitize kids to violence and murder. It infects their brain and they lose their conscience.

I hope by the end of this debate, I've convinced a lot of people to expose themselves and children to these violent forms of media significantly less.

NOT BORN TO KILL

Humans despite being a violent species are disgusted with violence. They can't bring themselves to kill people. Experts say that in World War 2 when solders would get within killing range of an enemy combatant only 1 in 5 would take the necessary shot. According to Army historian Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall this has nothing to do with cowardice. Soldiers would still do feats of heroics, but just have a repulsion towards murder.

Recovered muskets from the civil war showed that 90% were fully loaded. This means most of those simply weren't fired. Soldiers were pretending to shoot at the enemy.

In the 1960s law enforcement was shown to have a similar problem. Cops just weren't shooting at suspects even when civilian lives were in danger.

Psychologists stepped in to help the government create more efficient killers. How did they do it? Well look at a quote from the article this whole section is sourced from.

"Target practice on hollowed cabbages filled with ketchup to mimic the way a bullet rips open a human head. Marching to chants of "kill, kill, kill." Video game simulations that reward points for every successful "shot." These are among hundreds of techniques that experts say can recondition the human brain."

That's right. The government uses video games to desensitize soldiers to acts violence, so killing becomes more palatable. This stuff actually worked. By the time Vietnam rolled around the kill rate was at 90% and is likely even higher now. The kill rate jumping from 20% to 90% in military operations aided by violent video games meant to desensitize people clearly fulfills my portion of the BOP, but let's take it a step further.

http://m.sfgate.com...

DESENSITIZE ME

It's not so much Video games being directly responsible for real world violence so much as violent video games being a major contributing factor. The more kids play violent video games the more they become desensitized to violence and the less empathy they have for victims of violence. http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net...

It's simple. The more you see violent images, the less it bothers you to see violent images. This desensitization makes it easier to either commit violent actions or to stand by and do nothing when violent acts are being committed. So it contributes in 2 major ways.

I'm not the only one that sees this connection between violent video games and real world violence.

"In fact the surgeon general, the National Institute of Mental Health and multiple professional organizations " including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association " all consider media violence exposure a risk factor for actual violence."

http://mobile.nytimes.com...

I'm not saying that an individual that plays violent video games is going to be violent, but it certainly increases their chance of becoming violent, which in turn has a huge real world effect when taking into account how many people are exposed to this desensitization.

In one recent study over 30 people were exposed to different images before playing a game where they could harm their opponent by blasts of sound. The people exposed to the most violent images, were far more likely to punish their opponent more than the ones not exposed to them.

http://videogames.procon.org...

DR. BRUCE

Dr. Bruce Perry an expert brain development in children provides a useful list of things that contribute to kids becoming violent scholastic.com z

His first cause directly blames desensitization to violence as a result of violent media (aka video games).

Number 2 is becoming detached from people which could also be a result of playing violent games too much.

His number 5 reason is because we are becoming more practiced at killing and specifically mentions violent video games as helping with the practice.

http://teacher.scholastic.com...

If you think that video games aren't good at teaching anything check out this article. http://www.wired.com...

A man actually saves a life from the practice he got on a military recruiting game called America's Army.

FACT OR FICTION

According to psychologists, up to 25% of the population can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy. http://healthland.time.com...

Maybe on an intellectual level they can, but these violent games are desensitizing them worse than anybody else. These people are at particular risk of going too far after being pushed. Violent video are a major contributor to real world violence.

CONCLUSION

I'll post my rebuttals next rebound and anxiously await my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
debatability

Pro

Thank you Wylted for your arguments. I'll go ahead and attack each of my opponent's claims.

Trained to Kill
Here, my opponent basically explains the arguments that he will run during the debate. He brings up two points:
1. Kids are desensitized by playing video games.
2. This desensitization contributes to violence.
By the end of this debate, I aim to prove both of these things untrue.

Not Born to Kill
For this point, my opponent explains that humans do not like killing. He gives an example of the kill rates before and after the beginning of training soldiers with killing simulations he claims that are similar to some of the video games played today. Here is why this argument doesn't hold up. Firstly, we have to realize that these killing simulations are not as similar to the popular video games children play as my opponent makes them out to be. Shooting targets while listening to "kill kill kill" over and over in one's head is more likely to result in acts of violence than popular video games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Gilsdorf explains, "They offer a hunt/shoot/kill scenario as a way to solve problems (1)." So we see that today's violent video games provide a scenario that involves thinking and problem solving rather than just repetitive killing.
Another thing to look at is the various factors involved in this killing simulation besides violence. Ultimately, a system that rewards points will lead to some degree of competition. This is part of what may have caused the added motivation from the soldiers to kill. It may seem a bit extreme to suggest that competition leads to violence (or in the case of the military, murder). Psychology Today explains, "Competition among men leads to a high level of violence (murder, assault, and battery) among them (2)." Essentially, men are motivated to be more violent due to various sources of competition (such as women or sports). Killing simulations that promote competition can have the same effect. So, it may not necessarily be the violence in the simulations that made the kill rates go up; it could be the competitive factor.

Desensitize Me
My opponent begins by explaining that video games desensitize individuals. However, from a psychological standpoint, this is not necessarily the case. A study was conducted by Reyerson University. Two large groups (active gamers and non-gamers) were shown various images with good, bad, and neutral connotations. Many of these images could be considered violent. It was hypothesized that the gamers would be less sensitive to the bad pictures, especially the violent ones. However, it turned out that both groups had similar reactions. Bowen notes at the end of the experiment, "The findings indicate that long-term emotional memory is not affected by chronic exposure violent video games (3)."
My opponent's next point brings up various figures of authority who support the idea that video games significantly contribute to real world violence. This is a common logical fallacy known as appeal to authority. Just because someone important believes something, doesn't mean that the belief is correct. This point ultimately falls because no evidence is provided as to *why* these people support con's stance.
Looking at my opponent's last point, we can see a study is cited that is rather similar to mine above. There are a couple problems with this study:
1. The sample size is very small. 30 people (probably 15 gamers and 15 non gamers) is not enough to measure whether or not video games desensitize (or cause violence).
2. This study involves a large amount of competition. This is what really makes this study invalid. The competition is what could really be promoting the regular gamers to push the button. When constantly being exposed to competition via video games, one is more likely to show aggression, as I have proven in my constructive. So, rather than the aggression being caused by video game violence / desensitization, it is caused by the regular competition provided by video games.

Dr. Bruce
My opponent addresses some claims made by Dr. Bruce Perry; I'll go ahead and cover each the claims that are relevant to this debate.
1. Desensitization causes violence (desensitization comes from video games).
I'll begin by cross applying my point that explains how video games do not result in desensitization. What I'm going to focus on is the claim that desensitization causes violence. Let's take a look at exactly what desensitization is. It can be defined as, "the potential for reduced responsiveness to actual violence caused by exposure to violence in the media." So, desensitization (if indeed caused by video games) results in reduced responsiveness to actual violence, not violent crimes themselves. For this point to stand, my opponent must prove that (a) video games actually desensitize individuals and (b) desensitization significantly contributes to violence.
2. Video games help kids become efficient killers.
Now, I would agree to an extent that video games are a way of teaching kids how to handle various combat situations. However, this does not mean that such a game will give kids the desire to use an actual gun. I'd like to bring up my point about releasing aggression from my constructive: "Logically, if violence in video games makes inmates less violent, they won't have an opposite affect when it comes to kids." If children are interested it weapons and violence, it is much better to allow them to play video games than to let them store up such aggressive feelings up to the point where they can gain access to a real weapon. My first source continues, "If some of these men are hopelessly mentally ill, then we need to do all we can to prevent their access to real guns. But sane or depressed, many men feel powerless. Many feel angry. Many feel disengaged. They just want a stake in the action. Video games might be the best outlet they’ve got (1)."
My opponent ends this point by explaining that video games are effective in teaching by showing an example of a man who saved lives using a technique he learned in a video game. The problem with this point is that it actually has nothing to do with video games teaching violent practices. The given video game in this example has promoted something useful, as opposed to violence.

Fact or Fiction
This last point does nothing to further my opponent's case. My opponent explains that a large amount of people cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy saying that, "These people are at particular risk of going too far after being pushed (by video games)." I have proved through my rebuttal that video games don't actually give this extra push; rather, they can discourage it in some cases (through aggression release).

To sum everything up...
The violence in video games isn't what actually causes violence. What really causes violence is various factors such as delinquent peers, depression, abusive family, and (as I have stressed on in my rebuttal) competition. Video games can give already aggressive individuals a way to release their aggression. Surprisingly, video games don't actually cause desensitization; moreover, desensitization hasn't been proven to cause violence.

For these reasons, I am pro.

(1) http://cognoscenti.wbur.org...
(2) http://www.psychologytoday.com...
(3) http://www.newswise.com...
(4) Freedman, J.L. (2003). Media Violence and its effect on aggression: assessing the scientific evidence. Canada: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.
Wylted

Con

There is possibly some things I didn't bother to clarify enough in my arguments. Particularly how desensitization caused by violent video games leads to an increase in violence outside of a military setting. I'll get to that and we should be crystal clear after that.

Another thing I'll be hitting on is a logical fallacy my opponent has been using, which is basically her entire argument.

AFFIRMING A DISJUNCT

My opponents logical fallacy is called affirming a disjunct. Affirming a disjunct would look like this: Either A or B since A it's not B. Or if I wanted to write a more easy to understand example, here it is:

Me or Debatability are debating. Since Debatability is debating it must mean I'm not. Anyway I'm not the best at writing examples, so if you're confused read the link that I'm using as a citation to prove my opponent's logical fallacy.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org...

Here is how my opponent has used this logical fallacy.

"A common argument against violence in video games is that violence in video games cause aggression. This is actually not the case. Carol Pichefsky notes that aggression is not caused by violent video games; rather, it is caused by a competitive environment "

This doesn't prove that violent video games don't significantly contribute to real world violence. It merely shows that competition contributes significantly to real world violence. Both desensitization and competition can contribute significantly to real world violence. This isn't one of those either or situations.

Competition is a huge reason for violence. If this weren't the case than evolution would have never occurred.

VIOLENCE RATES

The chart my opponent provided isn't really well cited. I can't pull up what those numbers even mean is it a chart showing international or national video games sales and crime?

It doesn't even matter. Violent video games can contribute significantly to real world violence, while the crime rate decreases. The chart really just boils down to correlation stats as opposed to causation stats.

VIDEO GAME'S EFFECTS

"Studies suggest that video games give individuals an outlets to release aggression; there was a study done on inmates. An observer notes "If you give them video games, they"ll be less likely to start fights. So once a week we"d hook up a bunch of TVs in a classroom so all of the murderers and rapists could play Halo. There"s nothing more interesting than seeing guys who have killed multiple people deathmatching each other""

The article referenced no such studies of inmates. The quote my opponent grabbed was on cited from an author of a cracked.com article. It's just a funny story a former prison guard was recounting. The article did cite a few articles that showed some positive effects of violent video games, but none showed a decrease in aggression or violence as a result of playing them.

NOT BORN TO KILL

"Killing simulations that promote competition can have the same effect. So, it may not necessarily be the violence in the simulations that made the kill rates go up; it could be the competitive factor."

You miss the point these are training exercises and according to the research you've provided aggression is only increased for a short period after the competitive endeavor. The competition on the shooting range is always going to be there regardless of whether the target is shaped like a human or like a dart board with the red circle in the middle.

According to my opponents own research showing that aggression only increases for a short period of time after competition, we must assume something else is going on there.

I say and the research suggests it's desensitization. It's easier to shoot a real person when you've simulated the event 100s of times and have gotten rid of that natural repulsion of doing so.

DESENSITIZE ME

My opponent brings up a study that. Contradicts mine and suggests that very little if any desensitization occurs. Let's examine this study closer.

"The study involved 122 male and female undergraduate students who fell into two categories: 45 participants who had some video game experience within the last six months and 77 students who reported no video game exposure."

http://www.newswise.com...

The students were asked this question on a survey. (Probably more, but relevant to this debate)

1. Have you played a video game within the last 6 months?

So how many of these students only played 1 game the previous 6 months? How many had had less than 3 total hours of videogaming those 6 months? How many of the non videogames players were exposed to a ton of other forms of violent media, such as slasher flicks?

These types of studies need to have participants chosen more carefully. The study I showed uses people that play videogames a lot vs people that play rarely or if at all. It's a far better indicator of the effects of violent videogames.

The study I've shown indicates that a lot of exposure to violent videogames makes it more likely that somebody will pull the trigger.

"2. This study involves a large amount of competition. This is what really makes this study invalid. The competition is what could really be promoting the regular gamers to push the button. When constantly being exposed to competition via video games, one is more likely to show aggression, as I have proven in my constructive. So, rather than the aggression being caused by video game violence / desensitization, it is caused by the regular competition provided by video games."

The study I've shown though small indicates that exposure to a lot of videogames caused participants to be less concerned about the well being of their opponents. My opponents studies have shown that aggression is only temporarily increased due to exposure of competitive videogames. The study I linked to shows an increased willingness to pull the trigger. So something other than the temporary increase of aggression must be considered. That something is desensitization, as indicated by the decreased response to violent imagery.

DR. BRUCE

" So, desensitization (if indeed caused by video games) results in reduced responsiveness to actual violence, not violent crimes themselves. For this point to stand, my opponent must prove that (a) video games actually desensitize individuals and (b) desensitization significantly contributes to violence."

What desensitization does isn't necessarily cause people who aren't predisposed to violence to become violent. It actually contributes significantly to a culture of violence.

Psychopaths are about 1% of the population and have a lack of concern for other individuals. They also make up over 30% of the prison population. http://news.uchicago.edu...

The 1% number is on the conservative end as well. Some psychologists have them at 4% of the population. These people will slice your throat and not feel an ounce of guilt about it the next day. Most of them probably won't do that, but they still account for a disproportionate amount if the violent crime taking place in the United States.

Common sense tells you that with an increase in apathy about violence going on right in front of your face that more people inclined to commit violent acts will feel free to do so.

We have what's called the bystander effect that occurs all the time and we keep seeing. New cases of it on television all the time. http://m.psychologytoday.com...

Bystander effect is actually where witnesses to a violent crime, do nothing to stop it or alert authorities to the situation. Sure some of this is caused by fear, but a large amount is caused by apathy. People just aren't bothered watching a man knock a woman's teeth out and take her purse.

Psychopaths now feel safe committing violent acts in front of others due to the bystander effect.

Another violent trend taking place across the United States is called "The Knockout Game". This is where a group of kids go around punching people as hard as they can in hopes of knocking them out. The targets are usually little old ladies or other defenseless people. http://newyork.cbslocal.com...

All it takes is one psychopath leading a bunch of desensitized teens just wanting to fit in, and committing the act of violence in front of a mixed crowd of desensitized and scared people. Half scared to step in the other half just isn't bothered by it.

Desensitization creates a culture of violence. It makes people inclined to violence more likely to be violent and contributes by making violence less repulsive and by extension more acceptable.

"The violence in video games isn't what actually causes violence. What really causes violence is various factors such as delinquent peers, depression, abusive family, and (as I have stressed on in my rebuttal) competition. Video games can give already aggressive individuals a way to release their aggression. Surprisingly, video games don't actually cause desensitization; moreover, desensitization hasn't been proven to cause violence."

Those things mentioned are certainly factors, but just as important a those things is the culture of violence caused by desensitization. I've already proven that violent simulations (aka videogames) contribute to more violence on the part of the government and. If we look at the numbers to see how many deaths the government participates in, we can see that is a huge number.

I've also shown that the desensitization caused by violent video games contributes significantly in direct and indirect ways. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
debatability

Pro

I'll do a couple short rebuttals and then move on to some voting issues.

MY CASE

Logical Fallacy- Affirming a Disjunct
My opponent accuses me of using this logical fallacy throughout my case. The problem with this point is that in order for me to be using this fallacy, I would have to have no evidence which shows how video games do *not* cause violence. I have shown this in a couple places. First, lets look at my statistics point. There I illustrated that as video game sales have gone up, violence rates have gone down. This essentially makes mockery of the idea that violence in video games significantly contributes to violence. However, if you, as a reader, do not buy this point, I'll clarify for you a bit more in my next point. Second, look at my point which explains the aggression release coming from video games. This suggests that violence in video games can actually lower violence rates, which is supported by my statistics. Through these two points, I hope you will all see that I have not used this logical fallacy. Really, studies on video games alone have so many variables that could be causing violence. It is inaccurate to blame the violence variable for any aggression / legitimate crime that comes from gamers.

Violence Rates
My opponent explains that even if violence goes down as video games sales go up, the violence in these games could still be significantly contributing to real world violence. I would agree with this. These statistics are mainly there to support my release of aggression point. This point also illustrates how unlikely it would be for violence in video games to actually be contributing to real world violence in a significant way. I don't think my chart covers the military kill rate (I will talk about this soon). Later on in the voting issues, I'll elaborate more on the idea of significance.

Video Game's Effects
Basically, my opponent attacks my source, as opposed to my argument. I would agree that my source could be considered inaccurate; I'll go ahead and bring up a couple more points to further elaborate on the idea of violent video games being used to release aggression. My first source notes that 42% of boys play video games because it helps them release anger, and 65% of boys say these games help them relax (1). My Gilsdorf source elaborates, "If some of these men are hopelessly mentally ill, then we need to do all we can to prevent their access to real guns. But sane or depressed, many men feel powerless. Many feel angry. Many feel disengaged. They just want a stake in the action. Video games might be the best outlet they’ve got."

OPPONENT'S CASE

Not Born to Kill
The first thing to look at here is the difference between video games and these "killing sessions." My opponent essentially drops this argument. We have to realize that the video games kids are playing today are quite different from the simulations used in the army. Really, my opponent has only proved that military murder simulations increase violence in the military. This is not the topic we are currently debating. Even if these simulations could actually be compared to common video games today, these activities didn't make officers more willing to shoot because of desensitization (as a result of violence). The reason firing rates went up is because of the implementation of a method known as "point shooting." Point shooting was effective (even without a video simulation) because it was similar to real combat situations (3). Essentially, my opponent has yet to prove that these simulations are (a) similar to real video games and (b) the violence factor of this simulation actually causes violence.

Desensitize Me
My opponent points out some flaws in my desensitization study. Here is why my study really is more accurate.
1. My opponent's study has multiple variables since it involves the actual playing of a video game. Essentially, the competition factor is very present in this study. There is no way of knowing whether the violence, the desensitization, or the competition caused the willingness to push the button.
2. The study basically admits that it shows a correlation, not a causation.
Look at this quote directly from the study:
"These relationships do not establish causality, as desensitized children with lower empathy may simply be more drawn to violent games, or a third factor, such as suboptimal parenting practices, may be responsible for this relationship. Potential mediating relationships should also be considered. For example, children who seek highly arousing experiences may be especially drawn to playing violent video games."
and this quote:
"Children’s estimated exposure to video game violence was not associated with aggression vignette responses."
We can't look to a study with multiple variables that shows, at best, a correlation rather than a causation. My study further weakens this point by disproving the correlation between desensitization and violence in video games.

My opponent also notes that while aggression is short lived, desensitization lasts a longer time. The thing is, since this study involves individuals actually playing some sort of a game. Obviously, spurts of aggression due to competition (or even violence) can be expected. Just remember, aggression is not the same thing as violence.

Dr. Bruce
My opponent brings up a new argument known as the "bystander" effect. He basically explains that this is caused by desensitization, and will ultimately contribute to real world violence. I'd like to make a couple points:
1. The bystander effect is not a new thing. It has existed way before the time of violent video games. "In the famous 1964 “Kitty Genovese” incident, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside her home in Queens, New York. Many of Kitty’s neighbors heard her desperate screams for help, yet no one called the police until too late (4)."
2. Let's get to the real question, "What causes the effect?" The bystander effect is certainly not caused by desensitization. It is rather caused by a term known as "diffusion of responsibility." To clarify my source continues, "One reason that the bystander effect occurs is the social influence process known as “diffusion of responsibility”. Through numerous studies, psychologists have found that bystanders are less likely to intervene in emergency situations as the size of the group increases."
We can safely conclude that violence in video games does not contribute to such a psychological phenomenon.

CONCLUSION
Let me bring up a few points to summarize...
1. My opponent has made no empirical claims. This is perhaps one of the most important points. He cannot prove video games significantly contribute to violence if he fails to provide any numbers which show "significance." Elaborating on what I said earlier on, all my opponent has shown is an increased kill rate in the military due to kill simulations. In reality, these simulations are not what promote the elevation of the kill rate, rather it is the new training methods (whether they involve videos or not).
2. Video games don't cause desensitization. I have pointed out the various flaws in my opponents study. Essentially, there is no causation has been shown between desensitization and violence in video games.
3. Other factors cause (at best) aggression. There are too many other variables in video games to pinpoint violence in video games as something that significantly contributes to real world violence.
4. Video games can help release aggression. Hence, the lower violence rates. If you, as a reader, do not buy this argument, look to the fact that my opponent's case has not shown any significant contributions from violence in video games outside the military.
5. Already violent people (or at least those who crave violent / arousing experiences) may play violent video games, hence the added violence from gamers. My opponent's desensitization study even suggests this... "Children who seek highly arousing experiences may be especially drawn to playing violent video games."

For these reasons, vote pro!! Thanks to anyone who reads this :)
(1) Cheryl Olson, Lawrence Kutner, Dorothy Warner, Jason Almerigi, Lee Baer, Armand Nicholi, and Eugene Beresin, "Factors Correlated with Violent Video Game Use by Adolescent Boys and Girls," Journal of Adolescent Health, July 2007
(2) http://cognoscenti.wbur.org...
(3) http://cdn.paladin-press.com...
(4) http://heroicimagination.org...
Wylted

Con

Thank you debatability for challenging me to this topic. It's been a pleasure.

INTRODUCTION

I think pro has came at this debate the wrong way. Since the start of round 3 she has been on the defensive, which is really bad. The reason being is because, depending on the judge's voting style she'll typically either have the full burden of proof or at least share it with me.

She has spent most of this debate attacking my arguments while barely defending her own and at the end of the day when the dust clears. My arguments still stand and hers have completely fallen.

AFFIRMING THE DISJUNCT

My opponent claims she hasn't committed this particular logical fallacy, and she is absolutely wrong. She has on multiple occasions stated that video game doesn't significantly contribute to real world violence because poverty does or because videogames cause aggression not violence.

What she doesn't realize is that every statement she made could be true and it wouldn't show that violence in videogames doesn't contribute to real world violence. Remember pro has a certain amount of burden to show that videogames in fact do not contribute to real world violence. She hasn't met it. Revisit her arguments. They all make use of the logical fallacy I've mentioned.

some arguments from pro;

In round 2 pro asks "What really causes violence in teens?". She answers this by saying serious crimes and aggression does. The truth is this doesn't rule out violence in videogames being a significant factor. This is her first real argument and is entirely affirming the adjunct.

The 2nd argument in round 2 discusses a chart which she admits after posting it means absolutely nothing.

her 3rd and final argument discusses " Video game's effect". summed up she says that people play video games to release aggression and also that people who love violence may be attracted to them. This is yet another case of Affirming the Adjunct. Just because violent people are attracted to them (which she hasn't proven) and they help release aggression doesn't mean that they don't significantly contribute to real world violence.

These are her opening arguments. This is the foundation for her entire case. Her case is a chart she admits doesn't mean anything and 2 arguments affirming the adjunct. She has some BOP in this debate and she has came nowhere near meeting it.

NOT BORN TO KILL

My opponent misses the point with the government training. I'll take this point by point.

PRO-"The first thing to look at here is the difference between video games and these "killing sessions." My opponent essentially drops this argument."

I never dropped this argument at all. I attacked it head on. Go ahead to the last round and reread what I said. The differences made in training to up kill rates was a replacement of circle targets with human looking ones. Not only in the shooting range, but also the ones that pop up in simulations. Also video games that soldiers participate in to simulate killing.

This is science at it's best, in practice. A bunch of people noticed a problem. The problem was a huge amount of soldiers not killing in battle or police officers not taking out a suspect who is an imminent threat.

After seeing the problem, they came up with a hypothesis that if true could help.

hypothesis- Simulating killing humans will desensitize people and make them more likely to kill.

test- This hypothesis was tested out by replacing shooting range targets with human shaped targets and the popup targets in simulations with human looking pop up targets. Also some videogames were added in.

repeat- This test was repeated with several government organizations and proved successful.

That is the scientific method and the scientific method is common knowledge so I won't cite it. The scientific method has proven that simulating violence causes people to be more likely to act on violence. Videogames simulate violence.
Those simulated experiences desensitize people to violence and makes it more likely that they'll commit acts of violence.

" The reason firing rates went up is because of the implementation of a method known as "point shooting."

This is a new argument and should be completely disregarded, but I will briefly touch on it. My studies have shown that people in the civil war weren't even firing their weapons but only pretending. I can buy that point shooting will increase accuracy in close combat situations, but it isn't increasing the percentage of people pulling the trigger.

DESENSITIZE ME

"My opponent points out some flaws in my desensitization study."

Yes, and I urge voters took look at the prior round to see those flaws. None of them have been addressed.

"1. My opponent's study has multiple variables since it involves the actual playing of a video game. Essentially, the competition factor is very present in this study. There is no way of knowing whether the violence, the desensitization, or the competition caused the willingness to push the button."

It wasn't the competition that caused it. There was a close to an even number on each side. Half being avid violent video game players. Half not being. They all participated in the competition, so it's not a factor. The violent gamers were more willing to dish out physical pain to their opponent. They all participated in the game. If competition was the only factor than significant differences should not have been noticed in their willingness to dish out pain.

The study proved that people who play violent videogames have less qualms about hurting you. That part is indisputable and has been shown in several similar studies.

"We can't look to a study with multiple variables that shows, at best, a correlation rather than a causation. My study further weakens this point by disproving the correlation between desensitization and violence in video games."

I've shown the flaws in your study, and they were ignored. I welcome the voters to take another look at the previous round. The study alone may be brushed away as correlation, but when taken with all the other evidence It serves as some damning evidence in my favor.

DR BRUCE

What I've tried to get across to the voters as well as my opponent, is that Violent video games contribute significantly to an overall culture of violence. In the famous Kitty Genovese event what is known as the bystander effect took place. Though the concept known as diffusion of responsibility certainly played a factor it wasn't the only factor. As Dr. Bruce mentions in the article I cited. Growing up in rough urban environments can cause desensitization, just like videogames. A lot of people just didn't give a damnn if that girl was being murdered outside their windows.

CONCLUSION

My opponent hasn't really upheld her BOP in this debate. She is attacking my arguments but not doing enough to defend her own. I should win this debate, because I've proved that violent videogames have increased state violence. I should win, because I've shown it increases not only the likelihood somebody will engage in violence, but also that it contributes to a culture of violence. My opponent has largely ignored my arguments concerning the overall culture of violence and psychopathy.

For all the reasons mentioned. Please vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
205 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Yeah Wylted there is a lot of peer-reviewed research you could have used to respond to all of her claims. But you did pretty well.

Also debatability when the noob tourney is underway our noob children will debate each-other :D
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
if i ever get the time, i'd be happy to debate this with either of you. im on vacation now though, so i dont have time
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I'm willing to redo it also. I know what errors I made.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
I would be willing to re-do this debate (as con) if debatability ever wants to.
Posted by birdlandmemories 3 years ago
birdlandmemories
Wow....
Posted by debatability 3 years ago
debatability
200th comment!
im basically internet famous now.
Posted by Envisage 3 years ago
Envisage
Oo, there is still time to vote, good.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
"You can't survive in my major without understanding gaming"

I am unconcerned with what your major is. All and only that which has bearing on the outcome of this debate is what occurred in the debate between Liz and Wylted. However, your making this statement is highly revelatory about why you voted the way you did.

"and I would welcome it if you could a) not critique my voting methods unless you can life up to performance you demand"

I practice what I preach. If you do not understand that, I will refer you to every RFD I have ever written on any debate.

"b) be a bit less convinced that your opinion is indisputably right and"

Perhaps you would appreciate that, but facts are facts. Personal feelings and sentiments have no bearing on the outcome of this debate. It is objectively the case that Wylted lost because he failed to sustain his BOP. So, your request has no place in the context of this discussion.

"c) contact me personally if you think I am not living up to my responsibility as voter, as I am approachable that way and would prefer it to accusations within a specific debate."

Certainly. I will, however, also publicly note wherever I see mistakes made by judges at the expense of other debaters. You are entitled to feel about that however you like, but as a member of this site I have a responsibility to not let errors go unaddressed.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
@Schach

" If one decides in favour of one or the other is this not on a major base but on slight difference in performance."

That is not the case. The burden of proof is on CON because he is the one claiming that there exists a causal link between the playing of violent video games and "real world violence." In order to win, he has to prove that claim. In order for PRO to win, she must only prevent CON from proving that claim. Wylted did not meet that burden. Therefore, to afford him the win is to err in judgment.

Realize that judging is not a subjective exercise, when proof of a positive claim is at stake. A positive claim is a claim of what is objectively and demonstrably the case. The implication, then, is that failure to demonstrate that the claim in question is the case, the debater which asserted the claim must lose. In that you gave Wylted the win, you have erred in judgement. You are not the only one who has erred, but you have, nonetheless, erred.

"So in this case I will not change my vote on this."

That is your choice, and Liz's remedy is to seek more votes from better voters -which she has done. Whether you change your vote or not is inconsequential.

"I have made my view on this as clear as possible and I am certainly not voting in Wylted's favour for personal reasons or to do him a favor."

Yes, you have, and in doing so you have demonstrated both the extent to which you understand neither the concept of a burden of proof, nor what practical impact that concept has on this debate. You are entitled to be wrong, however. I have said nothing to the contrary.

"I can accept the claim that my understanding of BOP is probably less experienced"

Experience has little if anything to do with this. Anyone who understands how claims of various kinds work can arrive at the correct conclusion. It is a matter of comprehension, not experience.

Response continued above.
Posted by debatability 3 years ago
debatability
@Wylted Thanks so much; I really didn't see any of the discussion of votes that way. I've been in debates where the arguments over RFD's been way worse. I would definitely be open to debating you sometime in the future.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 3 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 3 years ago
Zaradi
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Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Very tough debate as a fair vote required a lot of searching through sources etc to understand what was happening in the sources section after so many attacks on various sources. In this debate I have to agree with Pro and award argument points. I do this as I feel that Con was actually guilty of the fallacy that Pro was accused of. The fact is that kill scenarios used in the military are not equatable in any way to video games. So while yes this lead to desensitization and video games can lead to desensitization this does not mean violence. On the other hand Pro did show empirical evidence which showed violent crime decreasing with increased video games sales. This is essentially the nail in the coffin for Con as its irrefutable and should show the opposite trend if the proposition is false. I wont award other points as I think both debaters deserved these points.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
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Reasons for voting decision: Here, I think PRO faces some distinct challenges, in that she is arguing against the conventional -and warrantless- belief that there exists some kind of causal link between violent video games and violent behavior. Nonetheless, the evidence is with PRO. The desensitization argument does not go to CON because, as PRO notes, even if someone is desensitized to violence that does not mean that those people who are desensitized will commit violent acts. PRO discusses enough alternative causes to violent behavior which makes violent video games a necessary but not sufficient factor in violent behavior -acutely undermining the causality argument between violent video games and violent behavior on several fronts. PRO cites evidence to warrant her claims, whereas CON encounters great difficulty finding sufficient evidence to warrant his claim that violence in video games does significantly contribute to real world violence. As such, arguments and sources to PRO.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by schachdame 3 years ago
schachdame
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Reasons for voting decision: See Comment section for RFD
Vote Placed by Malacoda 3 years ago
Malacoda
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Reasons for voting decision: Conclusion: Con has a very slight edge in this debate. Neither side successfully upheld their BOP. Pro's defense against desensitization was unconvincing as was her point about competition being the main cause of what would be video game-related violence. However, Con focused too much in the affirming the disjunct argument, didn't link the military simulations to actual videogames sufficiently (which was his main empirical evidence), and couldn't prove the increased culture of violence argument. The only reason Con wins due to his slightly stronger source that provides him with a bit of empirical evidence as well as a weak and scarcely supported (but still supported) argument regarding desensitization. My whole RFD is two pages long and I am more than willing to provide it if either side desires it. Of course I will listen if I am being extremely ignorant or if something simply needs to be clarified. Really good debate though.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Will try to post asap.
Vote Placed by JohnMaynardKeynes 3 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments...this may take a while. I need to divide by 2000 a couple of times.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.