The Instigator
Paramountdesktop
Pro (for)
Winning
69 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Losing
56 Points

Violent video games desensitize individuals to real violence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/23/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,614 times Debate No: 5505
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (20)

 

Paramountdesktop

Pro

Violent video games desensitizes individuals, causing them to take real violence lightly. People habituate the video game violence and become physiologically numb to it.

Nicholas Carnagey, an Iowa State psychology instructor and research assistant, and ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson collaborated on the study of "The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence" with Brad Bushman, a former Iowa State psychology professor now at the University of Michigan, and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

257 college students, 124 men and 133 women, were tested individually. After measuring their heart rate and galvanic skin response and asking questions about their video game preferences and general aggression levels, a participant were exposed to of eight randomly designated violent or nonviolent games for 20 minutes. The four possible violent games were Carmageddon, Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat or Future Cop; the non-violent games were Glider Pro, 3D Pinball, 3D Munch Man and Tetra Madness.

After the 20 minute duration, the test subjects were subjected to the same tests. Participants were then asked to watch actual violent episodes constructed from TV episodes and commercially-released films in the contexts of courtroom outbursts, police confrontations, shootings and prisons fights.

Physiological differences were observed throughout the entire viewing.

When viewing the actual images of violence, participants that played the violent video games had a significantly less skin response than those that had played nonviolent video games. In addition, the participants that had played the violent video games had a lower heart rate than those that played noviolent video games.

The people that participated in the experiment had no discrepancy in heart rate or skin response before the beginning of the study or immediately after playing the assigned games

The results demonstrate that only 20 minutes of exposure can cause people to be less aroused by violence.

If you wish to verify this study or this information, go to
http://www.sciencedirect.com...

or

http://www.public.iastate.edu...

Hope you accept this debate!
Tatarize

Con

Violent video games do not cause individuals to take real violence lightly. Habitual video game players are not physiologically numb to real violence. You cited a paper arguing for this conclusion with serious methodological flaws and are attempting to use it to draw a conclusion it does not actually permit.

Ones physiological responses to any stimuli diminish after prolonged exposure to a stimuli. If you play violent video games or watch snuff you will have a reduced response to it. The study in question establishes quite well that video games and videos of violence are processed in the same way. I'm sure you could use violent movies to find the same triggers. The huge flaw here is that such studies assumes humans cannot contextualize stimuli.

Watching hardcore porn is a different experience than having sex. Similarly, watching violence, either computer graphics, movies, or snuff is completely different than "real violence". The study in question is finding that videos of violence and video games of violence are processed as similar ways. Duh.

If one wishes to properly find a connection to show such stimuli it shouldn't be done purely in a cushy lab. Have one set of people play violent video games for an hour and then rush in, point a gun to their head, proceed to beat them with baseball bats, and rape them. Do the same to the control group without the violent video game and see if there is a difference. -- Implicitly even reading this you should be horrified in exactly the same way and realize that the video game is a moot point.

Humans aren't stupid. We understand that it's a video game, that movie monsters can't hurt us, and that videos are images of things not happening now and not threatening us. This line of psychological work is seriously flawed.

The video game industry is massive in Japan. Seriously, that's where we get our video games. They have an astoundingly minute amount of violence. Many soldiers in Iraq and other places have grown up playing violent video games. Seeing real violence first hand they are returning with post traumatic stress disorder in droves. Nobody ever gets post traumatic stress disorder from a video game or videos of violence.

Video violence, violent movies, and video games are terrible analogs for the real violence.
Debate Round No. 1
Paramountdesktop

Pro

Long-term media violence effects on aggression result from the development, overlearning, and reinforcement of aggression related knowledge structures. Each time people are exposed to violent video games, they rehearse aggressive scripts that teach and reinforce vigilance for enemies (i.e., hostile perception bias), aggressive action against others, expectations that others will behave aggressively, positive attitudes toward use of violence, and beliefs that violent solutions are effective and appropriate. Therefore, repeated exposure to graphic scenes of violence is
apt to be desensitizing.

http://www.apa.org...
Tatarize

Con

When people are given repeated and long term exposure to media and video game violence they become aroused by the violence via a number of physiological and hormonal cues. Aggression is one of them. It's accurate to suggest that after exposure to violent video games adolescents and young adults do become aggressive. The effect wears off after about half an hour.

The same effect is witnessed when people are exposed to pornography. Rape proclivity (similar questionnaire style psychology test of appropriate vs. inappropriate responses) and hormone levels spike and return to normal after about half an hour.

The study you cite supposes that it can draw this short term spike of adrenaline into a long term correlation via "delinquency". You want to know why long term exposure to video games results in declines of academic performance? --- BECAUSE THEY ARE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES ALL THE TIME!!!!

Exposures to sex-materials and exposure towards violent materials do have a notably short term effect of sex and violent related activity. If you get somebody riled up, it takes a little bit of time for them to settle down. This isn't some kind of long term psychological scarring, it's hormones. If you expose people to sex they're okay with sex. If you expose people to violence they're okay with violence. These hold true for half an hour with a notably steady drop off throughout.

----

You need to establish that violent video games desensitize individuals to real violence. So far you've established:

* People process video game violence in the same way as video violence.
* You can rile a person up with video games.
* If students play video games all the time they do worse in school.

Are you going to cite a study with some direct relevance to the topic next?

----

These studies and this topic has been explored for decades and to date there's no good evidence to support the hypothesis and not for a lack of trying. It's become a joke of made for TV movies and school kids the world over. The idea that some kid is going to play GTA and car jack somebody and drive over a large number of people (fewer than ten if you want to avoid getting three stars) is simply wrong. The way kids figure this out without any fancy psychology PhDs? They play violent video games and would never do such a thing. No amount of psychology papers could possibly put that asunder.

No amount of desperate attempts by psychologists trying to prove a link that they absolutely want to find is going to make a link suddenly appear. In the harder sciences when have a hypothesis and it fails, you look somewhere else, you don't keep searching for the next 20 years. The studies are going backwards. They assume that there must be a link and go about searching everywhere for it, they aren't trying to understand some underlying mechanism or odd effect they witnessed. They are making a conclusion and desperately seeking science to back it up. However, when we look at the bigger picture and compare populations to see if there is some effect there, we don't find it.

There is more violent video games in Japan, and if you've ever seen Anime you'd know that there's plenty of video violence as well, however Japan still has nearly no violent crime.

There's very little point in doing research to find the mechanisms behind something that can't even make a statistical dent. I'm sorry but you're wrong. I get the feeling that you're passionate about this and I don't mean to offend, but violent video games aren't making kids violent. It doesn't matter how many video games kids play, you threaten them with real death and expose them to real violence and they act the same way: scared.
Debate Round No. 2
Paramountdesktop

Pro

I concur with you argument that humans can contextualize violence am not suggesting that there is a direct correlation between violence and video games. This debate is based solely on the proposition that violent video games desensitize individuals to real violence.

First, for my counterargument, I would like to define what it means to desensitize.

dictionary.com

1.to lessen the sensitiveness of, or to reduce responses to external conditions or stimulation.

Now, alluding to my first arguments, after playing the violent video games, the subjects had less of a response to the violent episodes. Therefore, they were desensitized.

It has been proven that people adapt after increased exposure to stimuli and become desensitized to it, so no matter what you can't argue that violent video games do no desensitize individuals to violence at all. The evidence supporting both your and my side is lacking, so there is no ways to say with a high degree of certitude that they do or do not have long term desensitization effects, however that is not what the proposition states.

One reason I go on debate.org is to see the opposite sides of issues. Thank you for providing such great information! Now I have a different perspective.

I hope I didn't waste your time. I'm probably going to lose, but we'll see what the voters decide. X)

-Paramountdesktop
Tatarize

Con

Humans are fantastic at contextualizing things. We can experience roughly the same thing and treat the experiences completely differently based on a great understanding of the bigger picture. This holds true for violence in video games being different from violence in real life.

To desensitize is a permanent effect to make them less able to react to a given situation. It actually occurs in real life. When people are the victims of real violence on a regular basis they actually do become desensitized from it. They employ an array of coping mechanisms as well as departmentalizing the violence. None of this occurs for video games because they are video games. They are placed in their proper context and do not illicit the same responses.

>>Now, alluding to my first arguments, after playing the violent video games, the subjects had less of a response to the violent episodes. Therefore, they were desensitized.

They were desensitized to violent videos and violent video games, not to "real violence". The same way we contextual video game violence we contextualize video violence. Your cited paper in round one established exactly this.

>>It has been proven that people adapt after increased exposure to stimuli and become desensitized to it, so no matter what you can't argue that violent video games do no desensitize individuals to violence at all.

Violent video games aren't violence. People understand this. It isn't real. Real violence desensitizes people to real violence as there are actual correlations between those who were victims and those who victimize others. Video games desensitize people to video games. However there's no good evidence that the latter has an effect on the former as well. Pixels aren't people and people understand this.

>>The evidence supporting both your and my side is lacking, so there is no ways to say with a high degree of certitude that they do or do not have long term desensitization effects, however that is not what the proposition states.

You are attempting to shift the burden of proof. I am not necessarily required to prove that violent video games don't desensitize people. However, I have repeatedly offered examples of cultures with significantly more violent video games and significantly less violent crime (Japan) to establish that the correlation fails at the most basic level and thus the topic is not only unproved but wrong. If you suggest that playing violent video games caused cancer it would suffice to show that there's no evidence for that to oppose your suggestion that it does. Voters should be swayed via arguments and to suggest that neither side proved it and therefore they should pick a winner at random is amusingly amusing.

-----

>>I hope I didn't waste your time. I'm probably going to lose, but we'll see what the voters decide. X)

You certainly didn't waste my time. I'm more than happy to debate you. You're probably going to win. In fact, voters would be crazy to vote for me. I've just finished playing a few hours of Counter Strike: Source so now I'm going to go murdering some people... starting with anybody who votes for me! Pwnd teh nub ftw!
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by monkeyyxxsun 9 years ago
monkeyyxxsun
thats nice
Posted by SolaGratia 9 years ago
SolaGratia
I have to go with Con here. He obviously put more effort into it, Pro did not seem to move past what he said in the first argument. However, Pro did have better evidence.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Yeah, round 1.

If one wishes to properly find a connection to show such stimuli it shouldn't be done purely in a cushy lab. Have one set of people play violent video games for an hour and then rush in, point a gun to their head, proceed to beat them with baseball bats, and rape them. Do the same to the control group without the violent video game and see if there is a difference.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
Didn't read Tatarize's responses. I'd bet $100 that somewhere along the line, he's going to mention the fact that recorded violence won't cut it, two people have to come in the room and start beating each other senseless for the monitoring to give an accurate result.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
I'm always dismayed when I see my debates taken by top debaters. Bastards! Why couldn't they leave it for some no-name guy to bury me.

The odder experience is when you've played those adventure games where you need to do specific tasks like add bubblegum to stick to make something else to pick up the key and open the cell... then you try to do something in real life and it works. You think to yourself, why didn't the game stop me? Oh that's right!
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
Lightkeeper
Pro has a point. After playing World of Warcraft for over a year I do on occasion find myself attempting to cast Shadow Word:Pain on some annoying individuals in real life.
Posted by Paramountdesktop 9 years ago
Paramountdesktop
I'm gonna die, but I hope to have a fun debate. ^_^
Posted by Paramountdesktop 9 years ago
Paramountdesktop
debaters*
Posted by Paramountdesktop 9 years ago
Paramountdesktop
I'm gonna looooooose! I didn't know that one of the top debater would accept my debate.
Posted by Labrat228 9 years ago
Labrat228
I got shot in a game, therefor I am not afraid of the bullet about to pierce my skin. Sounds like bull crap to me, unless of coarse the person has drugs in their system.
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