Video Gaming in the News

General and high profile video game topics.
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scotland
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Video Gaming in the News

Postby scotland » March 7th, 2018, 7:06 pm

There are two topics about video gaming that are making mainstream news media:

1) The World Health Organization is proposing adding a video gaming disorder to its list of diseases - Here is the description:
Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) responded with "Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games. The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive. And, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action."

2) The "Violent video games can lead to real world violence" issue has come again - This is making news because the White House has even referenced it, and wants to talk about it.

My own opinion on 1) video games are that they *are* addictive, or they would be really bad. Like a good book, you want to keep playing a good game. I've certainly gotten into games and played far into the night when I go to work the next day. If this were to continue game after game, month after month, for someone then having a name to give the issue seems reasonable to me. The ESA's stance doesn't sound reasonable to me for that issue, acknowledging games are 'captivating' but not 'addictive'.

Remember Dave's rule is 'No Politics', but its good to know for what reasons your hobby is in the news. If you want to post in this thread, remember not to be political or the posts won't be approved.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Video Gaming in the News

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 7th, 2018, 8:30 pm

I hate it when addictive behaviors are categorized as "diseases" (gambling, alcoholism, etc). It kind of trivializes actual medical diseases like HIV or diabetes or cancer. Plus it has the effect of abdicating responsibility for the behavior. "He can't help his drinking; he has a disease!" Is obsessive cell phone use a disease too? I guess it won't be until they decide it is.

As for video games leading to violence, I don't buy it because violent crime has fallen sharply in the last quarter century. That said, it's possible that people with violent tendencies probably gravitate towards violent video games. However you could also argue it serves as a catharsis, allowing for the release of aggressive thoughts.

One thing's for sure - video games are an easy scapegoat for just about everything.

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Atarifever
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Re: Video Gaming in the News

Postby Atarifever » March 7th, 2018, 10:08 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I hate it when addictive behaviors are categorized as "diseases" (gambling, alcoholism, etc). It kind of trivializes actual medical diseases like HIV or diabetes or cancer. Plus it has the effect of abdicating responsibility for the behavior. "He can't help his drinking; he has a disease!" Is obsessive cell phone use a disease too? I guess it won't be until they decide it is.


My thoughts exactly. This goes along with the idea that no one should ever be "shamed" for anything. If I played games too much (to the point I was neglecting my family or work) pointing that out should be considered a good idea. However, in the current climate I could respond with "don't hobby shame me" as if shame is not something a person should ever have to feel for bad behaviour. If you do a bad thing, you should be ashamed of it. Sorry.

As for video games leading to violence, I don't buy it because violent crime has fallen sharply in the last quarter century. That said, it's possible that people with violent tendencies probably gravitate towards violent video games. However you could also argue it serves as a catharsis, allowing for the release of aggressive thoughts.


I did a fair amount of research on this in University for a presentation during my Masters, and the research is pretty poor regarding even movies and TV and real violence after way longer being explored. Almost all the early studies are now considered deeply flawed and obviously biased, and even including those the research is pretty weak to show even minimal relationships. The best you can say is there is evidence people with violent tendencies enjoy violent media, while people with non-violent tendencies enjoy violent media possibly a little less. The direction there is obviously more likely in the direction of violent people liking violent things, not violent things making violent people.

pacman000
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Re: Video Gaming in the News

Postby pacman000 » March 8th, 2018, 10:16 am

On addictivness I agree with everything that's been posted by Scotland, the VGC, & Atarifever.

On violence...

I believe communication, including games, can influence behavior, but communication doesn't exist in a vacuum, so you'll never be able to get a 1:1 correlation between media and good/bad behavior.

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scotland
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Re: Video Gaming in the News

Postby scotland » March 9th, 2018, 11:54 am

pacman000 wrote:On violence...

I believe communication, including games, can influence behavior, but communication doesn't exist in a vacuum, so you'll never be able to get a 1:1 correlation between media and good/bad behavior.


That communication can influence behavior is the basis of advertising. Its the basis of a lot of appeals for diversity in television and movies too. Somebody must think they can get us to buy this product or treat that person differently based on hitting us over the heads with messages. Is it the same for video game violence?

Its probably a good time for the industry to consider something like a Virtual Reality Call of Duty, and how people, the media and politicians will react emotionally to that.


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