On the very day that “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” officially topped video game rental charts, other headlines point to research into the impact of such violent games on user behavior.
Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine researchers have already determined in previous studies that exposure to violent media might affect the brains of youths with aggressive tendencies differently than the brains of non-aggressive youths.
Now, those same researchers are reporting that the more teens are exposed to violent media, the worse they performed on self-control and concentration tests, according to reports in The Indianapolis Star on Sunday.
“What we’ve done is confirm that parents need to be concerned about this,” the Indianapolis Star quoted Vincent P. Mathews, a professor of radiology at IU’s School of Medicine and staff neurologist at Northwest Radiology Network, as saying.
“October was a month for the latest releases of popular franchises,” said Jung Suh, co-founder and vice president of content/strategic alliances for GameFly, an online video game rental service.
Violent Games in Demand
“And with the buzz behind ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,’ it’s no surprise that the game performed as well as it did and topped the charts this month.”
Indeed, “San Andreas” is one of the most highly anticipated games this year and the newest edition to the “Grand Theft Auto” legacy has received top marks by major video game review sites.
“Mortal Kombat: Deception” ranked second in GameFly’s ratings at second place, followed by “X-Men Legends.” The GameFly Top 10 reflects actual playing preferences of gamers who rent from the e-tailer and reports the pulse of the mass market.
That pulse clearly signals a taste for violent video games. “San Andreas,” for example, features a hero named Carl who was framed for murder by police and sets out on a journey to take control of the streets where gang trouble, drug dealers and corruption prevail. Killings, carjackings and gang warfare are the centerpiece of the gaming experiencing.
These types of M-rated games are just what researchers from the IU School of Medicine are studying.
Video Games Not Sole Factor
IDC analyst Shelley Olhava told the E-Commerce Times that she always questions studies that find a link between violence and video games because there are so many other factors to consider.
“The Entertainment Software Association has some very good proof showing studies that link violent behavior with violent video games are usually very faulty,” Olhava said. “Other studies suggest quite the opposite is true about video games.”
Olhava said video game makers have an effective rating system that does a good job of telling consumers exactly what kind of content is in the game and points to plenty of games rated “E” for everybody on the market.
“Within two minutes of Internet surfing, I can find a video of a real-lifeguy getting his head sliced off,” Olhava said. “It’s not always fair to slam the video game industry as being the one factor that causes problems. Among all the factors that could potentially cause violence, video games are probably pretty low on the list.”
I would like to know what exactly it is the people do when conducting these studies. Because I have been playing videogames sense i was 4 years old, and have played all of the Grand Theft Auto games, AM ong other violent videogames. Despite the fact i play these games i have never been in a fight, or intentionaly caused harm to another person or animal. So where do scientists get there conclusions? Videogames, to me, are an output for aggression not a reason for it. I’m tired of hearing that videogames are the cause of a child’s violent behavior. The parents are the ones we need to look at, not the videogames.
are u calling my parents stupid because they let me make some of my own decisions about what i play
The funny thing is that researches that take a "real" look at video games show that they are actually good for you. Take a look at these:
Can anyone tell me why precisely people are still harping on the video game industry, rather than taking a serious look at forcing the parents (who are apparently to damn stupid to read a M – Mature Content label) to take control of the situation. Sue a few of them and make sure the fact that ‘they’ are responsible for what their kids are exposed to stick, not the video game companies.