Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
September 19, 2014
arrowPress Releases
September 19, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Game Violence, Real Aggression Don't Correlate In Aussie R18 Debate
Game Violence, Real Aggression Don't Correlate In Aussie R18 Debate
December 1, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

December 1, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
Comments
    9 comments
More: Console/PC



An Australian government review has found no clear link between video game violence and real world aggression, a result sure to come to bear on the way the country considers mature-rated video games.

Games with content intended for adult audiences -- titles that, for example, would receive an M rating under the U.S.' ESRB system -- are generally banned from sale in Australia, due to the region's lack of an adequate category. But the dispute over whether to introduce one has been ongoing and contentious.

While some 98 percent of Australian consumers have been shown to support the introduction of an R18+ rating for games with violent or mature-themed content, one primary point of contention has hinged on the belief that games with such depictions can be associated with real-world antisocial or violent behavior.

Now, GameSpot Australia reports that a federal review, requested by the country's censorship ministers to help their R18+ decision, looked into existing research and found no evidence to support that assertion.

Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor released the results of the review: "Evidence about the effect of violent computer games on the aggression displayed by those who play them is inconclusive," he said.

"From time to time people claim that there is a strong link between violent crime or aggressive behaviour and the popularity of violent computer games," he continued. "The literature does not bear out that assertion."

According to the report, the review found that short-term effects associated with playing violent games are more prevalent than long-term ones, and while this is considered a risk factor, it's described as "small." And other factors, like existing predispositions, personality, peers, family and economic status were not explored.

The review findings will be used in government discussions in the weeks to come as ministers consider whether or not to introduce the rating.


Related Jobs

Phosphor Games Studio
Phosphor Games Studio — Chicago, Illinois, United States
[09.18.14]

Game Producer
Trion Worlds
Trion Worlds — Redwood City, California, United States
[09.18.14]

Senior Gameplay Engineer
Heavy Iron Studios, Inc.
Heavy Iron Studios, Inc. — Los Angeles, California, United States
[09.18.14]

Game Programming Intern
Heavy Iron Studios, Inc.
Heavy Iron Studios, Inc. — Los Angeles, California, United States
[09.18.14]

Gameplay and Engine Programmer










Comments


Kale Menges
profile image
Humans were busy killing each other long before we had video games that glamourized or romanticized about such behavior...

Michael Joseph
profile image
I can't help but think this correlation debate between virtual violence and real violence is a red herring. This is an argument that is only occurring in politics and the media. Real people are not having this debate.



Wouldn't it be ironic if rather than make people violent, violent video games made people more fearful and anxious in the real world? As if the 24/7 steady stream of bad news weren't enough.



Seems to me the real debate should be about the value of gaming and how so much of it is low brow entertainment and a huge waste of time and energy. What about the contribution of video games to the ever increasing rates of obesity in children?



What of significance has ever come out of playing a video game? There are films and books that have changed people's lives dramatically. I'm not talking about influencing them to become writers and film makers either. Ayn Rand's books have (for better or for worse) profoundly influenced scores of politicians over the last 55 years. Sci-Fi literature, film and TV has lead people towards careers in astronomy and aerospace or given them hope about the prospects for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately games don't really inspire people to do things except maybe become a game developer. I'm really disappointed that in 2010 so many games are content to be flashy shallow ornaments with no other redeeming qualities.



Maybe that's why Mr. Carmack decided he wanted to actually do something worthwhile like try to build rockets. Maybe more game developers should get jobs doing stuff that matters if they find themselves in a rut making mindless shooters?



The real debate shouldn't be about the correlation of real and virtual violence in games... the real debate should be about their relative lack of value. Chris Hecker recently talked about games sharing the "cultural ghetto" with toys and comics but I'm not sure that games don't stand alone in that ghetto. There are more than just a few popular toys that prepare a mind for engineering and architecture (for instance) and there are more than just a few popular comics that educate and teach important values, philosophies, concepts and ideas. Games should be better than they are in 2010. It's so utterly disappointing.



I'm ranting again but every time I hear the violent video game issue raised it's as if the only problem with games is their potential to cause real world violence and were it not for that, everything is just fine.

Eric Geer
profile image
"What of significance has ever come out of playing a video game? There are films and books that have changed people's lives dramatically. I'm not talking about influencing them to become writers and film makers either. Ayn Rand's books have (for better or for worse) profoundly influenced scores of politicians over the last 55 years. Sci-Fi literature, film and TV has lead people towards careers in astronomy and aerospace or given them hope about the prospects for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately games don't really inspire people to do things except maybe become a game developer. I'm really disappointed that in 2010 so many games are content to be flashy shallow ornaments with no other redeeming qualities."



This might be just an assumption on your part---video games could lead people to not only be developers, but artists, programmers, any line of business related activity in the industry, but also musicians, story writers, directors(video game or movie), various action sport players-etc--there is every type of genre of game out there---all of them could potentially be the stepping stone for an individual that would push them into any of the experiences and change their lives...this would not be relevant to all--but how often do you meet or hear about someone that had their life changed about a film or book or a peice of art---it depends more on the person than the medium--and if you look at early film and early TV they did none of these things--they didnt change anything--



gaming is still in its adolecence---wait a few more years(or many more years) and you might be hearing about some of these cultural changes. People have been writing for ages and ages--film is an extension of theatre--which has been around for ages--video games are still quite young in their timeline...be patient and have faith--its getting better--the story telling is getting better---the visuals are getting better--the cultural impacts are larger than ever(pun intended), but there is quite a bit we have to look forward to in the future--guaranteed.

Doug Poston
profile image
Video games are still new in the scale of all media (2-3 generations), but they've already had a real effect on society. Movies, TV, the military, sports, politics, education and more have all been changed by the video game industry.



SimCity can inspire architectures as well as Legos.

Your average World of Warcraft player has better teamwork and problem solving skills then your average Harry Potter reader.



Most games may belong in the "cultural ghetto", but they have plenty of company because so do most other forms of media. For every Ayn Rand book, there are hundreds of Twilight-clones. For every TV show like Cosmos, there are thousands of unrealistic "reality shows".



Ten to Twenty years from now, I don't imagine 'The Littlest Groom' will have had much effect on society.

david paradis
profile image
I woul argue that multiplayer, especially MMOs, have a positive effect....bringing people together from all over the country/world.



Theres countless marriages, lasting relations that bleed over into the real world, and day-t-day interactions with people all over the world that occur on these games.



I personally have 5 friends that I have played 3 MMOs with now, starting back with EQOA in 2004. They even support me with care packages and letters when i deployed to Iraq in 2006 and afghanistan presently.



I challenge any movie or book to do that.

heath willmann
profile image
not only that but as far obesity in this last year every current game system has moved to an active control that makes the user move the body to interact with the system. and the majority of those games will have impact on many generations now. developers need consumer mindsets and hardware to change in order to have the market and tools to make any significant changes in how we play games and interact in the medium.

Their are also alot of games that challenge a persons intellect in one form or another. Just because the ones you see, be it because of the tv programs that the ads air on "which the games are advertised on because they fall in the same demographics" or some other media for the same reason.

games that have to do with violence while they may bring in bigger money are no longer the majority of games developed every year.

yes there will always be games with violence in them but there has always been a slasher movie to watch also.

if a developer could afford the time and resources to make a game thats as intricate as the violent games to tap into the people who wont play games with violence while still having access to the main stream gamers they would be all over it. a game where you hack beat shoot something is far easier to make than one that doesn't have this type of interactivity and the market is already established.

Saying someone is obese because they play games is as absurd as saying the killed someone because they did. The obesity in america started long before gaming and more likely stems from the lazy drug using era and how kids concieved from that era perceived the rolemodels (parents/teachers) which also would include the couch potatoe. if you noticed alot of big networks realised this and have changed programming to encourage people to be more active on the week ends now by having more compeling shows on during the week when everyone is working during the day than having friday/saturday nights being the big nights for them.However there are others things you have to take into consideration like kidnappings, terrorism, gang violence, etc. that makes the general populace not want to go out or let there children go out. In my day we use to go door to door for halloween now parents take the kids down to well lit malls.Man had to confront his fears in order to eat , this is no longer the case.

to end this i would also like to state that several studies have been done that show games can increase hand to eye co-ordination, faster-intelligent responses, and that the military and law enforcement use programs very similiar to some games to train new soldiers/police because of those reasons.So even the"violent games" do have benefits. Virtual programs are use by nasa also to train pilots for missions.

If you think gaming has had no positive influence on the real world than your just ignorant and need to actually do some research before posting opinion like its fact.

Michael Joseph
profile image
you said: "Saying someone is obese because they play games is as absurd as saying the killed someone because they did."



Which is why I did not say that. The word I used was "contribution" and it was used in the context of a question.



you said: "If you think gaming has had no positive influence on the real world than your[sic] just ignorant and need to actually do some research before posting opinion like its fact."



I did not say that either. Do you enjoy putting words into people's mouths? Books and films have dramatically changed people's views on life. Am I speaking an alien language? I'm talking about an interview where someone claims "Viva Zapata" changed their thinking on Libertarianism. Or how "The Color Purple" helped some women in abusive relationships find courage and strength. Games don't do that.



Games by and large aren't even attempting to do that. This is why they are in the so called "cultural ghetto." This is why they are regarded as childish things by many adults. Virtual simulators used by NASA are not what I'm talking about obviously... neither are wall street trading programs or sea floor mapping software or weather simulation software. You know that very well. But feel free to talk about hand-eye coordination and everything else under the sun. Who am I to tell you what to do?



Frankly, I feel what I'm talking about is quite obviously true but I would agree with everyone who sees the potential of games in the future to become "better." I wouldn't be writing on the subject if I didn't have that hope as well. Interactive entertainment needs to find a way to get beyond the "just be fun" mindset which tends to keep their designs away from weighty, serious or complicated issues and subject matter.

Michael Joseph
profile image
I think a big reason for this is interactive entertainment (game) development is still too inaccessible. Writing a song, a book or screenplay or even picking up a camera and shooting a film with your friends and family are just much more accessible endeavors. Increased accessibility will lead to increased diversity of creators which will lead to increased diversity of the final results which is what is required to climb out of the cultural ghetto.

Doug Poston
profile image
While I disagree with some of your earlier points, I agree that creating big title video games is way too inaccessible for most people.



Which is why, IMHO, some of the most exciting games are indie games developed in Flash or some other cheap (or free) development system.



I think this can be made far easier still (with better tools and collaboration techniques), but it is already to the point where a motivated story teller can tell a story.


none
 
Comment: