#1 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

Hey. In about a month's time we're supposed to give about a 20 minute presentation in my English class about current events or problems. I thought I'd talk about gun control and video games, since it's quite a hot topic these days after the Sandy Hook incident. Even though I have a general idea about what I wanna talk about, I would really appreciate any kind of advice you guys may have. I know some of you probably have strong opinions on this matter and those very welcome. Any particular games I should talk about? Any studies on this issue that you know about? Just any kind help is appreciated. I've gotta talk for like 20 minutes, so I need as much information as I can. Of course I'll do research on my own, but I thought that since this is a video game forum, you guys could probably come with some interesting thoughts or advice.

#2 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

Are you allowed to voice your own opinion or you can just present facts?

#3 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

Are you allowed to voice your own opinion or you can just present facts?

Voicing my own opinion and discussing the topic is pretty important I think, which is why I chose a topic that I have quite strong opinions about.

#4 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1254 posts) -

I remember seeing recently a study showing amount of video games purchased and violence in different countries and there was no correlation at all. That is one stat based one I found but you should check out the Jim Sterling's Jimquistion based on violence since that is really good at showing how video games are not the problem. This whole topic just gets me angry at how stupid people are so I will leave it at that.

#5 Posted by EpicSteve (6499 posts) -

In terms of gun control get real facts about how many deaths are the result of an assailant using an "Assault" weapon and if those weapons actually provided the murderer with an advantage. For instance, with Sandy Hook, the rifle used wasn't necessarily used for its purpose. A handgun would've done the same damage. What I'm getting at is, opinions aside, there are a lot of extremely loose facts presented on both sides.

#6 Posted by TruthTellah (9475 posts) -

Kotaku actually did summaries of 25 major violent videogames studies done over the last thirty years. Looking at these summaries and then perhaps even looking at the original studies could give you good ammunition for whatever stance you're taking on the effects of violent videogames. http://kotaku.com/5976781/25-video-game-violence-studies-summarized

#7 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

@Mushir said:

@MikeGosot said:

Are you allowed to voice your own opinion or you can just present facts?

Voicing my own opinion and discussing the topic is pretty important I think, which is why I chose a topic that I have quite strong opinions about.

I think you should talk about the history of the ESRB. You can talk about a lot of questions that way, mentioning the games that led to it's creation. Patrick also mentioned an article that shows that "game makers fund guns manufacturers", and you could talk about that. You could present certain moral/political questions and voice your opinion about that;

#8 Posted by Demoskinos (15157 posts) -

@Mushir: Well, I would bring up the Supreme Court case from 2011 for sure. That was a big win for the video game industry in establishing itself as an artform that is protected by the First Amendment

#9 Posted by fox01313 (5089 posts) -

Well considering that after Call of Duty, Halo, GTA, Saints Row3 that on the day of release & that first week we are not seeing widespread violent riots must mean that we are not as affected by violent games making us want to shoot people. If games were making people violent then the censorship boards would be constantly looking for new people as they are usually the first to see it (as well as the first to see it unedited) after the developers & the qa testers so the censors would be the first ones to go shooting people up in a clock tower if these games were as violent as the media would want us to believe.

#10 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -
#11 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

Kotaku actually did summaries of 25 major violent videogames studies done over the last thirty years. Looking at these summaries and then perhaps even looking at the original studies could give you good ammunition for whatever stance you're taking on the effects of violent videogames. http://kotaku.com/5976781/25-video-game-violence-studies-summarized

Man, thanks for that list! Some really interesting studies in there.

@Demoskinos said:

@Mushir: Well, I would bring up the Supreme Court case from 2011 for sure. That was a big win for the video game industry in establishing itself as an artform that is protected by the First Amendment

Yea definitely. I had totally forgot about that case. Thanks!

@mlarrabee said:

http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/

Indisputable facts about crime trends in the US, on made-to-order charts.

That's gonna be really handy for sure. Thanks man.

And thanks to everyone else voicing their opinions on this matter. It's interesting to hear other peoples thoughts on this.

#12 Posted by Demoskinos (15157 posts) -

@Mushir: I really really wish I could find the study but there was a study done I'm thinking probably in 2010 or 2011 that showed that compared to R-Rated Movies and "Explicit" Music the Video Game industry did a far better job of regulating sales to minors. But without the actual study and facts that would be worthless to you. I can't for the life of me find it though.

#13 Posted by Demoskinos (15157 posts) -
#14 Posted by Monkeyman04 (1225 posts) -

You should watch this episode of What If Machine from GameSpot about violence in games. I think it could be a help in giving you some ideas.

#15 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

@Demoskinos: That looks interesting! I'll definitely read through it.

@Monkeyman04: Thanks for the great video.

#16 Posted by ShadowMoses900 (190 posts) -

You should try to educate people on guns first because the term "assault weapon" doesn't actually mean what most people think it means. Look at different sources and try to make sure they arn't biased, when it comes to issues such as this you have to be careful because many people try to push agendas and their "studies" arn't really accurate.

Look up offical statistics and try to find reputable studies about violent video games, and then try to compare them to other aspects. For instance why do violent games get blamed but not violent movies?

#18 Posted by zolloz89 (254 posts) -

I would try and see if there are any scientific journal articles in psychology about aggression and violence being influenced by the media. An argument is always stronger when you include views from the opposite side and explain why they have it wrong. Otherwise it just seems like you're ignoring completely understandable points.

#19 Posted by FrankieSpankie (228 posts) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaF9nbLo8as

It's a couple years old now but here's a great piece by Penn & Teller that explains the Bullshit behind blaming video games on violence. It's actually really informative and incredibly entertaining!

#20 Edited by imsh_pl (3314 posts) -

First of all you can show this graph as an example that correlation doesn't equal causation. There are thousands if not millions of factor which contribute to crime and violence in a given society and simply showing a relationship between two statistics is not enough to imply that one caused the other.

For example it would be incorrect to conclude that violent video games decrease crime based on this particular chart.

With that in mind I would also strongly advise against comparing data from two different countries (like gun violence in the UK and the US). This is because countries tend to be very different and cherrypicking data in order to fit one's conclusion denies the fact that there are more variables that are different and have influence on the outcome. If you want to compare something like gun violence I would stick to one coutry - or at least how country A looked before compared to how country A looks now, but never how country A looks now with how country B looks now.

#21 Edited by Mushir (2389 posts) -
@imsh_pl said:

First of all you can show this graph as an example that correlation doesn't equal causation. There are thousands if not millions of factor which contribute to crime and violence in a given society and simply showing a relationship between two statistics is not enough to imply that one caused the other.

For example it would be incorrect to conclude that violent video games decrease crime based on this particular chart.

With that in mind I would also strongly advise against comparing data from two different countries (like gun violence in the UK and the US). This is because countries tend to be very different and cherrypicking data in order to fit one's conclusion denies the fact that there are more variables that are different and have influence on the outcome. If you want to compare something like gun violence I would stick to one coutry - or at least how country A looked before compared to how country A looks now, but never how country A looks now with how country B looks now.

I agree. I had planned on just focusing on the US because of the particular reasons you mentioned.

The project is coming well along so far. The main problem right now is to make it interesting and entertaining enough so that the audience bothers to pay attention for 20 minutes without checking their iPhones.