In the recent years, there has been an immense effort to find a link between violent behaviour and gaming. In my opinion, preconceived links. The fact remains, the methods used to measure body activity and stress factors in gamers during violent and non-violent games are unreliable. For the most part, it isn’t even scientific. The result is already packaged in the head, and the hypothesis is nowhere to be seen. How can you hypothesize something that you already think you know. It is not a hypothesis unless it is aimed to be disproved. That is what most scientist don’t really understand today is seems. You are out to find flaws in your observation. If you find no flaws, or rather see an association you are on the right path. If you already have a strong idea and you spend all your resources justifying your idea, then you are not a scientist. You are a salesman. That is what the research of violent games has become, a club of salesmen trying to sell a pitch to clueless parents and legislators.
Looking at heart rate and stress and making the immense link to violence is like saying that eating bark causes pregnancy, a far long link to make. If you look at statistics, countries with good economic conditions where the personal economy allows the purchase of television and consoles, has 5 times less crime and violence rate. (WHO and Gap minder data). Violence might be a result of biological and genetic vulnerability triggered by certain factors, but gaming is not likely to be on the top of the list. High up on the list is exposure to real life violence such as parental beating, bullying, addiction and sexual abuse. Stress related to violent games is experienced equally playing Harry Potter games if you are measuring the heart rate at a certain point. Action results in elevated stress levels, and that you can achieve by looking at the TV show ER. Is ER responsible for all the violence in the world?
And if gaming is a risk factor, then isn’t all related action based entertainment that. In fact, we haven’t seen a raise in violent behaviour in the human kind since the introduction of gaming, however there has been an increase of violence among adolescents in the world. And it is quite easy to make the link to gaming since the adolescent population is the highest consumer of PC and Video games. What science does not care to map, or rather look at is whether or not these violent adolescent ever come in contact with video games or rather if they are high consumers.
Crime statistics show that those at high risk of committing violent crimes are those within low income areas placed in segregated parts of the European capitals and rural South America and Africa. The most prevalent crime being theft in different forms and robbing. Low income areas around Europe, populated with adolescent growing up in poverty, surrounded by parental depression, alcoholism and lack of employment resources give birth to frustration. In these areas, the average adolescent has often little or no access to television let alone an expensive console. The average console cost is ranging from 180 Euros – 500 euros, the average welfare check with prepayed rent is ranging in 200 euros to 500 euros.
The prevalence of violent behaviour suchasmurder is the highest in South Africa and the lowest in Japan. The prevalence of violent game consumers are highest in Japan, among others. South Africa is one of the most economical segregated nations in the world, and the violence most prevalent in those whith lowest income (or rather none income and high poverty).
In the 70’s it was rock music, in the 80’s it was punk, in the 90’s it was violent TV-shows and today it is violent games. Preconceived notions, driven by those who aren’t in touch with the rest of the world. I wonder what will be next? What new technology will we blame for the fact that a corrupted system creates individuals who for one reason or another need to create pain for others. Gaming wasn’t available during the Crystal Night 1938 and they sure weren’t in Zimbabwe. When will we stop blaming something and start blaming our selves and the construct of our society. My guess is never, because the same generation that was fighting for rock, is the one blaming gamers. And who will gamers blame for the theft of their car, only time will tell.