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games research

Research Blog #3: Perceived effects of violence and the misuse of research

My first true research post for my research blog will take content from and discuss the opinions of Romeo Vitelli, a PhD holder and a contributor to Psychology today.

In a post titled Can Video Games Cause Violence from April 1, 2013, Vitelli discusses the issues with research into video games correlation to violence and why the Supreme Court is hesitant to consider research in cases that involve video games violence.

One of the more important notes he discusses is that there is no consensus among researchers about the actual effect video game violence does have on children. While both sides don’t need to agree, it is a problem because both sides are very passionate about their stance, so much so that they often blatantly disregard findings that disagree with theirs (all according to Vitelli). Additionally, there are no standards for measuring violence, which means that when a lab measures violent activity, they are measuring it on their own scale, which can give them the ability to skew findings in whichever way they want, either consciously or unconsciously.

Another problem is that there are very strong vested interests on both sides of this issue. On one side are anti-violence groups that want to reduce violent crimes, on the other are video game companies that are fighting for a very important part of their business. This becomes an issue when either side funds a study because it brings the possibility of a bias into play.

Although this is clearly not a strictly scholarly entry, I think this was a good piece to start my research with. Vitelli’s piece will clearly not be able to stand on its own in my paper but it does give me a good window into the way the industry works and some of the most important court cases about the video game violence  issue. Moving forward I will use what I have learned here to put other articles into perspective and help form my thesis.

Citation:

Vitelli, Romeo. “Can Video Games Cause Violence?” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 1 Apr. 2013. Web. 23 June 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201304/can-video-games-cause-violence&gt;.

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