President Obama Asks for Research Into Game Violence

JonB

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Sep 16, 2012
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President Obama Asks for Research Into Game Violence


Violent game studies are one part of a 23 step plan.

In a live speech, President Barack Obama outlined 23 executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence, including a statement on violent videogames. After explaining that members of congress historically opposed research into the causes of gun violence President Obama said "I will direct the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce [gun violence]. And congress should fund research into the effects that violent videogames have on young minds." This marks the first time since the renewed conversation in the U.S. on violent games that the president has made a statement. President Obama's order on game violence was the only reference to videogames at all in his speech, the rest of which focused on gun control measures.

President Obama's remarks today reflect the outcome of Vice President Joe Biden's task force on gun violence [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121494-U-S-Vice-President-Games-Are-Not-Being-Singled-Out]. In his address to game industry representatives, Vice President Biden said that "We know there's no single answer and quite frankly we don't even know if some of the things people think impact on this actually impact on this or not ... you have not been singled out for help." During his speech today, President Obama followed up his request for CDC research on violent media by saying "We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science on this epidemic of violence." Between the two remarks, it seems that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden are prepared to move forward on any legislation or executive action regarding violent videogames without further research.

The comments on game violence formed a minute section of the speech with the majority focusing on executive orders that President Obama would also sign. Beyond his executive orders, President Obama outlined other actions he hoped members of congress would undertake, including implementation of universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.


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Fappy

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I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
 

Cade Aponte

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Science has repeatedly shown that video games do not contribute in any non-trivial way to real violence. This shouldn't worry any gamer.
 

Simalacrum

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You know what? I have no problem with this. So long as the study is unbiased (which, well, isn't actually that likely) I see no issue in further study on this particular subject. Keep in mind people, he hasn't actually criticised video games in any way; he's merely acknowledging the very real fact that there isn't enough good research on this particular topic, with only 2 or 3 studies both supporting and opposing the idea that video games cause violent behaviour, almost all of which don't really seem reliable.
 

JonB

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Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?
 

JonB

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Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
 

wrightguy0

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I think the more research we have on the subject is better, We as gamers know we're non violent (for the most part) so we should welcome any unbiased study into the effects of videogames, if they do it right and find no links, then we as gamers have a nice very official study to point out to the detractors and Jack Thompsons of the world
 

Fappy

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DVS BSTrD said:
Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?
I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!
 

the doom cannon

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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
Because the last assault weapons ban worked so well right? And I have to agree that I wish they wouldn't throw our money around so much during this "recession"
 

JonB

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Fappy said:
Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!
How do you know they don't give a fuck? I'm as cynical as the next guy, but do you not think in the face of such a tragedy, Obama might be just a little sincere.

I don't see how actual credible research into violent videogames is a bad thing. Practically every single study done so far has been hampered by poor methodology, inconclusive findings and general wishy-washyness. If Obama is able to use his clout to instigate research that's actually worth a damn, then even us gamers should applaud that. We shouldn't feel the need to shy away Smeagol-like as soon as anyone actually thinks of shining a light on our hobby. We should be there, holding it out for them to shine a light on.

More information is never a bad thing. If this new study actually turns up some conclusive facts about violent games using professional, consistent methodology, then I will welcome it. To shy away from such research because of our own insecurities about the medium is to simply concede that our opponents might actually have a point.
 

dragongit

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Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
I agree with you whole heartedly. In the last 4 years we've already invested in a ton of stupid projects that didn't pan out, we don't need to invest several million more dollars into a study which people already have an answer for. It's not the president's buissness to mess with this sorta shit.
 

JonB

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Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
I'll agree to some extent.

This is almost as stupid as the Mythbusters episode they did where Obama asked them to redo a myth they already busted. All that one proved was if you throw enough people at it with mirrors, you can start to make things smoke and maybe burn, which is what we all knew from that first time already.


And I don't see the point in doing "more" research into a subject that has had far too many contradictory studies made into it to begin with. All it is going to do, of course, is prove that once again "Correlation is not Causation".
 

Blindrooster

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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
First off, I don't totally disagree with you, forward thinking is always a good thing, and without starting a political debate, I would like to say that I don't trust the research no matter what is conducting it. A majority of gamers are underage kids currently playing online and screaming curses and even making threats over their mics right now. How many good conclusions can be drawn from that? People like you and me might not be represented, we will never know. At least they are acknowledging games as part of culture. Also I'm a loose Republican, and I would like to say that while unfortuneatly there are a lot of angry vocal people in our party, we are not all idiots. The parties are just too polarized, but that's a different issue. This isn't a "blame game" by any means. Everything is about trying to push legislation through these days.
 

Fappy

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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Fappy said:
Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!
How do you know they don't give a fuck? I'm as cynical as the next guy, but do you not think in the face of such a tragedy, Obama might be just a little sincere.

I don't see how actual credible research into violent videogames is a bad thing. Practically every single study done so far has been hampered by poor methodology, inconclusive findings and general wishy-washyness. If Obama is able to use his clout to instigate research that's actually worth a damn, then even us gamers should applaud that. We shouldn't feel the need to shy away Smeagol-like as soon as anyone actually thinks of shining a light on our hobby. We should be there, holding it out for them to shine a light on.

More information is never a bad thing. If this new study actually turns up some conclusive facts about violent games using professional, consistent methodology, then I will welcome it. To shy away from such research because of our own insecurities about the medium is to simply concede that our opponents might actually have a point.
Don't get me wrong. I think Obama is sincere about the tragedy and what he's trying to do. Most everyone involved is. What I question however, is their sincerity regarding violent video games and their involvement in all this. It's clear to me that they've only been made a target because gun supporters are pointing fingers and the Obama administration wants to play nice (well... as nice as possible with the NRA anyway). Funding research as a part of this is really just a token gesture to comfort the masses while avoiding the real issues: ethical journalism (though that's damn near impossible to legislate), mental healthcare and (arguably) gun control.

I have absolutely no problem with people doing legitimate research regarding video games and it's affect on mental health, but I don't feel it should be funded by federal taxes and I am disappointed that it's existence is basically being fueled by blind fear.
 

JonB

Don't Take Crap from Life
Sep 16, 2012
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Fappy said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?
I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!
Oh Obama cares it's just that he cares about appeasing the Republicans more.
As much I like him, the man just does not have a fucking clue when it comes to actually leading.
 

cerebus23

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The real tradegy is we have tons of data already covering this in some good detail. And its all easy to look up, this is we are going to spend 10s of millions of dollars we do not have on studies that have already been done to find out that the old studies are still valid.

so we can talk about level heads and so on its all B.S. it is b.s. in relation to video games and it is b.s. in relation to gun "control" all meaningless b.s. that is made to sound good on paper but do absolutely nothing but make it harder for people that care about these things to buy some stuff, and that government talking about doing "something" is bad for everyone, but especially bad for your tax dollars and your individual rights.

17 trillion in debt, social security and medicare going bankrupt to the tune of 4 or 5 trillion dollars, the midwest aquifer going bone dry in the next 30 years, and our government printing money like it is paper, which is darn close to being.

but spending money to study video games and to ban guns that are already illegal in this nation. yep yep we sure do have our priorities straight.
 

Fasckira

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Oct 22, 2009
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Simalacrum said:
You know what? I have no problem with this. So long as the study is unbiased (which, well, isn't actually that likely) I see no issue in further study on this particular subject. Keep in mind people, he hasn't actually criticised video games in any way; he's merely acknowledging the very real fact that there isn't enough good research on this particular topic, with only 2 or 3 studies both supporting and opposing the idea that video games cause violent behaviour, almost all of which don't really seem reliable.
100% agree with this. I think his actions are pretty sensible as hes publically organising an official research into the matter. Assuming the results aren't manipulated or biased in anyway it should help subdue the long standing argument for sometime!

Videogames have been accused of bringing about or influencing some of the recent tragedies, Obama is ordering the concept to be checked out. Cant really argue with that.
 

JonB

Don't Take Crap from Life
Sep 16, 2012
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Fappy said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Then what would they waste it on?
Education? Healthcare? Disaster relief?
I think we need to fix the education system before we dump more money into it :(

Though, I suppose you'd need to dump money into it to fix it. Conundrum!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Assault weapons ban? Fucking finally....

Fappy said:
I really wish our elected officials didn't throw our money around like this -_-
Into funding actual research into the psychological effects of violent videogames, without resorting to hysterical bullshit and preconceived biases? This to me sounds like Obama and Biden are keeping as open a mind as it is possible to in the current situation, and for that at least, they should be applauded. If this were the Republicans in charge, they wouldn't even have bothered with research, they'd have just gone straight into the blame game.
Just because someone else would have handled the situation worse doesn't make them anymore right. It's just politics. They're doing it to look good. None of them actually give a fuck about what the research will find.

EDIT: More to the point they are trying to take some heat off of the gun supporters because they're pissing too many people off. Research like this also improves the parent vote. Think of the children!
Oh Obama cares it's just that he cares about appeasing the Republicans more.
As much I like him, the man just does not have a fucking clue when it comes to actually leading.