Research Studies Show Gamers Are Desensitized To Violence In Games

BBFC published a research report that would probably make Jacky Thompson a little bit more wacky. Surprisingly (or realistically) the report uncovers the truths behind gaming and the gamers who play them. And the most striking thing about the report is how young and older gamers felt about violence in games.

The most talked about aspect of gaming is, of course, the violence depicted against others in a virtual playground. While Jack Thompson has used every real-life violent event he hears about to blame on video games, the study takes an intellectual and comprehensive approach to the research findings, and the results mirror what many gamers have already spoken about openly in forums, letters and general website postings.

According to the BBFC’s findings, which were carried out by Craig Ross Dawson, it was stated that “...younger games players are influenced to play particular games by peer pressure and word of mouth, but negative press coverage for a game will significantly increase its take up.” It continues on to state that “...gamers are aware that violence in games is an issue and younger players find some of the violence upsetting, particularly in games rated for adults. There is also concern that in some games wickedness prevails over innocence. However, most gamers are not seriously concerned about violence in games because they think that the violence on television and in films is more upsetting and more real.”

Too bad this news will NEVER find its way onto the news, in which American media is dead-center on blaming the actions of troubled young people on video games. Heck, we all know that if you're sensitive to acts of violence, then don't play the games, don't watch the movies and don't listen to music that affect you otherwise. For individuals who are sensitive enough to react according to what they play, then they're just as likely to react according to what they hear and see in just about every other medium of video or audio entertainment.

But wait, the study continues on to point out that “violence in games, in the sense of eliminating obstacles, is built into the structure of some games and is necessary to progress through the game. It contributes to the tension because gamers are not just shooting, they are vulnerable to being shot and most gamers are concentrating on their own survival rather than the damage they are inflicting on the characters in the game." The findings further state, "While there is an appeal in being able to be violent without being vulnerable to the consequences which similar actions in real life would create, gamers are aware that they are playing a game and that it is not real life.”

There’s numerous cases where people are quick to pinpoint any recent acts of mass violence to video games. But as News Max points out, according to Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Fox, the highest number casualty rate from mass murders occurred during 1977, which was 38. So why not leave video games alone, because 1977 did not have Grand Theft Auto, The Suffering, Doom, or any game made by Rockstar, John Romero or American Mcgee, and yet criminal intentions were still high.

People blaming stupid looking acts of what’s supposed to be violence in games like GTA and Doom for real life atrocities need to grow up. White washing the reality of bad parenting, liberal gun control and a sometimes harsh society should not always fall back on the scapegoat that is video games. I say it again, grow up.

Thank goodness, though, the BBFC wasn’t afraid to release findings that didn’t put down the gaming community with derogatory hyperbole. Now if only someone could inform and share this information with NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and every single other (mis)informed, koom-zi news source out there that shows incessant impudence for video game knowledge, gaming studies and just about all research findings regarding the video game community.

For more information regarding the BBFC and their recent research studies regarding video games, you can visit their Official Website.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.