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Is torture a game?

  1. Mar 5, 2015 #1

    naima

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    Last weekend I saw my own grandson playing an american game (gta v). He had for getting points to choose between torturing some one with electricity or to pull him teeth. I think that in the next release he will have to slay journalists or to rape people in front of their children.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2015 #2
    i notice that the game's psychological effect gives more violent behavior to the children...
     
  4. Mar 5, 2015 #3
    Do you have any evidence that is true?
     
  5. Mar 5, 2015 #4
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  6. Mar 5, 2015 #5
    well i notice it on our neighbor, his 9 years old child, he act as he was on the game while playing to other child. he do hard punches, acting as if he got a gun and firing to his friends, quoting words which is not suitable on his age...
     
  7. Mar 5, 2015 #6
    That was what I was wondering. If anything new is leaning more to one side of the debate these latest days. The reference you gave I will have to look at. The synopsis seems to lean to an affect.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2015 #7
    Anecdotal evidence is often the most compelling, but should not be relied upon without results from scientific studies. Your neighbour's child was affected by the game, but I played violent video games when I was younger (not as young as 9 but still below the age rating) and I don't recall feeling more aggressive as a result. The only way to decide which experience is more widespread (there will always be those with differing experiences) is through a study which can take into account the many variables that affect individuals in the real world.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2015 #8
    I see. Acting out a character or a scenario from the game.

    Edit: Check the above though.

    They did remove the "violence" from Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner for some reason.
     
  10. Mar 5, 2015 #9

    naima

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    I think that there are two ways to see these games.
    You may wonder if children will be more violent. I do not think so. My grandson is 16 years old and is very peaceful.
    But there is another problem.
    We have in France an extremist party founded by someone who was accused of having tortured during the war in Algeria. 1/4 of french people will vote for his party. When you are accustomed with violence there is no more taboo you can elect someone who has blood on his hands.
    The problem with this game is political.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  11. Mar 5, 2015 #10

    Filip Larsen

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    I would be very surprised if there would not be a measurable statistical effect when a game like GTA V is consumed by the masses. The game goes to lengths to ensure that players will be entertained and rewarded with a sense of achievement for doing extreme violence against random and realistic people in a realistic world. By realistic I here mean that in-game characters in general behave normally and are not bestowed with the same capability or desire to direct extreme violence against the player.

    I have been gaming for 25+ years and I am so tired of the "relax - its only a game" excuse often heard from player that vent pointless violence or grief into a game. When a game allows for an almost unenforced choice between good and bad behavior, a saddening number of people players seem compelled to choose bad. And with games like GTA V and similar they don't even need an excuse for it. They can be as bad as they like and be proud about too.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2015 #11

    micromass

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    Yes, and if they don't hurt anybody with it, who cares?
     
  13. Mar 5, 2015 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    Plenty of media features and glorifies violence. Look at the Saw movies, with the possible exception of the first they're entertainment in the form of torture. There's no reflection on the matter nor exploration on the effects or anything, just straight up "look at this person being pulled apart isn't that cool?" It's a bit different in games because you have mechanics that reward players for certain actions so the player has agency (rather than being passive like when watching a film or reading a book) but not massively so IMO. I don't see any real problem with games displaying violence, even extreme violence. I think most of the time it's done very badly and ends up being no more fun than the Saw movies (with regards to GTA V I've played it and found the torture quest [all five minutes of it] utterly pointless and boring), in other games violence itself and the necessity for it can be a theme.
     
  14. Mar 6, 2015 #13
    More anecdote evidence: as a kid I was playing strategy games (like civilization) and now I'm an imperialist. ;)
    (technically speaking true - as a kid I played quite a lot and some of my views are unpalatable)

    As a guess I'd say that kids would learn some behaviour patterns from any media they encounter, but honestly no idea about strength of mechanism. OK - anyone has any good study? (and not violent kids like playing violent games ;) )

    EDIT: I remember reading interview with a person presented in media as an expert and one of his points was that some execution by ISIS are not as shocking for Western audience as intended because people got already a bit desensitized by media / computer games.

    EDIT2: Linked article:
    - study 1 - ok, random selection to sample, sounds interesting.
    - study 2: "Furthermore, the more time high-school students spend playing video games, the poorer their school performance." Shocking, isn't it? :D
    - study 2 & 3 - self selection process
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  15. Mar 6, 2015 #14

    russ_watters

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    This issue gets a lot of talk from talking-heads in the media, but I'd like to ask people here if you've watched the video of ISIS burning the Jordanian pilot to death? If so, how did it make you feel? And if not, why not?

    For me, there is a wide gulf between reality and fiction and the realism of the media has no impact whatsoever on that gulf. I'm re-watching Game of Thrones in preparation for the upcoming new season and a few days ago I watched an episode where a woman gets burned to death in a funeral pyre. It isn't quite as graphic visually as the Jordanian pilot's burning, but there is a lot of screaming. It had no impact on me whatsoever. The Jordanian pilot video, on the other hand, caused me physical pain. It made me sick and gave me a headache I couldn't shake for the rest of the day. The knowledge that something is real or fake is everything here.

    For that matter, a reality-based, but fictional movie like Saving Private Ryan has much more emotional impact than a pure fiction like District 9, even though the violence level is similar.
     
  16. Mar 7, 2015 #15

    Filip Larsen

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    I think its a fair hypothesis (at least for me not being a psychologist) to expect a psychological distinction between a person watching violence as a "passive" audience and then actively be the one introducing violence by own choice into a scene where violence is optional but rewarded. In the later case there could very well be a positive reinforcement of behavior. Add to that an environment that fairly realistic contains many other normal social situations and activities, and you now have a system that potentially "train" people to (at least subconsciously) apply violence to normal social situations.

    If I am not mistaken, positive feedback training in other virtual environments [1] have shown that people can be subject to subconscious changes in behavior. I think it is fair to assume the same can happen in other environment, and I think my comments in this thread is mostly motivated by my surprise that this apparently is not a regulatory or safety issue anywhere. Slap an 18+ label on it and anyone can apparently expose the public to whatever they like, regulated only by own morale or lack thereof.

    In the chemical industry it took many years of unsafe introduction of new materials to realize that while they may seem harmless and even beneficial in the short term there is plenty of potential for unwanted long term effects. Why should the mind and social behavior be different? Since we know that societies exists or have existed with social norms that would unacceptable in our society today we know that there is nothing in nature itself that limits or disfavors such different social norms, and thus, we have to limit it ourselves with references to sane ethics and similar.

    Also, similar to what Russ says, what if a game was made that allowed the player to catch, train, trade and otherwise do as they please with African slaves as a kind of "historic simulator" of a cotton farm in Mississippi around 1800? I am pretty sure that would not be found acceptable even though it may very well be a more historical correct game than that the over-the-top crimes and actions in GTA V. Why would one cause a public uproar while the other only a slight shrug?


    [1] Virtual Driving and Risk Taking: Do Racing Games Increase Risk-Taking Cognitions, Affect, and Behaviors?, http://apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/xap-13122.pdf
     
  17. Mar 7, 2015 #16

    Filip Larsen

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    Personally I stopped watching GoT after they gutted an innocent pregnant woman in gory details right in front of my eyes. I was angry and sad for weeks after. Sad for her and angry with the villain who did it. I know its fictions and that the events that took place fitted right into the violent universe of GoT, but it took me a while to realize that the villain did just what the producers of the show wanted, that is, I was really just consuming a product made to induce such strong feeling. So I stopped consuming.
     
  18. Mar 7, 2015 #17

    Drakkith

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    I agree. I've seen all kinds of violence and killing in movies, tv, and in videogames. I've only see someone actually die one time, on a video online. It was supposedly the execution someone by the KGB by cutting their throat. It was horrifying. It affected me far beyond the level that any fiction ever has. The knowledge that it was real made all the difference in the world.

    I also think it's important to remember that we live in a society where real violence is not acceptable behavior. We already have strong measures in place in society to teach people this. Real violence occurs predominantly when these anti-violence measures are lost and/or pro-violence measures are introduced. There's a reason most violence tends to occur in areas of poverty or after disasters and hardship, and not in stable, wealthier areas and times of peace.

    That's the point of all fiction, and really of all entertainment. Don't stop consuming just because you think you're being manipulated, that's the goal of everyone who's ever told a story.
     
  19. Mar 7, 2015 #18

    naima

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    In the game Call of duty Black Ops the aim was to kill (virtually?) Fidel Castro.
    In the movie The Interview the aim was to kill Kim Jong Un.
    Do you think that all that is ONLY entertainment?
    Kennedy, Rabin, Sadate Allende were killed presidents in the real word.
    Have we to add Castro and Kim (and Putin?) to the list?
     
  20. Mar 7, 2015 #19

    Dotini

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    The graphic GoT scene you refer to was indeed disturbing. However, it was apposite to the dramatic situation and not gratuitous. The unborn child needed to be killed in order that the rebel king not have an heir and potential claimant to the throne. This was the same situation as in the historical Wars of the Roses, upon which GoT was in part modeled. FWIW, no such scene appeared in the books, although the theme of infanticide and slaughter of rebellious families is common.
     
  21. Mar 7, 2015 #20

    Drakkith

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    (Bolding mine)

    Yes. I think it is purely entertainment.
     
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