A major part of the moral panic cycle — particularly with video games — are the incredulous studies. The ones that link video games with violence or moral decay. These are the studies that make the headlines, the ones sensible researchers must attempt to debunk. The cycle goes on and on.
This great piece by Brendan Keogh takes aim at one of those studies; a study that, in a press release, claimed “video games” were “turning gamers into deadly shooters”.
Well actually it’s not as simple as that, since the study itself actually came to less headline worthy conclusions. But that didn’t stop news sites all around the world jumping onboard the moral panic hype train.
At worst, the accompanying press release – unlikely to have been written by the study’s authors – was a malicious attempt to grab some easy attention by hinting at a fraudulent but popular connection between violent videogames and gun crimes. At best, the study comes across as a lazy simplification of what videogames do, with little interrogation of how they actually function.
It’s a good, lengthy piece that explores all avenues of this issue — poor research, packaged and hyperbolised into press releases which are then spread across the media in a tsunami of misinformation.
Well worth reading.
Bite the bullet: videogames don’t make deadly shooters [The Conversation]