Christian Group Says Games Industry "Mirrors" Tobacco Industry

As the period of public consultation on the issue of an R18+ rating for videogames concludes, a conservative group claims the games industry is engaging in tactics "reminiscent of tobacco companies" in denying "violent gaming effects."

The Australian Christian Lobby says games industry claims that the link between violent computer games and aggressive thoughts or behaviour is unproven is "reminiscent of the tactics of tobacco companies in questioning the link between smoking and lung cancer."

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace argues that the games industry is ignoring research that demonstrates there is a link between violent video games and aggression.

The ACL cites a 2009 paper titled ‘Video game effects confirmed, suspected and speculative: A review of the evidence’, authored by Barlett, C.P., Anderson, C.A. & Swing, E.L., which states: “Multiple studies have found overwhelming evidence to suggest that exposure to violent video games is causally related to ... aggressive feelings, aggressive thoughts, and physiological arousal ... aggressive behaviour, and other variables.”

One of the authors of that paper ought to be familiar to Kotaku readers. C.A. Anderson is Professor Craig Anderson, the academic name-dropped by Michael Atkinson whenever he points towards research into violent games.

In replying to Michael Atkinson's public letter in December last year, Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, wrote that Anderson "is all they can draw upon in their arguments which, in themselves, are convoluted. Their dependence on this single source demonstrates there is not a widespread scientific support for their position."

Chris Prior, co-founder of Gamers 4 Croydon, agrees: "The single researcher cited by the ACL, Craig Anderson, has been called out specifically by his peers for making extensive use of a test that has no scientific grounding to 'prove' the harmfulness of violent media. His habit of ignoring bias in others' work that fits his prejudice has also been criticised.

"The argument about the impact of violent media has no founding in reality. Despite claims of extensive, reliable research and implied scientific consensus, neither exists.

"Much of the research claiming to find that consumption of violent media caused violence and aggression has been extensively criticised for ignoring results that do not fit with the prejudice, and even taking research that suggests one thing, and claiming it proves the opposite."

So, on one hand we have an argument supported by the majority of research on the topic. On the other, we have a group clinging to one lone voice who supports their case.

It's clear to see the ACL's tobacco industry is actually true. Thing is, they don't seem to realise who's who.


Comments

    The last time anyone counted, the Christians in this country were in terminal decline. Church congregations are plummeting in both of the protestant and catholic churches. They are becoming an irrelavance and anyone that pays any attention to the ACL is listening to a tiny irrelevant faction within this diminishing number of people. On the other hand the number of gamers probably far out numbers the number of active church goers in this country so pollies better start listening to us.

    Churches seem quite happy to expose kids to images of some poor bastard being nailed to a cross, telling them its real. Whats the big deal with fictional computer generated violence, at least you can turn that off if you want. See what happens if you try and destroy a picture or sculpture of that poor bastard. You'll probably be called a heretic.

    First, lets remember that the ACL represent one SUBSET of Christianity: Socially-conservative Evangelical Protestants.

    Not all people that follow a type of Christianity would support ACL. Indeed, most of the Christians I know would consider ACL to be loonies.

    I'm an atheist and I support a secular state. But lets not be methodologically collectivist when dealing with Christians here.

    Even if the elderly moralists manage to delay the introduction of an R18+ rating, they can only delay it. They will eventually die out. The fact is that every form of new media (the printing press, comic books, radio, television, and now games) is treated as if it is corrupting the youth, and eventually all these scares are proven false.

    As for Channel 10's joke of a news report, lets make it clear that Television Channels want people to watch TV instead of playing video games. Video games are stealing away their market. Of COURSE they are going to claim that these games are evil things.

    f-f-f-f-fundamentalism, a misinformed and ignorant group. We must look to the past to learn our lessons which sadly have not been learned, ala book burning (just because the medium they are burning is different doesn't change the act).

    Last time i checked the games industry hasnt tried to bury medical studies and deny there product causes cancer, yes you heard it here first, games cause cancer.

    "‘Video game effects confirmed, suspected and speculative: A review of the evidence’, authored by Barlett, C.P., Anderson, C.A. & Swing, E.L., which states: “Multiple studies have found overwhelming evidence to suggest that exposure to violent video games is causally related to … aggressive feelings, aggressive thoughts, and physiological arousal … aggressive behaviour, and other variables.”"

    Who else is willing to bet the citations in that paper are shakier than a 9.0-scale earthquake?

    Yes, the gaming industry and the tobacco industry have much in common, both are only appropriate for children <-- Sarcasm

    As I type this, I'm looking at an article in the advertiser titled 'Gamers More Aggressive' written by Greg Thom.

    The article is very short and brief, highlights Craig Anderson's views and research,includes an account from Victorian Police Commissioner Simon Overland, mentions that the government is considering introducing the R18 laws(that alone is a blatant lie), and provides absolutely no counter balance to the argument, and no mention of pro r18 groups such as G4C, ICEA and the like.

    This is what normal people in general will read in their Advertiser today. That, coupled with Ten's 'coverage' on the debate, makes it very clear that the media is against us. For the sake of ratings, the media will portray us as violent and easily infuence animals. You only need to understand this line from Men In Black to understand how the public will react.

    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

    It's not like Christians to believe things on little to no evidence.

    If you want a primer on extreme violence, read the old testament.

    This goes to anyone reading from the ACL, unless you want to change your name to AFCL (f for fundamentalist) then you had better get your act into gear and start listening the majority of Christians in this country, as opposed to the minority of far-righters. Your current name only serves to embarrass and diminish the reputation of ALL Christians.

    Last edited 25/06/13 10:07 pm

    Ooops. I posted on the wrong article. Sorry.

    Last edited 25/06/13 10:06 pm

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