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Author Topic: Games Media, Cultural Critics and Partisan Duplicity on Violent Video Games  (Read 287 times)

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Offline kat

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Violent video games cause violence TODAY/violent vidoe game don't cause violence YESTERDAY

Over the last few years a cancerous zeitgeist has been slowly enveloping gaming, one that insists video games cause various forms of harm irrespective of subject, context or intent; that overt expressions of "violence" not be considered prerequisites; that obligates subjective interpretation above objective intent[1]; that perceives "violence" to mean anything the individual might deem unwanted or unwarranted; and that words and actions are equal[2].

This confluence of circumstance[3] has become particularly intractable, spread as it is through the ease by which involved parties, media and press, advocates, activists and allies, politicians, are willing and eager to conflate "cause" with "reinforce", "promote", "perpetuate", "normalise", "desensitize", often interchangeably as mood, cause or convenience dictate. In this way video games can be blamed for "sexism", "online harassment" and "abuse", "misogyny", "hatred", "Islamophobia", "bigotry" and all manner of social-ills infecting society at large including, perhaps most incredulously, the election of President Trump.

Such is the all encompassing narrative this creates discussion has become part and parcel of the broader political landscape; legislation is proposed and in some instances signed, activists, advocates and their ilk push their causes, informed by a debate they presume and position themselves to control, that { video games = violence } = { violence = harm } = { harm = violence }, propagated through highly questionable selective filtering[4].

In such an environment then, when Trump calls for a discussion on violent video games in the wake of another mass shooting, his embroilment triggers the aforementioned through shear enmity into reflexively reiterating a situationally forgotten belief, that violent video games do not in fact cause violence ("Oh I remember now" Ed.), one seemingly contrary to every position previously and currently espoused on other topics, solely because Trump made the claim, paraphrasing their talking points, deftly snatching control of the conversation from their hands; violent video games "desensitize our community to violence"[5], an assertion authoritatively propagated in other contexts as the ever expanding and multifariously unfalsifiable realms of *.isms, *.ists and *.phobias etc.

Make no mistake, game and cultural glitterati, a veritable cohort of pseudo-gonzo, self-proclaimed, self-entitled, duplicitous miscreants if there ever were, piping up when formerly busying themselves vociferously disparaging and castigating games, gaming and game culture, only do so now to wrest narrative control back into their hands, away from Trump.

Once that happens they will all be back on track eagerly asserting video games 'cause' whatever they say it does, aggressively attacking and shaming differing opinions, citing highly selective studies and problematic research to prove a irrefutable and unfalsifiable premise or point[6].

Further Reading
- Dear Mr President, video games causing violence is "fake news"
- Violent Video Games & the Dishonest Debate
- Boom Headshot, perpetuating the 'murder-simulator' narrative through bad science.
- Dumb things pop-culture critics say: video games cause violence.
- Digital Self-Harm Among Adolescents, a new phenomena.
- Men harassed online more but like, seriously, it's not about them - Pew 2017.
- Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong.
- Kicking ass and chewing bubblegum.
- Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing.
- Virtual Reality Assault and Developer Responsibilities.
- Normalising/desensitising violence in games. An (initial) study.
- How social context influences violence-aggression relationship.
- Violence against males in games doesn't count... another study that 'proves' it.


Footnotes:
[1] both US and UK legislative and prosecutorial services have made great effort to emphasise the subjective and interpretive nature of an individuals actions, going so far as to state that a victims subjective perception be the determining factor towards a prosecution, largely to emphasise the public's perception of, confidence in, the judiciary, and to the victims mind they are at least being "listened" to if not outright "believed" (the so called "listen and believe" policy strategy/doctrine).

[2] being wholly generous in interpreting the situation it might be possible to claim "confluence of circumstance", i.e. that the antagonistic zeitgeist towards gaming is simply the consequence of coincidence. This would be false assumption for a number of reasons, least of which because; 1) journalists understand the power news reporting has, its ability to influence and make change, fundamental rubrics journalist formally learn; 2) advocates and activists understand narrative control, how its crafting informs perceptions of their cause, which is why more 'progressive' members of these communities engage in "culture-jacking", the hijacking of broader 'cultural' narratives (e.g. memes).

Where activist meets journalist the resultant activist journalist is in an incredibly power position to give disproportionate voice to their personal issues or causes, artificially inflating their prescience, making them 'political' tools to (mis)direct the public's attention and discourse away from issues that matter to the public at large on to those where they become nothing more than unwitting foot-soldiers to a "just and righteous cause".

Journalists and news media outlets know this, so too to politicians, advocacy groups and activists, they all know what narrative control is and how it effects open debate. It's why and how children and minors are pushed in front of news cameras, to sell a point of view instead of providing a picture of events as they transpire/d. It speaks volumes to those who would knowingly, intentionally, deliberately abuse the public's trust in this way, especially when there are no easy remedies or care to correct the record available to those persistently and egregiously wronged in ink.

[3] the comparative justification for violent words and violent acts being the same in the absolute (not 'similar' but 'same'), is predicated on mental harms to the individual then being manifest or expressed by victims in some way physically, an argument that supports the notion individuals can (do) suffer PTSD as a consequence of what are subjectively perceived to be 'acts of violence' towards themselves, especially where the individual is unable or unwilling to take affirmative action to prevent or stop the abuse, for example tweets and other social media content made by parties who otherwise pose no physical threat, the threat or possibility of actual harm is moot in this context, e.g. cf. "Hurtful Words: Association of Exposure to Peer Verbal Abuse With Elevated Psychiatric Symptom Scores and Corpus Callosum Abnormalities".

[4] cf.[4] Boom Headshot, perpetuating the 'murder-simulator' narrative through bad science - "Gerrymandering research is not so much cherry picking but selective filtering, data that supports a predefined conclusion is allowed though the filter even though it may not be fully supportive of the goal, whereas cherry-picking deals exclusive with selective bias. The difference between the two is that the former can give a greater appearance of veracity because conclusions aren't quite so easily refuted. In addition to this, journals giving voice to such 'soft-science' research are notorious for courting controversy for sake of notoriety or interest in their publications, often publishing controversial subjects that may or may not be backed by thorough research and/or exhibit preference towards fashionable political topics of discussion".

[5] Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Meeting with Video Game Industry Leaders - "Today, President Trump and senior members of the Administration met with leaders in the video game industry and experts on violence to discuss violent video game exposure and its impact on our children. To date, the Administration has led many discussions about how to prevent violent behavior in our schools, with a focus on stopping those intent on committing mass murder. During today’s meeting, the group spoke with the President about the effect that violent video games have on our youth, especially young males. The President acknowledged some studies have indicated there is a correlation between video game violence and real violence. The conversation centered on whether violent video games, including games that graphically simulate killing, desensitize our community to violence.  This meeting is part of ongoing discussions with local leaders and Congress on issues concerning school and public safety and protecting America’s youth."

[6] Violence, Media Effects, and Criminology - "Overall, the lack of a consistent finding demonstrating that media exposure causes violent crime may not be particularly surprising given that studies linking media exposure, aggression, and violence suffer from a host of general criticisms. By way of explanation, social theorist David Gauntlett maintained that researchers frequently employ problematic definitions of aggression and violence, questionable methodologies, rely too much on fictional violence, neglect the social meaning of violence, and assume the third-person effect—that is, assume that other, vulnerable people are impacted by media, but “we” are not (Ferguson & Dyck, 2012; Gauntlett, 2001). (emphasis added)"


 

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