Skip to content


Dodgy computer games studies

Science: A lab rat writes up a report on his participation in two psychology studies on ‘Video Game Violence’ and ‘Violence In the Media.’

Sadly, it seems clear that the video-game violence study will return biased results due to flawed test conditions.

Of the three games played, the most violent — a first-person shooter — was modified, either through incompetence or deliberate tweaking, to use frustrating control settings and a high level of difficulty; whereas the least violent — a sim game — was set up with all the defaults and automatic help enabled.

In my experience, frustration, in any task, has a direct correlation with anger levels. So a frustrating game, violent or not, will probably give more aggressive responses in a violence measurement — hence the FPS game above will almost definitely be cited as ‘inciting violent emotions’.

Bad scientists! No doctorate!

PS: hmm, I wonder if the paper will document the exact configuration
of the games?

Linux: Happy birthday, KDE! I love it. Most recent discovery: the excellent support for printing in KDE 3.1 using the kprinter GUI.