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Professor of communication and psychology Brad Bushman says "the problem is that people are looking for a yes-or-no answer...when there is none."
Ohio St. professor of communication and psychology Brad Bushman has weighed in on the ongoing debate regarding the role of violent video games in mass shootings. Writing an editorial on CNN just days after the Washington Navy Yard shooting that left 13 dead, Bushman said there is no simple answer.
"The problem is that people are looking for a yes-or-no answer about the role of video games in violence, when there is none," Bushman said, acknowledging the media reports that suggested the Navy Yard shooter frequently played violent games. "Violent video games alone likely didn't cause [Aaron Alexis] to go on his rampage. But these games aren't harmless, either. Recent reports suggest he may have been mentally ill and had anger control issues. But it isn't hard to believe that video game use may have been a contributing factor."
A study conducted by Bushman and his colleagues found that "typical" college students who played violent games for 20 minutes at a time for three straight days showed higher levels of aggressive behavior every day they played.
"If that's what happens to typical college students, how might someone like Alexis react to playing for 16 straight hours? What if he does this for months or years?" Bushman said.
Bushman pointed out that other researchers have reached similar conclusions, with studies finding violent games not only lead to increased aggressive thoughts, but also decreased helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others.
"The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of what country they lived in," he said.
"In our research, we found that people who played first-person shooting games were more accurate than others when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin--and more likely to aim for and hit the head."
Bushman also acknowledged that Alexis was not the first mass murderer to reportedly be an avid fan of violent games, pointing to the Sandy Hook shooter, among others. In addition, he said not only do first-person shooter games cause players to be more aggressive, but also to be more deadly in real-world shooting scenarios.
"In our research, we found that people who played first-person shooting games were more accurate than others when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin--and more likely to aim for and hit the head," Bushman said. "Police haven't released details of the Navy Yard shootings, but it is possible that Alexis was a more accurate shooter because of the time he spent playing video games. That's an inconvenient fact that you don't often hear defenders of the games talk about."
Bushman also took issue with the argument that video games can't be dangerous because they are played by millions, the vast majority of which never act out in violent ways.
"No doubt, most players don't become violent. That's because they come from good homes, aren't victims of bullying, don't have mental health issues, and don't have many of the other risk factors for violence," Bushman said. "But what about players who already are predisposed to violence? Killers like Aaron Alexis aren't typical. They have a lot going against them, such as mental illness. Violent video games are just one more factor that may be pushing them toward violence."
Overall, Bushman said though it is difficult to control the factors that can lead to violent behavior, controlling violent video games is a simpler task by comparison through government regulation and educational campaigns.
"We can make it more difficult to get access to them. We can strengthen our laws against teens acquiring these games. Parents can keep the games out of their homes and help their children avoid them at friends' houses," he said.
"As a society, we should do all we can to make violent rampages like the one in Washington less likely, even if we can't stop them entirely. Controlling the use of violent video games is one step we can take to help protect our society from violence."
Bushman studies the causes, consequences, and solutions to the issues of human aggression and violence at Ohio State University. Some of his research has challenged several "myths" about human behavior, including violent media having a trivial effect on aggression.
"Ohio St. professor on role of video games in mass shootings" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 06:30:30 -0700
Additional time needed to give the game its "final polish," says developer Wargaming.
World of Warplanes has been delayed to November 15, developer Wargaming has announced.
The free-to-play aerial combat game was originally due to launch next week, but Wargaming says the title needs additional time to get the "final polish" it needs.
"We are committed to releasing a great title and are doing everything to ensure that World of Warplanes gets the final polish we believe the game needs," said global operations director Vlad Belozerov. "The extra time will allow the development team to fine-tune the game balance and make sure that every feature is top-notch before launch."
Users' experience points earned during the open beta will not be reset when the game launches, the company adds. Instead, the total sum of experience earned will be evenly distributed across all of the game's tier I warplane pilots.
Wargaming added that the delay will give World of Warplanes beta participants more time to potentially unlock the game's exclusive beta content. "Looking on the bright side of this circumstance, if you make the most of this time, you're going to be able to rack up even more Tokens to spend on Premium time--active on both your World of Warplanes and World of Tanks accounts. Additionally, you'll be able to ensure that you meet the requisite number of battles to earn an exclusive beta plane!"
Wargaming is also working on World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.
"World of Warplanes delayed until November" was posted by Martin Gaston on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:22:17 -0700
A typical customer purchasing a PlayStation Plus subscription and one launch title will make the PlayStation 4 hardware profitable for Sony.
Sony expects to be able to immediately make up the loss it will incur when selling PlayStation 4 hardware, the company has said to Eurogamer.
Sony Japan executive Masayasu Ito said the loss, as Sony will sell the PlayStation 4 to customers for less than it costs to manufacture, will be recovered with typical users buying a subscription to PlayStation Plus and at least one launch title.
Eurogamer adds that Sony expects to make a $60 loss on each PlayStation 4 sold for $399, but Ito would not confirm the exact figure.
Ito also added that the losses Sony will make from selling PlayStation 4's will be less than the company incurred selling the PlayStation 3 at launch.
In August, Sony executive Andrew House said the PlayStation 4 "will not generate anything like the losses we did for the PlayStation 3."
One of the reasons Sony expects to save money is in its decision to use off-the-shelf computer parts. The PlayStation 4 features an APU developed with AMD, featuring an 8-core 64-bit processor and a custom Radeon GPU.
"Sony expects to immediately recoup PS4 hardware loss" was posted by Martin Gaston on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:20:59 -0700
Capcom-developed fantasy role-playing game to expand Sony's push into the free-to-play market.
Capcom has announced at Tokyo Game Show 2013 that its upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive Deep Down will be free-to-play.
The news comes from a tweet sent out by Sony's president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida. The Sony executive also mentioned that Capcom's fantasy role-playing game is scheduled to arrive as an open beta "near the launch of the PS4 in Japan."
This would mean that Deep Down's open beta will release sometime near February 2014, as Sony announced that its upcoming console will hit stores in Japan some three months after it becomes available in Europe and North America.
Deep Down will feature procedurally generated dungeons and runs on Capcom's new Panta Rhei engine. Earlier this month, producer Yoshinori Ono confirmed that despite the dark fantasy environments, the game will in fact take place in New York circa 2094.
"PlayStation 4 exclusive Deep Down to be free-to-play" was posted by Shaun McInnis on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 20:31:54 -0700
"The Steam universe is expanding in 2014," Portal and Half-Life developer says on new teaser page; first of three announcements coming Monday, September 23.
Portal and Half-Life studio Valve today launched a teaser website with a message that reads, "The Steam universe is expanding in 2014." A countdown clock states the announcement will be made on Monday, September 23.
"Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepad," Valve said. "This year we've been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room."
"Soon, we'll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam."
A Valve representative confirmed that the company will make three announcements next week, the first of which will be on Monday morning.
"We will be talking next week about the steps we're taking to make Steam more accessible on televisions and in the living room," the representative said.
Earlier this week, Valve head Gabe Newell teased a hardware-related announcement for next week, saying, "we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room."
"Valve teasing announcement for Monday" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:46:29 -0700
Rockstar's open-world game reaches milestone faster than any entertainment property in history.
Grand Theft Auto V generated $1 billion in global retail sales in three days, reaching the milestone faster than any entertainment property in history, Take-Two Interactive announced today. The game minted $800 million on launch-day alone.
By comparison, it took Call of Duty: Black Ops II 15 days to reach $1 billion in global sales, while The Avengers took 19 days to reach the milestone.
"Grand Theft Auto is a cultural phenomenon and Rockstar Games continues to redefine what can be achieved in interactive entertainment," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a statement. "We are incredibly proud of the extraordinary critical and commercial response to Grand Theft Auto V.
According to Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, GTAV is likely to be released on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014 to "extend the value of the franchise."
GTAV may have broken global entertainment sales records, but it hasn't won everyone over. The United Kingdom's deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said today that games like Grand Theft Auto can have a "corrosive" effect on player behavior.
"Grand Theft Auto V sales reach $1 billion in three days" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:28:43 -0700