Mapping the world's opinions

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Do video games cause violence? Show more Show less

For decades, parents, psychologists, and neuroscientists have studied the potential connection between violent video games and the level of real-world violence displayed by the children and young adults who play them, especially those shown on the national stage for criminal activity and mass shootings. A plethora of research and academic study has erupted from this debate, contributing to our growing knowledge of how the brain works when interacting with video games and why further research into the topic is important. So, as we traverse a new world of technological advancement and even more complex immersion into video games, do video games cause violence?

Results are inconclusive Show more Show less

There is simply not enough scientific evidence for one consensus to swing either way.
(1 of 3 Positions) Next >

Research yields inconclusive results

A lack of data to support claims on either side of the debate bars the scientific community from definitively proposing one opinion or the other.
(1 of 1 Argument) Next >

Context

The Argument

Scientific, psychological, and neurological researchers as well as unbiased skeptics regarding this topic have concluded that no definitive evidence has been proven on either side of the argument. They propose that further research needs to be conducted in order to more thoroughly pinpoint any kind of cause and effect relationship between gaming and violence that could emerge from scientific and psychological studies. Results from studies into the idea that video games cause violence neither promote the affirmative nor the negative of the position. Many factors contribute to the lack of proof for the claim - a claim widely circulating around the global media now that video games have reached all-time popularity within the past decade, especially among adolescents and young adults. The American Psychological Association (APA) officially dubbed Internet gaming disorder as a real phenomenon within the gaming community, and they include aggression as one of the side effects of this disorder. However, scientific studies are fundamentally lacking in the linkage between frequent use of violent video games and later aggression, as well as the level of impact and effect a violent video game has versus, say, a violent television show. The search to more clearly define the term "aggression" in relation to gaming and the differing sub-cultural effects seen between separate nations also bar a definitive answer to the question.[1] There is simply not enough evidence to claim that video games do (or do not) cause violence.

Counter arguments

There are plentiful amounts of evidence today to support either claim, because there have been studies clearly observing the behavior of frequent video game users and the effects that games have on the brain. People can base their own opinions on the topic from those scientific conclusions, which can both confirm or deny the idea that video games cause violence. Furthermore, simply because some evidence to back up a claim has not been discovered yet, does not mean there are still some linkages and correlations clearly observed in the field. There are many factors contributing to scientific study, and not all of them have to come from or contribute to an official research-based conclusion. Most people establish their own ideas based on facts, and that is how the debate over video games is still developing today.

Framing

If there is not enough evidence to support a claim because of a plethora of logistical and theoretical obstacles to the scientific community, one cannot back up an research-based opinion one way or the other.

Premises

[P1] If not enough evidence emerges to support a scientific theory, then that theory cannot be backed up with research-based data to support one side or the other. [P2] Due to an array of factors barring scientists from analyzing clinical data, no evidence exists for the affirmative or negative response to the idea that video games cause violence. [P3] Therefore, there is no scientific evidence to suggest video games either do or do not cause violence.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] People can still base their opinions on fact, even if not "enough" data has emerged to clarify some of their questions. [Rejecting P2] Research has been conducted to try and answer this question and the results do, in fact, come out mixed. Opinions are always subjective, especially when results can swing in either direction. [Rejecting P3] One cannot say that results are subjectively inconclusive because of a lack of evidence.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 08:51 UTC