Researcher Sees “Grand Theft Rationality” in GTA IV Controversy

Texas A&M professor Christopher Ferguson pens an op-ed on the Grand Theft Auto IV controversy for the Eureka Reporter:

Violent video games do not cause violent behavior. There are no good data at all to suggest that they do…. as the consumption of violent video games in our society has skyrocketed, violent crimes, including those among youths, have plummeted… We can be sure that violent video games are not sparking a youth violence epidemic because there is no youth violence epidemic.

 

In my own research, I have found that family violence exposure as a child and the individual’s innate (probably genetic) personality are related to violent criminal behaviors, but that violent video game exposure is not…

 

we need to give the current generation of youths more credit. Today’s youths are healthier in most respects than any other group of youths since the 1960s. Today’s youths are less likely to engage in violent crime, use drugs or alcohol, get pregnant, commit suicide or drop out of school than were youths of previous generations.

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26 comments

  1. 0
    Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The stats may be true but research of this kind is allways based on theories, call me a pessimist but for all we know the decline in violent youth crimes and pregnancies may work in unison with the rising of obesity.

  2. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Unlikely. There was virtually no namecalling, and hardly any sensationalist words used in sentence construction. Either that’s not JT, or he’s been taking writing lessons (*gasp*).
     

  3. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    The story of Jack Thompson:

    Mrs.Thompson: OH MY GOD, I CAN FEEL THE HEAD!

    Mr.Thompson:PUSH BABY PUSH!

    Mrs.JT:HOOOOAH!!!!!

    Mr.JT:Oh. My. God…He’s beautiful…except for those narly jowls. And the fact that he has no thumbs…

    Mrs.JT:Oh it’s fine, I’m sure there will never be any form of entertainment that requires thumbs.

    GRADE SCHOOL

    JT:Teacher, Dennis keeps peddling his mental molestation! And when I tell him to stop he keeps telling me about the paper I wipe my butt on, The Constitution!

    Teacher:What the fuck are you talking about?

    HIGH SCHOOL

    Dennis: Hey Jack, I got this sweet video game, wanna play?

    No….(stares at his thumbless hands)

    Dennis:Well alright then…

    COLLEGE

    JT: Hey Dennis the douche, check out my new thumbs!

    Dennis:Nice. Shall we test them on some fighting games?

    JT:Yes…PREPARE FOR THE VIRTUAL BEATDOWN!!!!!!

    3 SECONDS LATER

    JT: HOW DO I KICK? THIS IS FUCKIN’ BULLSHIT!

    Dennis: Calm down dude, just a game.

    JT: ARRRRGH! (UNPLUGS DENNIS’ CONTROLLER)

    Dennis: Yeah. Real nice.

    JT: EAT IT! HOOAH!

    Dennis: Wow, you suck at this.

    JT:NO I DON’T! YOU TAKE THAT BACK! THAT’S IT! I’LL SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE FUCKING WITH VIDEO GAMES AND THOSE WHO PLAY THEM FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE!!!!!(Dramatic thunder in the background)

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  4. 0
    Ryan t says:

    I go to Texas A&M and have attended a lecture or two by this professor, he does a lot of good work and certainly seems to know what he’s talking about.  I just wish stuff like this would get more press.

  5. 0
    Monolith says:

    Yes

    —Oh sure, when a monkey does it, that’s fine. But whenever I throw barrels at an Italian plumber, then its a hate crime! – Stephen Colbert

  6. 0
    mottom22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sooo… what he is saying is… that jack Thompson’s generation was far more violent, more likely to get pregnant and possibly more unhealthy than ours? interesting…. hmmmmm

  7. 0
    ConstantNeophyte says:

    … most likely in a corner rocking backwards and forwards with his fingers in his ears muttering to himself.

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  8. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Yeah, aren’t it be hillarious!(joke)

     

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

  9. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    "First, violent video games do not cause violent behavior. There are no good data at all to suggest that they do."

    This guy is a psychologist and yet he cannot even parse two parts of a sentence correctly.  People in the media need to learn the rules of proper grammer. In addition, data comes under the singular ‘is’ as it encompasses a body of information, defined as a single whole.

     

    Just saying.  He makes an interesting point in any case.

  10. 0
    Anonymous says:

    ACTUALLY, "data" is a plural noun referring to a collected body of information, and it’s grammatically correct to use the phrase "data are". The singular form of data is "datum", which refers to a single piece of information from a collected body. In this case, the correct phrase is "datum is".

    However, since the English language tends to change over the years from dialects and turns of phrase (which often spit in the face of proper grammar…), it is now also acceptable to use "data" as a singular noun, which is why "data is" has become so common.

  11. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    More ammo.

     

    -GRIZZAM PRIME(c)is property of the U.S. Marine Corp. Wetworks Dept., and also The Incredible Hulk-GRIZZAM PRIME is not to be associated with GRIZZAM 512 or any other GRIZZAM entity under penalty of law, so sayith ZARATHOS.

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