Starting off with a snapshot of Mr. Goldstein to put a picture to his words.
The first thing I noticed about this article was its “encyclopedia like” style and that it is full of a ton of good information and quotes. Goldstein begins the article stating his goal of looking critically at definitions and empirical studies dealing with the video game violence issue. He also lists a few questions that he hoped to answer by the end of the chapter. They are:
What is a violent video game?
How does its violence differ from other media violence, and from real life violence?
How do consumers of video games perceive the violence before them?
Since there is so much information and references in this article, I’ll go through some of the things I found most interesting in each of the sections.
In his first section, Meanings of Violence in Video Games introduces a couple interesting ideas. First he talk about the Third-Person Effects in Media Research, which is the idea that media affects others, but not oneself. This effect has even been seen in older children talking about younger children. We have also seen this effect in a number of media pieces from class. Additionally in this section he proposes the idea that the exaggerated use of violence in video games, film and other media is a product of the American society. This is interesting because I know I’ve heard before that there have been studies where non-Americans watched sessions of American television and after surveys it has been shown that they saw the world as a scarier and meaner world.
Goldstein introduces three research strategies mainly used when studying the effects of violent video games; correlational studies, experiments, and meta –analysis.
First he goes into correlational studies and addresses right away that there is little causal information that can be pulled from these. Any study he mentioned, he quickly said no significant relationship could be concluded.
His experiments section has the more detail and information. I’ll go into a few of them because I think they are interesting. First, the study conducted by Craig Anderson and Karen Dill where they tried to find two video games similar in everything but violence. They chose Wolfenstein 3D and Myst. Even though the experiment found some interesting things, it was criticized because the games, which were supposed to be similar other than violence, were not.
He goes through multiple experiments and for each of them presents their flaws. Even in the meta-analysis, which is when you take the data from many studies and try to find conclusion with all of the data clumped together.
At the end of the article he concluded that, “the research is too inconsistent and insubstantial to allow any conclusion to be drawn.” Overall the article is an excess of information and experiment about video games and violence, but it draws no conclusions.