UA4 - John Rankin Soc 101.02 UA 4 10/26/05 Johnny Get Your...

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John Rankin Soc 101.02 UA 4 10/26/05 Johnny Get Your Ray Gun: Video Games and Violent Behavior As media evolves we are constantly exposed to new forms of entertainment. The newest and arguably most controversial form of electronic entertainment is video games. Video games have developed along the same curve as the computer industry. Each year store shelves are flooded with the newest and hottest game titles. With each passing year we see more detailed, and in some cases, graphic games. The topic of video game violence has been a hot one among parents, educators, and even politicians. The number one question asked by both researchers and curious readers is, “do video games encourage or produce violent behavior?” The following will be an examination of three articles concerning the statistics of video games and violent behaviors. Article 1: Video Game Violence Isn’t Harmless Fun Date: 11/12/2003 Source: Christian Science Monitor Author: John Hughes Stats Cited: Brad Bushman, a professor at the University of Michigan, conducted a statistical review of 85 different studies of video violence. Mr. Bushman found that 8 to 18 year olds spend more than 40 hours per week using electronic media. A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 30 percent of American children under 6 have played video games.
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Stats Source: No source was listed for any of the presented data except for the study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. None of Mr. Bushman’s 85 sources were listed, cited, or credited in the article. Stat Samples: Besides mentioning that data collected on electronic media use for people between the ages of 8 and 18, no mention is made to the sample of the research. Survey Mechanics: No reference is made to the mechanics of the survey or how the data was collected in any of the mentioned surveys. Sophistication: The data presented by the Christian Science Monitor in the article “Video Game Violence Isn’t Harmless Fun” is not a very sophisticated presentation of scientific evidence or numerical data. In fact, the data grows less relevant to the topic as the article progresses, suggesting very thin connections between video game violence and actual instances of violence in game players. Even the title of the article loses considerable weight given that the article includes no information on game players committing acts of violence. What it does state is that numerous un-named studies suggest correlation between exposure to violent games and aggressive or violent behavior, and thirty percent of children under age six play some kind of video games. This article perpetuates the possibility for not only bad statistics, but misuse of statistics
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UA4 - John Rankin Soc 101.02 UA 4 10/26/05 Johnny Get Your...

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