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3. Negative effects accumulate over time Dec 31, 2012, 13:25 jdreyer
This is a completely valid course of research, and since the research is so nascent, I'm sure there are things to be discovered. When you do anything daily for years there are effects (both good and bad). If I play basketball daily for years, I'll be very fit (benefit) but have a much higher chance of having knee problems (harm) compared to non-players.

The frustrating thing is that this is a mere three day study, yet the author immediately compares violent video games to the damage cigarettes do over years. Let's do a years-long longitudinal study and see what long term effects there are if you're going to claim long term effects like that. Blue's article is a bit sparse, so here's one that has a more detailed description and more quotes from the author.

It's also (surprise!) completely ridiculous and inappropriate comparison. First, cigarettes have a physical negative effect on the body. They introduce poisons which affect the body and chemicals which cause a physical addiction. Games introduce no physical substances to the body. While they can cause dependency, that's very different from a physical addiction.

The study results in a nutshell: if you spend three days solving problems (gaming) in a violent and aggressive way, immediately after that your solution to open-ended problems is more aggressive. I don't think that's surprising, and I'd hardly consider it dangerous (they were blasting people with noise). But the author stops there, when so many other questions beckon. What happens a week later? How long lasting is the effect? How does this translate to real-world events? Are there any statistical research tracking long term game use and criminal violations?

The author seems to have an agenda, and that's too bad. His earlier work attempts to link mass shootings with video game playing, something for which no correlation exists over dozens of studies. In fact, the correlation goes the other way: as video game playing has increased among the general population (especially among youth) over the past two decades, violent crimes across the board have come down statistically.

The author: “We would know more if we could test players for longer periods of time, but that isn’t practical or ethical.” Actually, for the kinds of things you're claiming, a long-term longitudinal study is exactly what is needed. Longitudinal studies are expensive, but I hardly see them as unethical. They're done all the time in fact. And you might not even need to track a group of players over time. The data might already be out there just waiting to be collected, since most people know how long they've been playing and what kind of games they've played, it would be simple to collect, correct, and analyze.

Unless your goal was simply to make blanket statements and attempt to back them up with a study that has no correlation to those statements.
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