View Full Version : "Cause" and Effect and Cause (3/20)

March 20th, 2007, 02:29 PM
A study conducted by German researchers examing the effect of racing games "featuring realistic driving environments" claims to support the notion that such games ellicit reckless driving behavior in some people that play them. Further details about the study and how the data was compiled can be found by visiting the article sourced below.

I'll admit it, when I play Burnout, I do imagine hopping into a car and driving really fast. But, when I actually get in my car, I have no desire to drive at breakneck speeds, ignore traffic signs, or smash in to other drivers. The reason is simple: I'm not stupid. I do not lack the capacity to differentiate between a game world and the real world. In all honesty music that I'm listening to in my car has a more direct effect. It doesn't inspire me to take risks, but if I'm not paying attention my foot can get a little heavy when "The Sickness" comes on. But, for that very reason, I make use of this thing in my car called "cruise control".

I guess my point here is to say that I don't disagree with the study, but there are far more causes than just racing games, most of them more dangerous. The way I see it, it's one more example of video games being scapegoated. I've seen more stupid stuff happen on the road because of cell phones than anything else. And, I get the same feeling from driving movies that I do from driving games. Fortunately, most driving movies suck ass. And getting headaches from the terrible acting drowns out any lingering imagery.

Today's Pimpage: Brad is wearing a "War Against Work (http://www.threadless.com/product/617/The_War_Against_Work?streetteam=GU+Comics)" shirt from Threadless.Com (http://www.threadless.com/?streetteam=GU+Comics)

March 20th, 2007, 02:36 PM
I have to agree with you, I think the emphasis should be on SOME people. I believe these to be generally in the minority and for the most part relates to the teenage crowd who by the very nature of being teenagers believe they are invulnerable. This is not to say all teenagers are this way but I believe a large proportion are. The vast majority of these cases should be pointed to peer pressure and inattention due to distractions such as cell phones in the vehicle.

That said, great comic Woody!

March 20th, 2007, 02:38 PM
It used to be the same way with me and "kung-fu" movies. I'd come out of the theater all jazzed up and want to take someone on. Thank God I never did. Now I've grown up some more. Aging does more to weed out the stupid than anything else.

March 20th, 2007, 02:39 PM
"Impact" for me is the key reference here.

Certainly cruising about in my little Ford Focus is nothing like tearing across a track in a tricked out Porsche....

But do I want to take that next turn just a little faster? Yeah. I'm not crazy so it's a controlled desire but you know what?

The desire is there.

Now when I hop out of my Ford Focus from Grand Turismo.... That's pretty darn similar....


Maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to want a little more speed after tearing around a digital track.

I don't think I'm alone out there though.

March 20th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Nice, Woody is a Disturbed fan!

I agree, though. If I've got some good hard rock at deafening levels, I'll drive faster than normal. Games don't effect me like that.

I have been playing Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, & I'm thinking of smacking my annoying neighbors with a bullwhip. Does that mean anything?

March 20th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Honestly, I think playing Gran Turismo in the years right before I became old enough to drive *helped* my driving skill. Or maybe it's just games in general that add to hand eye (and hand foot) coordination, but I know I've evaded several potential wrecks in my years on the road (people darting into your lane with no warning and such) that I wouldn't have if I had been a second slower or less alert.

March 20th, 2007, 02:44 PM
After playing a racing game for a couple of hours and then getting into my car, I tend to be a little heavy with the foot. I catch myself doing this and force myself to slow down. It's just the temporary mind set that I was in. I do notice if I give myself a break between game and driving that I don't do this.

March 20th, 2007, 02:45 PM
I think they may be missing the main contributions as to why people drive reckless.

1. Lack of concentration due to - cell phones, children, other people in the car, or thiinking about is going on with their day.

2. additude before getting behind the wheel - I live in a very tourist motivated state where they take grat pains to be super nice to everyone. Which means they have no place on where to relieve their pent up angers, accept behind the wheel. We are one of the highest states in traffic related insidents.

3. driving under the influence

I tend to get a bit annoyed when studys are conducted and it seems to pigeon whole the gaming comunity and say "gaming is at fault and causes blah...". I am not saying that some people dont take their gaming experience to the wrong level, but to say every gamer is more likely due to is just plain silly. Alot of people play video games so that they can let out any pent up stress, think similar to someone using a punching bag.

Becides us gamers sitting behind our gaming machines is a grat place to be, that way were not on the road adding to the chaos. (sits back and happily plays her favorite MMO)

(please pardon any and all spelling errors)

March 20th, 2007, 02:50 PM
Does that mean that, after all those hours of playing GTA and having that sadistic pleasure of running people over just for fun's sake (even if the roads are clear I tend to prefer using the walkways), I am supposed to be more prone to run people over? And at high speeds to boot because I don't care about how much I smash my car as long as I can put the pedal to the metal?

It's a wonder I've been driving for over three years without ever running anyone over. And respecting the crosswalk more often than most drivers I see out there...

March 20th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Hi everyone.
Long time reader, first time poster.
Love your comics Woody all great stuff.

Well I hate to be cynical on my first post but I think governments should thank the gaming industry. Being that racing games seem to help out with a little thing called Natural Selection (and no im not talking about the game).

Im sorry but if your dumb enough to get in a car and start doing the things you did in Need For Speed or Burnout or any other racing game. I have no pitty for what may happen to you in the end.

In my view its just natural selection doing what it does best. Remember there are no more saber tooth tigers to eat the dumb ppl and the warning labels on products are making it more and more difficult for someone to mistakenly drink a jug of bleach because they thought it was the milk.

I do feel sorry for anyone who may have been a victim or lost someone in an automotive accident at no fault of their own.

Anyway again sorry for the harshness on this.
keep up the great work Woody :)

March 20th, 2007, 03:04 PM
Hmmmm... I can't say I disagree with the findings... On more then one occasion I've caught my foot pressing the gas down a little further with each passing car after playing racing games. But like you said, I'm not being stupid about it. I have no need to cause myself or anyone else harm.

I also don't think it's limited to just "Car" racing games. Any of the racing type games can cause unintentional-gas-peddle-to-the-floorboard driving. My father would play an Indy Car racing game on the Xbox, and his driving changed noticeably when he had played it recently same affect would occur after he played the Star Wars pod racing.

Needless to say, when he got his Rally car Racing for the Xbox, we were all a bit afraid to ride with him...

March 20th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Chicken and the egg syndrome going on. I saw one study that violent people are more likely be attracted to violent games, but the games themselves do not cause violence. Could it be that folks that like to race their cars in rl, like racing games?

Don't get me started on multi-tasking in a vehicle. Sometimes I would love to get some of these folks with implanted cell phones to take a ride on a motorcycle just to see how stupid and deadly their actions are.

March 20th, 2007, 03:12 PM
Its Fruitcake studies like this that give me a chuckle. I love Driving/Flying games & and Sims.. Besides Atari and the average Arcade machine, Driving and Flight games where the first real computer games that hooked me.

And after about 20 years video games, I've only been in one fender bender.

Any "study" that has the term "Experimental Psychology" associated with it falls into the realm of what I have heard referred to as "Nebulous Quasi-Science" .. their not "completelly making it up as they go, but its not really something you can say is fact, or even measure"

March 20th, 2007, 03:19 PM
When I used to play GTA3 I would refuse to drive anywhere. I was honestly afraid that the temptation to street-pizza a pedestrian would be far too great for my fragile little psyche to handle. Also I was afraid to learn how to drive after seeing my performance in any game that involved driving (which usually involved slamming into walls, going way too fast, and slamming into walls, killing everyone aboard). When my parents pestered me about it I simply stated "I've seen how I can drive, it's in the best interest of anyone wishing to remain alive that I not be allowed on the streets in the operation of anything larger than a tri-cycle."

I FULLY believe that driving games affect how I drive. I don't particularly enjoy racing, nor do I play racing games, but if I happen to be playing a game that involves driving (GTA3) I tend to want to apply what I've learned in the video game to real life (Hrm.. I COULD drive on two wheels, tilted to the side, to get passed this traffic....). I never do of course, but the urge is fascinating. In so much as these are the only types of games that influence me in any way outside the game.

But of course now if I ever get into a wreck I can say "Video games made me do it, officer"

Love that line.

March 20th, 2007, 03:20 PM
I think the violent people violent games thing is probably more appropriate. I know I love driving fast and I enjoy racing games, but I don't think that the game effects the way I operate a motor vehicle. Heck I only put one rocket launcher and one sub machine gun on my car after playing twistd metal 2, and I didn't use it more than twice. I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I only used it once.

March 20th, 2007, 03:27 PM
I play a lot of racing games to say the least. I honestly don't know if they do contribute to bad driving. Out of all my gaming buddies, only one other and I play them at all. We also happen to be the two safest drivers out of our group. Maybe we are the exceptions. Aside from one speeding ticket 10 years ago, my record is clean.

This might be like that violent video games make violent behavior sort of thing. Seems to be a similiar arguement.

March 20th, 2007, 03:40 PM
I think it would be extremely scary to see the results of a test where they are studying the effects of 'The Sickness' on one's average driving speed. I know exactly what you are talking about :-)

March 20th, 2007, 03:42 PM
One of the first driving games I played and owned was the original burnout. If anything, I think this has had a positive effect on my driving. I honestly feel as though I'm the only person driving the speed limit... It seems to have become the absolute minimum you should drive! even my dad has said that I drive grandmom-ish... but my grandma usually drives faster. If anything there is that causes more crashes, I think it is the general impatiance that people seem to have on the road. but I do agree that most people's driving can be easily affected by outside sources... just that it is more often music, phones, or simply other drivers.

March 20th, 2007, 03:43 PM
Racing vs. Violent game behavior I think, is kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

You can play a racing game then go drive to your home, or friends and neglect your foot on the pedal pushing 80-85mph in a 65-75mph highway and get away with it, or maybe a speeding ticket if your unlucky.

Under the same line of thought/Research:

You can't play a violent game then have the urge to go to your friends house and blow them away and expect to get away with it, or maybe get a slap on the wrist.

So comparing the finding of the research with that of violent videogames and the same connection, to me, doesn't fall under the same line.

March 20th, 2007, 03:49 PM
I myself have never really been affected by video games as far as my behavior. Now in video games, I may alter my normal life behavior, for example, a friend of mine and I made up a side game for the original Need For Speed called the Joey Lawrence Wreck-A-Thon (don't ask for its origins, unless you really want to know). But anyhow, we would crash our cars and try to score "woah" points to add a little spice to the game. Granted it was nutty, but any aggressive behavior I had, I took it out in games.

But after all, thats what games are, a way to leave reality and do something new and different

March 20th, 2007, 03:51 PM
Whenever I read an article on a "study" done, I can't help but wonder the causality relationship.

I mean, are violent video games why kids are violent? Or does it make more sense to say that violent kids will be drawn to play violent video games? I think the same could be said of aggressive driving. Does it follow that these people were aggressive drivers before they played video games?

In order to fully prove causality, you can't just say "See, that guy drives fast and he plays racing games!" Even if the majority of speeders or reckless drivers play racing games, that doesn't PROVE the games have any effect whatsoever. You have to run a baseline and come to a conclusion over time. You can't just say its "proven" if you have found a link between racing games and reckless driving. The proof comes when you study which way the relationship goes.

March 20th, 2007, 04:05 PM
That's the thing, though, right? It all comes down to choice and how responsible the individual is, not in what inspired them to be an idiot.

For example, everyone knows that the normal reaction to alcohol is lowered inhibitions, and that one manifestation of this is the belief that driving ability is not affected. So when that person gets drunk and gets into a wreck, was it the alcohols fault? Obviously not, because it was a conscious decision to get drunk knowing the possible outcomes, including the possible impairment to judgment that would allow this person to put themselves behind the wheel.

If a person is deemed responsible enough to get their driving license, and therefore to make correct decisions to potentially life threatening situations, then by definition they are mature enough to take responsibility for their own actions. Too many lawyers and parents are too quick to place the blame elsewhere, because poor little Johny couldn't have possibly done this to himself, he was the real victim here!

Well I say, if it wasn't poor little Johny's fault then it was the fault of his parents for not teaching him better. It pretty much has to be one or the other, if not both.

God knows I have been an idiot my fair share and then some, but it was through my own poor choices, not some game or some movie or some beverage or whatever the whine of the day is. Just me, and I took what I had coming to me.

March 20th, 2007, 04:41 PM
I'm thinking they're looking at the situation from the wrong point of view. People who are prone to driving fast/recklessly probably like to play driving games more than people who are slow/cautious drivers.

March 20th, 2007, 04:42 PM
I think there is a differnt view to the study, this is a cart before the horse. I am willing to bet the study of "People who drive recklessly tend to prefer racing games" would be a more apt observence

March 20th, 2007, 04:54 PM
I agree with the natural Selection thing, if people are dumb enough to let a video game control their actions *yes i'm referring to GTA made me do it remarks*, then they should accept the criticism given to them.

I also believe that people might learn better from their mistakes if the warning labels were taken off products... Touch a burning hot plate one time and see if you do it again, and if you do... god help you.

March 20th, 2007, 05:06 PM
I also believe that people might learn better from their mistakes if the warning labels were taken off products... Touch a burning hot plate one time and see if you do it again, and if you do... god help you.

In a perfect world, that would be a nice thing, but with the fact that lawsuits are over the most rediculous things, such as buring yourself with hot coffee, and there not being a warning label on the product, we have to protect the stupid in our society... oh well... unless someone finds out how to genetically remove stupidity from people, I don't see this happening :(

March 20th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Take a look at my quote.

Now... just.. take convicts. They go rob a house, get caught, get thrown in jail. Then after a few months/years. They get out and do it again.

It's kinda like that in my mind. People have have a natural tendency to do stupid things then blame other stupid things for the cause of their own stupidity.

It's just... bah. I don't even know if the lines above made any sense at all.. but either way. I agree with Woody. :P

March 20th, 2007, 05:20 PM
eh, i play those games ... and i can honestly say that they make me drive safer on the road ... when i have an 'urge' to go fast or drive wrecklessly .. i normally start up one of the games and have at it ...

when i get in my car now ... most all the time i am at the speed limit or just below .. in no big rush .. not trying to 'beat the light' or anything ... why? .. because i have already gotten that out of my system ...

March 20th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Ugh, it had to be a german study, just had to..
I didn't read the article, though, so unless I do, I ain't gonna write something about it.
Just one question: What is "cruise control"?
Is it what it sounds like, or just a synonyme for "self-restraint"?
If it's what I think it is, how does it work?

Andara Bledin
March 20th, 2007, 06:34 PM
Cruise Control: A setting in cars that you can activate that will cause the car to "cruise" at the set speed, until it is either de-activated, or you press the brake. It's very useful for long road-trips, but when using it, you need to be aware of the fact that you can become less attentive to the road.

Now, as for this study, it's a good base concept. Unfortunately, it's extremely incomplete and most likely misleading.

Now, to be a decent study, they need to have people playing competitive racing games (both realistic and fantastic), competitive fighting games, competitive puzzle games (eg. head to head tetris), and also non-competitive games. Then they need to also include real-life competitive racing (such as running, or biking) and other real-life competition.

They would need a control group of semi-random individuals. They would need to have each individual participate in each of the different types of recreation and each type should last the same amount of time. Then, after a set 'resting' period, they would engage in the driving simulation. To be fair, each person should experience a different configuration of events during the simulation.

After all of that, then you can compare the figures and come up with something meaninful.

Anything less, and you have partial data that is worse than useless because people will use it to further their agendas.


March 20th, 2007, 07:11 PM
The only noticable effects I've seen of driving race simulations (Grand Prix Legends, rFactor, GTR2) is that
a) my regular driving's improved, especially in bad weather (being at the edge of the traction circle in simulations at 120mph is much like being at the edge of the traction circle in snow at 30mph, heh);
b) I very much understand that traffic is not the same as a closed racing course;
c) there is a strange, persistent urge to travel to Germany for the sole purpose of driving the Nurburgring Nordschiefe.

If you want a scary study, consider the subject of people who watch racing and then drive. I don't want to disparage stock cars, but some of the NASCAR fans (with multiple stickers on their cars) trying to 'draft' at 70mph or do similar dumb things are just nuts :)

March 20th, 2007, 08:09 PM
When it comes down to it , the only difference between a crazy person and a normal one is the voice in your head saying "No." I don't kill hookers and hijack vehicles because of that voice, and because I don't want to. While racing games do get the blood pumping, Ill never do it when driving in real life because Im not an idiot. Thats all there is to it.

March 20th, 2007, 08:37 PM
I've heard about this study and from what I've heard, it seems a little different from the story linked by Woody here.
Ok, right me if I'm wrong but here's what I heard:
The original purpose of the study was not to research different causes for reckless driving, but rather to find wether gaming had any effects on one's real life driving. And from what I've heard they found two thing worth mention:
1. Yes people who play video games "featuring realistic driving environments" did tend to drive a bit more recklessly, how exactly they define that I'm not sure
2. These gamers also tended to be more skilled, better reaction time, more alert etc.
I have to say this might be another case of media companies twsting stories to sell copies I really don't know.
On a lighter note, another great strip, keep 'em coming.

March 20th, 2007, 09:16 PM
There isnt a single game that has "Realistic driving environments", unless realistic is a freakishly ungrounded word here, if any game had truly realistic driving environments, New York stages would be a challenge in finding a parking space and to beat the rush hour traffic not by speed, but by waking up at an ungodly hour.

An applicable reason that could explain the general want to drive faster might be the adrenaline that is left over from your game, personally it takes an arcade racer for me to get speed happy because...well Gran Turismo is mostly about keeping in mind those pesky laws of physics when you make that U-Turn on a non dirt-track, they have a nice large section on it in the manual i beleive.

Another reason might be we just like driving really fast and recklessly, crashing into cars and living to tell the tale, making it virtual makes that last part much more likely, and maybe it carries over a little bit when going for a real drive, in those empty pockets in some people's heads that lack logic and common sense, yeah?

While as previously stated this does link into the direct effect "studies" about violent games/violence and such, we all know that most perfectly sane and logical people dont become mass murderers because of a game, if that where the case we would all have been dead with the release of God of War 2, there has to be a "trigger" within the person for it to happen, this applies to the driving game/recklessness idea as well, the game has to make something "click" to get the desired(undesired) effect, this isnt only real life effects, but emotions as well and a sort of feeling for characters (Popular example being Aeris, everyone who played up to that point probably knows that i am talking about)

We can argue that SOME people who play games are stupid till the cows come home, so lets just pretend we already have x_^

March 20th, 2007, 10:10 PM
Reaching over the obvious to lay fingers on the point, no matter how valid, isn't really a good practice for accurate interpretation.

March 20th, 2007, 10:24 PM
You can prove pretty much anything with statistics. I took a statistics class in college. I had data that 'proved' that there was a higher mortality rate in states with more doctors. What did this prove? That doctors killed people? No. It proved I was picky with what data I used in my study to prove a point.

March 20th, 2007, 10:27 PM
I've been in multiple car wrecks before I could even drive. (Passenger obviously)

The pain and soreness is more than enough to dissuade me from doing that in real life, but I go crazy in games.

I don't find games an issue, but the people who can't multitask need to limit themselves to not driving. Doesn't matter if it's a cell phone, ipod, radio, girlfriend, changing cds, etc. If they can't keep their eyes on the road, they shouldn't be doing it.

March 21st, 2007, 12:42 AM
The problem I find with studies such as these are the fact that they like to bypass the actual cause of what it truly is about these "games" that make people tend to act more aggressively. Sure, they can interveiw 200 people and get all of the same results. They could interveiw every gamer on the planet and get the same result that say playing video games can make you "want" to do this or that, but I have yet to see them get to the root of where these feelings are actually coming from. Playing games, watching movies, wrestling, taking karate, swimming....anything can have the same effect. Its because doing all these things can get your adreniline going. Why people like to blame one thing or another is just plain stupid in my opinion. Its not that it was the games fault that you decided you wanted to replicate what you saw, its the fact that playing the game has gotten your adreniline flowing and you may or may not know how to keep it in check. Just because around 300 people said that they get in the car and drive faster after playing a game means that everyone doesn't know how to control their own emotions. Thats basically like saying that every star in the sky is exactly the same as our sun.

March 21st, 2007, 12:56 AM
I think they should do the study the other way, I think reckless drivers are attracted to racing games.

Example: I have a friend not a huge gamer, but he does play some games religiously, Star Craft and Racing games. HE SUCKS AT DRIVING! Racing game or no, he likes driving cars fast and recklessly, especially when he gets pissed. Even when he knows that the car will fall apart if he hits a pot hole going 50, he still goes 60 down a road that is under construction and has pot hole and man sticking out of the ground every 3 feet. And I'm sure he likes racing games cause of the same thing that makes him a dumb ass on the road.

March 21st, 2007, 02:53 AM
A Canadian Study found Cell phones to be the number 5 reason for "distraction" traffic accidents

Number 1 was car wrecks/ emergency vehichles
and Number 2 was sexy billboards/images

March 21st, 2007, 03:41 AM
This is just one of those researches that I like to take with a shipload of salt.
I find this in the same category as: Smoking causes lungcancer. Then why are there still people who smoked their entire adult life and still (at the age of 85) haven't developed lungcancer? Because: Smoking enlarges the risk on developing lungcancer, it doesn't directly cause it.
I can also state: Breathing causes death. Because every person I knew that died has been breathing his/her entire life.

The problem here is attention-whoring, why bring good news and have 10 people listening, when you can twist it just a little to make it very bad news and have an audience of millions.

March 21st, 2007, 04:29 AM
after reading for a while it is time for me to throw in my two copper pieces.

The country of origin is a bit important here. Germany is currently going through a period where the government is looking to pass laws banning what they have dubbed "murder games". As such game bashing is very much a fashion thing over there.

oh and a note, moste cars in europe do not come with cruise controll, as our roads and driving patterns are not very cruisecontroll-friendly.

March 21st, 2007, 07:27 AM
I played GTA 3 today, i thought it was fun so i stole a car, then i decided to run over few pedestials, i managed to hit 3 grandmothers, 1 black cat and a black person, when i was done driving over the black person i decided to wait for ambulance and then i speeded up over the paramedics and brought my baseball bat and beated them to death, then i stole the ambulance and pretended to be race car driver, narrowly avoiding few crashes but it was soo much fun that i think i'll go back and play more GTA 3 and see what i can do tomorrow!

March 21st, 2007, 08:21 AM
Damn straight Woody, although I'm sure there are people out there, for whom the line blurs and they might carry their virtual driving into the real world, I feel safe in saying we're talking about the small minority here....

On your second point, music can definitely be an influence, though even then I don't find myself on two wheels round corners. Disturbed have made some rocking good tunes for automobile accompanyment - the sickness, sons of thunder, ten thousand fists - those guys are great!

March 21st, 2007, 08:32 AM
All this really proves is that people who like to drive fast also play racing games. Deutschmarks well spent, German government!

March 21st, 2007, 09:17 AM
Wow, what a wonderful survey, I think they just proved people who enjoy racing will enjoy racing games.

March 21st, 2007, 10:37 AM
I would think the study had to focus on that particular effect.

I've seen a large amount of studies that indicate video games increase reaction time and even mitigate the shock in a crisis situation.

I would also like to determine what their definition of reckless is. I've heard of a rally car driver drinking coffee and adjusting the radio while making a turn that almost has the car on two wheels on a closed course. For me that would be reckless, for the race car driver that would be a normal breakfast.

Are they judging reckless from the viewpoint of an 80 year old greyhair on the way back from denny's or from a 26 year old with a rx-8. The reaction times and the ability to handle a driving crisis are going to be different.

Phainein Terra
March 21st, 2007, 10:48 AM
When people see cool things they want to reenact them. Monkey see monkey do. The fact of the matter is people are still responsible for what they do, not the images that they saw in the first place.

Because when we start blaming the things we do on the things we've learned, be it how to use a drawbridge as a jump ramp or how to make a chemical reaction in our lab at school because it can be made into a bomb, we start justifying the censoring of what we learn. And then where does that stop? Humans have a real habit of taking things too far, and there are some things we can't afford to make compromises on.

March 21st, 2007, 11:27 AM
When people see cool things they want to reenact them. Monkey see monkey do. The fact of the matter is people are still responsible for what they do, not the images that they saw in the first place.

Because when we start blaming the things we do on the things we've learned, be it how to use a drawbridge as a jump ramp or how to make a chemical reaction in our lab at school because it can be made into a bomb, we start justifying the censoring of what we learn. And then where does that stop? Humans have a real habit of taking things too far, and there are some things we can't afford to make compromises on.

Agreed, it's just far too easy to blame something else for your own mistakes - just look back at the "GTA made me do it" comic for a fun but cynical take on it. Couple that with the unnerving habit of researchers finding that their research agrees with what the fund-providers say and you have a recipie for disaster.

People should take responsibility for their own actions more. I'd long for a world where people could say "oops, sorry, I made a big mistake, it won't happen again" (and be believed) rather than "it wasn't my fault, the music/TV show/game/aliens made me do it". Then again when you have a sewerfull of shyster lawyers out for the next big paycheck then that's not likely to happen is it :/

March 21st, 2007, 12:02 PM
This really falls under the category of 'there are always stupid people', who in this case will prove such a study true.

March 21st, 2007, 12:30 PM
I'll admit it, when I play Burnout, I do imagine hopping into a car and driving really fast. But, when I actually get in my car, I have no desire to drive at breakneck speeds, ignore traffic signs, or smash in to other drivers

After a few hours of GTA, I do get in the car and wonder why I'm not jumping up on the sidewalk and taking out pedestrians.

I don't do these things, because, as you said, I'm not dumb. But some people are dumb. And they drive. So I can see the correlation in the dumb. Maybe if the report had mentioned how these people scored on other tests such as a measure of IQ.

March 21st, 2007, 12:45 PM
I don't think video games contribute to violence, driving, or people jumping on other peoples heads and dropping down into sewers pipes. I think that people who are prone to violence are more likely to play violent games, people who are prone to speeding and racing are more likely to play racing games, and plumbers are more likely to play Super Mario.

March 21st, 2007, 12:53 PM
I'm thinking they're looking at the situation from the wrong point of view. People who are prone to driving fast/recklessly probably like to play driving games more than people who are slow/cautious drivers.
I think this is another over generalization, actually. I have a 25 year long perfect driving record, and I like to tear up the virtual track on occasion. And when I am done I am able to continue to separate fantasy from reality, and drive safely on real world roads again.

It is a matter of choice and responsibility. If someone makes the choice to drive like an idiot then they need to take the responsibility for their actions, not try to push the blame elsewhere. And the media, lawyers, parents, and whomever else need to recognize this too and not try to burn the proverbial witch at the stake because surely poor little Johny was bewitched.

March 21st, 2007, 01:13 PM
"The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game"
They got there results by using a driving simulating maching... Also known as a LARGE VIDEO GAME?
So if people who played an aggresive racing game also drove aggressive in another driving game it is safe to assume that they are bad drivers.
I'm lost in the logic. I care not what the study says at all. It is like saying if you risk your life to save people in 2 different video games you would do the same in real life. I don't think there is a real connection there.

March 21st, 2007, 01:44 PM
The reason is simple: I'm not stupid.
Yeah but too many people aren't that smart.

I admit I learn a lot of "theory" while playing Gran Turisimo 1 and 2.
But many people think they know how to drive because they are champ in "realistic" racing game...
woot realist my $%&.
you don't feel the G force, you dont feel your car "rolling" when you take a turn and your tire are not enough inflated, you don't have the feeling when you are close to lose the control of the tail of your car,etc... you just see it throught the screen and try to correct with a game-pad in a perfectly controled world.

I guess it's the price having people educated in car tuning and driving by playing "Need for Speed : Underground" and watching "Fast and Furious"

In short it's nothing about game, movie and such. It's all about brainless people.

March 22nd, 2007, 10:35 PM
"The researchers then studied 68 men and found those who played even one racing game took more risks afterward in traffic situations on a computer simulator than those who played another type of game"
They got there results by using a driving simulating machine... Also known as a LARGE VIDEO GAME?
So if people who played an aggressive racing game also drove aggressively in another driving game it is safe to assume that they are bad drivers.
I'm lost in the logic. I care not what the study says at all. It is like saying if you risk your life to save people in 2 different video games you would do the same in real life. I don't think there is a real connection there.

So sure, they tested peoples responses to a video game with a video game. Duh! People react very differently IRL when threat and risk are real, well sane people do, by definition really.
IM(not so)HO most people are too stupid to be driving cars over 50 kph (~30mph). They simply cannot split their attention appropriately between the tasks at hand. Can't site the study, but there was a British one that said that the effect was the same on a driver of talking on mobile, hands free or not and talking to a passenger.
Simply, the License Test is not adequate to someones ability to drive.
Psychotic behavior is Psychotic behavior, not Road Rage, or Shopping Rage or Parking Rage, PSYCHOTIC

March 23rd, 2007, 10:32 AM
I think the issue is one of conditioning, not intent.

For instance, say you stay in your house for a week playing burnout. Many teens do that. Hell, when I was sick, I did that.

When I got in my car, I have to admit, part of me hugged the turns a little tighter at higher speeds slightly. Not because I was thinking ,"YEAH, BURNOUT!!!!", but because I had been used to rocking around Japan at 209 MPH.

I didn't realize was doing it, but when it was happening, I did feel like I'm not driving as safely as I once did.

I think the story holds a lot of weight personally.

Btw, I don't feel I'm stupid. Just was natural. Also, to append to this, I think, because of games like burnout and other fast paced games like shooters, my reflexes and readiness are a lot more than they would be if I didn't play video games. So, if anything, I'm a safer driver.

I think, though, that is also an issue. Suddenly, after playing a week of burnout, Driving felt easier to me and naturally, without thought, if something is too easy/boring, your body/brain can just spice things up on you. Someone may be smart, but that doesn't get them out of being human.

March 23rd, 2007, 12:01 PM
While I understand and appreciate the intent of the studies being discussed, some of the other posters have it dead-on: reactions in a virtual environment - even a realistic one - are not the same as in the real world, and impulses are not the same thing as actions.

I can remember instances of driving after playing long gaming sessions of Carmageddon 2 (one of the best examples for this sort of thing). I can remember feeling the urge to ram another driver who was irritating me off the road. But, you know what? It was an impulse, and never even got close to being an actual act... sort of the same separation between fantasy and desire.

Does it make people drive more aggressively than they might otherwise? Perhaps... but I suspect that it's significantly less dangerous than the myriad other things that people do routinely as it is, such as applying make-up, having arguments over their cell phones, or reading the newspaper...