Backbytes: Computer games make you kinder, claims ridiculous research

By Backbytes
14 Jul 2014 View Comments

According to research - which is tabloid-code for having completely misunderstood some nonsense in a fancy "journal" - playing violent computers games could actually make people kinder.

That's according to Dr Matthew Grizzard, an assistant professor in the University of Buffalo's Department of Communications.

Further reading

"Rather than leading players to become less moral," Grizzard said, "This research suggests that violent video gameplay may actually lead to increased moral sensitivity. This may, as it does in real life, provoke players to engage in voluntary behaviour that benefits others."

Really? Grizzard claims that when asked to commit "immoral acts" in computer games, such as causing harm to characters or acting disloyally, participants reported feeling guilty afterwards.

It begs the question, though, whether Grizzard has actually spent much time gaming online, or ever played an online game like Dayz.

Different reviewers, on Steam, have variously written of it:

"I found a nude man in a hospital. He handcuffed me and punched me to death while performing some sort of satanic ritual. 11/10."

"A Nigerian man came running out of the forest, he told me I was the chosen one and gave me all his gear. I shot him. 10/10."

"Handcuffed and stripped naked while being fed bananas as the bandits chanted 'potassium... Potassium... POTASSIUM'. 11/10."

"Broke my legs running away from a zombie in a barn and crawled for 20 minutes to the nearest town, where someone proceeded to eat an enormous amount of cereal in front of me before beating me to death with a hammer. 10/10"

Or, one of the best:

"I played this game with a friend. I had a can of spaghetti and he had a can of tuna, but we both had nothing to open them with. We spent approximately one-and-a-half hours searching for anything to open it with. In the end, we gave up and both committed suicide by jumping off a building rather than succumb to hunger. We both respawned right next to a can opener. 10/10"


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