Comment Of The Week

I love it when commenters actually provide more insight into a story than we offer. Like FunkyJ did last week.

The worst thing about this is Craig Anderson’s research doesn’t even conclude the claims they’re spouting!

Nowhere in any of the studies he has done has he claimed that the correllation between videogames and violence is the same as scientists have found between passive smoking and lung cancer.

What he has said is this: (from http://www.youngmedia.org.au/mediachildren/05_07_violence_anderson.htm) The medical research community knew that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer long before the general public came to hold such beliefs… The tobacco industry was quite effective keeping the public confused regarding the true causal effect of tobacco on lung cancer. Among other tactics, they promoted “experts” who claimed that the research was badly done, or was inconsistent, or was largely irrelevant… The media industries have been doing much the same thing, seeking out, promoting, and supporting “experts” willing to bash media violence research…

One big difference between the tobacco industry case and the violent media case is that the main sources of information to the public (e.g., TV news shows, newspapers, magazines) are now largely owned by conglomerates that have a vested interest in denying the validity of any research suggesting that there might be harmful effects of repeated exposure to media violence. The tobacco industry certainly had some influence on the media, because of their advertising revenues, but the violent media industries are essentially a part of the same companies that own and control the news media. Thus, it is likely to be much more difficult for the general public to get an accurate portrayal of the scientific state of knowledge about media violence effects than it was to get an accurate portrayal of the tobacco/lung cancer state of scientific knowledge. Given that it took 30-some years for the public to learn and accept the tobacco/lung cancer findings, it seems unlikely that we’ll soon see a major shift in the public’s understanding of media violence effects.

Which is hardly scientific investigation.

By taking the time and effort to add to our post, FunkyJ becomes the deserved winner of our Comment of the Week award. Well done!

[Comment of the Week]