Course:LAW423b Video Game Law/Violence Misogyny and Social Issues

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LAW423b
Video Game Law
VideoGameLaw.png
Course Information
Instructor: Jon Festinger
Classroom:
Hours:
Research and Support
Interdisciplinary Research
Legal Research
Using the Wiki
Earning Badges
Wiki Pages


UBC Video Game Law Website
http://videogame.law.ubc.ca
License
CC-BY-NC Button.png


LAW423b
Video Game Law
VideoGameLaw.png
Course Information
Instructor: Jon Festinger
Classroom:
Hours:
Research and Support
Interdisciplinary Research
Legal Research
Using the Wiki
Earning Badges
Wiki Pages


UBC Video Game Law Website
http://videogame.law.ubc.ca
License
CC-BY-NC Button.png

Violence, Misogyny & Social Issues - Ludology Research

  • Effects of Violent video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behaviour: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature - Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman (Iowa State University), http://pss.sagepub.com/content/12/5/353.full.pdf+html

Ludology Research - Brief Synopsis

Video Games Do Affect Social Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Violent and Prosocial Video Game Play - Tobias Greitemeyer and Dirk O. Mügge, http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/01/22/0146167213520459.full.pdf+html

This article sets out a meta-analytical test of the idea that depending on their content, video games do affect social outcomes. Data from 98 independent studies with 36,965 participants revealed that for both violent video games and prosocial video games, there was a significant association with social outcomes. Whereas violent video games increase aggression and aggression-related variables and decrease prosocial outcomes, prosocial video games have the opposite effects. Furthermore the authors noted that recent findings suggest that cooperative play in violent video games (as opposed to playing alone) counteracts the negative effects of violent video game play. The effects of violent video game play on aggression might be attenuated by playing the game cooperatively. Also, it is noteworthy that most violent video games have some pro-social content (e.g. killing enemies to save the world)

This paper provides a more nuanced view on the effects of playing video games. There are both risks and opportunities to be gained from playing video games depending on its characteristics (violent or pro-social).

The Effect of Video Game Competition and Violence on Aggressive Behavior: Which Characteristic Has the Greatest Influence? - Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby, https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/vio-1-4-259.pdf

This study set out to isolate the effect of video game violence and competitiveness on aggressive behavior, it used two separate studies to do so. In study 1, a violent and nonviolent game were matched on competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action, and the effect of each game on aggressive behaviour was then compared. In study 2, competitiveness was isolated by matching games on difficulty, and pace of action, and systematically controlling for violence.

They found that video game violence was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior compared with a nonviolent video game, and that more competitive games produce greater levels of aggressive behavior, irrespective of the amount of violence in the games. It appears that competition, not violence, may be the video game characteristic that has the greatest influence on aggressive behavior.

Violence, Misogyny & Social Issues - Legal Research

Legal Research - Brief Synopsis

Thinking of the Children: The Failure of Violent Video Game Laws (Gregory Kenyota), http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1410&context=iplj

Legislators have been enacting laws to restrict the sales of violent video games to minors but they have been often struck down by courts for violating the First Amendment. The writer explored the First Amendment issues that legislators face when enacting statutes regulating the sales of violent video games to minors.

The writer then discusses that self-regulation is the only acceptable solution to mitigating the parental concerns to violent video games. The efficacy of the ESRB was also commended, and the writer suggested that the ESRB rating system is the best solution to prevent exposure of violent video games to children without governmental regulation. For example, Manhunt 2 by Rockstar was rated Adults Only, and the various game platforms refused to stock the game. Rockstar had no choice but to put on hold its release date. After modifying it, the game received an M rating. and was successfully released. This provides a solid example of how the video game industry is able to regulate itself.


"Mortal Kombat": Illinois Violent Video games Law Versus First Amendment (Brendan J. Dolan), http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/clrj26&div=6&start_page=75&collection=journals&set_as_cursor=0&men_tab=srchresults

Discusses Illinois Violent Video Games Law and how it will be deemed unconstitutional due to vagueness and lack of proof concerning a causal connection between violent video game use and increased violent behavior in minors. Suggests legislators should turn their efforts instead to addressing actually proven causes of youth violence, such as bullying, social class, lack of parental supervision, and poverty. Regulating violence in video games should be left to industry self-regulation and parental supervision.

Report

Video Game Violence

Psychological research is thus far inconclusive but recent studies suggest it is competition in games, not violence, that may increase aggressive behaviour.

Studies Finding Violent Video Games Do Cause Aggression

Meta-Analysis of the Scientific Literature By Anderson and Bushman of Iowa State University found that exposure to violent video games in children and young adults will increase aggressive behavior and its related markers. Analyses also reveal that violent video games increases physiological arousal, aggression-related thoughts/feelings and decreases prosocial behavior.

Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Violent and Prosocial Video Game Play by Greitemeyer and Mügge found that violent video games increase aggression and aggression-related variables and decrease prosocial outcomes and that prosocial video games have the opposite effects. Cooperative play in violent video games can counteract the negative effects of violent video game play. There are both risks and opportunities to be gained from playing video games depending on its characteristics (violent or pro-social).

Studies Finding Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Aggression

Meta-analytic Review by Christopher J. Ferguson of Stetson University Florida argues that there is no causal link and that “during the era in which video games became both much more popular and more graphic: violent crimes, including among youth, went steadily down cross-nationally, not up”. He argues that the research has been flawed and that conclusive links remain elusive.

The Effect of Video Game Competition and Violence on Aggressive Behavior was a study conducted by Adachi and Willoughby which isolated the effect of video game violence and competitiveness on aggressive behavior. They found that video game violence alone did not raise aggressive behaviour and that more competitive games produce greater levels of aggressive behavior, regardless of the amount of violence in the games.

Current State of the Law

Legislation passed in the US has been found unconstitutional for violating Freedom of Speech. In Canada violence in video games has been left up to industry self-regulation.

Issue: Industry self-regulation vs. Governmental regulation

America: Brown: Constitutional (1st Am) Freedom of Speech issues (1) Insufficiency of research - no compelling Government interest (2) Drafting (vague definitions, not narrowly tailored to objective) i.e. overinclusive or underinclusive, as well as not employing the least restrictive means (3) First Amendment protection equally applicable to minors (4) Extension of obscenity exception rejected - strict scrutiny standard applied (5) Interactivity

Canada: Open question Arguable - R v Sharpe SCC upheld constitutionality of ban on possession of child pornography reasoned risk of harm to children is a “pressing and substantial goal” justifying intrusion on free expression stumbling block: rational connection? But note: distinction between obscenity and violence


LAW423b
Video Game Law
VideoGameLaw.png
Course Information
Instructor: Jon Festinger
Classroom:
Hours:
Research and Support
Interdisciplinary Research
Legal Research
Using the Wiki
Earning Badges
Wiki Pages


UBC Video Game Law Website
http://videogame.law.ubc.ca
License
CC-BY-NC Button.png

Violence, Misogyny & Social Issues - Law Reform

Your task is to:

  • Provide a synopsis to the class of the current state of the law and Ludological research.
  • Collaboratively define and describe how the law could change in the future
  • Create a Pro & Con list re changes to the law
  • Write a recommendation for Law Reform/Change