Research on Gaming Causing Violence Might Be Biased, And Industry Can Prove It
As early as in 2013, german researchers from Kodlenz-Landau University, LMU and Friedrich Schiller University, have claimed that research on gaming is biased.
In the article “Biased Estimation of Violent Video Game Effects on Aggression”? published researchers shared that the problem of social studies of the causal link between the violent video games and aggression is the same as with, for example, with video games and aggression. The design of the studies itself may result in the systematic bias:
“For example, if participants in a media violence study are asked to complete an aggression measure after being exposed to a violent movie, they might correctly guess that the scientists’ hypothesis is that violent movies increase aggression”
As reported in KPMG 2019 report on E-gaming industry, the situation has not changed much in these years in the e-gaming industry as well. In his discussion on gambling industry trends, Dan Waugh from Regulus Partners shared that, for example, “academic research in Britain now almost entirely negative/hostile to industry”.
In order to provide a balanced view and really examine the causal effects, the scientists should not be influenced by “a priori political/ideological beliefs” and study positive effects of such phenomena as gambling in general, but for now the situation is “hostile”, shared Waught:
“Over the last five years, we have seen a shift in the academic research community in this country and other jurisdictions. Gambling research – which used to benefit from balance of disciplines and viewpoints – is not dominated by social researchers and public health advocates. It is also almost uniformly hostile to gambling”
Gambling and gaming industries has long suffered from this biased scientific stance, as much as cannabis stigma stopped the research on potential medical application. Now even psychedelic-based drugs undergo clinical trials.
Some researchers try to bring this stigma too, by conducting research, based on popular games. For example, in 2019 researchers from the University of Tolima shared that their study proves the positive effect of games, like Age of Empires II, on English language vocabulary, ‘breaking the superstition that video games cannot be helpful in EFL contexts”.
As Przybylski, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, and Richard Ryan, a motivational psychologist at the University of Rochester, demonstrated that failure in the game leads to aggressiveness, not the content of the game itself:
“When people feel they have no control over the outcome of a game, that leads to aggression. We saw that in our experiments. If you press someone’s competencies, they’ll become more aggressive, and our effects held up whether the games were violent or not”
Speaking on the situation in e-gaming industry, Lyndsay Wright, the Director of Sustainability from William Hill, shared a point which might be relevant to all industries, being not blessed with initial “ideological” support:
“It won’t make any difference unless the whole industry does it”
It stands for imbedded sustainability measures in industry practices, sustainable advertising, social campaigns, self-regulatory bodies, transparent, and quality based research. In the interview to Future Time, CBD evangelist Yona Levi shared that the CBD industry lobby is one of the strongest on the plant, and this lobby helped ensure more research on positive aspects of CBD, helping the society to overcome the stigma.