"Are games creating a generation of murderers?" Asks the Daily Mail's latest anti-games headline. 'That's not what I'm claiming', says the man behind the survey it's based on.
Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University decided to conduct a survey to see if video games can make players better at aiming real guns.Now, for anyone who's brandished a Desert Eagle at a Las Vegas shooting range will tell you, the balance, recoil and stance necessary to fire a high power weapon is bugger all like twiddling an analogue stick, let alone waggling a plastic Wii Remote.
But according to the study, which had 151 college students split up and play Resident Evil 4, Wii Play and Super Mario Galaxy (presumably all on Wii), those who waggled a "plastic gun controller" with Resi 4 managed the most headshots on a real life shooting range.
The professor says his research should give parents and policymakers pause for concern over whether games "really are 'harmless fun'".
By the same logic parents should stop their kids from playing Cricket, less they decide to start lobbing handgrenades around with the accuracy of Deadshot from Batman.
The Mail then again makes comparisons between FPS fans and Nowegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, stating that the study proves he honed his shooting skills on Call of Duty.
But the annoying thing about this latest stab at gamers is that the researcher actually comes out and says he's "not claiming that these games necessarily lead people to commit violent crimes," just that the study suggests games "can teach people to shoot more accurately".
Still, the "generation of murderers" headline was better, eh?
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