Exclusive: Video Games Violence Prof Slams Daily Mail and Metro for Biased Reporting

"For one thing, we never said that in our paper" says academic

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Exclusive: Video Games Violence Prof Slams Daily Mail and Metro for Biased Reporting
The co-author of a study into the behaviour of computer game players has slammed the Metro and the Daily Mail for their sensationalist, biased and plain wrong reporting on "Games Transfer Phenomena". He revealed to SPOnG today that mainstream journalists twisted the findings to suit a negative story.

Professor Mark Griffiths explained to SPOnG the nature of the original study, which saw a sample of 42 gamers aged between 15 and 21 thinking about performing gaming acts in real life, and said the Metro's report - which suggested gamers could not tell the real world from fantasy - was inaccurate.

"For one thing, we never said that in our paper," the Professor said, "and for a second thing, the findings don't even hint at that. The press release I put out yesterday regarding this study was completely neutral, not one negative thing in there.

"The Metro, they obviously had an agenda - because all [the reporter] said was that he just wanted to know about the negative stuff. I told him that the paper was primarily positive, or at least neutral. He said 'I don't want to know about that, I want to know the negative stuff.' So I just went through what we did, what we found and what we are doing next."

A copy of the study in full has been provided to SPOnG - we've included it in this story so you can take a look at it for yourself. Prof Griffiths added that Nottingham Trent University researchers came across the concept of Games Transfer Phenomena entirely by accident, and that the findings published yesterday only represent something of a preliminary study into the subject.

"Of course 42 gamers is not a representative sample, it says in the paper that it's not and we're actually following that up now on a much larger scale, with participants from all over the world," he said.

"We weren't even looking for this. The honest answer is that we went in doing a study for something completely different. But during the interviews it became apparent that the most interesting thing to report on was this unexpected activity - people that just spontaneously talk about carry-over effects from video games into real life."

The follow-up study, which will be directly focused on investigating Games Transfer Phenomena, will have a sample of over 2000 gamers. The Professor, despite his chagrin, is taking the mainstream spin of yesterday's findings on the chin.

"I've been doing this for 25 years - you learn to take the rough with the smooth. But I stand by the research. That paper has exactly what we said and what we didn't say. The Daily Mail had an advance copy of that paper for about 48 hours, in fact, and the journalist was reading back sections to me. So she knew what was in it, but decided to just write her own story anyway."

The Daily Mail yesterday used the study to support a murder story that was blamed on Rockstar's sandbox series Grand Theft Auto.

The Paper can be found in full here as a PDF.


tyrion 21 Sep 2011 13:56
Is this "Games Transfer Phenomena" related in any way to the "Bleeding Effect" from Assassin's Creed? :-)
PaulRayment 21 Sep 2011 14:46
I was crossing over a bridge once and someone dropped a bottle behind me. It sounded just like a grenade landing on COD - my first thought was "RUN!". Still s**t from the DM and Metro but what do you expect.
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xino 21 Sep 2011 20:06
I read that sh... today.
I didn't even read it all, just read couple of sentence and stopped reading the bulls. I knew Metro were twisting the words and making it sound as if its something concerning. They just wanted a negative story out of it.
DoctorDee 21 Sep 2011 21:14
I used to imagine slotting Tetris pieces into almost every skyline i saw. New York almost baked my noodle. I also used to drive in real life vastly influenced by my driving in Gran Turismo. And then I bought car I had fallen in love with in GT. And yet I can tell real life from Fantasy. It's fantasy when it's printed in the Daily Mail comic.
B 22 Sep 2011 10:51
I like the fact that the BBC were so very obviously trolled when they sought some vox pops for the story.

"Grand Theft Auto 4 came out and I got it for my birthday. I was playing it for about 15 days straight. I came home from school and I would just play it constantly. I went outside one day and I had this sudden urge to punch everyone and steal all their money and cars and stuff. "
Tim Smith 22 Sep 2011 11:26
B wrote:
I like the fact that the BBC were so very obviously trolled

Oooh, you got a link to that at all??


B 22 Sep 2011 12:01
Gamers try to use 'virtual skills' in real world

Bear in mind it's written for Newsbeat's typical audience. The other snippets are pretty sensible, but my sides almost split when I read "Jenny's" story.
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