Are violent video games helping to create terrorist?

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mykcob4's picture
Are violent video games helping to create terrorist?

I watched an MSNBC show where by an analyst stated that many people that are easily recruited in western nations are draw to the horrific violence of ISIS because they play and are culturalized by a certain type of video game.
I wonder if this is true and if so why it is true.

I don't place credibility in the next link because FOX is notorious for push polls and biased reporting.

Most studies I researched say that video games violence doesn't translate to real violence.

Actually one study says that playing violent video games makes you a better person.

Personally I think that most video games are a colossal waste of time and only promote obesity. I'm not sure how the content of the games actually effect people. Does anyone have good research on the subject. I know one thing. As a combat veteran of the military I know that most people have no clue about combat, the logistics, the tactics, or really anything about the real nature and effects of combat.
Recently I was invited to participate with a local chapter of a "guard" unit. It basically amounted to a bunch of middle-aged men playing "Army". They had no clue about anything. Even those of them that claimed to be vets, were not combatants when they were in the service and were relying on TV and movie information in their individual conduct. I am particularly irked by the video game series "HALO".
HALO was a program. It means High Altitude Low Opening. It was thought that a group of commandos (SEALS) could parachute from a very high altitude and land on enemy ships and take control of those vessels. The program was cancelled because it proved to be ineffective.
The video game is in noway even close to what HALO actually means. It actually is more science fiction than anything else. Some of the things in the video are not only unlikely but out right impossible.

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solidzaku's picture

This is pretty good meta-analysis of video game violence. Full and upfront: I am a gamer. I play violent as well as non-violent ones as well, and have a lot of love for games such as Metal Gear that offer violence as an option, but reward nonviolence (or at least nonlethality). The science is in favor of stating that video games do increase antisocial and violent behavior in children, as should be expected from anybody who has even a passing knowledge of Pavlovian behavioral psychology.

To say that video games radicalize or influence people (or children) to become terrorists? Completely ridiculous, and by the merits of the claim. If they're claiming that video games influence behavior, then it should, if anything, promote pro-democratic jingoism as opposed to tyrannical terrorism. There are a few games that depict you in a positive light as a 'freedom fighter' of sorts, but it's almost always against dictatorships and theocracies. I can't think of a single AAA title in history that depicted you as a full-bore Islamist or other political/religious extremist out to actively put down a free people, without it being tongue in cheek, ala Overlord, etc, where the idea was that you were in no uncertain terms the 'bad guy'.

Stu. K.'s picture
First, let me start off by

First, let me start off by saying I did not read any of those links you have said, and haven't done "true" research on this.

However, what I think though is that although I have heard of terrorist groups using Call of Duty to train terrorists, I don't think at all (or close to it) video games are used to to recruit others or to inspire people into the hands on ISIS. My reasoning behind this is because (and this can be wrong), not many people cell phones over there, let alone Xbox's or Playstation's. And, also keep in mind that video games only make very few people violent to the point where they actually do something "bad". Although yes, there might be an exception here, because their religion says to kill. But I think the point still remains that video games don't make people as bad as people think. Me and my friends love going around beating people and stealing cars in games, but we wouldn't even think about it in real life, and a huge chunk of video gamers are exactly this way.

A few other things you'd might like to know that isn't directly related to this, but as a huge video gamer, I feel the need to tell you:
**HALO wasn't ever meant to be realistic and tactical. Neither is Call of Duty, or just about any other war game. It was made to be played for fun and competitively. This is not that good of a comparison.
**Check out videos on the games "Arma 3" and "Project Reality". Although I don't know real military phrases and tactics, people playing these 2 games I think use MUCH more real teamwork and use terms much more correctly. And the community actually has many vets whole play together like real military people. Youtubers such as DevilDogGamer are actual vets and play these games. Look him up.
**As I have stated, I think much fewer people actually become violent from video games to the point where they will actually do something "wrong" than you might think.

So all in all, maybe SLIGHTLY. But so very incredibly slightly.

mykcob4's picture
1) Your opinion and

1) Your opinion and experience is valid.
2) The OP isn't about "recruiting", it's about how players are prone to real violence and seek ways to carry out violence. The links I posted generally disagree that video games contribute directly to real violence.
3) I have no doubt that VETs play the games. I just stated how unrealistic these games are in comparison to actual battle.

chimp3's picture
I have read many articles

I have read many articles citing studies that show violent video games do not make us more violent. Totally subjective , but I can't help but believe they at least desensitize us to violence. I like that old Christian hymn about not studying war no more . We know as a species how to conduct glorious warfare. The art of peace is a mere pamphlet in an library of books on death and destruction. Can anyone even define peace? Defining peace would probably lead to an argument. I have better things to do than to fantasize I am killing hordes of anything.

mykcob4's picture
As someone that is trying to

As someone that is trying to resensitize, I don't think video games CAN desensitize a person. Hearing the blast, feeling the shock, seeing and feeling the touch of real blood spewing, watching the life go out of a person, smelling the rot and stench of death. Video games are purely audio and visual. They cannot obtain the realism of training with a group and seeing some of them blown up before your eyes. Real war attacks your emotions so completely and relentlessly that after awhile your mind develops a way to cope. That is when you are desensitized. The constant fear factor alone is enough to turn your emotions to stone. No matter how hard they try, video games don't project real fear.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
I am/was a hard core gamer

I am/was a hard core gamer myself.

played a lot of bloody games and not once did it influence me to do bad deeds in real life.

it actually gives the opposite effects.

If there is anything positive in doing bad deeds(eg: curiosity, etc...) you can achieve it in a game without the negative aspects.

I think that games can help prevent people from becoming violent because of that reason.

It teaches the pros and cons to children rather than experimenting them in real life and end up ruining their lives.

"Video games are purely audio and visual. They cannot obtain the realism of training with a group and seeing some of them blown up before your eyes. "
Yea, for now you are right they cannot, but in the future, video games will become so real you won't recognize you are in one. Matrix style. :)

Tzeentch & Stu. K.

Welcome fellow gamers :)

Stu. K.
"But I think the point still remains that video games don't make people as bad as people think."
They don't in fact, it makes more informed people.
I learned so much about psychology, morality, team effort, new things from games that i never even considered.
there are some real moral choices that games simply challenge you with(like Fall Out 4) that regardless of how moral you are, you are still left thinking about it.

"Completely ridiculous, and by the merits of the claim."

It is, ridiculous, most games actually depict terrorism as the bad guys.
But what games do is, that they make you more skeptic with their plot twists and curiosity driven objectives.
Even a game which is based on wiping out the whole human race would still deliver you a sense of how deception works and how to achieve it.
In itself it is teaching you how to avoid it when it is done to you.

There is no worst place for a radical then getting it from a game, because if it even tries to force a gamer to 1 forced idea, it is usually considered a bad game and gets scraped.

The fun is in the creativity of the gamer and that is usually at odds with dogmatic ideologies.

I once played Noah's ark game lol
Putting the sheep to sleep(yes horrible game)

It was not liked by players, but there was no radicalization in there, except to make the story more ridiculous if one thinks about it.

The idea of putting ideology in games simply does not work, it does not influence children in that way, they would love the fun aspect of it but ignore the ideology of it.

I played GTA and killed more people then I can count in games, it only made me have fun. Killing people in real life never even crossed my mind because that would not be fun. Apart from that, Games/movies gave me an inkling of how bad the consequences are for such an action.(physically and mentally).
Whoever played an emotional drama game knows what I am talking about.(like Max Payne)

Sir Random's picture
As a heavy gamer my self, I

As a heavy gamer my self, I agree with Jeff on this. I would have said something earlier, but I didn't know how to word it.

chimp3's picture
I am not a gamer nor have I

I am not a gamer nor have I been in real battle so I am speculating only. I also disagree with censorship for games or any form of entertainment.

solidzaku's picture
Chimp, I'd agree, but I had a

Chimp, I'd agree, but I had a friend who used a Steam gift card he'd got from a relative he hated to buy Hatred. I'm willing to suspend my ethics and US Constitution for a split second to see that thing off the market.

Sir Random's picture
What is this "Hatred" you

What is this "Hatred" you speak of. And why exactly is it so horrible?

solidzaku's picture
Honestly, just Youtube

Honestly, just Youtube 'Hatred the game' and it'll describe more eloquently than I can. If you can't do that for whatever reason, Hatred is a game developed in Poland by a group of professional trolls with a little too much budget and free time. You play as a person whose goal is literally to kill as many innocents as possible before dying at the hands of police. It includes graphic execution animations and is the poster child of what every reactionary politician who never even played Tetris thinks gaming is all about. It was so horrific that Unreal (the creators of the gaming engine that Hatred runs on) banned them from including their logo in the opening, and Steam briefly banned it from their store.

The game itself was panned for everything other than its content as the gameplay itself seemed like an afterthought to just making as much of a stench as possible in the public.

Sir Random's picture
Ah. Thank you for the

Ah. Thank you for the explanation and YouTube link, but I think I'll stick with my now reltavely sane seeming GTA5.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture


It is a boring 18+ game, but to ban it because it is killing innocent people is stupid.

Only 18+ people will be playing this which means that you need to remove the idea from your head that a child will be influenced by this game.

Your objective is to create mayhem,which is not appealing but fun for a bit.

But banning it for giving people the chance to see what a psychopath choices are is fuken lame.
It is knowledge and just fun.

Bunch of drama queens.

Here is a gamer's review of the game:

Sir Random's picture
You say all this to a 16 year

You say all this to a 16 year old playing GTA 5 On a regular basis? I am no drama queen., and while you could say GTA and this "hatred" are the same, GTA has a thing call a plot. A storyline. A purpose other than just killing people (although that is included en mass as well)

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
It is a minimum of an 18 year

It is a minimum of an 18 year old.

GTA is 13+

You would be committing a crime if you sell Hatered to a minor of under 18 years of age.

If you give a gun to a kid and he shot somebody, is it the fault of the kid or the gun?

No, it is the fault of the stupid fuken parent that gave him the gun in the first place.

It has a very big red label 18+ for a reason.

It means that after being bored to death killing people in GTA and you finally 18, want to see a more realistic and brutal version of the same thing?

"A storyline."
yes I agree, the game is boring, I personally do not like it at all, but that does not mean it deserves to be banned either.

I can see the fun aspect of surviving a more challenging and realistic police then gta ever offered but that will get boring after a while.

Sir Random's picture
GTA as in Grand Theft Auto.

GTA as in Grand Theft Auto.

Sir Random's picture
And I don't play "hatred" but

And I don't play "hatred" but I do play grand theft auto. I play it frequently. And I don't know were your getting that it's 13+ from.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
GTA is 13+ age restriction

GTA is 18+ age restriction

I was wrong, 13+ is the parents suggested age restriction ironically.

You cannot play it if you are under 18 years.

I know GTA i finished them all :P

Sir Random's picture
There is a loophole In the US

There is a loophole In the US called "having a parent/guardian buy it for you. Needles to say I exploited said loophole ;)

Jeff Vella Leone's picture


Yea the ignorance in some parents is staggering.

Thank goodness for that :P

Sir Random's picture
Jeff, be proper now

Jeff, be proper now (sarcastic hypocrisy XP)

solidzaku's picture
That being said, I remember

That being said, I remember the first M-Rated game I ever played was the original Metal Gear Solid on the PC. My mother had a computer for her schoolwork, but only ever used it as a glorified typewriter, giving me free reign over around 90% of the hard drive. I had a friend who actually owned a Playstation (brand new at the time), and I was through the roof when I saw it on the shelves. Hell, I wish I'd framed the box instead of losing it during a move. There were people being crushed by giant robots, sliced to ribbons by ridiculous robot ninjas, and a game mechanic that had me literally stare at a woman's arse to chase her into a bathroom. Hail Japan.

But when my mom saw me during the 'prison shootout' sequence where you're essentially forced to mow down wave after wave of baddies, she asked me the question that every parent ought to be asking (bear in mind, this was before the ESRB was a known entity). "Hon, you do know this isn't real, right?" I don't remember the sarcastic answer I gave, but of course I did. I was nearly ten years old after all, I knew better than to think that shooting people or choking them to death and snapping their necks was a good thing. It was actually the reason I bought Metal Gear Solid, and have been a fan of the series for more than twenty years running. It rewarded me for nonviolent confrontation, which was something different and enjoyable.

chimp3's picture
For what it is worth : links

For what it is worth : links to a study showing desensitization is a reality. As far as terrorists go , accompanied with idealogical brainwashing the link may be valid.

solidzaku's picture
False. These studies

False. These studies correlate a lack of aversion to violent stimuli. It made no comment on whether or not the subjects were then also more susceptible to adhering to sociopolitical programming. I understand that you weren't saying that video games create terrorists, it just makes terrorists easier to pull the trigger. That being said, it is still false to equate a link between desensitization of violence via popular media and international terrorism. Actually, the question can be answered with a few other questions:

Can you picture the doctrines of (case in point) Islamic fundamentalists like Boko Haram using Western-centric toys to radicalize a youth, especially when the 'fundamental' point of their philosophy is to take what they see and hear literally? If anything, using something like Battlefield or the Call of Duty series would have the brainwashed children turning their AK's on their captors.

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