All posts by BOOM

ビデオゲームの不思議な暴力性、パート2a : 「暴力的攻撃性と競争的攻撃性の間の薄い線」

The Thin Red Line Between

編集者のメモ

20世紀の終わりにかけて、世界中の医学研究者と行動学者は、映画やテレビのようないわゆる「暴力的なメディア」と暴力を描いたビデオゲームなどの類似性に注目していた。BOOM Saladのインタビューに快く時間を割いてくれた多くの方々とその他支援してくれた方々にとっての目的はひとつで、社会の最も弱い立場にある者、子供や若者を守ることである。そのためにもBOOM Saladはこれらの科学者や、なぜ、そしていかにビデオゲームが影響するのか、なぜ私たちに快楽を与えるのか、そしてビデオゲームが一般的に社会に与える必然的な影響を追求してきた人々の努力に感謝し、敬意を示す。

過去数ヶ月の間、BOOM Saladは、ウィスコンシン医科大学の議長、放射線科のヴィンセントP.マシューズ博士、ウィスコンシン医科大学画像科学研究部門准教授ヤングワング博士、オハイオ州立大学通信論と心理学教授ブラッド・ブッシュマン博士を含む、行動とビデオゲームの関係についての研究における先駆者と言われる何人かの研究者にインタビューをした。その研究の議題は、暴力的なビデオゲームは暴力的メディアのジャンル(「暴力的なメディア」の臨床定義を参照)であるという仮定に基づくものであった。このように、従来の研究では、長時間による暴力的なビデオゲームは認識、感情、そして覚醒の攻撃性の上昇を引き起こす可能性が高いことを示した。この原点より、研究者が過去60年間にわたり常に一貫して高暴力的なメディア露出(VME)と攻撃的傾向と攻撃的行動との因果関係が立証されている医療研究の信頼性に頼ることが可能であった。

先代の研究者や今世代の研究者同様、我々が話を聞いた人達は、それらの研究結果の信頼性を確立するうえで十分な財政支援のある世界トップクラスの研究者である。それゆえに、彼らの研究結果の信憑性を疑うことは誤りであり無駄なことである。ただそれは我々が彼らの研究結果に同意しているという訳ではなく、全く正反対で、彼らの研究結果に同意しない正当な理由が我々にはあるのである。

以下、パート2aと2bの「ビデオゲームの不思議な暴力性」では、BOOM Saladはなぜ、どのようにしてこのようなゲームは私たちの行動に影響を与えるのか対立仮説を立てつつ、反暴力的ビデオゲーム論証の核となる理論の根本的な誤りを立証していく。我々の目標は、インタビューした医師達と同様、グローバル社会において一層増え続けるビデオゲームへの関心の根底にある、認識と行動の背景を一掃することである。何が人にゲームをさせるのかを理解することによって、ゲームが人と行動に与える影響を見つけ出すことができる。

いつもながら、我々の努力を楽しんでいただき、それについて考えていただくことが我々の主な目的である。- BOOM。

人がどのように感じているのかをどうやって判断するのか? 一つの方法は、表情(図1参照)を観察することだ。うれしそう、それとも悲しそう? 笑っている、それとも不機嫌な顔をしている?

Figure 1: Violent Video Game Exposure.
図1:攻撃的な顔?

もう一つの方法は、彼らの声に耳を傾け、声の表情を分析する方法。うれしそうな声か、怒っている声か? 喜び、それとも攻撃的な言葉を使っているか? このような手がかりを通じて、人間は感情や周りの人の行動を「予測」する。

しかし、たとえ視覚と聴覚のデータ全てがあっても、人がどのように感じているのか100%の確信を持つことはありえない。なぜか? 感情は「動的に変化」する「観察不能な状態」であるから[1]。 つまり、感情は直接見えないもの、その人の心理を観察し、どのように感じているかを理解することはできない。それに加え、感情はすぐに変化する。

例えば、映画やテレビなどの視覚メディアを見るとき、番組が進むにつれて異なる感情を感じることは珍しいことではない。2時間の間に一時的に恐怖を感じ、その後に希望や安心、そしておそらく最後には幸せや高揚感を得るかもしれない。エンターテインメント業界は、視覚的にも感情的にも視聴者の関心を引き込んで、購買意欲(テレビや映画を見たり、ゲームを買いたくする)を掻き立てている。

このように、ある人が特定の時点においてどのように感じているのかを判断する際に、私たちにできることは、その人の行動や癖の観察と解釈である。ほとんどの場合、誰かの現在の感情の状態を正確に評価するのにはこれで十分であるが、「観察不能」なものを判断するには限界があるのため、実際の感情を誤って判断してしまう。

これらの観察結果の信頼性を高めるために、医学研究者および行動学者は、多くの理論モデルを開発した。これらのうち最も重要なものの一つは、「強化学習モデル(reinforcement learning model(RL))」として知られている[2]。強化学習モデルは、いわゆる「報酬に基づいた行動」の理解に有効である。

強化学習モデルによると、報酬は、報酬を得るために人が自律的に行動や行動パラダイムを変化させる、いわゆる「オペラント条件付け」につながる動機を引き起こす。例えば子供に数学のテストで良い成績と引き換えに報酬を約束する(図2参照)。この報酬を達成するために、子供は勉強の時間を増やしたり慎重に宿題に取り組んだりと自発的に行動を変化させる。報酬が与えられると、これらの行動変化は、行動アルゴリズムの一部として、後に与えられた環境の中でどう行動するか決定するのに使われる。

ビデオゲームの不思議な暴力性、パート2b、「ビデオゲームのメタ」

The META of Video Gaming.

ビデオゲームのいわゆる「メタ」とは何か、なぜそれが文化と脳の運動としてビデオゲームに重要なのか?ここで言う「脳の運動」とは、日常生活をうまくこなすために、人の認知機能を必要とする、ルールと報酬ベースの出来事としてのゲーム体験を意味する。この意味では、行動する上で認知機能を必要とするすべてのゲームの種類とジャンルに当てはまるメタの概念を広げることが可能だ。同様に、ビデオゲームのメタは、すべてのゲームのメタの派生物であるとある程度自信を持って言うことができる。

しかし、我々の言うメタとはどういう意味なのか?そして、それが「競争力の高い」脳の運動としてどのようにゲームに関係しているのか?

ビデオゲームの「メタ」の理論は新しいものではないが、脳の知識構造としてその始まりと維持に新たに多くの注目が置かれたと思われる。これらのメタは行動スクリプト(特定の与えられた環境に対しての行動パターン)形成へのインプットとして働く[1]。

「チェス」またはバレーボールのような競技に参加する人のように、彼らはゲームの主目的を達成するために、変化し続ける戦略を反映する知識構造を成長させる[2]。ここで言う「戦略」とは、ゲーム環境でのプレイヤーのさまざまな機能と同様に、ゲーム構造の適応学習も含まれる。そして絶えず変化する戦術的要素によって影響、認識される。

この定義のもとでは、「フラワー(Flower)」などのビデオゲームのメタは、各マップを完成させるのに必要な変化する戦略や作戦と同様のものと考えることができる(下のビデオを参照)。

繰り返しプレイすることにより、ゲームのメタへの情報提供と書換の末、プレイヤーは試行錯誤を経てより上達する。 したがって、メタ効率は、パフォーマンス能力に類似している。言い換えれば、プレイヤーがより上手にゲームの主目的を達成すればするほど、そのパフォーマンスに基づいたメタが効率的になる。このように、パフォーマンス能力とメタ効率は、繰り返しプレイすることやそのゲームの経験に直接関連している。

Figure 1: META of "Flower."
図1:「フラワー(Flower)」のメタ

 

The Uncanny Violence of Video Games, PART IIa: “The Thin Red Line Between Violent- and Competitive-Aggression.”

The Thin Red Line Between

Editor’s Note.

Towards the end of the twentieth century, medical researchers and behaviorists all over the world were looking at the similarities between so-called, “violent media,” such as film and TV, and video games that depicted violence in their gameplay. For many, and certainly all of those who generously gave their time to BOOM Salad in interviews, and other assistance, their motives were simple, protect those who are amongst the most vulnerable in society: children and young people. For this reason, BOOM Salad acknowledges and honors the efforts of these women and men of science, and others who have sought to shine a light on why and how video games affect those that play them, why they make us go “BOOM!” as it were, and the corollary effect of video gaming on society in general.

Over the past few months, BOOM Salad has interviewed several researchers considered to be amongst the first to study the relationship between behavior and video games, including Dr. Vincent P. Matthews, Chair of Radiology, Medical College of Wisconsin; Dr. Yang Wang, Associate Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, Division of Imaging Sciences; and Dr. Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication and Psychology, Ohio State University. The premise of their investigations was based on the assumption that violent-video games are a genre of violent media (see the clinical definition of “violent media” below). As such, previous research suggested that high exposure to violent-video games would likely cause increased aggression in cognition, affect, and arousal. From this starting point, researchers were able to rely on the confidence of medical studies conducted over the past 60 years that have consistently demonstrated the causal relationship between high Violent Media Exposure (VME) and aggressive bias and behavior.

Like their predecessors and contemporaries, the individuals we spoke with were world-class researchers with sufficient funding to establish the credibility of their results. Thus, to challenge the veracity of their findings would be misguided and unfruitful. That is not to say that we agree with their conclusions, quite the contrary, we do not, and for what we believe to be good reasons.

In the following, Part IIa and IIb of the Uncanny Violence of Video Games, BOOM Salad will demonstrate a fundamental error in the theory at the heart of the anti-violent video game argument, while at the same time offering an alternative hypothesis as to how and why these games affect our behavior. Our goal, much like that of the doctors we interviewed, is to root out the cognitive and behavioral context that underlies the ever-increasing fascination with video games in global society. Only by understanding what compels individuals to play the games, can we better determine how it is affecting them and their behavior.

As always, it is our Primary Objective that you will enjoy and be challenged by our efforts. – BOOM.

Figure 1: Violent Video Game Exposure.
Figure 1: The face of aggression?

How do we determine how someone is feeling? One way, is by examining his or her expression (see Figure 1). Do they look happy, or sad? Are they smiling, or are they frowning?

Another way is through listening to their voice and analyzing their vocal expressions. Do they sound happy or angry? Are they saying words that would indicate happiness or aggression? Through these and other clues, humans “predict” the feelings and actions of those around them.

But even with the availability of all this visual and auditory data, we can never be 100% sure how someone is feeling. Why? Because emotions are “unobservable states” that “dynamically change”[1]. In other words, emotions cannot be viewed directly, we cannot see into a person’s psychology and understand, as they do, how they are feeling. Moreover, emotions can change in an instant.

For example, when we consume visual media, like film and TV, it is not unusual to feel different emotions as the program progresses. At one moment we are fearful, and then another, hopeful or relieved, and perhaps even at the end, we might feel happy or euphoric, all within the span of two hours. The Entertainment industry relies on this powerful ability to visually and emotionally engage its viewers, as a form of incentive to pay for its products.

Given this, the best we can do in assessing how one is feeling at a particular moment in time, is in observing and interpreting her or his behavior and mannerisms. Most of the time, this is sufficient to accurately assess someone’s current emotional state, but because of our own limitations to perceive the “unobservable,” we make mistakes resulting in a misinterpretation of a person’s actual feelings.

To increase the reliability of these observations, medical researchers and behaviorists have developed a number of theoretical models. One of the most important of these is known as the “reinforcement learning model (RL)”[2]. The RL provides a useful methodology to understanding so-called, “rewards-based behaviors.”

According to the RL, rewards provide an incentive that leads to what is known as, “operant conditioning,” in which a person will voluntarily change her or his behavior and behavior paradigm to receive a reward . For example, a child is promised a reward if she or he does well on a math test (see Figure 2). To attain this reward, the child voluntarily changes her or his behavior by studying more or paying more attention to homework assignments. When the reward is received, these changes in behavior become part of the behavioral algorithm used by the child to determine her or his actions in a given environment.

The Uncanny Violence of Video Games, Part IIb, “The META of Video Gaming.”

The META of Video Gaming.What is the so-called “META” of video gaming, and why is it important to video gaming as a culture and cognitive exercise? By “cognitive exercise” I mean the experience of gaming as a rule- and rewards-based event that requires one’s cognitive functions to perform successfully and routinely. In this context, it is possible extrapolate the consideration of META to apply to all forms and genres of gaming that rely on cognitive function for performance. Likewise, it can be said with some confidence that the META of video gaming is derivative of the META of all gaming.

But what do we mean by META? And how is it related to gaming as a “competitive” cognitive exercise?

The theory of a “Meta” for video gaming is not new but perhaps, newly discovered, in that more attention is being paid to its creation and maintenance as a cognitive knowledge structure. These act as inputs to the formulation of behavior scripts that define an individual’s actions and reactions given a specific environment[1].

As one participates in a competitive activity, such as “chess”, or volleyball, they develop a knowledge structure that reflects her or his continuously evolving strategy to achieve the game’s Primary Objective[2]. Here, the word “strategy” includes the adaptive learning of the game’s mechanics, as well as, the player’s various functions within the gaming environment. Moreover, it is influenced and recognizable by its constantly changing, tactical expressions.

Given this definition, the META of video games such as “Flower” can be equated to the evolving strategies and tactics necessary to complete each map (see Video below).

With repetition, a player becomes more proficient through trial and error, thereby informing and rewriting her or his META for the game. META efficiency, therefore, is analogous to performance proficiency. In other words, the more proficiently a player performs in the attainment of the game’s Primary Objective, the more efficient the META upon which the performance is based. In this way, performance proficiency and META efficiency are directly tied to repeated play and exposure to the game.

Figure 1 is a visual representation of the creation and maintenance of the META for the video game, “Flower.”

Figure 1: META of "Flower."
Figure 1: META of “Flower.”

FuzzeePickle: Fiera…Feroz…y una Mujer Sin Compleja de Culpabilidad!

"That Pickle has HAIR!"
Figura 1: Señorita FuzzeePickle, “Ese pepinillo tiene pelo!”

Durante la última década, la comunidad de videojugadores ha sido testigo de mucho más de la evolución rápida (algunos la llamaría “la revolución”) de sus plataformas y del contenido del videojuego; ha observado también el aumento constante del número de mujeres jugadores de los juegos que tradicionalmente se han visto como masculinos, tal como First-Person-Shooter (FPS).

Según el ESRB, las mujeres comprenden 40% del número total de los videojugadores en los EE.UU. (haga click aquí para más información). De ellas surgen un número creciente de CHINGONAS CRUELES y FEROCES, como la que entrevistamos para la EDICION #2 de BOOM Salad, que se conoce con el nombre de FuzzeePickle (FP; véase Figura 1). Desde esa entrevista, el BOOM ha recibido un gran número de solicitudes para escuchar más de Pickle y estamos completamente de acuerdo. (La entrevista que sigue se grabó exclusivamente para la Edición #3 de BOOM Salad. Favor notar que muchas de las Figuras de abajo están vinculadas a los contenidos de video).

BOOM: “Buenas noches, Fuzzee, ¿qué hay de nuevo?”

FP: “No mucho.”

BOOM: “Primero, permítame decirte, “bienvenida de nuevo al BOOM,” nos entusiasma escuchar lo que tienes que decir.”

FP: “Bueno, les agradezco por invitarme.”

BOOM: “Bueno, Fuzzee, comenzamos con unas pocas preguntas fáciles. ¿Está bien?”

FP: “Sí, claro.”

BOOM: “¿Muy bien, hace cuánto tiempo has sido jugadora de video?”

FP: “He jugado los videojuegos desde pequeña, como de cuatro años de edad. Mi hermano y yo siempre jugábamos el Sega Genesis. Siempre jugábamos el Sonic the Hedgehog… (véase Figura 2)”

Figura 2: Sonic the Hedgehog
Figura 2: Sonic the Hedgehog

BOOM: “¡Ah, qué bien!”

FP: “Sí (Se ríe), después de eso, no jugaba los videojuegos por mucho tiempo. Luego volví a jugar, empezando con X-BOX, y eventualmente empecé a jugar el PS3.”

BOOM: “¿Bueno, cuántos años tenías cuando empezaste a jugar de nuevo?”

FP: “Como 12, 13, quizás.”

BOOM: “¿Qué es lo que te hizo volver a jugar?”

FP: “Efectivamente fue Battlefield: Bad Company. Luego mi hermano se interesó en Call of Duty (COD), así yo empecé a jugar eso y desde allí seguí jugando.”

BOOM: “¿Jugabas algo de FPS cuando eras más jóven?”

FP: “Sí, jugaba Golden Eye 007 con mi hermano todos los días. (véase Figura 3)”

BOOM: “Así que aún desde tu juventud, eras aficionada a los que llamemos “videojuegos violentos” como el FPS. ¿Qué te atrajo de ellos?”

FP: “Creo que es el hecho de que cada vez que se juega, el escenario es distinto. Cuando juegas una y otra vez vas a morir en diferentes momentos y también haces cosas diferentes. Siempre es distinto, así se entusiasma a ver qué pasará.”

The UNCANNY Violence of Video Games, Part I: “GAM, VME, and the Acronyms of Aggression.”

Figure 1: Violent Video Game Exposure.
Figure 1: Violent Video Game Exposure.

For nearly 20 years, medical researchers, psychologists, and behaviorists, throughout the world have sought to determine if there is a link between the development of aggressive behavior and repeated exposure to violent video games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty (see Figure 1). Using research from previous studies on the effects of Violent Media Exposure (VME) on cognitive behavior as the basis of their hypotheses, these well-intentioned medical experts have demonstrated, time and again, that playing violent video games has a residual effect on the brain and the mechanisms responsible for aggressive and violent thoughts and actions. Their conclusions are similar to the one expressed in the article, EFFECTS OF VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES ON AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, AGGRESSIVE COGNITION, AGGRESSIVE AFFECT, PHYSIOLOGICAL AROUSAL, AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature (2001), which states:

” A…review of the video-game research literature reveals that violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults [italics ours]. Experimental and nonexperimental studies with males and females in laboratory and field settings support this conclusion. Analyses also reveal that exposure to violent video games increases physiological arousal and aggression-related thoughts and feelings. Playing violent video games also decreases pro-social behavior.”

Thus, the consensus of many in the medical research community is that violent video games are harmful to those who play them, and represent a potential threat to public safety when the effects of repeated exposure elicit a violent response.

And yet, in numerous conversations and interviews conducted by BOOM Salad with several long-term, violent video gamers, those who have played violent video games consistently for 10 years or more, we found, without exception, that, contrary to increasing aggression and violent tendencies, these games were seen as providing an almost therapeutic effect upon the player by helping to reduce the anxieties and stresses of daily life.

A clear discrepancy is, therefore, evident between the conclusions of medical research and the experiences of those who routinely play these games. In this, the first of a three-part series on the relationship between aggressive and violent behavior and repeated exposure to violent video games, the BOOM takes a deeper look at the research and inferences that are at the heart of the anti-violent video game argument, beginning with an examination of what is known as the General Aggression Model (GAM, see Figure 2).

Figure 2: The General Aggression Model (GAM)
Figure 2: The General Aggression Model (GAM)

‘Death Dealing From Above’: The DdFA sits down with BOOM Salad to chat about puppies, kittens, and blowing-up virtual people with C4.

The KING lives!
The KING.

Amongst the hundreds of clan names listed in the leaderboards of both Battlelog and BF4Stats, there are few who can strike fear in the hearts of their adversary like the DdFA. The following interview with their leader, KING-DYLAN666 (KD), and members Hard-J (HJ), and FuzzeePickle (FP), was recorded this past May, exclusively for BOOM Salad.

BOOM: Greetings and welcome to the first of our BOOM Salad interviews, where every month, we will feature a player or clan that we feel is important to gaming and the gaming community as a whole. Our first interviewees hail all the way from the Great Northwest of Canada.

Their leader, who goes by the enigmatic tag KING-DYLAN666, is ranked in the top 1% in 13 of the 22 categories listed on the website BF4Stats, and in the top 5% in all categories (see Part I of “The Panopticon in My Bedroom” for more info on the KING). On Battlelog, he is currently at the top of the list in total number of Kills and Time Played, and ranks second in total ScoreIn fact, in all of the leaderboards, he ranks high in Division 1.

BF4Stats Profile of KING-DYLAN666.
BF4Stats Profile of KING-DYLAN666.

BOOM: KING, it is an honor and a privilege to have you as our premier guest, how are you doing?

KD: Yeah, I’m pretty good. How are you tonight?

BOOM: Great KING, thank you. Also with us are the KING’s second in command, Hard-J, how are you sir?

HJ: Hello, I’m good, how are you doin?

BOOM: I’m doing well thank you. Last but not least we have one of the female members of DdFA, the talented and equally dominating FuzzeePickle, is it ok if I call you “FUZZEE”?

FP: “Yeah, that’s fine. Everybody does.”

BOOM: Excellent. Thank you FUZZEE, welcome to all of you, and a big welcome to all of our readers.

Continue reading ‘Death Dealing From Above’: The DdFA sits down with BOOM Salad to chat about puppies, kittens, and blowing-up virtual people with C4.