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'Games cause rape' psychologist says even more dumb crap

2:00 PM on 02.11.2011 // Jim Sterling

Ignorant psychologist Carole Lieberman has quickly made a name for herself among gamers after claiming that games like Bulletstorm can be blamed for increasing sexual assault cases. Fortunately, she has decided to come forth and qualify her statements ... by saying even more backwards shite

"My statements were taken out of context and made to sound more inflammatory than they were meant," she stated. "Nonetheless, I stand behind my view that media violence, and particularly videogame violence is harmful. Thousands of studies have shown that the more violent media a person consumes, the more desensitized to violence and the more aggressive they become.

"When this violence is sexualized it is even more stimulating. And rape is a violent crime. Furthermore, research has shown that, not only do people become more aggressive in a general sense, but they also act out copycat violence in response to behaviors seen in movies, TV shows, and video games."

Lieberman, in trying to contextualize her statements, has only made herself look like a liar. There's not even one thousand studies backing up her claims, let alone several thousand, and those studies that do exist are questionable at best. Just read Grand Theft Childhood for examples of the kind of crap she's talking about.

Lieberman also described her background, but again, she did nothing to really justify her claims. 

"Since the article didn't describe my background, it made it seem as though I was simply making a flippant remark," she argued. "Actually, I have  been a researcher in media violence for over twenty years and, as such, have testified before Congress several times, been the head of the National Coalition on TV Violence, and have stopped the 'Schwarzenegger rocket' (a NASA rocket that had planned to have an ad for Last Action Hero on its exterior). I was also invited to contribute an essay to Larry King's book Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, about video game violence."

Admittedly, that's a lot of years researching the stuff, but if she's been doing it for such a long time, she should know that there are just as many studies arguing against her claims as there are ones backing her up. She'd have heard about the Byron Report, which says that no conclusive videogame violence test exists, and in the case of children, such a test would be impossible, ethically. In declaring her years of research, she has only betrayed her ignorance and prejudice in favor of the weak studies that back her up. 

Finally, she addressed the negative reviews of her book on Amazon, saying that they "prove" her claims that games make people aggressive. Because, of course, it is the fault of videogames that people decided to give her a taste of her own ignorant medicine. 

"I have received an onslaught of abusive emails, phone calls, and angry comments from gamers to the point of harassment… What has been most disturbing is the Amazon-bombing that gamers have done, regarding a book that has nothing whatsoever to do with video games. I wrote Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets in an effort to help men and women find the love they deserve. The so-called reviews have served to prove that video games do make people more aggressive, indeed."

I can play that game, too:

The so-called reviews have served to prove that FOX news articles do make people more aggressive, indeed. 

It's just that fucking easy to back up your ludicrous opinions with vague correlation. Which is how those "thousands" of studies are made, indeed.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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