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Daily Mail: Gamers 'trained' to shoot people in the head

1:00 PM on 05.01.2012 // Jim Sterling

In a new story titled, "Are we creating a generation of murderers?," the panic merchants at the Daily Mail implies that hardcore gamers are "trained" to accurately shoot real firearms. The tabloid call this a "shocking revelation" due to Norwegian murderer Anders Breivik, who claims he trained on games.

Ohio State University professor Brad Bushman carried out a study that claims gamers are 99% more likely to score a headshot on a shooting range and 33% more likely to hit the body of a target. 151 college students were tested, leading Bushman to claim that players are "learning lessons that can be applied in the real world."

Now here's where I get to call bullshit with extreme prejudice. 

Even if these gamers are good on the shooting range, that doesn't apply to real life. Hitting a mannequin is nothing like hitting a moving target, and there are studies that show no link at all between prowess on the range and skill in a real combat situation (if only the Mail read Cracked). Even if games could make you better at hitting a mannequin (still highly debatable), Bush has NO evidence that such skill is applicable in real life. A shooting range is not real. The entire story is, therefore, bunk. 

Ironically, the only people trying to apply their fantasies to real life are the fine journalists of the Mail.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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