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

1:00 PM on 05.01.2012 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

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.




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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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