"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stupid and Misleading Racial Headline Award Goes to CBS Cleveland

I posted this picture not long after playing Grand Theft Auto V!

Man, the people at CBS Cleveland are idiots...

The headline reads: "Study: Violent Video Games Encourage Racist, Aggressive Attitudes Toward Blacks" which makes it sound like people are running around shooting Blacks in video games and then are encouraged to go out and be racist and aggressive in real life. Because, you know, a video game is all that it takes for normal non-Black people to become violent racists.

But then when you read the story under it, you see the headline as either the result of incompetence bordering on idiocy, or a just another pale attempt to paint violence and racism as something caused by an industry that needs to be federally regulated by the race police.

From CBS Cleveland:

Violent video games encourage negative racial attitudes and thoughts, with white game players displaying stronger implicit and explicit aggressive attitudes toward blacks when they play as black characters.

Well immediately the very first sentence isn't what the headline said, but oh boy is it alarming! I mean a White person plays as a Black character and then immediately displays "implicit and explicit [both mind you!] aggressive attitudes toward blacks." Yup, that's all it takes... a video game!

A new study from researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan finds that white gamers who played as black avatars exhibited more racist sentiments, including connections made between blacks and weapons and photos of black people being linked to words such as “horrible” and “evil.” 
“This is a very troubling finding,” the researchers write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

So, a white person playing a video game of Hearts with a Black avatar suddenly links Black people to words such as "horrible" and "evil." Is that it? Oh wait, no there's more.

“Our research suggests that people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people,” writes a research team led by Grace Yang of the University of Michigan and Brad Bushman of the Ohio State University. “Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent.”

Bwahaha! So this suddenly goes from White people being turned violently racist by video games to "people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people." So really it's kind of a no effin' kidding result. Believe it or not, when the media, in this case in the form of video games, consistently presents Blacks as violent and criminals then non-Blacks (and I wonder argue Blacks as well) get that impression of Blacks as a people. Have these fools never heard of branding? Why are they retreading studies done in advertising?

The whole article is actually pretty amusing to read, as the deeper you get into it, the more it disproves the hypothesis stated in the headline. It's like the exact reverse of the simplest version of a persuasive or argumentative essay. Good job!

The research itself is pretty damn stupid in itself. I won't go into it, but you can read the details at the link to the CBS story above ,or the study itself at the link within the article. Essentially they had White people (I haven't read the study itself, but the article doesn't mention any Black people-- or any other ethnicity at all-- used as control group) play violent/gang-glorifying video games for 20 minutes and then give them a "flash card test" where they apparently associated black people with weapons and white people with cell phones. Amazing test guys...

The most hilarious result though:

Participants were also tested on a seemingly unrelated food preferences test in which they tested hot sauce, and then were asked how much another person would like the spicy food. 
Among players of the violent game, those who used a black avatar gave their “partner” more hot sauce compared to those who used a white avatar [LOL]. The black avatar participants gave the hypothetical food “partner” more than double (115 percent) the amount of chili sauce than participants who played as white avatars [so never ever, ever eat at a Taco Bell after playing video games with a White guy who played as a Black guy. Or at the very least, keep him away from the Taco Sauce and salsa. This has been proven by Science.]. 
The researchers suggested this element of the study was “particularly noteworthy,” because “this increase in aggression occurred over and above any increase in aggression among participants playing the violent game as a white avatar.”

WTF?! So video games causes White people to like hot sauce more after a video game? Or is giving a hypothetical person extra hot sauce considered aggressive behavior? Well, it doesn't really matter, because what's really important is that White people are racist and video games are partially responsible.

This is your media and academia in action folks...

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