Friday, February 18, 2011

"Bulletstorm" doctor talks to Ski11z

Recently, M4dski11z spoke to Dr. Carole Lieberman, a media psychiatrist whose comments in a FOX News story - - on violent video games sparked an outrage from gamers worldwide. Lieberman, who recently published for book Bad Girls, accuses gamers of bombing her book reviews on Amazon.

Here's a few questions from the interview with Dr. Lieberman:

Ski11z: During an interview with Fox, you said video games can lead to rape. How so?

Dr. Lieberman: First of all, my quote was taken out of context. I actually wrote quite a bit to the reporter. He took my quotes out of context from one of the paragraphs that I sent him. That original paragraph that I wrote was:

Video games have increasingly, and more brazenly, connected sex and violence in images, actions and words. This has the psychological impact of doubling the excitement, stimulation and incitement to copycat acts. The increase in rapes can be attributed, in large part, to the playing out of such scenes in video games.

He distilled this down to: Carol (sic) Lieberman, a psychologist (sic) and book author, told that sexual situations and acts in video games -- highlighted so well in Bulletstorm -- have led to real-world sexual violence.

My point was that decades of studies have shown that violent media cumulatively desensitizes people to violence and increases their likelihood of committing violent acts, which includes the violent act of rape.

My comments about violent media have long been supported. Six of the nation's top public health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association, issued a joint statement: “The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children. Its effects are measurable and long lasting.”

However, the reaction to my comments by gamers was the "Amazon-bombing" of my latest book, Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.

Though this is a self-help relationship book that has nothing to do with video games, gamers, who had never read the book, nonetheless posted aggressively negative reviews on, only inadvertently proving what I was saying all along. Before my quote was published in, I had only 5-star reviews. Then, overnight, came this negative onslaught. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Ski11z: Bulletstorm, the game you were talking about, has sexual terms throughout the game. However, from my research, the game has shooting, decapitations and the like. Plus, it is a parody of shooter games. Why call this game out?

Dr. Lieberman: As you can see from the above, I was not just talking about Bulletstorm, though I did review the Bulletstorm website and watch the trailer. I was not focusing on Bulletstorm, but rather violent video games in general.

Ski11z: What other video games, in your opinion, motivate rapes?

Dr. Lieberman: Rape is a violent crime. Throughout the past decades, studies have shown that violent media cause people to become desensitized to violence, and more likely to commit violent acts themselves, the more media violence they consume. Video games have been proven to be worse than violent TV shows or movies because the players actively participate as the aggressors in the violent acts, rather than simply passively watching them.

Ski11z: How much contact have you had with rape victims who played video games? Rapists who play video games? What disturbs them (the victims) the most?

Dr. Lieberman: One of the areas of psychiatry that I practice in is Forensic Psychiatry. As an expert witness, I have had considerable contact with rape victims and rapists. Many of the rapists that I have been in contact with admit to playing violent video games and becoming desensitized to sexually aggressive acts like rape.

Ski11z: Often in video games, it takes hours to see the flurry of images that can motivate rape. In movies and songs, the message or scene can be seen (or heard) in a matter of minutes and replayed. Why are video games worst offenders than video games?

Dr. Lieberman: Video games have been proven to be worse than violent TV shows or movies because the players actively participate as the aggressors in the violent acts, rather than simply passively watching them.

Ski11z: What's your experience with gaming?

Dr. Lieberman: I have done clinical research in gaming, observed the behavior of gamers, testified before Congress about media violence (including video games), been the Chair of the National Coalition on TV Violence, given countless media interviews about gaming, and written an essay for Larry King's book Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, about video games, just to mention some of my background.

Ski11z: Organizations around the world are turning to video games to train their personnel. Most of the video games are violent in nature and involve shooting. What's your view on this?

Unfortunately, Dr. Lieberman didn't touch this question with a 10-foot pole.

So, you be the judge on Dr. Lieberman and her comments.

Bulletstorm drops Tuesday at retailers throughout the U.S.

1 comment:

clayton said...

I agree that desynthetization to violence is occurring in our modern times but I don't buy that it is the main cause to increases in violent crimes. There are parts of the world where video games are not played at near the levels of the West and rape and other violent crimes have been increasing. Human Trafficking an awfully woeful violent crime which usually includes sexual slavery is on the rise too and I doubt these traffickers play video games on a regular basis. I wonder what she would think about that.