I'm not really the Fox News type, so when I saw this article: Psychiatrist Fails to Support Bulletstorm Rape Accusations
I was a little surprised, because I just saw my husband play through the Bulletstorm Demo, and I didn't make any correlation between the game and rape.
So I did a google search, and turned up another article on Kotaku's website
about the incident; as well as the Wired.com interview
mentioned in the article from Game Informer's blogs.
A couple things in the Kotaku article caught my eye:
Reporters typically trim quotes for space, flow or emphasis; Dr. Lieberman’s full quote about sexual violence and games to Fox News 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.”
Maybe the whole quote was taken out of context or, maybe just the part Fox News used. If it is the latter, it doesn't make Dr. Liberman look any better. And if it's the former, I'd like to know the context of the quote. I'm also curious about where this increase in rapes is occurring; as I believe that nationally, in the US statistics show a decline. Granted that is a decline in reported cases, which could just mean that on the whole women who are raped are reporting the incidents less, but that itself doesn't mean that rape crimes are increasing.
And so, games do cause rape?
“I would have to dig into the things I have in hard copy or search the Internet,” she said, “But rape [pause] there have been sexual crimes and the video games have become more sexual …”
Kotaku was putting Lieberman on the spot. We called her and she answered. So even though she’d been getting criticized by gamers over e-mail for a couple of days, she didn’t have her notes handy. She did, however, wind her way into an articulation of her concern about the changing nature of video games. “They’ve become more sexual,” she said. “And, according to Freud, our impulses… we’re born with natural drives toward aggression and sex. The aggression drive is normally socialized, when we grow up, to become ambition. The sexual drive, as we grow up, is connected to love, if we grow up in a healthy way.
“The irony is here are people trying to say video games don’t cause people to be violent, but the ones I’ve read are very violent. They’re out of control.”
I can see why she'd cite Freud, his work fits her theory. But Freud's work has been widely discredited given the majority of his base of clients (wealthy women) and the time period (Europe's Victorian Era) which had a very sexually repressed culture; obviously this would skew his research somewhat, particularly as it applies to development over the course of a lifetime.
I'm also curious about the video games she's "read." Especially since one usually doesn't read video games. Is she reading about them, reading the descriptions on the game packaging or reading the actual scripts for the games. Depending on what she's reading, a video game is going to sound worse than it is, or have certain features played up more than others.
Also the Wired.com article actually talks to someone who's done research in the field of violent video games
“I don’t know where [Lieberman] would get any evidence for this opinion,” said Iowa State University professor Douglas A. Gentile, who studies the relationship between media and violence. “There’s really very little to substantiate her claims in research literature.”
Gentile has been researching violence in media since 1999. He has written books and studies about the psychological effects of videogames. When asked by Wired.com in a phone interview, he said very few mainstream games contain any real sexual content. Explicit old games like Leisure Suit Larry and Custer’s Revenge, Gentile pointed out, are hard to find on store shelves nowadays.
I can't think of one game that you can buy off the shelf with a combination of violent blood-spattering gore, and explicit sex, though I can think of a few that can be modded to do so; but modding is done usually by the gaming community; not video game companies.
Something else caught my eye; Liberman's response Wired's research into rape statistics
Despite Lieberman’s allegation that there has been an increase in rape, the number of forcible rape cases in the United States has decreased since the early ’90s, according to FBI statistics. Additionally, anti–sexual-assault organization The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network says rape cases have decreased by 60 percent since 1993.
When shown these figures, Lieberman said the “statistics do not reflect all the rapes, since many go unreported and others relate to child abductions.” When asked for statistics showing an increase of rape in recent years, Lieberman said she did not have time to pull them up.
I can understand that statistics wouldn't reflect all the rapes, because not every rape is reported. What I don't get is what child abductions has to do with it. Yeah, it doesn't relate to what she wants rape statistics for, but to hear he say that, initially it almost seems like if an abducted child is raped it isn't really an instance of rape, but one of child abduction, which seems really absurd to me.