carl ceder NYT video games

Carl David Ceder Discussion on Video Games

Carl David Ceder and I had our lunch discussion around this NYT article

We had similar thoughtsand supporting points, and what we came up with was a very fair and well-balanced view, in my humble opinion.

Carl David Ceder’s thoughts:

Violent video games at the very least increase aggression and desensitize its players to real-life violence. Carl said that he doesn’t know that they necessarily ‘teach’ violence, but they certainly don’t help by giving a sort of release or outlet as was claimed by a video game company’s CEO. It seems that anger breeds anger and that virtual violence encourages actual violence. Studies show the more a person would engulf himself/herself in the violent fantasy world of the video game, the more he/she would view the world around as violent and hostile and the more heightened his/her aggressive feelings and behaviors would be. While there are biological and psychological influences on aggressive behavior, the studies cited in our text also offer evidence that those who play violent video tend to be more hostile and physically aggressive (social-cultural influences).

In support of Carl, I shared:

I read the online results of an interesting study performed by psychologists at Iowa State University ( on violence desensitization from video games. The study monitored the emotional response and heart rate of participants who played either violent or nonviolent video games and then were shown a 10-minute video of actual violence from TV programs and films. The results of the study showed that those who play violent video games “’get used to’ all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it.” Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson (who, incidentally is also mentioned in Module 58_ concluded:   “In short, the modern entertainment media landscape could accurately be described as an effective systematic violence desensitization tool.” I couldn’t agree with him more! Whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art—or a vicious cycle of the two, it seems that video games are getting increasingly violent and graphic and the violence in the world is increasing as well.

Our conclusion to the argument can be summed up in one word: Columbine.

To read more of my thoughts and reflections after my daily lunch with Carl David Ceder, check out this post, or this post, or this post.  And please note, that my Car David Ceder, is not to be confused with this Carl David Ceder  Small world, isn’t it?  🙂


4 thoughts on “Carl David Ceder Discussion on Video Games

  1. Prof.mcstevie

    Played violent games all my life and am still a calm and gentle person when I can be, yet if any time I have been aggressive it was not a particularly violent game I was playing, rather that my stress release and hobby was being interfered with by a bad connection.


    1. dynaeinternational Post author

      Thanks for the feedback! You certainly aren’t alone in your views. (My brother would agree with you 100%; in fact, if I didn’t know better, I would think you were him with how you worded your comment lol). My friend Carl works with at risk youth and has unfortunately witnessed more violence/effects of violence in his line of work that anyone ever should. The conversation referred to in my post was prompted by the video game “Hatred” which we both think is beyond ridiculous (if you haven’t heard of it, you can read about it here: I can’t tell how old you are, but Carl and I are both kids of the late 80s/early 90s and in those days Mortal Kombat was pushing the line. I remember when our parents were getting worked up over the “finish him” bit at the end of each round thinking that they were old and out of touch and that it wasn’t a big deal because it was just a game. I don’t think I’m necessarily that old or out of touch now, but a game like Hatred where the player is on a simple killing spree (and can go into a school to continue the shooting) and then takes his/her life at the end–I don’t see how that is remotely acceptable/not going to desensitize the player and glorify the kill. At least with the games that we frequently played there was a ‘nobler’ reason for the violence–rescue Princess Peach, foiling Eggman’s plans of world domination; though, those are far from violent video games and certainly nothing compared to Hatred.
      Would love to hear your thoughts on Hatred and games with that sort of violence.


      1. Prof.mcstevie

        20 year old male, been playing for around 15 years of all types, pleasure to meet you.

        I do honestly think Hatred is the concoction of poor judgement and excessive aggression, something like a teenagers angsty idea of video gaming. I for one will welcome the game in open arms if only to show them that this sort of mindless hateful dribble is not only bad taste for gamers, but just uninteresting and almost insulting.


      2. dynaeinternational Post author

        Great points! And after reading a few of your blog posts (very well-written, btw), I can appreciate your authority as a gamer the the weight of your words “uninteresting and almost insulting” Keep up the good work and thanks for giving Carl & I another perspective (and likely our topic for Monday lunch discussion).


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