The lights are on
The fallout between Dr. Carole Lieberman and the gaming community continues to gain steam. The psychiatrist has officially responded to the “Amazon-Bombing” her books received and attempted to clarify any misunderstandings. Additionally, Wired magazine held interviews with Lieberman and an expert on media and violence, and the result suggests that there may be no scientific research linking video games and rape.
In Her Words
Lieberman's press release starts off by explaining how unsettling she finds the faux Amazon reviews for her book, “Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets." “The reviews, laced with explicative, derogatory language and put-downs unrelated to the publication, seem to illustrate that video games do make people more aggressive, indeed,” she said.
She goes on to explain that her quote was taken out of context by Fox News. She insists that an e-mail conversation occurred between her and Fox News writer John Brandon, but was distilled to “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games” when it came to print.
The psychiatrist further explains her logic, saying she “simply pointed out that rape qualifies as a violent or aggressive act, and is, therefore, implied in these studies as resulting from media violence.”
Lieberman further defends her position in an interview with Wired. In it she continually mentions “thousands of studies” that link video games and violence, but only manages to produce one. However, the study makes no mention of correlations between rape and sex scenes in games. “I’ve been doing this research for over 20 years…. It’s all about violence, it all applies to rape,” she told Wired.
“[Lieberman] is extrapolating farther than science actually allows her to,” said Douglas A. Gentile, a professor at Iowa State University and expert in media-violence relationships. “There are no studies [linking video games to rape] that I know of,” he continued.
Wired did some research of its own, and found that according to The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network rape cases have fallen 60% since the early 90s.
In response to these findings, Lieberman said, “statistics do not reflect all the rapes, since many go unreported and others relate to child abductions.” Following her rebuttal, research was requested which displays a recent increase in rape, but according to Wired, Lieberman said “she did not have time.”
Game Informer has requested further comment and explanation from Dr. Carole Lieberman, but when e-mailed we received a message which says the psychiatrist is “processing many emails due to a high interest in [her] work.” We can only assume others are as interested in hearing more from her as we are.
For links to the studies mentioned in this article, please visit the source story at Wired.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.