Category: wonderin

How long is enough?

Two recent stories have caused me to consider how long is enough?

1 – “Three years after a sex scandal involving Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian, Fortress Press is bringing his book Jesus + Nothing = Everything back to print.

2 One of Nicola Sturgeon’s new ministers has lost her job before even being confirmed by Parliament over blog posts deemed “offensive and inappropriate”. Gillian Martin, named as a junior education minister on Wednesday, wrote about “hairy knuckled, lipstick-wearing transgender laydees” in a 2007 post.

The forgiveness being given in one story after 3 years contradicts the outcry to the second story. I am not involved with their situation so it is easy for me to forgive, or conversely it is easy to condemn their past action and hold their views as stationary. But I find myself thinking…
How long is long enough to hold people to account?
Can people really change?
Are Christians more likely to give forgiveness?
Is forgiveness given to easily within the Christian community?

Apologies requires two parts, the first person to say “I am sorry” the second person to say “I accept”.
Being the first person to apologise is tough. I do not like that I am human and this means I am changeable and fallible (often). Life changes. I have changed. But I am constantly here. I am not a journey, as that implies my views are always changing and if I do not change then I am not journeying. I am here and have experienced life as best I can. I wondered what I would do in each situation, would I apologise and mean the apology.

It also needs the other, the second person. The other includes whoever was directly affected by these actions. The politician was talking about others in her blog, and the Bookman convinced others that what he was doing was correct. You cannot apologise if you do not know what you are apologising for. Perhaps an apology will make things ok with who they were wronging. Perhaps this represents an acknowledgement that what they did was wrong and a commitment to do the future differently. I don’t know an apology would demonstrate a changed belief, at a basic level by not having affairs or not writing blogs they would demonstrate a change. It is challenging to forgive but it is what I am called to do.

So how long is enough? What do people have to do to be forgiven? Perhaps the third person the in the situation needs thought about. The third person is wider society. We ask both people to hold office (in church and in parliament), we then hold both to an additional standard of behaviour. Where there is abuse of power or the possibility of this behaviour we say “NO” to appointment. We judge the situation and the person as we see fit. We are comfortable with the operation of a public court system where people are tried publicly, although the public most times were not offended against. But the legal system is not as important as social media and the court of public opinion. The both are guilty. Apologies may have been said, but still I judge them. I am uncomfortable with the three years in case one, as I do not think it is long enough. I am also uncomfortable with 11-year-old blogs being used as an example of the politicians views. But this doesn’t tell me anything about the people; it doesn’t tell me whether they have changed, or whether they have unrepentant carried on. I judge them based on the worst part of their existence that we know about. I was criticising Donald Trump recently, when an American youth worker told his story of asking the Trump organisation for help to make a good night for a group of young people. He was asked to Trump tower in New York and surprisingly, ended up meeting with Donald Trump. Come the night and the Trump organisation really did a great job in making the night awesome, going above and beyond for the young people. While I am not a supporter of President Trumps policies or presidential reign, neither was the American youth worker, I am aware that the picture is more complex than I see. Humans act as humans, frustratingly inconsistent.

Is the quality of Youth Ministry generally going down dramatically? 10 questions for Mike Pilvatchi.

Soul Survivor promo

So recently the world of youth ministry, (well the readers of youth work magazine) were rocked by the following bit of an interview with Mike Pilvatchi in the magazine. In answer to the question “What shifts have you noticed among youth workers over the last 25 years?” Mr Pilvatchi who is the leader of Soul Survivor, Watford, and the Soul Survivor week long bible festival summer events, answered…

Generally, the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically. I love the Anglican Church but lots of our best youth leaders are now getting ordained and I begged the Archbishop – I went and saw him, and asked: “Please could you establish a diaconate for youth leaders?” We’ve just got to raise the profile of that, otherwise it’s like you do youth work for three years until you’ve practiced with the little people and then you do the proper ministry. We’ve got to break that.

Honestly, loads of youth leaders don’t even know what they believe. And they’re petrified of looking at certain issues – especially sex and sexuality. The numbers of youth leaders after we did a series of talks on sex and relationships who said: “Thank you for doing that because we can’t talk about it”. Really? I asked this years’ Soul61s, which is our discipleship year – there are 25 of them and they’re the ones that raised £6,000 each to spend ten months with us so they’re pretty committed – I asked them back in January: “How many of you have never talked about sex and sexuality in your youth group?” Half put their hands up. Half!

Mr Pilvatchi goes on to lament the lack of bible teaching in the early days of Soul Survivior, wishing they had less funny stories, and more bible stories. Concluding with the observation that the church now has a biblically illiterate generation. You can read the interview here. The sense I get is this is a big questions on the end of a promo interview for a book, I am not sure Mr Pilvatchi had time to consider his answers as if this was the subject of the interview. But I think this is an observation which needs to be considered seriously. I wonder if this is true for Scotland, and specifically for the Church of Scotland.

So as I have been involved in youth ministry for 25 years this year (I know I don’t look old enough!), and as this is National Youth Work week 2016,  I thought it would be good to consider this issue a bit more. th achieve this consideration I am writing 3 blog posts on the topic. This is post one entitled – 10 questions for Mike Pilvatchi.

10 questions for Mike Pilvatchi (a series of questions to try and tease out a bit more of what this is all about.)
1 – What is the point of youth ministry?
Looking at the answers in the interview, I am guessing you consider the point of youth ministry is primarily christian education i.e. to teach bible stories and principles to young people. But I think I need to check that assumption with you.

2 – Why do workers move on from youth ministry to ordination?
What are the issues that being a youth worker poses, that becoming a full time Rev. answers? What is stopping quality people from working in youth ministry long term? Have you seen where this is an instinctive move from youth work to work with all people within a congregation, and as such can viewed as an extension of an existing ministry rather than a change from a lesser ministry to proper ministry? What does it mean for a worker who hasn’t been ordained after 25 years?

3 – Would a diaconate solution solve these issues?
Within the Church of Scotland, the diaconate is a small and little known ministry of the church (unless you are a keen observer of such things). Would appointing youth ministry professionals to this ministry status really answer the issues raised by question 2?

4- What needs to be put in place to support and improve youth ministry as a whole?
Not all youth ministry exists within the anglican church, or christian education so while the Diaconate solution may work in that context, the issue raised needs a bigger structural response. With Oasis College in London recently stopping new entries to under & post degree level courses, what new structures are needed to support youth ministry generally?

5 – If the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically, was it always high or is this a regression to the normal level?
I wasn’t around in the 50’s or 60’s, but I have read some of the literature of the time, I am curious to know if you think the youth ministry of the 60’s was better than the youth ministry of 80’s, and if they were both better than youth ministry in the 00’s, this would establish if this is a steady decline or if the identified decline is an unexpected drop off.

6 – How do you judge quality?
You seem be talking about the quality of person available, (as a youth worker still working within youth ministry for 25 years, I already have a healthy view of my own limited skill set!), then later you lament the practices of the current workers in talking about sex with teenagers or doing bible teaching. I am unclear if you are talking about people or practices primarily, (although I realise they are inherently linked).

7 – What data are you measuring this criteria against?
How do you judge if something is better now than it was a while ago, usually you would look for an evidence base of some sort, so I am also interested to consider what evidence or data sources you would point to when making this judgement about worker quality?

8 – You were invited to comment upon youth workers, what other things do you consider influence youth workers and how would you consider these influencing others have shifted over the last 25 years?
No youth worker is an island, so in thinking about the quality of youth worker, how much strength or affect would you ascribe to developments in parenting, childrens ministry, education policy, theological thinking, the professionalisation of youth ministry, cultural changes, social changes, economic changes, government policy, and other factors that all influence and shape youth ministry?

9 – Sex and sexuality is an interesting focus, why choose it?
Within the church of Scotland, there are ongoing discussions, that have resulted in sex and sexuality being something to discuss very carefully (going so far as to prevent ministers from commenting upon sex and sexuality debates for a period of time.) The Church of Scotland is and has changed its position on this and various ways forward are being discussed and put in place by the CofS nationally. Given this is a live issue where church ideas are/can be controversial, a reticence to lead discussions on the topic would be understandable. Within such a context of whole church review is it fair to consider sex and sexuality as the primary example then of quality youth work?

10 – What shifts within youth ministry have been positive over the last 25 years?
I don’t believe you are inherently negative about youth ministry, what are the good things you have seen as it has developed and changed in the last 25 years?

meeting people. considering #people in #meetings

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Over the last few days, Monday and Tuesday, I have been involved in two similar efforts be two different organisations. Both efforts tried get a similar outcome while using two different processes. The aim of this post is to try and consider both processes and critically engage with them. I am not trying to comment upon the content of both conversations as this is not public information, and it is not my place to reveal that content.

Effort 1 – Format
Effort 1 was on behalf of the Church of Scotland, the effort was to answer the challenge given by General Assembly 2016 to the Mission and Discipleship Council.
Instruct the Council to report to the General Assembly of 2017 its initial outline of a proposed theme(s) for the following five years from 2018 onwards to focus the worship, witness and work of the Church on every level throughout the Church of Scotland’s parishes, congregations and communities.
The process used was to widely invite representative stakeholders from the Church of Scotland to a one-day conference. This conference would enable conversation and an emerging set of themes to answer the challenge.  The conference was well attended (around 50 people) and seemed to have good participation.

The format used was a form of the World Café method. Having read about world cafe as a method within my academic research I was keen to see it in action. At a basic level it is a way to get allow large groups to divide into smaller groups and allow for the group to split up and form new groups regularly. Functionally a volunteer “Host” stays at each table in order to anchor the conversation at that table and allow others to join in and build upon the previous conversation strands.

Effort 1-Reflection
When I say a “form of “above, my brief reading of world cafe had informed me that the world cafe method works with tables of 4 people and 20-minute conversation sessions therefore it should be short and sharp chats. The format we used yesterday was tables of 6 with 50 minute sessions which surprised me as going about 5 people seems a non-negotiable for the world café people.

Our facilitators facilitated us. The facilitating seemed a bit awkward during the introducing to the world café and the presentation of the café etiquette, although I wonder if it was just me, it felt hesitant and unsure, rather than calm, confident and paced. During the introduction section there was a deliberate and conscious repetition of words like “purposeful” I wondered about why this was emphasised, I guessed it was an attempt to emphasise that we as participants had made a participation agreement with ourselves and everyone else in the process, but at the time I heard it as a warning rather than an encouragement to participate

In the conversation groups there were times when I felt they had got too large to keep focused. The questions in section two were too big. The conversation times were too long. In one group there was a couple of times where the conversation seemed to draw to a close naturally or conversely go too far down side alleys. When we came to the third session as a group we started by sitting in silence as trying to sum up the wide ranging conversations all six of us had been party too was overwhelming for all of us. This seemed to have a detaching effect. There was a dissonance between the conversations we had and the way we were attempting to summarise and reflect back.

I had to leave before the final session so I am conscious I have only a broken form of the model to reflect upon. I am not sure it worked well to achieve the aims of the day. I think it did allow for lots of different conversations to happen and I am positive about that although I wonder where these conversations go after the day. I am also hopeful for the results which will come from the day. I left with a feeling of dissonance, of being unsatisfied.

Effort 1 -future development
The facilitators will write up a report which will go the Mission and Discipleship Council. The Mission and Discipleship Council will then report back to General Assembly 2017 on these themes.
This is a reasonably clean method of getting a result with participation and consultation with stakeholders in a defined timescale.

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Effort 2 -format
Effort 2 was in response to an open request from the primary school my children go to. The school sent a letter inviting parents to a consultation upon a set of values for the school. The session was attended by 4 parents who all contributed.

The format was in 2 stages the head teacher introducing the context from a policy and educational background which was motivating this development and the second section was the parents discussing and working on a vision statement for the school and motto, aims and objectives which would support this vision and an initial list of supporting values. This section was unstructured. (I am unsure if a larger attendance would have been handled in a different way.)

Effort 2 -reflection
The slideshow introduction was helpful in clarifying what was wanted as an outcome.

There was a lack of guidance as to how to go about the task of writing vision statement for a school. This was the first consultation in the process and as such we (the parents) didn’t have a guiding foundation to work from. That stumped us for a few minutes, the head teacher waiting with us in the struggling to work out a way forward without imposing or suggesting a method. for a process which was absent. as soon as the group took control to get the job done it was done quickly with agreement and contributions from all. (thankfully amongst us was a parent who had a background in facilitating meetings within large multinational companies. Our wee group flew with skilful facilitation, producing a solid set of answers for the Head teacher to work with.
 
It was notable that half the group had a professional background in business where achieving tasks within timescales is a key skill. This maybe a key skill but I am not sure we got to actually converse about the issues before getting to the task. I felt that was an absence from this effort.

I felt like this had something substantial and that we got something achieved as we walked out the door

Effort 2 -future development

The group asked the head teacher to take forward the future development in a specific way. The head teacher accepted that, and outlined a larger process that would now take place including, a full consultation with all other stakeholders of the school, including a wider internet survey open to all parents, as such the process has a long way to run.  In some ways that is frustrating as our effort maybe amended beyond recognition when actually it is ready to go tomorrow should it be wished. as the facilitator at effort on emphasised “Hold your ideas lightly during this process.”

Curiosity
It has been an interesting two days and the contrast between the methods significant.  One is big and varied and felt too long, the other is small, focused and fast. I really enjoyed the space of effort 1’s big conversations are fabulous, and effort 2’s tightly packed let’s get this done now attitude.

For the positives effort 1 left me with a dissonance between conversation and outputs while effort 2’s brevity and ability to reach a quick conclusion may turn out to be pyrrhic in the long term.

The highly guided form of world café method seemed to not give the outputs the focus it needed while the method of an absence of guidance seems dangerous while the outcome is possibly as important and long lasting as a school vision statement could be. As methods for working with groups to achieve specific outcomes I am not sure I would want to use either of them again in the forms they were presented over the past two days.

I wonder how I will feel about both efforts in May 2017 as the results from both are made public and put into action.

The curious absence of teenage body theology for Christian youth work

BODY PART

It struck me today that there is very little work within christian faith based youth work literature which dealt with the changing bodies of young people. While there is a helpful focus on body image, as youth work which is focused on 12-16 year olds primarily sees the best and worst of body changes for the young people we work with! The absence of considering the changes inherent within a teenage body has a knock on effect for the way we think, consider and write about God, (theology). There has to be some thought and work done on this, as any theology which engages with young people has to be able to reconcile “being made in the image of God” and the seemingly randomness of a voice dropping which radically alters their communication with people. It has to consider the awkward phase where you accidentally knock things over as your limbs are longer than your body remembers, asking how does that inform and help us reflect upon our knowledge of God?

Perhaps someone has done this and I have just missed it, (this is very possible, there are so many words, and so little time!) I know Pope John Paul II had his theology of the body, but I suspect it missed the focus on the change of the body which the teenage life throws significantly in our face. His considerations of the anthropology start with humans created (adult) male and female in the garden of Eden. You could see the loss of innocence after eating the apple, (hold on, we are naked!) as the entirety of puberty, but I think that would be trying too hard to fit it in.

Have you read anything like this? I assume it is out there as someone intelligent will have thought of this before and worked on it?

A weekly service?

sunday-schedule
Do we do church too often?

Recently I was thinking about why I really enjoy concerts. At the Barenaked ladies gig I looked around as a lot for people were singing along with almost every song, from the oldest song to the newest. As I did this I wondered about the whole idea of going to something and wanting to participate. Wanting to partake in something bigger. (there are many better people to read on the links between big concerts/nightclubs and religious experiences than myself, thankfully.)

While thinking about this I wondered about how we learn to cross the road, it is through the small boring repetition of crossing roads everyday with our parents that we learn this skill and it comes naturally. (a practice I am currently going through with my children.) In the context of the concert it is the small daily practices of listening to the CD, nodding, humming, and singing along, which makes these songs something we own and live with. It is a practice of nurturing and embodying what we believe, until when faced with the question what would you do if you had a million dollars?, you answer without missing a beat, “If I had a million dollars, I’d by you a green dress, but not a green dress that’s cruel.” or finish an answer with “…and Hello to Jason Issacs” or whatever embodiment of the daily practice is appropriate.

I wonder if by placing a church service at the centre of the community of faith and then making its rhythm as regular as weekly, we have given permission for the abdication of the personal daily disciplines. The daily practices of bible reading, praying. The Barenaked Ladies come to Glasgow once every 1-2 years and I wonder if part of what makes the yearly concerts good less to do with the skill of the band and are the personal time and discipline put into learning, retaining and embedding the knowledge of in this case the songs. (Again, I don’t want to get caught up in a discussion of are festivals like spring harvest, autumn soul or creation good for the local church better minds have and will discuss this.)

Does church do its congregation a disservice by meeting on a weekly basis? How would the church change if we only met once a quarter? I think i already know that’s not the answer, but I wonder if this is the cause of an issue that needs some thought. I wonder if the regularity of church services have devalued the church event itself. Or I wonder if a weekly church service isn’t enough to get to the level of the boring regular repetition, as within the crossing the road example. I am not sure.

(PS I am pretty sure that Bigger and Better minds than Mine have already tackled this and will have written great books on this issue but that I just haven’t found/read them yet…)

I don’t understand wheels #needhelp #brokenwheels #bicycle

belleville-rendez-vous

Background

I have been cycling recently. It was hard to fit in during the school holidays but I have been back to it over the previous few days, setting my fastest time ever for the Lanark route, (fastest measured in minutes per km). It has been good to get out and I have been concerted in my plan to ride every weekday. I want to cycle as I enjoy it not particularly on the hills, but hey i over took another cyclist while going uphill for the first time on Monday. Also socially several people I know cycle as a past time. My neighbour David can do one of the 22km routes I do around 14 minutes faster than I can flat-out out, my friend Rich is also around that time frame from the times I see on social media. If I want to ride with these guys then I need to speed up and train more. (also the benefits of losing weight are not lost on me…)

The problem

This morning I dressed, got the children ready for school and went to do some basic maintenance on my bicycle chain (cleaning with the new chain cleaner I got last night), to my horror three of the spokes in the rear wheel had snapped, must have happened on the ride yesterday. I am not risking riding in the rain with a compromised back tyre.

The help

The wheels are the standard wheels on the bike when i bought it 3 years ago.
The bike is the standard bike I bought off the shelf 3 years ago.
I was thinking of upgrading some components from solid to decent.

So what wheels should I buy?
not a large budget but enough to cover new wheels and a set of winter road tyres (around £200 hopefully).
Why are some wheel sets different sizes? – what is the advantage? (currently both of mine are the same size)
What is a decent winter road tyre for Scotland?

Email Spam

I have been receiving a lot of email spam recently. I wonder if my filters have been changed at web domains? The thing I have noticed about this spam is it almost convincing.

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This Fedex email look very convincing. The old chestnut of don’t open an attachment on a email your not expecting kept me from opening it but i did have an urge to open it.MXlab warning on this email

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the lloydstsb email was slightly less convincing as TSb has been spun off into its own bank, I was pretty sure that the email as fake, but still I did wonder. the sane security blog warning on this email

These professional looking emails made me consider why they were so close to being accurate and why others were so bad. I remembered this…

Finally, this approach suggests an answer to the question in the title. Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike most as comical. Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage. Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an over-riding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.

Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria? – Cormac Herley, Microsoft research.
it comes down to the difference in what they want. the virus email people want information without being noticed. the Nigerian guys want to be noticed and want a one time interaction. By being good, the virus people get a lot more potential targets thereby distributing their virus thingy, widely. As the Nigerian scam guy needs someone gullible to send him some money, they need to ensure only gullible people click on the link and one way to achieve this is to make the link comically suspicious.

I thought the internet was meant to make our lives easier?

A New Langauge for Moral Failures in relation to marrage

rory-and-wendy-alecSo in christian TV news, one of the founders of the God channel has stepped down from the channel, after having a moral failure in relation to his marrage. This is sad for everyone involved in this marriage, and partly because they are famous in a manner, privacy is not available to them.

The languages of the statement is puzzling though. I am a bit obsessed by the language of “moral failure”. At best it is ambiguously accurate, at worst it is confusing. Pete Ward in his book “growing up evangelical” argues that evangelical christianity is too reflective in its being of teenage work. As such the evangelical church has a teenage outlook on things. I wonder if the whole of the Church generally suffers from this attitude when it comes to sex and sexual activity? Let me be clear, going down the route of Mark Driscol (joking about oral sex during morning services) is not a model I think should be generally adopted. Or even adopted ever, I dont think that does anyone any favours.

So in order to rescue sex for the church I am suggesting we spend sometime thinking of a new language to describe things. I am not seeking to describe different sex acts rather wondering about a new lanuague to discribe sex well.

A New Langauge for Moral Failures in relation to marrage

Knew – And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, (genesis 4v1 KJV)
– I am stepping down due to Knowing another woman.
Went In Unto – And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. (‭Genesis‬ ‭30‬:‭4-5‬ KJV)
– I am stepping down due to having went in unto another woman.
Uncovered his feet – Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do. (ruth 3v3)
– I am stepping down due to uncovering the feet of another woman.

Coitus – Dr Sheldon Cooper
– I am stepping down due to coitus with another woman
Sexual Relations – Bill Clinton famously didnt have this with Miss Lewinsky.
– I am stepping down due to having sexual relations with another woman.

or we could all grow up and just call it sex?

Talking to people in this way leaves me cold.

Recently lots of people have been sharing this video on youtube.

In the video someone attempt to take on atheists and evolutionists and ask them a killer question which they cannot answer to the satisfaction of the questioner.
I don’t like it.

For two reasons. Firstly I dislike the attitude of the person asking the questions. I think it feels smug, and just leaves me wondering why this is the appropriate way to engage with people. It leaves me cold and annoyed. I think it is harmful to those people who’s views may have any similarity to the expressed view of the questioner.

Secondly I am not sure this is a fruitful way to challenge the views of people. I read John MacDermott in the Financial Times last saturday, in the article online here, he asks why we rarely win arguements, although his example is drawn from public policy, I have sympathy with his main thrust, more facts added to an argument serves to “reinforce stubborness”. That arguements actually gets more response by considering who the person is that we are arguing with, not the subject of the argument.

To the videomaker, I am think you got it more than a bit wrong.

Categories: thinking webstuff wonderin

Computer games research hits the headlines.

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Aggression from video games ‘linked to incompetence’ – BBC News
Video Gamers’ Aggression Born From Frustration, Not Violence: Study – NBCnews
(and others)

So the interwebs news reports on some research from Oxford and Rochester universities. This is good news as this type of research needs to be considered widely. Aggressive reactions to computer games are due to the difficultly of the task you are asked to complete, not the game scenarios you play. Thats good findings. But as I read the news reports I found questions come up.

Take this explanation of one of the experiments.

In one experiment, undergraduates held their hand in a bowl of painfully cold water for 25 seconds. They were led to believe that the length of time was determined by a prior participant, but in fact, all participants were assigned the same duration. Next, participants were randomly asked to play either a simple or challenging version of Tetris, after which they were asked to assign the amount of time a future participant would have to leave their hand in the chilled water. Players who experienced the difficult Tetris game assigned on average 10 seconds more of chilled water pain to subsequent players than those who played the easy version.

tetris game screen

Eh?
So they inflicted pain on people, lied to them about why they had the painful experience, asked them to play a game of Tetris, after the game, the participants decide how much pain someone else should get. I am not sure the effects of the game difficulty which is causing the player to react? I realise I am easily confused, but that seems weird. I don’t know this is really the experience to be able to make findings upon. Within the paper there are seven different approaches used. This experiment was one selected to be reported in the press.

The second thing which occurs to me is the experience of the player.
If you play games regularly you develop a repetoire of skills and knowledge which is applicable, within a game setting. The theory (Sicart) argues that Video Games only have a restricted number of things you can do. As your repertoire increases so does the amount of strategy you can call on. Your ability to cope with new game scenarios and higher levels of difficulty increases. In this research what game experience did the players have? How did the players repertoire affect the findings, was it considered? Reading the article, yes it was. In the article there were 7 experiments and player competence was actually named and considered as a key factor in the study.

The last thought is the role of failure within computer games. Jesper Juul in his book “the Art of Losing”, considers that games exist in a paradox. We as humans prefer success to failure. We enjoy games. But games are an exercise in repeatedly failing. We enjoy failing in this game context. How does this aggressive behaviour study actually address this paradox? How does it move beyond a computer games are linked to aggression stand point to actually consider the very nature of games and how this experience then affect the person.

Sadly it doesn’t deal with this issue. It doesn’t even refer to this a part of the game experience. I think this is a fatal weakness which undermines this researches usefulness. If the central premise of your study is around our reaction to failure why pick a medium which has a predominancy to failure, yet paradoxically is a very popular and enjoyable space for expressions of failure?

Why not something with more of a 50-50 chance of failure. If I replaced video games with soccer, or trying to find a car parking space in a busy car park would the research or findings be different. This seems to indicate that the designers of the study decided early on that video games and aggressive reactions were significantly linked, thereby betraying a low view of video games and those who play them. Computer games are reasoned to cause more agression than other example, by inference, they are a negative way of spending time. Is the failure cause actually important to the research? This research is not about computer games and their players at all.

I know my analysis of this stuff is probably wrong, but here goes. If I was cynical I would guess that the research has used computer games in order to speak about the links between video games and aggression with a knowledge that this is a topic newspapers like to comment on. Being generous I would guess they are trying to challenge the perceptions of aggressive behaviour and games being linked. Unfortunately by not dealing with ongoing relationship between failure and video games, a vital element of the very nature of video games, they have not actually dealt with their research subject.