In the on-going search to find any real conclusions from the effects of video games on our fragile social conscience, a new study has found that there is no link between violent video games and anti-social behaviour.
Conducted by the University of Queensland, the research report found that conducting a pro-social test after subjects had played violent or non-violent video games produced the same results and willingness in a social test.
The study comprised of three separate experiments. 160 undergraduate students (with 55 percent aged between 17 and 43) played an antisocial game (GTA V), a violent game (Black Ops Zombie Mode), non-violent (Portal 2), or pro-social (World of Zoo) for 20 minutes.
In a later phase of the experiment, this was further reduced to two games, either Portal 2, or Grand Theft Auto IV, and saw identical results.
The third experiment put a smaller sample size into a game of Lemmings, and another into Lamers (which is a more violent clone of the popular Lemmings game). The two groups returned similar outcomes.
While the subjects believed that the test at the end was the result-gathering process, during the experiments, an “accidental” pen drop by the examiner was the secret determiner of the players’ willingness to help, and if it had been affected during the game playing.
“Three experiments failed to find a detrimental effect of violent video games on pro-social behaviour, despite using contemporary and classic games, delayed and immediate test-phases, and short and long exposures,” says the report.
However, the report did highlight the shortcomings of these sorts of tests.
“While this study is not definitive evidence that violent video games have no detrimental effect on pro-social behaviour, it might be that previously raised concerns regarding the impact of violent games on pro-social behaviour may be mismatched or disproportionate.”
The point is is that none of these gaming studies are conclusive evidence and a sound theory. They are purely isolated experiments which are conducted to try and paint a bigger picture of the human psyche regarding the effects of video games.