Hot on the heels of a study claiming violent black characters in games fuel racism and the article about an enraged gamer who caused R271 000 damage to his step-dad’s property, a new study has been released linking videogames to violence.
The research was published in JAMA Paediatrics, a journal of the American Medical Association, and was based on more than 3,000 children who were studied over the course of three years. The participants’ average age was 11 at the start of the study, and three-quarters of them were boys.
“This study found that habitual violent videogame playing increases long-term aggressive behaviour by producing general changes in aggressive cognition, and this occurs regardless of sex, age, initial aggressiveness or parental involvement,” said the study, which was led by researchers at the National Institute of Education in Singapore and the Iowa State University department of psychology.
The participants were asked questions about aggressive behaviour and had to answer on a scale of one to four, ranging from “strongly disagree” to strongly agree”. One of the questions, for example, was: “When someone has angered or provoked me in some way, I have reacted by hitting that person”.
Not all experts agree with the study’s findings, though.
“This study shows an association, of unclear magnitude, of violent videogame-playing with subsequent aggressive behaviour,” said David Spiegelhalter, a professor at the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study. “It does not, and cannot, show that the association is causal.”
Is this another baseless study or should we be concerned about young kids playing violent videogames? Let us know in the comments and forum.