Violent video game play is linked to increased aggression in players, but insufficient evidence exists about whether the link extends to criminal violence or delinquency.
This is according to a new American Psychological Association task force on violent media report.
The task force conducted a review of the research literature published between 2005 and 2013 focused on violent video game use.
This included four meta-analyses that reviewed more than 150 research reports published before 2009.
Task force members then conducted an evidence review and a quantitative review of the literature published between 2009 and 2013.
The research demonstrates a relationship between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect.
The study further found a decreases in pro-social behavior, empathy, and sensitivity to aggression.
“The link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field,” said Mark Appelbaum, the task force chair.
“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently,” the report states.
“Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior. The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.”
In light of the task force’s conclusions, APA has called on the industry to design video games that include increased parental control over the amount of violence the games contain.