Violent video games trigger aggression

Published: August 18, 2015
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The study showed a consistent relation between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behaviour . PHOTO: PAKISTANTODAY

The study showed a consistent relation between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behaviour . PHOTO: PAKISTANTODAY

Playing violent video games is linked to increased aggression in players though it is not certain if the link extends to criminal violence too, according to a latest American Psychological Association (APA) report.

“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence,” said study leader Mark Appelbaum.

Read: Video games earn a good rep

The study showed a consistent relation between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behaviour and aggressive cognitions and a decline in pro-social behaviour and empathy.

“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently. Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behaviour,” the report said.

“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 games contain.

Read: Watching cartoons can make kids fat

In addition, it has urged developers to design games that are appropriate to users’ age and psychological development.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • wilmer
    Aug 18, 2015 - 4:50PM

    lol this is like asking Vince Mcmahon to stay with the 80s and early 90s formula instead of switching to the Attitude Era in the mid 90s.

    in other words no company or designer would ever due that because it would create the death bell for them.

    this is what kids like and no kid in their right mind would play T rated games if they were boring to play.

    i was playing Mortal Kombat 2 on the SNES when it was released and i was 8 years old. Till this day i have never comitted a crime and in my 30 years on this planet i have had little physical fights that i can count them on one or two hands.

    today’s generation plays GTA but that doesn’t mean they will go out and steal a car. the very few cases that do go and steal cars because of GTA are only caused because of bad parenting.

    so instead of asking the industry to limit violence and add parental controls how about you ask the parent industry how to better raise their kids instead of having the parent on twitter and face all day long and not being an actual parent.Recommend

  • Adam
    Aug 18, 2015 - 4:53PM

    Correlation does not mean causation. I see nothing in this article that describes the study either as having controls of any kind or showing a direct causal link between violent video game use and aggression, or, as the study’s authors fairly flagrantly put it, “criminal violence”. The reporter is wise to point out this link is not shown.Recommend

  • Dave
    Aug 18, 2015 - 5:02PM

    @wilmer:
    Reread the article.

    “The study showed a consistent relation between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behaviour and aggressive cognitions and a decline in pro-social behaviour and empathy. “

    How do you blame the parents for what is essentially normal human behavior? Recommend

  • RichGarner
    Aug 18, 2015 - 5:32PM

    This is just media stirring. Where is this “study” that is mentioned? Why not give the stats and let readers use their own brains. “Video games is one such factor” is like saying wearing all black is one such factor.
    Who are these people studied? Have any of them had family troubles or emotional challenges?
    If your “news” site is expected to be taken seriously, you need to provide a LOT more tangible evidence and facts that simply stating ‘a study showed.’ Recommend

  • JL
    Aug 18, 2015 - 5:46PM

    @Adam
    The report addresses causation. Basically it says that the when other factors are taken into account the number of cases of “aggressive behavior” goes down but not by much. Left wondering how many variables they took into account. Interesting article… Never one to believe that violent video games were a strong cause of violence. Still am not. Too many questions left unanswered by this. Seems like a step in the right direction to addressing violent behavior though. Recommend

  • art
    Aug 18, 2015 - 8:09PM

    this is nonsense, man has been waging wars since the beginning of time, there were no video games available to Genghis Khan or other bloodthirsty rulers.Recommend

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