Written by Giovanni Albanese Jr. And not just between the entertainment industry and medical experts. The topic is prominent enough that it prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP to issue a recommendation last month about children watching violent movies and playing violent video games. The research was the first in this field to examine the breadth of previous studies, and to undertake multiple approaches to reviewing the literature.
Trump blames video games, movies for violence This detail led many to worry that violent video games may be negatively affecting their own children. What is the truth? Read More Both the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics take a firm stance against children and teens playing violent video games.
The titles seem to say it all: The American Psychological Association observed in an August policy statement that research demonstrated a link "between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior Video games, the academy noted, "should not use human or other living targets or award points for killing, because this teaches children to associate pleasure and success with their ability to cause pain and suffering to others.
These clear, no-nonsense arguments appeal to many parents. However, they may not represent the views of the entire field.
Some social scientists have come up with more unexpected results. Whitney DeCamp, an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University, says the evidence points to either no relationship between playing video games and violent behavior or an "insignificant" link between the two.
Screen violence -- real and fictional -- harmful for kids, experts say Sure, he said, some studies have revealed a connection between kids playing violent video games and violent behavior. But there is a problem with "looking at those two things in a vacuum": Kids who like to play brutal video games may have a predisposition toward aggression, he said.
The real question, he said: Does playing violent games cause a person to act violently? In his own studyhe examined that question using data from the Delaware School Survey, which included responses from 6, eighth-graders.
Among the questions, students were asked whether they had played violent video games in the past year. DeCamp factored out the propensity to play violent video games due to a natural attraction to brutality along with other factors, such as gender and family relations.
He discovered that playing video games, no matter how bloody, did not predict violent behavior. Christopher Ferguson, associate professor and co-chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University, supports this view. In fact, he goes so far as to suggest that violent video games may help reduce societal violence rather than increase it.
He added that newer studies "with better methods" have typically failed to find much evidence of a connection between brutal games and even minor aggressive acts, let alone violence. Persuasive evidence comes from an economic study published in Februarywhich looked at violent criminal offenses in the weeks after the release of popular video games.
Tracking both sales and crime rates, the authors discovered that general societal violence decreased in the weeks after the appearance of a new edition of a popular title. Obviously, this does not rule out longer-term effects, the authors admit.
Still, they make a bid for the games offering "cathartic" effects, allowing players to safely release their aggression. While the debate rages on, Ferguson believes the tide has turned against linking video games to violence. When asked about the teen shooter in Munich, DeCamp said, "we need to take a lot of caution before we place the blame on any one particular thing.
Both the psychological association and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that parents take an active interest in and monitor the games played by their children.Playing violent video games does not cause kids to commit mass shootings.
Over million Americans (and 71% of teens) play video games. There have been 71 mass shootings between and Aug. , seven of . “Playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiological arousal.” Lacking such a study, scientists have studied video game violence in more limited ways.
People have turned to science for answers on the question of violence and video games. For now, though, there are no answers, at least not of the quantitative, immediately useful variety.
Violent video games are linked to more aggressive behaviors among players, according to a new review of research. The debate over whether violent video games are linked to violent behavior has.
The American Psychological Association (APA) categorizes violent video games as a risk factor in causing aggression but found no evidence linking them to acts of real-world criminality or delinquency.
Aggression, which is also caused by competitive sports, is not sufficient to lead to real-world violence. “California’s claim that ‘interactive’ video games present special problems, in that the player participates in the violent action on screen and determines its outcome, is unpersuasive.