Science Gazette

Is this just a game? There is no proof that violent video games cause real-life violence, according to a study

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New study reveals no indication that violence rises following the release of a new video game, as the newest Call of Duty game was published in the UK today, and Battlefield 2042 and a remastered Grand Theft Auto trilogy will be released later this month.

Although there is minimal evidence to substantiate the correlation, the media and general public often relate violent video games to real-life violence.

Following big public shootings, debate on the subject usually heats up, with some pundits attributing these deadly actions to the culprits’ passion for violent video games.

Others, on the other hand, have suggested that other circumstances, such as mental health concerns and/or easy gun availability, are more plausible causes.

In light of these contradictory reports, President Barack Obama asked for more government financing for video game and violence study in 2013.

However, before governments enact regulations banning access to violent video games, it is necessary to determine if violent video games cause players to act violently in the real world.

Dr. Agne Suziedelyte, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at City, University of London, used data from the United States to demonstrate the consequences of violent video game releases on children’s aggressive behavior. Dr. Suziedelyte looked into the impact of violent video games on two categories of violence: hostility toward others and destruction of things/property.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, focused on males aged 8 to 18, who are the most likely to play violent video games.

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Dr. Suziedelyte employed econometric approaches to find causal consequences of violent video games on violence, not only relationships. She found no evidence that aggression towards others rises following the debut of a new violent video game. However, parents stated that after playing violent video games, their children were more prone to damage items.

According to Dr. Suziedelyte: “These findings imply that although violent video games may irritate youngsters, this agitation does not convert into aggression towards other people, the form of violence that we are most concerned about.

“My findings might be explained by the fact that most video games are played at home, where the chances of engaging in violence are reduced. This ‘incapacitation’ impact is particularly crucial for males who are prone to violence and may be drawn to violent video games.

“As a result, regulations restricting the sale of video games to minors are unlikely to curb violence.”

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