Here we are again old friends, looking down the barrel of yet another study that shows what we all knew but that somehow needs to keep being proven in an attempt to keep the knee jerk hysteria of the masses at bay.
That’s right, we’ve got yet another peer reviewed study that has proven there’s no link between video games and real life violence, but what’s a rigorously tested study based on facts when compared to a blind belief that video games are bad, m’kay?
In a new study published in Royal Society Open Science, associate professor Andrew K. Przybylski of Oxford University and senior lecturer Netta Weinstein of Cardiff University predicted that “recent violent game play is linearly and positively related to carer assessments of aggressive behaviour.” In other words, they figured games are directly linked to aggression.
Would you believe the results of the study didn’t actually back this hypothesis up? Not only was there no proven link between violence and video games, but the study also turned up proof that there’s no evident turning point or length of time spent playing that could cause a player to turn aggressive.
The study took a 50/50 split of male and females between the age of 14 and 15 who described themselves as “moderately engaged in video games”, which meant they played at least two hours on average of a normal day.
Participants then took part in a survey in which both teens and their carers were asked questions about the games they played and their behaviour after playing them.
The study swiftly found that the results “did not support our prediction that there are statistically significant links relating violent gaming to adolescents’ aggressive behaviour.”
When the results were later compared other literature on the subject, it was found that the “observed effect relating violent gaming to aggressive behaviour was both statistically and practically insignificant.”
Another model used PEGI ratings to score games between 0 and 3 based on how violent they were. These ratings were combined with time spent playing in an attempt to find a link, but nothing was found. Applying the same model to ESRB ratings turned a similar lack of results.
The study concluded:
Despite the null findings identified in the present study, history gives us reason to suspect the idea that violent video games drives aggressive behaviour will remain an unsettled question for parents, pundits and policy-makers.
Except of course history has given us zero reason to suspect that violent video games drive aggressive behaviour, because this is just one more study in a vast ocean of studies that have proven otherwise.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.