Violent Games and Teen Aggression Aren't Linked, Says New Study


The debate of whether violent video games tend to produce aggressive behavior in teens has been an increasingly popular topic among the gaming community for the last decade. Despite the pendulum constantly swinging back and forth between the two sides of the debate, the latest study conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute is seemingly tipping the scales. It claims that teen aggression does not correspondingly link to violent video games.

Oxford Internet Institute's study used a different approach than researchers before it, as it gathered critical information about teenagers' aggressive behavior from the parents of the teens, rather than the teenagers themselves. The researchers collected this information by asking the parents of the 2,008 subjects to judge the level of aggressive behavior that each teenager exhibited after playing these games. Both parents and their kids were asked to fill out regular questionnaires that analyzed potential violent behavior.

In addition, the Institute also classified the level of violence in a video game by its rating, while many previous studies judged the amount of violence by the players' perceptions of the differing games. Dr. Netta Weinstein added onto this, saying, "Our findings suggest that researcher biases might have influenced previous studies on this topic, and have distorted our understanding of the effects of video games."

study no evidence link violent games behavior

Although Oxford Internet Institute does note that some aspects like trash-talking, trolling, and competition can occur in games and provoke feelings of anger, the study clearly states that violent video games are not linked to teen aggression. These results line up with numerous studies that have concluded and been left with the very same outcome. While the number of studies affirming both sides of the debate to be true has been nearly equal for many years, a string of recent studies has bolstered the side that claims video games and teen violence are not linked.

In fact, a recent study published by Nature claims that video games can actually be extremely beneficial, as playing video games can enhance cognitive skills. By playing video games regularly, players who game more than others were found to be more intelligent and have faster-thought processes. Therefore, while the debate regarding whether playing violent video games is far from over, gamers can rest assured that numerous studies have confirmed that playing video games is not linked to violent behavior. Though it can be linked to higher intelligence and faster thought processes.

Source: Oxford

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