Evidence Lacking On Any Connection Between Video Game Violence And Real Violence

from the so-says-the-research dept

Two professors have taken the time to go through all of the various research over the years that has tried to connect violent video games to actual violence, and discovered many problems with it. They found that research that concludes some sort of connection between the two seems to not use any recognized measure of aggression (allowing for substantial fudging), and that the media attention seems to lead more researchers to study the subject and (perhaps subconsciously) push them towards sensationalizing their findings. Hurray for technopanics. Among the findings:
  • In the last 10 years, video games studies have been overwhelmingly popular compared to studies on other media.
  • Less than half of studies (41%) used well validated aggression measures.
  • Poorly standardized and unreliable measures of aggression tended to produce the highest effects, possibly because their unstandardized format allows researchers to pick and choose from a range of possible outcomes.
  • The closer aggression measures got to actual violent behavior, the weaker the effects seen.
  • Experimental studies produced much higher effects than correlational or longitudinal studies. As experimental studies were most likely to use aggression measures of poor quality, this may be the reason why.
  • There was no evidence that video games produce higher effects than other media, despite their interactive nature.
  • Overall, effects were negligible, and we conclude that media violence generally has little demonstrable effect on aggressive behavior.
Of course, that won't stop lawyers and politicians from grandstanding on the issue...

Filed Under: research, violent video games


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  1. identicon
    Henry Valdez, 19 Mar 2010 @ 6:30am

    Videogamer with a voice

    Ill admit that many of todays games have really explicit graphics when it comes to violence, but all this evidence that video games cause violence is B.S. if it really caused people to commit violent acts then the crime rate would be sky rocketed to the point that this country would fall into a state of absolute anarchy especially if the numbers and figures the researchers come up with are accurate. but in all honesty it boils down to control. they want to control how you raise your children and how people in general enjoy their free time. if video game control laws come into effect then the amendment for freedom of speech will not be long to follow. but whats sad is that most people just act like sheep believe what their told and allow there senators and representatives in congress make decisions for them even though those decisions are based on what the senator or representative want and not what the people they are supposed to represent want. oh and on another note another thing to take a look at is what games they compare in these studies. often times these games are from completely different genres and are played completely different ways and yet the researchers fail to notice this.
    its just more proof that most of the tests and experiments done that "prove" videogames = violence are rigged from the beginning.

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