Study suggests there are no long term desensitizing effects from violent games

Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

A new study featured in the Applied Cognitive Psychology journal suggests there isn’t much of a difference between violent videogames players and non-gamers when it comes to being desensitized to violent images.

According to the study, conducted by the University of Toronto, when studying the “emotional memory” of 122 undergraduate students some of which had played games within six months, and some who had not. Participants were shown 150 images of violence, and were then asked to identify the same images and hour later when included in a larger set of images.

When shown the extra violent images during the experiment, the researchers found no significant difference in recall between the two groups nor a difference in “arousal levels and feelings towards the images,” between the gaming group and the non-gaming group.

The researchers were pleased with the results, but admitted that such a small study could not be considered definitive proof on the matter – just another “piece of the puzzle [suggesting] video games aren’t having long-term effects on cognition and memory.”

Thanks, Gamasutra.