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New study ties teen aggression to video games, feathers ruffled

Tuesday, 9th October 2012 08:18 GMT By Dave Cook

Brock University in Canada has released a report that discloses a four-year study into the links between teenage aggression and playing violent videogames. The findings suggest that there is a direct link between the two.

The paper, which is entitled Developmental Psychology, explains that 1,500 students at an Ontario high school were asked to keep a journal of their violent behaviour over four years – such as hitting classmates and other acts.

The Telegraph reports that participants were almost evenly split between male and female students aged either 14-15 or 17-18.

The report suggests that yes, those who had been exposed to violent videogames were committing violent acts more than others, and although the report does state that it gave leeway to other factors such as drug use, under-age drinking, and other factors, the paper still suggests gaming is the key issue for their behaviour.

Those who weren’t exposed to violent games saw no rise in aggressive behaviour, however, as the Telegraph points out, those who were being violent were actually being no more violent than usual, throwing the results under scrutiny.

What’s your take on this? Is it an old issue, or would you like better research to be done? Let us know below.

Thanks Kotaku.

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7 Comments

  1. HighWindXIX

    Not that I could prove it, but I’ve always assumed the casual link was the other way. Instead of games making someone violent, rather people who already are violent and angry are attracted to violent games. The games don’t cause anything. Of course that’s just my theory.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Fin

    This sounds like a reasonable study.

    Maybe there is a link between violent videogames and aggression? Wouldn’t surprise me really.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. G1GAHURTZ

    Video game aggression is a strange thing.

    I remember when I shared a house with two work colleagues, and some other guys from work came over for a bit.

    I was playing GTA3, and beating some guy to a pulp with a baseball bat or something.

    One of the visiting colleagues was a girl, and looked at me as I was doing this, making an “ohhhh…” sound in disapproval.

    I felt like ‘What?? It’s just a game, innit?’

    I’m not sure why, but she ended up having a go at the game a few minutes later.

    Needless to say, the first thing she did was worse than what I’d been doing. I can’t remember exactly what, but she did something like run someone over, then jump out of the car and start kicking and shooting them!

    All while laughing!

    Maybe she’s a husband beater now…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Didact

    I’m guessing there is some anti-game bias on the part of those conducting study At least from what I see, they seem to be claiming the results show violent games increase aggressive behavior when they actually seem to show the opposite judging by paragraph 4. Those who exhibited violent behavior were really no different after playing the games than they were before, so the cause is probably something else.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    Not hard to believe. Just watch some kids/teens play a few games. But I also agree with poster number one.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    Games can definitely trigger aggressive behaviour. Any game can really, if the person playing them is already prone to lashing out in frustration.

    And that’s the thing.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Christopher Jack

    I think any parent who plops their child in front of the TV all day to play video games is a bad parent. Of course their social skills aren’t going to develop as well as others when their main influence comes from games that require you beating hookers & robbing banks.

    All forms of media are capable of influencing people but it’s ultimately those closest to them that affect their overall behaviour. Of course in some rarer cases you find some people are born rotten.

    #7 2 years ago

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