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Study Finds That Violent Video Games Don't Make People More Aggressive

Study Finds That Violent Video Games Don't Make People More Aggressive

A new study has found that playing violent video games doesn't actually make people more violent and aggressive in real life.

It's been the subject of debate for years between parents, teachers, and the gaming industry at large, but it seems as if the researchers over at Massey University in New Zealand have finally put the argument to rest.

Of course, they haven't really - this is a debate that will probably never end.

Basically, the Massey team amalgamated the data from 28 other studies on the issue that included up to 21,000 young people and gamers to see if playing their shoot-em-ups encouraged more violent behaviour.

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Their research led them to the conclusion that there is no link between playing violent games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto and real-world aggression.

Credit: Activision
Credit: Activision

The leader of the team, Aaron Drummond, explained: "Overall, longitudinal studies do not appear to support substantive long-term links between aggressive game content and youth aggression.

"Correlations between aggressive game content and youth aggression appear better explained by methodological weaknesses and researcher expectancy effects than true effects in the real world."

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Obviously, there has been extensive research and effort put into discerning whether or not video games make kids violent in the past.

In one such study, the scientists had three different groups of children play three different versions of the popular Minecraft game.

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One required the kids to play in a world with guns and violence, another with swords and violence, and the third with no violence whatsoever.

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The children were then placed into a room full of toys, but also with two disabled handguns.

The kids who'd played with the guns and swords on Minecraft were found to be more likely to play with the guns, but the numbers weren't actually that convincing.

62 percent of the kids who played the game with guns touched a gun, as well as 54 percent of those who played in the world with swords and violence.

In contract, just 44 percent of those involved in the non-violent Minecraft world touched the gun.

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Credit: Capcom
Credit: Capcom

The researchers the published their findings in the journal JAMA Network Open, with lead researcher Dr Brad J. Bushman writing: "Children exposed to violent versions of the video game were more likely to engage in the dangerous behaviour of pulling the trigger at themselves or their partner than children exposed to the nonviolent version."

However, this new research - with the opposite findings - will keep the debate open for a little while longer still.

Topics: Science, Interesting, UK Entertainment, Technology, US Entertainment

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on editorial@ladbible.com