Study confirms: Violent video games linked to aggression

New study reveals a strong link between violent video games and aggression in real life.

The research analyzed the data from multiple previous studies that found a link between video games and aggression as a base to their research. After reviewing more than 300 of the studies published between 2005 and 2013, the American Psychological Association (APA) made their report.

In the studies, video game players were tested over various timeframes using a variety of factors ranging from short term to long term. After reviewing the results, the research team was confident in concluding that violent video games do in fact have a heavy influence on aggression in the players, according to Science Times.

They also found that by playing violent aggressive games on a regular basis, the player’s empathy capacity decreased as well as a decrease in pro-social behavior and sensitivity to aggression.

The report also stated that pro-gaming groups have contested the findings claiming that the psychologists who carried out all of the research were selective in choosing the studies to review and that they were also initially ‘anti-gamers’. They are not the only ones contesting the results. Many from the gaming industry also disagree with the report.

One gaming arcade in Acton, North West London said the study was just ‘history repeating itself’. He agreed that video games had become more violent over time and more realistic, heightening the level of realism, and affecting people in society. But he compared the evolution to that of violent movies, in that they share similar rating systems to prevent consumers of content they might not want to take part in viewing.

APA admits that the topic of linking violent video games to criminal violence was controversial, and that more research is needed to confirm those findings. But they also pointed out criminal events such as the Aurora Cinema shooting and Sandy Hook massacre were directly linked to violent gaming.

The APA added to their report that they are strongly suggesting that the American game rating organization update their rating system on video games to truly reflect the level of violence they portray.

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