A review of a decade of research found that violent video games may make players more aggressive and less sensitive to human emotion and suffering and may boost risk of committing violent crimes by a significant amount.
Psychologists from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that shut-them-up games and other violent genres were a “risk factor” for heightened aggression. And the risk was higher if the player was younger.
Nevertheless, the research team acknowledged that they needed more evidence to link violent games including Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat, Assassin’s Creed, Doom, and GTA with a greater propensity fro criminal behavior.
Yet, APA researchers urged game manufacturers to grant parents more control on what their kids are playing by providing more details on the video games.
After reviewing several studies on the issue conducted over a decade, APA psychologists concluded that there is a statistically significant link between video game playing and an uptick in “aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect.” video games were also found responsible for desensitizing players, reducing their empathy, and making them more tolerant to aggression.
Researchers noted, however, that playing video games alone were not enough to cause a person to become aggressive or engage in acts of violence.
“The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor,”
the report read.
Early this month, APA’s ruling council urged video game makers to create a rating system that would focus more on violent content and to create games that are appropriate to players’ age and stage of development.
Dr Mark Appelbaum, senior author of the review paper said that two decades of research on the matter didn’t provide enough evidence to support the idea that violent games can directly lead to criminal acts. But, Dr. Appelbaum admitted that the association between those games and higher risk of aggression “was best established” over the course of years.
The researcher also said that more studies needed to be conducted on how different risk factors including video gaming, depression, and frustration increased the prevalence of criminal acts. The recent review sifted through data gathered by over 300 studies between 2005 and 2013. Yet, some cases made headlines in the past ten years like the French player who stabbed its Counter-strike rival in real life and missing his heart by an inch, or the Florida mom who killed toddler for interrupting her FarmVille session and the list can continue.
Image Source: Gameplay Online.dk
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