There is a forever ongoing debate regarding the impact of violent video games on the young people who prefer this type of free time activity. Psychologists have warned that many of the violent acts over the last decade might be linked to excessive games playing.
One of these is the famous Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. In December 2012, Adam Lanza took a gun and decided to kill his mother at home and then 20 school children and six staff members at school.
Moreover, games have become increasingly violent over the last few years, which might have spiked up the tendency to display aggressive behavior.
A report from the American Psychological Association (APA) aims to prove just that – playing violent video games leads to violent behavior. The researchers involved in this study looked at more than 150 studies that analyzed the relation between video games and aggressive acts and a decreased prosocial behavior, sensitivity to aggression and empathy.
However, even if the association is obvious, there is not enough evidence to support this hypothesis.
“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence. However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field,” said Mark Appelbaum, the director of the task force.
Even if the results might point to the fact that violent video games are an important contributing factor in displaying aggressive behavior, there is no evidence that it alone can make a person behave in a violent manner.
This is why supporters of video games have reacted against the findings of the study, saying that people who oppose video games only do it out of resent. Moreover, there are thousands of violent movies out there that can have just as big an impact.
Even if people who play such games might be more exposed to violence in general, there are other factors that might contribute to aggressive attitudes even more. These include depression, problems with their family, low incomes or drug and alcohol abuse.
Further research is expected in the field before determining up to what extent young people are influenced by the games they play.
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