A decade of research reveals that violent video games may lead to aggression in players
Games like “Call of Duty”, “Grand Theft Auto” and “Doom” might be interesting to play but their impact on behavior can be negative and detrimental.
A review of almost two decades of study affirms the link between violent video games and aggression.
“The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video games and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.” The American Psychological Association’s review, states.”
Though, the study is lengthy and detailed but it provides no solid evidences on whether the aggression leads to criminal activities or violence. A “very limited research” has been done in that regard.
The study suggests that a single risk factor cannot cause people act violently. When a number of risk factors assemble, they lead a person to commit criminal violence. Playing violent video is one of those many “risk factors.”
“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently.” Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior. The research review here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.”
Based on the report, APA urges Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to upgrade its rating system. It recommends that the nature and level of the violence should be clearly mentioned. It also urges developers to design games appropriate for the user’s age and psychological development.
Since report is just highlighting the fact that violent video games cause aggression. It does not provide any information on differences in outcomes between boys and girls. The effects on too young kids and how the use of violent video games affects the development of a child.
American Psychological Association demands more researchers to address those gaps.
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“What researchers need to do now is conduct studies to look at the effects of video game play in people at risk for aggression or violence due to a combination of risk factors.”