Study Shows That Video Games Do Not Make People Violent

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Violent video games are often toted as a factor in creating violent children. But is that really the truth? (image via procon.org)

In Defence of Video Games

The world is littered with people (usually older people with specific political agendas), that try to demonize video games. Every school shooting, violent incident or car theft usually comes with one comment or another about the evil of computer games, or something to that effect.

I’ve always said that video game violence is entirely different to real violence. If anything, gamers are among the least violent segment of the population. Physical, high contact sports on the other hand consistently simulate the adrenaline and pain of real violence that produces violent individuals.

If anything, video games should make us more placid.

Do Studies Verify This Claim?

It turns out that a recent study carried out by researchers in Germany debunks the idea that video gamers are sociopathic time bombs.

The study, carried out on long term users of video games, used functional magnetic resonance imagining (FMRI) to test the emotional reaction of hardcore gamers against those of people who do not play video games.

After the tests were concluded, the experiment found that hardcore gamers had the same emotional reactions to distressing images as those who did not play video games.

This study now serves as direct evidence that emotional reactions in video gamers are not comparably different to people who do not play video games, and adds to the growing amount of evidence that debunks the claims that consumption of video games leads to violent behaviour in the real world.

How Definitive Is the Evidence?

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Violence is a huge part of video games, but does simulated violence lead to real world crime?

Dr Gregor Szycik of the Hannover Medical School has stated that more work needs to be done before we have a full understanding of the impact of video games on the human psyche.

“This study used emotionally-provocative images. The next step for us will be to analyse data collected under more valid stimulation, such as using videos to provoke an emotional response." says Szycik, meaning that more research is sure to be underway soon.

But Szycik isn’t just aiming to compliment his own research, on the topic of further research he had this to say: "We hope that the study will encourage other research groups to focus their attention on the possible long-term effects of video games on human behaviour”

We look forward to more support from the scientific community in proving that video games are not the devil they are sometimes made out to be.

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Entertainment writer, occasional fiction author and definitely not a legion of soul-devouring horrors trapped inside a sugary sweet cadaver. I promise.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Total War: Warhammer
Top 3 Favorite Games:Stellaris, Total War: Rome II, Dragon Age: Inquisition
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