For Science: Yet another study finds no link between violent video games and aggression

    
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See, this is why no one likes you. It's because of this.

Yet another academic study appears to indicate no correlation between aggressive behavior and violent video games, this one specifically in kids.

In the newly published Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behaviour: evidence from a registered report, authors Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein interviewed over a thousand young British teenagers and their guardians to measure both their gaming activities and their patterns of aggressive behavior.

“Following a preregistered analysis plan, multiple regression analyses tested the hypothesis that recent violent game play is linearly and positively related to carer assessments of aggressive behaviour. Results did not support this prediction, nor did they support the idea that the relationship between these factors follows a nonlinear parabolic function. There was no evidence for a critical tipping point relating violent game engagement to aggressive behaviour. Sensitivity and exploratory analyses indicated these null effects extended across multiple operationalizations of violent game engagement and when the focus was on another behavioural outcome, namely, prosocial behaviour.”

Przybylski has cropped up in our pages before for his work on screentime and addiction.

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flying_dutchman

Not really surprising. I’ve always viewed videogames as an outlet. Human’s are full of violent impulses without any outside interference. Having a place where people can vent those impulses without hurting themselves or others is a good thing IMHO.

It’s the people who bottle all those things up that are the scary ones.

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Fenrir Wolf

My main concern with games is that some might exacerbate underlying dark traits that a person might have. Such as the Dreamfall Chapters example I think I gave here a little while ago with the character who made autistic slurs unchallenged.

I don’t necessarily think that overall general aggression is the be all and end all of how we should look at this. What I think we should examine is whether people with negative traits have those traits exacerbated by video games that don’t challenge them.

For example: In the toxic environment of a MOBA, does a homophobe become more homophobic?

Perhaps there’s more that games developers could do to be countering this. Perhaps there isn’t and I’m barking up the wrong tree. It wouldn’t be the first time. In a forest, all of these trees can be hard to tell apart. So it isn’t the first time I’ve been off-point.

Still, I do worry. I think that there might be underlying effects that we’re ignoring that we might need to be more responsible about. I don’t know. The narrative would demand that we spend no more time investigating this as everything related to human aggression and video games is a foregone conclusion, but still… I feel we aren’t looking in the right place.

Saying that, though, this might just be my dark matter. Scientists have spent so long searching for god when it comes to dark matter that according to good scientific practises we should’ve decided by this point that it simply doesn’t exist.

And yet there are many overzealous scientists that pursue it even though it could be as simple as an error in our admittedly lacking understanding which could be at least partially accounted for with Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND).

Looking at dark matter, it’s easy to see the folly of it. It’s just hard to witness that when you’re in the mindset because you can be so focused.

To me, it’s always felt like dark coldness.

“Hm, this thermometer isn’t showing the boiling temperature of this water. C-Could it be? Have I discovered… dark coldness???”

“No, I think your thermometer is broke–”

“Silencio! Let me think! I see, I see. Yes, yes! If I add 100 degrees it accounts for the very temperature I would’ve expected to find, thus I have proved dark coldness! If I place this thermometer in any boiling water with this discrepancy, my theory accounts for it perfectly! Yesss. Excellent!”

“I really think your thermometer is broke–”

“Achtung, peon! I must write my thesis at once, post-haste, with no time to waste!”

It seems like folly yet some scientists are so convinced it’s real. I suppose my worry regarding behavioural alterations caused by certain kinds of games might be like that. I mean, not regarding addiction as operant conditioning chambers are self-evident, but rather that certain games might serve to further groom players to have negative traits rather than countering those traits and trying to educate them.

I don’t know, really. I’ll just keep an open-mind and try to not be too passionate about any assumptions.

smuggler-in-a-yt
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smuggler-in-a-yt

Data is always good. Happy to see social investigations like that, we need more of them.

Influential or not, I wish someone would tackle more head-on the challenge of offering high-profile alternatives to violent games; especially in competition. It isn’t easy, to be sure, but in the Minecraft community there are amazing competitions that aren’t all exploding gore, colors, and bits. Teaching kids that there are positive effects of building and creating seems a goal worthwhile.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

But, but, you can get a study to say whatever you want it to say with enough money on the line! /sarcasm

Mewmew
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Mewmew

There are real thoughts like this though, and it’s one of the reasons why we continue to have studies telling us stuff we already know. People want definitive proof and multiple studies done by many different people.

I thought we had that already as far as violent behavior and games went, but it doesn’t hurt to chalk up yet another study in support of it I guess. A waste of time to do but still, maybe the issue can be laid to rest now for good?

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

No amount of factual evidence will persuade people who choose not to believe facts. While that is sad, there really are people who don’t believe in facts, the same as there are people who really want to believe in fairies and unicorns and pixie dust…

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NeoWolf

Great? although i’m not entirely we need studies to tell us what we already know.
Games don’t make people do bad things, people make those CHOICES for themselves.

As with ALL things of this nature, video games, scary movies, roleplaying etc.. you just get a subset of people who do not like nor understand them and so choose to blame them for everything bad anyone who ever used them did…because its easier to point fingers than say wow that person made a REALLY bad and stupid choice.

Humans…what a farce. lol

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Arktouros

Except gambling. Games make people gambling addicts out of children and then prey upon them with lootboxes. Oh, and now they’re wish fulfillment simulators that appeal hidden, oppressive stereotypes that for some reason we’re unable to deny having.

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NeoWolf

I disagree. Even a gambling addiction begins with a CHOICE, games do not make those choices, they may present situations whereby making them are easier, but they do not make them for us. WE CHOOSE to buy lootboxes and in doing so some people become addicted to the possible gambling buzz they can go from them or indeed any game of chance… but it is still a choice.

People need to own those choices instead of looking for any means,e xcuse or rationale to excuse themselves of any culpability for having made them themselves in the first place.

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Arktouros

No, no, no. You can’t think about this logically or apply common sense to every scenario equally.

If it’s something we agree with then the science is great and we’re all on board with facts and common sense. These other people are ignoring the science and are just fear mongering and using groups like children to justify their unfactual viewpoints.

If it’s something we disagree with and hate then who needs science or facts and why won’t you think of the children on this topic we hate you monster!?!11

(:

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rosieposie

Alright, I’ll give you that it is a choice. How do you know that people don’t own those choices and don’t admit to their own culpability? What, you think that as soon as they admit to it they are cured of their addiction? Do you even know how addiction works, because that’s not how. Admitting to your own addiction is just a small first step, these people are still vulnerable and will probably remain so for the rest of their lives.

Well, I guess then you must be saying that as a society we shouldn’t really give a toss to making sure these vulnerable people aren’t at least slightly protected from relapse into their old habit. Nice, if you’re saying that, then I’m saying that you’re a lovely human being.

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NeoWolf

Because studies which are nonsesne like this exist, studies that serve NO PURPOSE at all, other than to try to pass blame from where it belong sot where it does not. We see it time and again Computer games make people violent..zero evidence, porn makes people run out and molest people…zero evidence, gory movies make people hurt other people…zero evidence.. and on and on.

As for what addicts feel and how addiction works I know more than I care too.

With regard to curing addiction that is an ENTIRELY different conversation that has zero relevance on the point I have made here, which t clarify is that people make choices themselves, studies like those that say violent video games are responsible for this or that has no evidence or validity anymore than any of the other things I mentioned did and as has been proven time and time again despite such claims.

And they exist because people always want a scapegoat or an out legally, morally or even financially to admonish of any guilt or responsibility for the choices THEY make, not that games, or movies or anythign else MADe them do.

As for how society views people with addiction and should deal with them I am afraid you are confusing issues here my friend…this ENITRE conversation is not about addition or addicts so you may be want to you know..read the topic and the responses before you jump the gun lol Addiction was only mentioned at all by Arktouros in jest and I responded simply to state that games did not make people buy lockboxes and thus become gambling addicts (if at all) that is a choice they make themselves as a result of buying them and therefore opening themselves up to such temptation. So as you can see you ahev gone a little astray in where and what you think this conversation was about ;)

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rosieposie

I’m sorry but this huge word salad was just a lame dodge. All you said was ‘I’m just going to focus on this one small aspect of ‘I proudly and boldly stand for being given a choice to buy loot boxes in my games’ and I won’t address all the surrounding circumstances and consequences.’

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NeoWolf

So because you cannot be bothered to read what is said, or follow the topic of the conversation being had you’ll just ignore it and rage on about something we are not even speaking about? okay gotcha..cool ;)

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rosieposie

I’m sure you thought your lengthy response was very clever and informative, so I formally apologize for aptly pointing out its complete and utter lack of substance. I have faith that you’ll do better the next time.

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NeoWolf

You keep raging little buddy ;) The only thing I thought my lengthy response would do is point out to you you were raging about something we were NOT even speaking about.. but you know you would have had to read it in order to know that, which clearly you didn’t.
Sadly the comment section does not provide much in the way of alternative means to try and convey that message to you (not that you’d pay any more attention to the substance of those if it did) so I guess even finger puppets is off the table lol

you do you boo ;)

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Dobablo

It is hard to own a choice when it is offered unfairly, enticing participants with limited information or prior to formation of judgement skills. There cannot be consent without understanding.
If gambling is offered it has to be a true choice with information on the offerings and viable alternatives.

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NeoWolf

And whose responsibility is it to provide you information? is it theirs or is it yours to check things about before you leap in feet first?

Gambling in regard to lockboxes is a non thing anyway it was never a serious point Arktouros raised it in jest while being playful.

We are talking about SURVEYS here, surveys that try to blame or clear gaming and the like for bad things gamers occasionally od as if gaming was ever responsible for them to being with.

folks seem to be getting a touch off topic

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Arktouros

As a side note Bree once linked a study that showed even when the study participants were educated on gambler fallacies, odds and statistics, and other educating topics regarding gambling it didn’t alter their behavior in their propensity to gamble. The idea that educating consumers would change their behavior when it comes to gambling was proven false.

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rosieposie

You should stop using your terrible ‘regulating EVERYTHING or no regulation whatsoever on anything’ argument because it is patently false. I know Americans love their false dichotomies and are brainwashed into the red/blue false dichotomy from early childhood, but this is silly. You CAN make regulation on case by case basis. Regulation of loot boxes doesn’t have to lead to lead to regulation of games because they instigate violence. In fact, I have not heard Belgium or the Netherlands even raising the topic of game violence, after having addressed the loot box issue.

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Arktouros

You’re taking my argument to a generally hyperbolic level of extreme and then attacking that extreme as if it has anything to do with what my point is. You then do this again by making a blanket statement about Americans and then criticizing the extreme case scenario in your own statement.

My overall arching argument is that we should be looking to avoid regulation because it does tend to lead to additional regulation but also it’s unproven that such aspects to games are even really harmful or not and should be regulated.

In the case of additional regulation, you can see the bills/solutions proposed by Chris Lee actually suggested having each game designer submit their code to be reviewed to make sure no funny business was going on behind the scenes. However who would review that information? There’s hundreds of games out there and exponentially more than that if you bring mobile gaming into that. Who is going to pay the additional companies they propose to handle the overflow? This generally leads to things like excise taxes, such as you saw proposed recently in Pennsylvania to help offset costs of such measures. Imagine having to pay an extra $10 to play a game because it has loot boxes in it even if you never planned to actually purchase said loot boxes.

In the case of if such aspects are even harmful we have all seen dozens of studies showing that video games have no impact on how violent we are. Yet where are the studies being done on loot boxes and addiction? So far what you mostly have seen in those regards are surveys and papers without any real science or actual study behind it. Even those are tremendously dubious when applied to the gaming world as a lot of gaming outlets tried linking this “child gamblers quadruples!!!11” story only if you fully read the article you’ll see that much of the problem happens outside of official settings where regulation would help (IE: they’re gambling while playing cards during their lunch break not on Overwatch boxes).

TLDR: Stop misrepresenting my arguments. Regulation actually, factually can and does lead to more regulation. There’s absolutely no science or facts to show anything needs to be regulated in the first place.

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hoylegu

“There’s absolutely no science or facts to show anything needs to be regulated in the first place.”

This is the most stupid and ignorant thing I’ve read in a long time.

Alcohol and tobaccoo regulations have been wildly successful. Studies have shown seat-belt laws have saved countless lives. Helmet laws have shown the same, plus saved taxpayer dollars from uninsured motorcyclists running up huge hospital bills. Firearm regulations have been wildly successful in Australia since the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996. Speed limits in school zones…. I can do this all day. TLDR: sensible regulations can be and are wildly successful.

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Arktouros

This is the most stupid and ignorant thing I’ve read in a long time.

Maybe you shouldn’t just read the TLDR if you have trouble understanding that we’re talking about video games and video game related topics such as video game monetization strategies? But since you decided to bring up this topic I’ll explain to you why it doesn’t have any place being compared to video game monetization strategies.

Alchohol, tobacco, and car regulations are all things done for public safety purposes. Your own bad decisions should not affect other members within the society you live in. It is wholly unacceptable for someone driving while drinking to injure others and causing public harm. As our understanding of the effects of tobacco increased we learned that things like second hand smoking was a thing and so regulation was passed to prevent one member of society from harming another. You already covered the financial burden on society from people’s poor choices as well.

However within most societies on the planet you have been mostly free to kill yourself with any number of vices any way you please. So if you want to drink yourself to death that is perfectly fine and there’s no system in place to stop alcoholics from walking into a bar to do so. The same goes for smoking, etc.

To which, back to my original point, no one has even scientifically proven or studied the negative impacts of having such mechanics within games on people. There’s no readily available level of physical harm to be measured in this kind of situation. Studies need to be done. Data needs to be analyzed. Facts need to be discovered. Informed decisions can then be made.

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rosieposie

”TLDR: Stop misrepresenting my arguments. Regulation actually, factually can and does lead to more regulation. There’s absolutely no science or facts to show anything needs to be regulated in the first place.”

Thanks for the chuckle, buddy. Don’t break your neck falling from all those slippery slopes you threw in your ‘argument’.

Oh, and maybe light an extra candle on your little Ayn Rand shrine.

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Arktouros

I’m glad you got a good ol chuckle out it. Personally it warms the cockles of my heart when people can’t refute my argument and resort to tropes like misusing logical fallacies or throwing out stereotypes like Ayn Rand. I mean why not hit me with the Fox news? I mean I know the mods around here don’t like ad hom attacks but personally I don’t see any greater sign of showing how little of a basis of opinion they actually have when they start trying to come at you.

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rosieposie

“when people can’t refute my argument”

That’s just because you’re not making any argument. It’s just banal word salad about the evils of regulation and fear mongering about government coming for your loot boxes. You’ve been making the same non-arguments in every thread about loot boxes and regulations over the past few months, as predictable as Oleg’s lame excuses for Star Citizen in every thread about it. And you’ve both been equally unconvincing.

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Arktouros

I have made an argument and furthermore I’ve backed up that argument with examples.

What’s unconvincing is your overly generalized criticisms that have no merit and of course your ad hom attacks based on stereotypes and hyperbolic misrepresentations of what’s being discussed. You have nothing to say other than you dislike what I (and others apparently) are saying.

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Bryan Correll

Humans…what a farce

There’s reasons I prefer the company of dogs.

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Bryan Correll

Przybylski

I don’t know if I can trust someone whose name has that many consonants.

semugh
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semugh

kurwa! Is that word ok for you?

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Bryan Correll

Hmmm. 3 consonants, 2 vowels. No problem there. But I’ll stick with the English equivalent to avoid confusion.

But Przybylski? By Wheel of Fortune rules that’s 9 consonants and only 1 measly vowel. You can’t but a ‘y’ on Wheel of Fortune!

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Akagi

It’s pronounced something like Pshibilski.

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MikeInTheLab

Whoa, whoa, whoa! How could the state of Pennsylvania, the President, and a bunch of old politicians be wrong? Next they’ll say vaccines are perfectly safe and good for society!!!
=P

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Schmidt.Capela

Well, a bunch of antivax people is rethinking their position. The bad news is that it took a life-threatening outbreak for that to happen.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/vaccinations-jump-500-in-antivax-hotspot-amid-measles-outbreak/

BTW, an outbreak doesn’t just put at risk people who refused vaccination. The vaccine doesn’t make everyone 100% immune; AFAIK in the specific case of measles about 7% of the people that took a single dose of the vaccine, and 3% of those that took two doses, are still vulnerable to it, and thus have their lives put at risk when the number of idiots that refuse vaccination grows large enough to allow an outbreak to happen, as is happening in multiple places in the US.

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cursedseishi

Aye, herd immunity is a fun thing… And a frustrating thing when a significant chunk of said herd thinks running away from the hungry lions and cheetahs is more dangerous than simply walking towards them.

Always easier to claim the lions aren’t dangerous when the herd has managed to outrun a starving predator. Give it a few bites, though, and things get messy…

…And no, I’m not speaking purely in terms of animals because of the terms usage of herd! S-Shuddup…!

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Barnoc N'Draak

I’m confident they will update their views to incorporate these latest scientific findings.

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PanagiotisLial1

Most of these sort of “studies” keep going out because our elderly political world wants/hopes a study to come positive, so they keep trying, and scientists want funding.

The people out there in the political scene think violence shown on TV is absolutely ok though

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Chosenxeno .

I’ve been playing violent games longer than I have been alive. Mortal Kombat was released while I was still a child living in a Inner Ctiy Neighborhood(aka The Hood lol) I have yet to decapitate a man or pull someone’s heart out with my barehands. Go fig.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

If you’re not committing “Fatality” regularly out in public, you’re doing it wrong. ;)

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IronSalamander8 .

I use violent video games to curb any aggression my job or the commute invokes in me, they certainly don’t make me wish to cause injury to anyone. Shooting a bunch of zombies, demons, etc. is quite cathartic rather than inspiring me to take things out on actual people.

Of course I also listen to death metal and play tabletop RPGs so according to some I should have depopulated a small country by now.