It seems we have another one of these papers every few months, and each time we cover them we get comments and tweets that amount to “duh, we knew that,” but of course it should go without saying that somebody’s actually gotta do the hard work of proving these things with serious research, and that’s exactly what this latest study on video game violence has done.
In June of this year, researchers from Stetson University in the US and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore published a solid paper covering their longitudinal study on aggression and video gameplay – one of the most convincing ones we’ve seen to date. The authors examined over 3000 Singaporean primary and secondary school students over the course of two years to suss out “links between aggressive game play and seven aggression or prosocial outcomes” defined as “Prosocial Behavior, Physically Aggressive Behavior, Socially Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Fantasies, Cyberbullying Perpetration, Trait Anger, Trait Forgiveness.” The result? The violent and aggressive video games didn’t correlate significantly with real-life aggression in the children surveyed.
“Results indicate that aggressive video games were unrelated to any of the outcomes using the study criteria for significance. It would take 27 h/day of M-rated game play to produce clinically noticeable changes in aggression. Effect sizes for aggression/prosocial outcomes were little different than for nonsense outcomes. Evidence from this study does not support the conclusion that aggressive videogames are a predictor of later aggression or reduced prosocial behavior in youth.”