For Science: Another longitudinal study demonstrates no link between video games and aggression

    
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Shooooooot

Back in July, we covered a Stetson University paper for a study that examined over 3000 Singaporean primary and secondary school students over the course of two years to determine whether there were any links between aggressive game play and aggressive outcomes. There weren’t. It’s one of a growing number of longitudinal studies academics have offered up in the last few years to counter the popular but scientifically unfounded narrative that video games provoke violent behavior.

Now, one of the authors of that study, Chris Ferguson, has published another similar paper, this one based on data collected by Zhaojun Teng as part of a study of a large cohort (1340) of Chinese kids over the course of a year. The result – that exposure to aggressive video games do not appear to be “a risk factor for future aggression in youth” – shouldn’t be a surprise at this point.

“Although AVG exposure was not a risk factor for youth aggression, prior aggressivenessand moral disengagement were. Aggressiveness proved to be a stable trait across the 1-yeartime frame of the study. Indeed, only when T1 agg ressiveness was removed from theregression equation were AVGs a predictor for youth aggression. This suggests there maybe a selection effect at play wherein youth with preexisting aggressiveness may be moreinclined to play AVGs. Nonetheless, even with the T1 aggressiveness variable removed, theeffect size for AVGs as a predictor for later aggressiveness was below the threshold somescholars use for meaningful interpretation of practical effects [13]. Thus, the most cautiousinterpretation is that AVGs should not be considered as a risk factor for later youth aggression.”

Further reading:

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Cypher

Surely the fact that “aggression” (in all its forms) has existed long before video games is enough to rubbish these claims of a link?

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Drago

ANYONE!! what feels thee need to pick up a gun after/or because of playing a video game, needed help well before playing.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Video games don’t directly cause violence, but in some cases playing them might make it easier for people who already have violent ideas to carry them out.

Studies should concentrate on violent video games’ effects on individuals like that – not average gamers, who have been shown in a study after study to be at worst minimally affected.

The Norwegian terrorist Breivik who murdered 77 said that he ‘trained’ his attack by playing Call of Duty.

To him playing a video game supposedly made easier to handle shooting, both practically – and by turning reality into a kind of video game, dehumanizing his victims essentially into video game NPCs.

These kind of people, who come to video games already with violent thoughts and ideas, are the problem – in few cases like this video games can make an already dangerous individual even more dangerous to the society.

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Bryan Correll

I wouldn’t put much faith in statements made by someone like Anders Breivik. Call of Duty didn’t help him with the car bomb that killed 8 people in Oslo. And he hardly needed much training to spend roughly an hour walking around a small island killing 69 unarmed people (mostly teenagers) at a youth camp. He even came back to finish off the wounded in some cases. When armed police finally arrived he surrendered immediately rather than risk an actual firefight. Extreme outliers are poor examples.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

The issue is that games like that can help individuals already inclined to violence to ‘mechanize’ activity like pulling the trigger of a gun – eventually when its pointing to human beings – and treat reality like it would be a video game. He was not going to be a martyr to his far-right ideas – he set out to kill children and youths.

On it’s way it’s a kind of modern ‘solution’ (for ‘lone wolf’ terrorists) to the old problem armies face – how to get people to actually point a gun to another human being and shoot them? If you look at statistics, more US soldiers in WWII actually shot at enemy soldiers than in WWI, and the number was supposedly higher in Vietnam than WWII.

A lot of work in training (and propaganda) went to achieving that – and some graduate student might find a good subject to study how games like America’s Army affect modern recruits in this regard? Perhaps it can have subtle effect – if nothing else, by reducing number of recruits to whom even a video game experience of shooting people might eventually feel too much.

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Bryan Correll

Mewmew
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Mewmew

There are some people that really need to be hit over the head with these facts again and again. So keep piling on the studies until they get it through their thick skulls.

Or are they so stubborn that they never will, and we just have to wait until they are no longer in the public eye or office blaming video games for things video games have nothing to do with?

The more to back it up the better either way. It’s redundant to many of us but unfortunately not all of us. It’s great to have all these studies to point to rather than trying to debate the issue ourselves all the time.

The other thing is many countries don’t want to buy into studies done in other countries, so go ahead and do the same studies in each and every area on its own to get them to accept them.

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Utakata

I am going to take a pigtailed hunch here and suggest that aggression in players are likely due players being predisposed to aggression for whatever reasons before they pick up a game.

Anecdotally, I can also say since playing WoW for almost going on 15 years, my personal issues with aggression (read: I get pissed off all too easily) have gone down considerably. This is not to suggest MMO’s are a great pacifier…just likely an outlet for me to manage with aggression maybe better? But don’t quote me on that. >.<

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Mia DeSanzo

In other news, hurricanes are windy and water is wet.

If only people in charge of stuff would stop scapegoating and look for real causes, we might make some actual progress. Blaming video games is easy, and since it seems “obvious” to people, it is an easy sell too. Of course, not everything that seems obvious is true.

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BalsBigBrother

So what you are saying is that its yet another study that will be ignored by those seeking to shift blame for whatever to video games instead of dealing with the whatever that is the real problem.

/sigh