Ten-year study finds no link between game violence and aggressive behavior from adolescence to adulthood

    
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We’ve got another leaflet of evidence on the already towering pile of research suggesting no link between video game violence and aggressive behavior. A ten year-long longitudinal study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking has concluded that there is no connection between playing violent games and exhibiting violent tendencies in meatspace.

The study, titled Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents, took a person-centered approach to its research as it tracked the behaviors of a group of children as young as ten all the way through to early adulthood, asking participating families to fill out questionnaires. Of the participants, 65% were Caucasian, 12% Black, 19% multi-ethnic, and 4% listed as other.

Results showed that boys played more violent video games than girls, while the test groups displayed three forms of video game play: high-initial violence (4%), which indicated individuals played a high-level of violent video games at an early age; moderate initial violence (23%), where violent video game play was moderate at an early age; and low initial violence (73%).

According to the results, aggressive behavior from the group that played low initial violence games “was no higher […] than the high initial violence group at the final time point.” In other words, adolescents who played extremely violent video games at an early age did not show more aggressive behavior later in life than those who played fewer to no hours of violent video games as children.

This is at least the fourth such paper we’ve covered with a longitudinal approach – but this is by far the longest period of time studied.

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Bryan Correll

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Utakata

Water is wet. Pigtails are pink. Captain’s name is Obvious. News at 6:00… o.O

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Axetwin .

Now do a long term study of the effects of the COMMUNITY on an adolescence mind. It’s not the games that incite Gamers™ to commit violence, but their peers.

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starbuck1771

Not just their peers but also pressure from parents and adults that are supposed to be authority figures.

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Jeremy Barnes

Shocking. Seriously, very shocked. All those other studies showing the same thing before saying the same thing made me think we were due for a surprising twist.

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2Ton Gamer

Where’s the study showing how violent, people can get from social media and then going out and creating violent antagonizing groups IRL? I’ll stay home thank you and keep playing games.

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Schmidt.Capela

Remember the Nashville bombing that happened last Christmas? The FBI is seriously investigating if the bomber’s motivation was his belief in either the Reptilian conspiracy theory (the one that says many influential people are actually reptilian aliens disguised as humans who secretly control the Earth) or in one of the many conspiracy theories about how 5G is actually a ploy to control humans.

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Utakata

It’s not violence in video games, moves, television, etc we should worry about. It’s those who spread hate, ignorance and conspiracy, oft without evidence and those willing to believe them, we should fear the most instead. Especially when they become elected officials. Just saying.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Violence in media might *possibly* inspire it as more of a reasonable idea for extreme situations that might include violence as an option. Where one might otherwise shirk, they instead consider being able to commit it. Just what I think.

..While hatred, paranoid theories, and incendiary philosophies and rhetoric actually inspire real physical violence as a reasonable idea in *daily life*. They really propose a world – not a clearly fictional one mind you – where you could go out of our door and take matters into your own hands.

The former, I believe, doesn’t do much except to societies already predisposed to action. So hey, maybe USA, not really because USA has a working food distribution etc. The latter, well that’s intentionally triggering to the most presently dangerous people (maybe not with therapy, and material and emotional help, but still presently so). And the latter is arguably less in video games than in already *legacy media*, and moreso parts of *Internet media*. Video games can have toxic and problematic ideas and tropes, but they tend not to seriously push people to commit violence, nor ruminate on thoughts that get them there. They more often provide catharsis, even if not of the ‘take a run and do some yoga’ sort.

That said, I predict a future of such accessible video game development and distribution that many could indeed become base (instead of essentially not, or more benign) propaganda outlets that push as far as possible into extremism to encourage violence. But we’re not there. For decades video games have stayed in the ‘if you’re generally of sound mind, video games are still largely just entertainment for your semi-active relaxed brain’. Largely. Of course there’s ideas educated, incepted, or introduced to us, but they’re usually not ones that translate to exact actions in the real world. Beating up a sex worker in GTA might help encourage already-developing negative views someone has of sex workers in the real world, but it doesn’t get someone to beat one up any time soon, and its in the context of a world you beat up anyone at all, and run and fight from the waves of police.

We’re going to have a lot of a-hole gamer politicians, along with repentant, often religious, ex-gamers. They won’t represent the vast majority of gamers or casual game players. But they will be part of a sub-culture (sub-sub-culture?) that developed attraction to being the scummiest scum they can be, even virtually. Which we have to accept that video games will always allow to an extent through player freedom.

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Sorenthaz

It’s almost like a vast majority of people can differentiate real life from video games.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Bah! Who needs your pesky science? What’s important is making people afraid of things so they’ll vote for you! Everyone knows that.

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Sarah Cushaway

How many times are they going to run this study?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Reproducibility being key to building scientific consensus, probably many more times with different parameters, at least until ignorant people and bad faith actors stop scapegoating violent games for specific cultural and political problems.

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Rndomuser

until ignorant people and bad faith actors stop scapegoating violent games

That will never happen, though. With irrational people, any kind of rational arguments or scientific studies are useless, no matter how many of them are out there. You can see it everywhere – from people who still refuse to wear masks in public places to fans of certain games who become overly obsessed with them to the point of rejecting any kind of valid criticism.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

This is not a good reason to stop doing good science, however. It was never for the irrational. It was for everyone else! :D

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McGuffn

But my uninformed opinions say otherwise, cry everyone else.

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

Take this again for the 4th time, Jack Thompson, you disbarred old coot.