Do Violent Video Games Cause Violence?

Do Violent Video Games Cause Violence?
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There has been plenty of research on whether or not violent video games cause aggression in the real world. Famously, we have lawyer Jack Thompson who claimed games like Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat were causing children to attack one another. His claims were met with a moral panic that culminated like all other moral panics ― lot’s of hysteria. Thompson’s claims didn’t really get him anywhere but his claim lingered: do violent video games cause violence?

Many would be inclined to say yes despite evidence to the contrary. Reality is much more complicated than looking at two things in a vacuum and deciding they are causally related to one another.

The video above from Psych2Go looks at the relationship between video game violence and real life aggression. The majority of studies seem to find that aggression and violent video games are linked, but these studies were not conducted under objective conditions and only measured short term effects.

However, once studies were conducted that measured the long term effects of violent video games, the results changed. Studies that looked at gamers and aggression levels over longer periods found no difference between those who play video games and those who don’t.

So there you have it. There are no long term links between consuming violent video games and real world violence. If you’re worried about exposure to violence only in video games, you’re turning a blind eye to violence elsewhere. Look around, violent video games are nothing compared to the violence we consume in our daily news media.

leolintang via Getty Images
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