Shooting video games are considered capable of inciting violence. A team of researchers from Massey University in New Zealand carried out a large-scale study to find out if this really is the case.
New Zealand scientists used data from 28 studies conducted in the last 12 years, involving around 21,000 video game fans from different countries around the world. When examining the information obtained, they concluded that there is a “statistically significant” correlation between hobby and aggressive behaviour.
At the same time, they stressed that this does not mean that strengthening control over video games can have a long-term impact on levels of violence in young people.
After conducting a meta-analysis on the available research, we find that playing violent video games does not appear to meaningfully increase the aggressiveness of players over time.
The study’s lead author, Aaron Drummond, debunked the popular theory that violent video games can lead to a “gradual” increase in aggression. On the contrary, the effect diminishes with the passage of time. As for the long-term influence, “it is almost nil.”
We also found evidence that longer time periods were associated with smaller changes in aggression suggesting that, contrary to previous suggestions, violent gameplay does not cumulatively increase aggression over time.
The researchers urged that both scientists and the American Psychological Association (APA), among other groups, take into account the results of the meta-study.