A new study has once more found that there is no proven link between video games and real violence or aggressive behavior. The study was published in Royal Society Open Science and was conducted by Massey University's Aaron Drummond. The study found that “current research is unable to support the hypothesis that violent video games have a meaningful long-term predictive impact on youth aggression.” Drummond's study analyzed 28 independent samples for his conclusion. For fans of M-rated games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Doom Eternal, and Grand Theft Auto V, the study is further evidence that allegations regarding the negative impact of violent video games remain unfounded.
The study is far from the first of its kind; over the years, similar studies have failed to find any significant link between video game violence and real-life violence. Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association released a similar finding. APA president Sandra Shullman released a statement claiming that these types of allegations against video games also detract attention from proven predictors of violence, such as a past history of violence.
The video game industry has long been a scapegoat for violent acts, going back to the release of games such as Mortal Kombat and Night Trap in the early 90s. Those games led to the 1993 congressional hearings on violence in video games, which propelled the issue into the public conscious.
Do longitudinal studies support long-term relationships between aggressive game play and youth aggressive behaviour? Read the new #RSOS study by Drummond et al. @jamessauer @CJFerguson1111 pic.twitter.com/oKwaBBXWYx— Royal Society Publishing (@RSocPublishing) July 23, 2020
While studies such as these should provide some vindication for the video game industry, it seems highly unlikely that the study will change anyone's mind on the matter. The reason that video games are so often blamed for violent acts is because it's far easier to blame them, as opposed to other societal issues. Fortunately, perceptions surrounding video games have evolved significantly over the last 30 years. What was once considered a niche hobby has become a major part of mainstream popular culture. As more people embrace gaming, it seems that the need for studies such as these will likely decrease.
Do you think there is a correlation between real violence and video games? What do you think of Drummond's findings? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
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