From politicians to talking heads on mainstream media, for years video games have been linked to upticks in violence with little to no proof. In fact, mostly only evidence that concludes the contrary has emerged over the years, yet it's still a talking point that rears its head every once in awhile.
That said, the 1,891 nail in the coffin has just been provided by a brand-new study that -- shockingly -- found no link between video games and violence.
A new study from the Oxford Internet Institute alleges its new study found no link between time spent playing "violent" video games and an increase in aggressive behavior in teens.
The study was published in the Royal Society Open Science this week, and is described by the prestigious University of Oxford as one of the most definitive studies on the topic to date.
According to lead researcher on the study, Andrew Przybylski, the "idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn't tested very well over time."
"Part of the problem in technology research is that there are many ways to analyze the same data, which will produce different results," said Przybylski while explaining some of the problems with other previous studies.
"A cherry-picked result can add undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games. The registered study approach is a safeguard against this."
Fellow researcher Dr. Netta Weinstein of Cardiff University added:
"Our findings suggest that researcher biases might have influenced previous studies on this topic, and have distorted our understanding of the effects of video games."
That all said, while Oxford Internet Institute found no linkage between violent video games and violent behavior, it did note that games can provoke angry feelings and/or reactions, which is something we've known about for a long time: it's called rage quitting and it's common for big babies to do while playing games.
"Anecdotally, you do see things such as trash-talking, competitiveness and trolling in gaming communities that could qualify as antisocial behaviour," said Przybylski.0comments
Of course, it's important to note the study isn't the end-all on this topic. It notably only included a representative sample of 2,009 British teens. But it's another notch for the defense of violent video games, which have and will continue to come under attack.