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Study Says Violent Video Games Don't Increase Players' Aggression

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  January 22, 2018 17:32
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A young man plays Grand Theft Auto IV on the game's day of release on April 29, 2008 in London, England. The game designed for the Playstation 3 was in high demand and sold out in stores across London during its first day of sale
Sam Mitchell from the Hawthorn Hawks takes his turn on a Playstation at the AFL Premiership 2005 Sony Playstation launch at the Telstra Dome August 17, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia
Violent video games are not predictors of similar behavior in real life.

There has long been this unsubstantiated narrative that playing violent video games, such as anything from the Halo, Assassin's Creed or Grand Theft Auto franchises, influence and/or encourage violent behavior in the real world from those engage with such entertainment. However, a new study out of the U.K.'s University of York is now saying that there is no correlation between the two whatsoever. 

In a detailed study that included results from some 3,000 participants, researchers found no evidence to support the theory that violent games in turn make the players themselves violent. As per the summary, one of the overarching conclusions was that "video game concepts do not ‘prime’ players to behave in certain ways and that increasing the realism of violent video games does not necessarily increase aggression in game players."

Dr David Zendle, from the University’s Department of Computer Science, said that categorization of objections, in relation to their real-life counterparts, was no quicker in subjects who took part in the study. Further to that, tests surrounding realism in video games have not turned up any conclusive results to support the original theory, which the study attempts to debunk.

Dr. Zendle concluded that there was "no difference in priming between the game that employed ‘ragdoll physics’ and the game that didn’t, as well as no significant difference between the games that used ‘real’ and ‘unreal’ solider tactics." According to the work done by York's researchers, playing games with violent content may not actually have any adverse effects on your day-to-day life behavior-wise.

What do you think? Is the study right about this one or way off base? Let us know in the comments.

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