Video games and violence link

Two Harvard psychologists have suggested it is not game playing teenage boys at risk of violent behaviour – but the inverse, debunking the violence and video game link.

Two Harvard psychologists have suggested it is not game playing teenage boys at risk of violent behaviour – but the inverse. Teen boys that don’t play video games are more likely to get into trouble than their game playing counterparts.

The psychologists, Dr Lawrence Kutner and Dr Cheryl Olsen also believe there is no evidence to suggest that violent video games provoke criminal activity or push people to violent behaviour.

In an interview reported in today’s Australian, the doctors commented: “If you look at the violent crime in the US over the past 20 years among teenagers it’s gone down, and gone down significantly, and if you look at videogame play, it’s gone up.
“The big concern that you hear the politicians and the pundits argue, that playing violent video games will somehow turn your child into a criminal or a violent person, there’s absolutely no evidence for that.”

The duo conducted a two year study of 1250 children and 500 parents. Whilst the study did not uncover any link between games and violence, the doctors believed that there was a link between adult rated games and aggressive behaviour. Those participants that had played adult rated games were more likely to have been involved in incidents of aggression than their g rated counterparts. 50 %o fteh boys that had played adult rated games had been involved in a fight in the past 12 months, and 40 % of the girls who played adult rated games had been in a fight compared with 12 % of those who didn’t.

It was inconclusive as to whether adult rated games triggered aggressive behaviour or whether agressive children were simply drawn to playing aggressive games.
The doctors however concluded that certain types of behaviour could be considered normal or abnormal
“If you have, for example, a girl who plays 15 hours a week of exclusively violent video games, I’d be very concerned because it’s very unusual,” Dr Kutner said.
“But for boys (the danger sign) is not playing video games at all, because it looks like for this generation, video games are a measure of social competence for boys.”

Source: Australian IT



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