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Longitudinal Study Examined Impact of Violent Games on Adults

Category: Gaming
Posted: 08:06AM

For a very long time, there has been a question in society of whether violent video games can lead to the people playing them becoming more violent in their lives. A number of studies have been done to test this hypothesis, and a new one to the list, having been published just a week ago, comes from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and looked at the impact on 90 people, from 18 to 45 years old with an average age of 28, which Ars Technica did a nice write up on.

A focus of this study was to look for any impacts long after the subjects played any video games. Many studies have examined people immediately after playing a game, when they might still be primed for certain behaviors, but for this study the researchers also had the participants tested two months later. The study used questionnaires to test the participants' aggression, hostility, and other behaviors before, after, and then two months after having them either play Grand Theft Auto V, The Sims 3 or nothing for at least 30 minutes each day for eight weeks. Participants were screened for any mental health issues before hand, and had either not played any video games in the prior six months, or played very little.

The data of the study failed to show a link between aggression and playing violent video games. In fact, given the number of tests the researchers were expecting to find ten participants would be affected, just based on chance, but instead the number was only three. While this is definitely an interesting study, the researchers do point out more research is needed, such as examining how children are affected, as this study only looked at adults.

Source: Ars Technica and Nature

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