A paper from New Zealand’s Massey University has proven yet again that there is little to no correlation between violent behavior and video games; being below even a “small effect.”
The Guardian reports that the new paper re-analyzed 28 other studies from as old as 2008 that analyzed the supposed link between aggressive behavior and video games. This study was conducted by Aaron Drummond, James D. Sauer and Christopher J. Ferguson using meta-analysis.
This report found that (in The Guardian’s words) “showed a statistically significant but minuscule positive correlation between gaming and aggression, below the threshold required to count as even a ‘small effect’.”
The correlation between video games causing violence is so minor “current research is unable to support the hypothesis that violent video games have a meaningful long-term predictive impact on youth aggression”– as stated in the report.
Among the papers, one study from 2011 even had a negative correlation. Overall the argument that aggression can build over a long period of time from playing video games was also not only disproven; but that it actually reduced over time while playing video games.
Drummond, Sauer, and Ferguson conclude their paper stating they demand professionals such as psychologists to bring this fact to light more openly.
“We call on both individual scholars as well as professional guilds such as the American Psychological Association to be more forthcoming about the extremely small observed relationship in longitudinal studies between violent games and youth aggression.”
It should be noted in March 2019, Oxford University released a “definitive” study, declaring “no link” between violent video games, and violent tendencies in teenagers. The report aligns with the findings of several other studies already conducted before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].
Despite this, some still hold the misconception that video games cause violent behavior in sane and rational people. These include former US Vice President and Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden. During an interview he called Silicon Valley leaders “little creeps,” who made video games “to teach you how to kill people.”
It also should be mention games are also being accused of creating other foul behavior by some; including bigotry, misogyny, sexism, extremism, addiction (or so-called “gaming disorder“), and others.
Image: Doom Eternal (via Steam).