New Study Finds No Connection Between Video Games and Violence in Teens
Oxford University has conducted a study which shows that there's no link that suggests teens become violent due to playing video games and have implemented the use of pre-registration of findings to tackle biases influences
A brand new study that has come from the University of Oxford which reveals that there’s no substantial evidence to link video games and aggression in teens. Of course, this is something many of us gamers have been trying to convey for years, usually the speech falling on deaf ears. Will this new evidence finally put to bed that playing video games turns teens into violent monsters with some people thinking they are capable of mass shootings? Probably not, but its a really good start.
In the study, which is published in Royal Society Open Science, it claims to be one of the most definitive findings to date – while as we’ve seen in the past, there have been plenty of other “studies” conducted to prove otherwise, which not only hurt gamers, but the games industry as a whole. This time, however, lead researcher professor Andrew Przybylski said the “idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time”.
So, what makes this study different? This time researchers use pre-registration where researchers publish their hypothesis, methods, and analysis technique before beginning research. This means that previous data can’t be analyzed over again, thus safeguarding any kind of cherry-picked results from happening. Co-author in the study, Dr. Netta Weinstein suggests that in previous studies, biases may have played a part in researchers findings and in turn, produced misleading results in the understanding of the effects of video games.
Thankfully, what this study shows is that self-reporting research won’t happen as all data has to go through the pre-registration phase which produces fairer results.
Even though this new study shows no direct connection between playing video games and aggressive behavior in adolescents, researchers did express that video games can incite feelings of anger in players, trash-talking, competitiveness and trolling within the gaming communities that could qualify as antisocial behavior. In my personal opinion, these factors can be placed into so many areas like sports, for instance, especially the brutal world of ice hockey or the rugged nature of wrestling – but, most parents have no issues with taking their children to these places.
It’s the fear of the unknown for some parents since so many feel out of touch and disconnected with the goings-on of the internet and gaming as a whole, so in theory, it makes for an easier target to blame rather than other key areas of a child’s life. I do believe more education is needed to help tackle this and of course, better studies like this one from Oxford University.
If you would like to read more about the positive effects gaming has on the mind, you can start by going right here.