Post Author: Bill Pratt
An Iowa State University research team says “yes” and that they have the data to prove it. According to ISU:
Iowa State researchers, led by Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson, have collaborated on a new study that analyzes 130 research reports on more than 130,000 subjects proving exposure to violent video games makes more aggressive, less caring kids — regardless of their age, sex or culture.
Dr. Anderson, the lead researcher, goes on to draw the following conclusions from the research:
We can now say with utmost confidence that regardless of research method — that is experimental, correlational, or longitudinal — and regardless of the cultures tested in this study [East and West], you get the same effects. And the effects are that exposure to violent video games increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior in both short-term and long-term contexts. Such exposure also increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases prosocial behavior.
Now what does this practically mean? You’ll have to read the detailed report to find out, but my amateur take on it is that watching extreme violence all the time is bad for your child, and probably bad for you, as an adult, as well. If you have a child who is is already prone to aggression and anti-social behavior, violent video games are not going to help – they will hurt. This seems obvious, but I guess the ISU research team wanted to publish the “final word” on it, although there is never the final word on anything scientific.
At least this study gives parents some more ammunition in dealing with their kid’s video game playing.