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Study finds no link between violent games and aggression in teens (again)

By midian182 · 32 replies
Feb 13, 2019
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  1. Researchers at the UK’s University of Oxford studied 1,000 British teens aged 14 and 15 to look for evidence of violent games’ harmful effects. Rather than relying on information given by the participants—something previous studies (that found a link) have done—the team noted the teens’ behavior and what they were playing as reported by their parents and carers.

    The level of violence in the games that were played was classified by the Pan European Game Information (EU) and Entertainment Software Rating Board (US) rating systems, rather than by the players themselves.

    The teenagers answered questions about their personalities and gaming habits over the previous month, while the careers noted their recent aggressive behaviors. It was the first study to use the Royal Society’s registered reports approach, in which hypothesis, methods and analysis technique are publicly disclosed before the research starts, to give unbiased results.

    "Part of the problem in technology research is that there are many ways to analyze the same data, which will produce different results,” said lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute.

    "A cherry-picked result can add undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games. The registered study approach is a safeguard against this."

    The study ultimately found no evidence that violent games caused aggressive behavior in teens. "Violent games don't seem to drive aggressive behavior in young people. But really we should be looking at other things - maybe it is frustrations, maybe it is family or life circumstance - that we should be spending more time on," added Przybylski.

    The researchers did point out that games could cause angry reactions or feelings in players, as anyone who’s died for the thousandth time in Dark Souls III will testify. They can also lead to antisocial behavior such as “trash-talking, competitiveness and trolling” in multiplayer games—issues we all know about.

    Both Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have put forward proposals to tax violent games, with the extra money being spent on school safety programs.

    Last year saw video games come under the kind of scrutiny not seen since the Columbine shootings 20 years ago. It led to the subject being discussed in the White House (see the montage created for President Trump below), and a judge banning a boy from playing violent titles following a shooting threat.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,476   +3,035

    Sounds like another shallow study, without looking into the psychological development. Planted violence can be dormant for a while, until the right stimulus triggers it.
    xxLCxx and Humza like this.
  3. EndRessentiment

    EndRessentiment TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +21

    And what evidence do you have to back up your proposal?

    Maybe violent shootings are sometimes or even often the result of copying previous shootings.
    It seems to be generally accepted that serial killers can be copycats, and copycat suicide is an important subject of scientific study. Obviously, humans sometimes copy the behaviour of others in important ways. When it comes to shooting, probably copying is one of many factors, one that can be quite important.
    Devinv333, robb213, PEnnn and 3 others like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,378   +5,006

    I for one believe people have a tendency to mimic that which they have seen. Especially when angered to the point of not caring about repercussions. It is not fair to lay blame on a small percentage of where those influences come from. And since there are so many sources. Each one of those sources can lay blame elsewhere to deceitfully establish their own innocents.
    Devinv333, robb213, wiyosaya and 2 others like this.
  5. RedGuard

    RedGuard TS Enthusiast Posts: 71   +34

    As somebody who has played "violent" games all his life, I can say that what angers me the most is the work done by other people that I have to continue.

    The computer-game killing sessions are just a way to vent off. Otherwise I'd just find another company and leave these guys to go bankrupt in a couple of months.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,378   +5,006

    Leave who? The study group.
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,544   +1,536

    Humans are violent. It's simply our nature. Some are more violent than others, some hide their violent tendencies, some don't.

    Violent video games are merely a symptom of the violence inherent in human society, not the cause. Much like prohibition's failure in the 1920s, banning violent video games will accomplish nothing and would most likely simply cause greater problems.
  8. cuerdc

    cuerdc TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    Maybe ask the prison community so what computer games did you play?
    wiyosaya likes this.
  9. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,476   +3,035

    Have you never heard the old saying - violence begets violence?
    Underdog, xxLCxx and cliffordcooley like this.
  10. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 504   +523

    Everyone knows China, South Korea, and Japan are three of the most gun violent countries in world because of all the hours playing video games. Those internet cafes they have on every street corner are just schools for mass shooters...if those countries didn't have strict gun control laws that kept their gun homicide rates to 1/40 of the USA...
  11. richalone442

    richalone442 TS Enthusiast Posts: 38   +19

    Ain't it funny when you get that feeling inside that the study you just read about is completely false and untrue, because real life encounters with teenagers that are gamers tells you they are all psychopaths ready to do the things they do in their games in real life.
    xxLCxx likes this.
  12. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,544   +1,536

    Hey... two wrongs don't make a right... 3 lefts do!
    Capaill likes this.
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,544   +1,536

    Yeah... and clearly it's the video game's fault?
  14. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 677   +658

    Feelings > Evidence is all fine and dandy until someone dislikes your hobbies.
  15. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 504   +523

    Just the other day I saw five teenagers take on their boss in a fight!...the girl (dressed in a weird goth like attire) failed to land her healing spells so the group wiped. Luckily they res-pawned and ate some bread to heal up.
    EndRessentiment and Capaill like this.
  16. NightAntilli

    NightAntilli TS Maniac Posts: 300   +222

    I can guarantee you that parental neglect is a much much bigger factor than violent video games when it comes to violent behavior and crimes.

    People will likely be extremely triggered for this, but, start looking at the correlation between violence and single parenthood. Here's a nice recap;
  17. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

    Gee, we need to inform the army immediately! Apparently they are wasting tons of money and time, just because they don't know what they're doing – unlike the makers of this brilliant, truly unbiased, study.
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,970   +2,275

    Anyone wanting to read the study may do so here - https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.171474

    The army picks video game players because playing video games has been linked to increased hand-to-eye coordination. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/.../201608/video-game-play-benefits-coordination ;)
    EndRessentiment and pit1209 like this.
  19. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 692   +371

    Violence experienced in real life. Most of us don't experience the physiological effects of anger/rage in our body and mind ("hot blood", adrenaline, violent intentions against someone), that would be fuel for violent acts, when we see something violent in a screen. Unless it is triggered by someone online, which happens in any social interaction scenario with competition, be it sports or a verbal discussion.

    I suffered domestic violence, from my father, from when I was little until I was 14 or 15. By the time I was a teen, it had escalated to punches to the point of drawing blood. I wasn't a bully nor got physical with other kids, I never took that aggression to others, but I started fighting back my father when I was 14. I knew I had no chance but I wanted to cause some pain. In the long run that paid off: my father was ever less willing to hit/punch/kick me until he completely stopped doing that. We've had a very cold, impersonal relationship all these years, but at least he can stand sharing space with me. That was truly "violence begets violence".
    robb213 and VitalyT like this.
  20. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

    *lol* of course. You're away that this can be achieved with almost all fast (click) games, right?

    "Many studies have shown that this physical detachment of a person from the actual place of action facilitates the act of killing and reduces remorse or inhibition. The psychologist and former US officer Dave Grossman has established the following rule: The greater the physical and emotional distance to the opponent, the easier it is to kill and the less the act of killing burdens the soldier."

    German criminologist Christian Pfeiffer:
    "That's proven. That is something we do not need to speculate about. The Americans have found that 80% of their soldiers in armed close combat situations are inhibited from shooting the other down. After training with such things that we expect our children to do, this drops to 20%. These are figures that cannot be refuted."


    Here's the difference between you and me. I see the children and ask myself what's going wrong. Among many other things, this is one of'em.
    There are not few (predominantly male) kids, who spend almost their entire childhood in front of that. They are damaged far more than their "predecessors", who were playing 8-bit video games all day. This is a simple fact. If they played some "harmless" crap all day, they would still be f***ed up, but not nearly as badly as they get when playing "killing" among their (virtual) "friends" all day.
    You look at it from the angle that somebody's trying to take it away from you.
    The way I see it, I'm neutral. I've played them. I've seen what they do to children. I don't have any vested interest in this subject, hence I can speak freely. ;-)
  21. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

    You're => away = aware
  22. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,237   +895

    The real problem is that males, in general, are ALWAYS more likely to be aggressive and always more likely to be violent.

    The only reason these studies are done is because of the apparent rise in school shootings by young, White, males in suburban schools. When it was young, non-white males, especially gang-related - IT WAS IGNORED.

    Thing is, cut off access to guns, and there would be less - if not, no school shootings. There can be no shootings if there are no guns.

    I personally own a Kimber .45, an AR-15, a 12 Guage a, Desert Eagle .50 and some revolvers.

    Would I want the average millennial or Generation Z'er who can't even handle a school bully or Tide pods having access to that kind of weaponry?


    Young, White males tend to live in school zones in areas where gun laws are loose and weapons like semi-automatic rifles are cheap and easy to get.

    Young non-white, inner-city youth, tend to live in inner-city, urban areas where gun control is strict. The only guns they have access to are illegal, unregistered and gang-related.

    I would say that the reason we don't see more of this "in the hood" is simply because the average kid does not have access to guns in those areas.

    I would also say: STOP GLORIFYING THE MURDERERS on TV and they won't bother to commit these crimes - instead opting to simply commit suicide.
    Capaill and pit1209 like this.
  23. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,434   +1,893

    From personal experience I believe that such games help others deal with violence better.

    If someone has violent tendencies, he will be aggressive regardless of the fact that he played GTA or just watched a movie. And people with mental illness can be triggered by anything, not just games (the news, a TV show, etc).
    Evernessince likes this.
  24. Gars

    Gars TS Booster Posts: 240

    Sound like "Study finds no link between schools and aggression in teens"
    Probably, not the perfect match.
    Still better.
  25. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 768   +292

    Respect for authority or lack of thereof is the biggest indicator of violence. (Gangs) Being socially ostracized or isolated as well. (Lone shooters and killers) For some gamers, the games are where they interact with their peers the most. If they're on a team, far better for them. I would also implicate ridiculous social pressures to fit social molds. With all the hoopla over LGBT rights, the people who get dumped on the most are single people. Every new job that question is inevitably asked. Weird, if you asked me. WTF difference does it make? IDGAF, but some poor soul who needs to fit in, might. Leave that F***** alone! Some of the happiest people in the world are lone wilderness guys who's tired of society's B.S. If somebody's polite, respectful, does their job, and seemed to be content, leave the m*****f***** alone. They have what they have chosen and you're just trying to push them (inadvertently or not) into some mold and it will only aggravate, especially Asperger people. It would not surprise me at all if many of the people who have violent outbursts are un-diagnosed Asperger's. It does not take a lot for this type of person to become frustrated and unstable.

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