๐ŸŽฎ Violent video games don't make children aggressive

๐ŸŽฎ Violent video games don't make children aggressive

Parents and moralists can relax. Violent video and computer games do not make children aggressive, as demonstrated by three studies.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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There is a concern in society, especially among parents, about what happens to children who play violent video and computer games. This is what researchers write in one of the studies:

"It is a widespread concern that violent video games promote aggression, reduce pro-social behaviour, increase impulsivity and interfere with cognition as well as mood in its players."

However, both society and parents can be reassured. Three studies come to the same conclusion.

In one study from 2022, researchers tested the online shooter games Apex Legends and Outriders, with recommended age limits of 16 and 18 years, respectively. They write:

"We found that playing these games did not increase aggressive affect; the cross-lagged association between game time and aggressive affect was virtually zero."

It's time to kick ass and chew gum. And I'm all out of gum.

In another study, British teenagers, aged 14 and 15, were tested.

"There was no evidence for a critical tipping point relating violent game engagement to aggressive behaviour."

In a third study, they also looked at long-term behavioral changes. In the experiment, they were allowed to play the violent GTA 5, non-violent The Sims 3, and no game at all for a period.

"No significant changes were observed, neither when comparing the group playing a violent video game to a group playing a non-violent game, nor to a passive control group."

The researchers summarize the results and the debate:

"The present results thus provide strong evidence against the frequently debated negative effects of playing violent video games in adults and will therefore help to communicate a more realistic scientific perspective on the effects of violent video gaming."

Instead, it turns out that children become smarter from playing computer games.

๐ŸŽฎ Computer games can make children smarter
Children who play more computer games than average also increase their IQ score more than other children.