The controversy surrounding violent video games is hardly new. But now critics of these games can point to a new study, which shows that they can make players more aggressive in their day-to-day lives.
The study, which was carried out by an American Psychological Association (APA) task force, involved a methodical review of over 100 studies on violent video games. The studies, which were carried out between 2005 and 2013, generally revealed that playing violent video games can increase both aggressive behavior and thoughts. Just as disturbing may be the finding that playing violent games can decrease empathy and sensitivity towards aggression.
The good news is that none of the studies could conclusively determine if playing violent video games caused people to commit criminal acts.
“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence,” noted Mark Appelbaum, the APA task force’s chair. “However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.”
Right now the American Psychological Association is reluctant to say playing violent video games can definitely make one more aggressive. However, it does suggest that playing such games can be a risk factor and is encouraging the video game industry to increase its parental controls over the release of violent titles.