It had been said that playing video games (and online games – https://www.yesgamers.com/diablo-2/runes) makes youth violent, which is also the cause of many shootings in the US?
Why is the discussion of violent games back?
The former US President Donald Trump said in a speech shortly after the attacks in Texas and Ohio that killed a total of 31 people, “We must stop glorifying violence. I’m also talking about the ghastly use of video games that have become commonplace. It’s too easy for young people to immerse themselves in a culture that revolves around violence.”
It is not the first time that the US president has mentioned video games as a possible cause for the many shootings in his country. Trump said the same thing in 2018, after which top players from the gaming industry were brought to the White House to discuss the issue.
Is Trump right?
The question is whether video games actually incite young people to violence. For example, in countries where more money is made on video games than in the United States, there are hardly any fatal shootings. This is evident from figures from analysis company Newzoo that are shared on Twitter by former Nintendo CEO Reggie Fils-Aime, among others.
Facts are facts.
Experts have argued for some time that games can be linked to violence. Two Harvard researchers concluded in 2008 that gaming does not turn young people into “bloodthirsty killers”. “There is simply no data to prove it,” the duo wrote after surveying 1,200 students for two years.
A similar conclusion is drawn in a study by Western Michigan University. Professor Whitney DeCamp told CNN there is “no relationship between playing video games and violent behavior.”
In a German study, a test group had to play games daily for two months. One group got the violent Grand Theft Auto V as a test game, while a second group got the nonviolent The Sims 3 had to play.
“We saw no significant changes in the behavior of the test subjects,” the researchers wrote afterward in an article for Nature. “That applies to the players of both the violent and the nonviolent game and also to a group that played nothing.”
In British teenagers, no link could be found between violent behavior and video games, write researchers from the University of Oxford and University of Cardiff. “There is no evidence that games can have such an effect.”
What does Dutch research show?
Violence in games has also been investigated several times in the Netherlands. Communication scientist Karin Fikkers’ doctoral research argues that games can influence violent behavior, but only if a teenager experiences a lot of violence in his or her environment, for example through family quarrels or contact with aggressive friends.
“The majority of parents, therefore, need not be concerned that media violence is directly problematic for their children,” Fikkers reported after her 2016 study.
Professor Elly Konijn, affiliated with the Free University, concluded in 2008 that games can partly contribute to youth aggression. However, Rabbit emphasizes that games aren’t the only cause. The games contribute only 11 to 22 percent of this behavior. She believes multiple risk factors lead to violent behavior.
Marieke Liem, a criminologist at Leiden University, drew a completely different conclusion in an interview with de Volkskrant in early 2018. She linked games to a decrease in the number of murders since 2004. “This is probably because some of these men spend more time at the computer, for example, playing games,” she said.
The Association for Psychological Science looked at a total of 101 studies examining the link between violence and video games. The influence of games turned out to be minimal. Games are also said to have hardly a negative impact on social behavior and school performance.
We consider the statement “games encourage aggressive behavior and violence” to be untrue.