Video games may not make kids more violent, after all!

By Seriously Science | November 11, 2014 8:20 am
Photo: flickr/martijnvandalen

Photo: flickr/martijnvandalen

Many politicians like to blame the media, and especially video games, for promoting violence among kids. The debate rages on, but this study at least might set some of those fears to rest. According to this author, who compared the popularity of violent video games over the years to youth violence levels in society over the last 20 years, there was actually an inverse correlation. That’s right: increased violence in video games is actually associated with less youth violence. In contrast, violence in movies tended to mirror violence in society as a whole. The author is careful to point out that these relationships are not necessarily causal, but who doesn’t feel better after blowing off some steam?

Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When

“This article presents 2 studies of the association of media violence rates with societal violence rates. In the first study, movie violence and homicide rates are examined across the 20th century and into the 21st (1920–2005). Throughout the mid-20th century small-to-moderate correlational relationships can be observed between movie violence and homicide rates in the United States. This trend reversed in the early and latter 20th century, with movie violence rates inversely related to homicide rates. In the second study, videogame violence consumption is examined against youth violence rates in the previous 2 decades. Videogame consumption is associated with a decline in youth violence rates. Results suggest that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased societal violence rates.”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: Macbeth and the Joystick: Evidence for moral cleansing after playing a violent video game.
NCBI ROFL: Effects of playing video games on pain response during a cold pressor task.
NCBI ROFL: How many f**king cuss words are in these sh**ty video games, anyway?


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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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