Study Claims Linking Violence To Videogames

Study Claims Linking Violence To Videogames

"We now have conclusive evidence that playing violent video games has harmful effects on children and adolescents,"a new study boldly claimed.

The study, led by Iowa State University, examined the effect of violent games on children in both the USA and Japan. The study found little variation in the Japanese and American test results. "When you find consistent effects across two very different cultures, you're looking at a pretty powerful phenomenon," commented lead author Craig A. Anderson. "One can no longer claim this is somehow a uniquely American phenomenon. This is a general phenomenon that occurs across cultures."

364 children aging between 9 and 12 were examined in the American part of the study. 12,000 children aging 12 to 18 were studied on the Japanese front. Both sets showed an increased likelihood of physical aggressiveness up to five or six months after playing violent games.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Christopher Ferguson, a researcher at Texas A&M International University, questioned the credibility of the study and claimed that it contains "numerous flaws".

"In the literature review the authors suggest that research on video game violence is consistent when this is hardly the case. The authors here simply ignore a wide body of research which conflicts with their views," Ferguson wrote in a letter to journal Pediatrics.

"The authors fail to control for relevant 'third' variables that could easily explain the weak correlations that they find. Family violence exposure for instance, peer group influences, certainly genetic influences on aggressive behavior are just a few relevant variables that ought either be controlled or at minimum acknowledged as alternate causal agents for (very small) link between video games and aggression..."

"Lastly the authors link their results to youth violence in ways that are misleading and irresponsible. The authors do not measure youth violence in their study. The [research tool used] is not a violence measure, nor does it even measure pathological aggression. Rather this measure asks for hypothetical responses to potential aggressive situations, not actual aggressive behaviors."