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Video games 'don't make kids violent': study

Video games 'don't make kids violent': study

Published: 06 Dec 2011 10:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Dec 2011 10:02 GMT+01:00

While children who play violent computer games are more aggressive, there's no evidence to support claims that the games themselves cause kids' aggressive behaviour, the Swedish Media Council (Statens medieråd) has concluded.

The findings come following a review of more than 100 articles about violent computer games and aggression which have been published in international scientific journals since 2000.

According to the Council's review, there is a clear, statistically significant link between violent computer games and aggressive behaviour.

However, many of the studies use different methods to measure aggression, many of which lack a clear connection to violent behaviour.

In addition, a great deal of the research exploring causal links between violent computer games and aggressive behaviour “suffer from serious methodological deficiencies” and don't provide sufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship.

The few studies that have attempted to examine other causes of aggression found that factors such as poor physical health or family problems can explain both violent behaviour and a propensity to play violent computer games.

There is also too little research into the hypothesis that violent video games may cause violent behaviour among people with certain personality traits.

As a result, the Council concludes, “there is no evidence that violent computer games cause aggressive behaviour”.

“If research can't provide any simple answers about how games make children aggressive, perhaps we adults should stop judging the games children play based on whether they are violent or not,” Media Council researcher Ulf Dalquist said in a statement.

Speaking with the Aftonbladet newspaper Dalquist said that a number of longitudinal studies included in the review showed “beyond a reasonable doubt” that family conflicts and poor health among children can make children more drawn to computer games and result in a higher level of aggression.

And while the games themselves may not cause aggressive behaviour among children, parents should nevertheless be aware of the games their children play.

“As parents, we can stand and freeze on the sidelines of a football pitch or listen to out of tune recorder concerts – but we can't engage in their computer gaming. It may not be about how much violence a game contains, but rather what sort of values the game expresses,” he told the newspaper.

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Your comments about this article

09:55 December 6, 2011 by Svenny Brogarth
Didnt we decide years ago that rap music and Marilyn Manson are the cause of all evil? Seriously i enjoy old school rap music, i have played and would never turn down a game of Grand Theft Auto and yet i have not mugged, faught, killed or even verbally assaulted anyone to date
12:09 December 6, 2011 by spo10
This article will be good news to game developers.
12:11 December 6, 2011 by flintis
And using mobile phones whilst driving is 100% safe, in Sweden anyway!!!
13:26 December 6, 2011 by godnatt
Good, it just makes them stupid.
18:53 December 6, 2011 by Beavis
they also used to say that computer games made children anti social... ever heard of a multi player book!? Think of all the wars started after people read books and took viontent meanings from it. I dont remember millions of warcraft users getting together to invade countries and kill millions following its ideals. So if your going to blame computer games for violence, you best off start with books first in your witch-hunt!
21:46 December 6, 2011 by rouzi
It is like to say smoking dose not cause for example lung cancer and therefore it is okay to smoke. HA ha ha! Well, sticking to computer games can cause thousand other problem. By the way, have somebody ever seen those people who lose and get angry as much as break the console? If have not search this in YouTube!

Grilfriend smashes Xbox
10:31 December 8, 2011 by VultureSausage
Rouzi, what makes you think that your opinion holds more weight than that of trained professionals?
17:32 December 9, 2011 by tadchem
They tried this same B.S. back in the 60's over cartoons. They forget that kids are smart enough to know the difference between the real world and a cartoon. Just because a cartoon shows violence to a cat or coyote, that does not constitute any kind of endorsement or role model. The same thing goes for video games.

The greater danger lies in 'Reality TV' making kids fatally stupid with shows like 'Jackass' or 'Toddlers and Tiaras.'
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