A new study that assessed the behaviour of individuals over a ten year period has found that there is no link between playing violent video games and real life violent behaviour. The study, ‘Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents’ by Sarah M. Coyne and Laura Stockdale covered individuals of varying ethnicities in a ‘large north-western city’.
The subjects were initially grouped in to three tiers, high initial violence (4 percent) who had played violent games from a young age, and then moderate (23 percent), and low (73 percent).
High initial violence and moderate groups showed a curvilinear pattern of violent video game play across time, whereas low increasers group increased slightly in violent video game play across time. The high initial violence and moderate groups were more likely to be male, and those in the high initial violence group were more likely to be depressed at the initial wave.
In other words, those in the high and middle groups actual saw a decrease in violent play, but overall the study concluded that “there was no difference in prosocial behaviour at the final time point across all the three groups,” or to put it another way, the violence in the video games did not affect the person’s behaviour in real life.
Last year The Oxford Internet Institute published “one of the most definitive to date” studies focusing on violence in video games and whether it makes teenagers violent in real life.
Short answer: No it doesn’t, but you already know that because if there was a link we’d all be in prison as we would have got annoyed by some twat stealing the crown in Fall Guys and hacked up a grandma. That hasn’t happened, or at least if it has happened they haven’t found the body yet.
The report has extra credence as it tested around 1000 teenagers in the UK, but also recorded data from their parents or carers so even if the teenager reported no violence they could double check with the adult. Previous reports had relied solely on data from the test subjects.