Great news for gamers

Keeley Wright, Staff Writer

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Fortnite, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and so many other “violent” video games have become a major concern. The interactive stories include gun play, fist fight fighting, and gory details. Many people are concerned that by playing these games, young people are likely to become more violent in real life. However, scientific studies show that this is not the case.

With a quick search of the web, you can find a ton of articles that are quick to say that video games cause violent behavior in youth. It turns out that this is just another example of how social science is often oversold to the public without the statistical knowledge to evaluate these problematic claims. Even with these over-hyped claims of the outcome as physical aggression, the results of a Dartmouth College study show that violent video games are associated with less than 1% of change if youth reports of aggression.

Studies show that when people are playing aggressive games, it actually consumes their real-life aggression, and decreases their probability to act out in real life. In other words, aggressive games can be a great stress reliever, and in turn lower the possibility of being violent in a real world situation. These findings have been replicated numerous times by criminologists, psychologists, and economists at several universities while including many different variables. The consistent results are why about 94% of scientists who study video games and their effect on the brain aren’t very worried about them causing real world violence.

Psychology has been experiencing a replication crisis, meaning that it is now a known issue that weak scientific claims are being over-hyped in the media after a few small tests that are difficult to replicate. So, in fact, the studies that claim video games result in violence provide little evidence. This data has already been available, and it’s the reason that most scholars actually reject the idea that violent games or media contribute to serious real-world aggression.

If you’re worried about your child or someone else being negatively effected by playing aggressive video games, worry no more. The theory that violent video games create real-world violent behavior has been scientifically disproven.