We’ve all heard some people of the older generation go “Video games make kids violent la” especially after an unfortunate event that involves young teens. But is that true though?
Today, I aim to find out.
In a recent study conducted by the University of York, they have claimed to have found NO correlation between video games and violence cultivating behaviour in multiple experiments. The research showed that video games don’t “prime” players to behave in certain ways.
In one study, players had to play a game where they chose to either be a car avoiding collisions, or a mouse dodging being eaten by a cat. Once the game was over, the participants were then shown images, such as a dog and asked to label them as either a vehicle or an animal.
Dr David Pendle, who worked on the study said that: “If players are ‘primed’ through immersing themselves in the concepts of the game, they should be able to categorize the objects associated with this game more quickly in the real world once the game has concluded.” “Across the two games we didn’t find this to be the case. Participants who played a car-themed game were no quicker at categorizing vehicle images, and indeed in some cases their reaction time was significantly slower.”
In another connected study, the research team is investigating whether realism would influence the aggression of game players, as past research has suggested that the greater the realism of the game the more ‘primed’ players are by violent concepts. Dr Zendle has said : “ There are several experiments looking at graphic realism in video games, but they have returned mixed results. There are, however, other ways that violent games can be realistic, besides looking like the ‘real world, such as the way characters behave for example.”
After a series of tests however, Dr Zendle has concluded with this statement: “We found that the priming of violent concepts, as measured by how many violent concepts appeared in the word fragment completion task, was not detectable. There was no difference in priming between the game that employed ‘ragdoll physics’ and the game that didn’t, as well as no significant difference between the game that used ‘real’ and ‘unreal’ solider tactics. The findings suggest that there is no link between these kinds of realism in games and the kind of effects that video games are commonly thought to have on their players.”
On behalf of all the video gamers who were misunderstood by the society, I would like to thank Dr Zendle for clearing up this misconception. With this information, I hope that we can finally be rid of these kinds of questions and focus on things that require more attention, such as how can we make video games a fun way of learning.
Header image source from here.