Violent video games do not lead to real-life violence among children: Study
Study shows no evidence that violent video games lead to real-life violence. UK: A study by Agne Suziedelyte revealed that no evidence was found that violence increased after a new violent video game is released. Hence, policies that place restrictions on video game sales to minors do not help reduce violence in society. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Video games and mental health are popularly linked to each other in both good and harmful ways. They are linked to low personality development and suicidal rates. The media often portrays violent video games to affect real-life violence, although there is limited evidence to support this link. The lack of studies on mental health and video games provide not much light on the topic.
The objective was to establish the probable link between video games and mental health in adolescent children.
The study used 10 best-selling video games each year within each video game category. The sample included 8-18-year-old boys who completed time diaries. Standard errors (clustered at the 1968 household level) were presented in parentheses. All regressions control for the household characteristics listed as per season, and year effects.
A total of 2035 children were used in the study. The releases of new violent video games in the U.S. Variation in children's exposure to the releases were taken from variations in video game release and interview dates.
The results of the study were:
• Effects of popular video game released on daily weekend video game hours M-rated games released 0-1 months ago showed 0.055 M-rated game released 1-2 months ago showed 0.123.
• M-rated game released 2-3 months ago showed 0.076 M-rated game released 3-4 months ago showed 0.271 M-rated game released 4-5 months ago showed 0.220 M-rated game released 5-6 months ago showed −0.089.
• Mean (dep var) was 1.483 and R-squared values were 0.025.
Dr Suziedelyte said: "Taken together, these results suggest that violent video games may agitate children, but this agitation does not translate into violence against other people -- which is the type of violence which we care about most. "A likely explanation for my results is that video game playing usually takes place at home, where opportunities to engage in violence are lower. This 'incapacitation' effect is especially important for violence-prone boys who may be especially attracted to violent video games."
"I find no evidence that child reported violence against other people increases after a new violent video game is released. Thus, policies that place restrictions on video game sales to minors are unlikely to reduce violence."
The study titled, "Is it only a game? Video games and violence," is published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.