Violent video games do not make teenagers violent, University of Oxford study finds
Can we finally put this to bed now?
A new study from the University of Oxford has found no evidence that violent video games cause aggression in teenagers.
The survey of around 1,000 British 14 & 15-year-olds and their parents/guardians looked into the long-held assumption that acting out violence in Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty can lead to real-world actions - but the results suggested no connection between the two.
"What we found was that there are a lot of things that feed into aggression," director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute and study lead Professor Andrew Przybylski told Sky News.
"There are some effects of gender and some people who are from different life backgrounds have higher or lower ratings, but video game play didn't really seem to matter here."
"Violent games don’t seem to drive aggressive behaviour in young people. But really we should be looking at other things – maybe it is frustrations, maybe it is family or life circumstance – that we should be spending more time on."
The study found that two-thirds of boys, and half of girls played video games.
Published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the study used UK and US games ratings to gauge how violent a game was.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump played up the link between real world violence and digital entertainment.
"We have to look at the Internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it," he said at a White House meeting following the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
"I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies, and they’re so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved, and maybe they have to put a rating system for that."