New Study Links Violent Video Games to Delinquent Behaviour
Exposure to violent video games has previously been linked to aggressive behaviour, aggressive thoughts, desensitisation and increased anti-social behaviour.
As previously discussed research has already found altered reward processes in online gamers.
But new research aimed to examine if violent video games would lead to more holistic negative behaviour patterns:
“The current study examines video gaming as part of a risk model where we expect a significant contribution of the gaming risk factor over and above the other risks for predicting delinquent behavior”
In order to compare violent video games to non-violent video games the researchers recruited 3,372 adolescents, aged 12–18 years to take part in the research.
The researchers examined levels of delinquency by asking the participants 7 questions phrased in the following way:
“Have any of your best friends committed one of the following acts?”. Answer categories were “yes” or “no”
As well as delinquency the researchers also considered sensations seeking, victimisation and alienation.
Once all of the data had been collected the researchers found interesting results:
First, consistent with our expectations, our findings demonstrated that violent video gaming was positively related to individual delinquent behavior, whereas non-violent video gaming was not.
That is to say that the association depends upon the content of the video game not simply playing video games – specifically violent content.
Second, results indicated that violent video gaming is a significant predictor of adolescents’ delinquent behavior over and beyond other known risk factors
While this research doesn’t put violent video games in a good light, its not all bad for games in general as online games have been shown to create a sense of community.