[Insert Relevant Batman Slapping Robin Meme]
Hey, anti-video game parents. 2001 called, they say they want their violent teenager scapegoat back. Yep, it’s 2019 and people are still wondering if violence and video games are linked. Then again, people are still wondering if vaccines cause autism, so I guess we can’t be too surprised. Spoiler alert: [Buzzer sound] on both accounts. Nonetheless, researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford conducted a study into the relationship between video games and aggression. The research data used was from a study in Britain, as well as the United States, and the European Union.
The British study involved teenagers aged 14-15 as well as their parents and guardians which totaled to 2,008 participants. The teens were given questionnaires about their gaming behaviour and personality over a month. The parents were given separate questionnaires regarding their perception of their children’s behaviour and aggression during that month. While no links were found between aggression and violent video games, the study does note that online interactions like trash talking and taunting does evoke feelings of anger. These interactions are considered to be “antisocial behaviour […] This would be an interesting avenue for further research.”
Now, I’m not a behavioural psychologist or an Oxford professor, but I do have a couple of bachelors degrees and I play video games, so I’m pretty much an expert. I have conducted my own “study” across most of my life. I have never assaulted anyone, ever, even after playing some pretty violent video games. In addition, none of my video game playing friends and acquaintances have ever been part of any violent crime. My own conclusion is: Violent video games do not make me a violent person anymore than sports games make me an athlete. I used to play Madden games growing up and I am not a football player. I played the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games and I am not a skater or a vandal. I am currently replaying Skyrim and I have not taken up magic, archery, swordplay, or vampire hunting. Violent video games do not make me violent.
What is your take on this 20+ year old argument? Let us know in the comments below.