Regardless what the ex-lawyer Jack Thompson, random moms with opinions, and people who suck at Doom say, videogames do not cause youth violence. The ESA has backed up this already-obvious statement with a pair of studies.
The ESA recently showed off the results of two projects that researched the link between videogame violence and real life violence. The studies took place in both the US and Sweden, and drew results that go against the notion that games cause violence. Even in spite of games being more violent and brutal now than they were ten years ago.
Even though researches, government members, and even members of the Supreme Court have all but laughed in the face of such connections, people have continued to parrot it thinking the louder you scream, the more true it is. To give brief details of the study, Professor Ferguson and his colleagues at Texas A&M International University published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research that showed no long-term link between violent games and youth violence. The study centered around 165 children between 10 and 14 years of age, who were tested three times over three years. Also measured were antisocial personality traits, their peers, family attachment, depression and other mental health problems, and exposure to domestic violence.
The study’s end result was quite predictable. Depression, mental problems, and domestic violence were the main causes and best predictors of future violence and aggression. This basically means the violence problem is caused more by bad parenting than anything else, especially if said parents blame the videogames instead of their own faults.
In Sweden, a bit of research by the Swedish Media Council in December involving a massive analysis of over 100 scholarly articles published in the past decade came to the same conclusion; no evidence of violent games causing aggressive behavior. This report however noted that there were flaws in the study, including not measuring aggressive actions which is far more significant than aggressive thoughts.
Years ago, I sent an email to Jack Thompson calling him out on his anti-videogame statements, saying that crime had been dropping quite sharply for years. His response was, paraphrased due to memory being unreliable, “The numbers show that I’m right, you need to do your research junior.” Rude huh?
Can we drop this argument already? It’s just as annoying as Casuals vs Hardcores.