Friday, July 05, 2013

Violent Gaming /= Anti-Social Behavior. But We Already Knew That

So we have another research published, this time by the University of Queensland. That’s in Australia for those of you who don’t know, one of the strictest countries when it comes to gaming laws, particularly censorship. Well they have surprised us with a paper that shows no direct links between violent video games and anti-social behavior. The test had the participants, in this case 160 graduate students, which were 55% male, and ranged in ages from 17 to 43, play either a violent or a non-violent game, and then administer a pro-social test. This test was issued without their knowledge so that the results wouldn’t be skewed. What the researchers did find is that there were virtually not differences between the violent games and non-violent game groups. Both groups provided similar results to the social test.

To help solidify the results, the tests were repeated with different games and different groups of people. Some were fortunate to play GTA4, others World Zoo. The researches chose games that were deemed as violent, non-violent, social, etc.

Basically this research confirms that, once again, being a gamer does not make you a rampaging, anti-social lunatic. There are plenty of “normal” people who go to school and work every day that are more likely to snap. If anything, the current state of video games is driving people to be more social. The inclusion of multi-player in more products (even GTA4 has this), online chat rooms, checking friend’s scores for certain missions, this all allows for better socialization then anything we have seen in the past decade. The face of gaming is changing to be social, less single-player minded.

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