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Violent video games and aggression

Previous research has shown that increased levels of violent video playing causes American young people to be more aggressive. Critics say that this effect does not apply to everyone. They give the example of countries such as Japan who have very low levels of violence despite the fact that many young people play violent video games. This criticism has now been challenged by new research which shows that Japanese young people who often play violent video games do become more aggressive.

The study involved 1,200 Japanese young people, aged between 12 and 18 years.  The researchers analysed their video game habits along with their level of physical aggression at different points across the year, and compared these variables between all of the young people.  What they found was that those who played more violent video games displayed more aggressive behaviour.  

Lead researcher Professor Gentile does say that  'It is important to realize that violent video games do not create schools shooters?..they create opportunities to be vigilant for enemies, to practice aggressive ways of responding to conflict and to see aggression as acceptable. In practical terms, that means that when bumped in the hallway, children begin to see it as hostile and react more aggressively in response to it. Violent games are certainly not the only thing that can increase children's aggression, but these studies show that they are one part of the puzzle in both America and Japan.' To read the article click here



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