Playing violent video games is linked to increased aggression in players though it is not certain if the link extends to criminal violence too, according to a latest American Psychological Association (APA) report.
“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence,” said study leader Mark Appelbaum.
The study showed a consistent relation between violent video game use and an increase in aggressive behaviour and aggressive cognitions and a decline in pro-social behaviour and empathy.
“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently. Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behaviour,” the report said.
“The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.”
In light of the task force’s conclusions, APA has called on the industry to design video games that include increased parental control over the amount of violence games contain.
In addition, it has urged developers to design games that are appropriate to users’ age and psychological development.