One thousand British youngsters between 14 and 15 years old were studied playing video games. Fifty percent of girls play computergames and 75% of the boys do that. The difference between both sexes is rapidly changing, though. More girls start to play games.
I admit it. There are a number of studies that proof there is a connection between violent games and anti-social behavior. It’s a fact that games may heighten aggression with certain gamers. The fact that they loose (and find that hard to handle) is, indeed, a shortlived issue with a few of them.
In this study, scientists not only questioned the teenagers concerned on what kind of games they played. They also talked to their parents to find out how they responded during and after a game. They also checked the ratings of the games they played, both in the US as in the United Kingdom.
They also explained how they would calculate the results before they started the study. That way scientists couldn’t show bias and cherry pick the answers they preferred.
Among those who claim violent games change the behavior of our children, was our American president Donald Trump. Plenty of parents (who never played any video games, the same like Mr Trump) follow him blindingly. Once I had a Mom tell me she couldn’t (and wouldn’t) believe that violent games didn’t attract violence, even when statistics showed that each time a game like GTA or Call of Duty surfaced on the market, criminal numbers went down. No intelligent person will say that both are connected (after all, there can be other correlations that weren’t investigated), but the facts are there.
Violence in game is seldom responsible for violence in the real world. This study showed that once more. In fact, these kind of games – and games in general – come with a number of advantages that help us score in this world of ours.
First of all, there is the hand-eye coordination. In our present day traffic we need to be able to respond quickly with our hands (steering the wheel) as soon as our eyes catch something. Another advantage is that games – and specifically multiplayer games – give children with limited social skills the chance to talk with peers about things both find interesting. They don’t have to ‘search’ for what to talk about, they already know. They have a similar field that opens the door for easier social interaction.
They also lower pain and give a few other medical advantages such as preparing kids for operations and lower asthma attacks.
Are violent games safe?
Yes. In general, they are. But as always, with children you don’t speak in general. You speak specific. As a parent, you know your children best. You know their ins and outs, their little quirks and maybe even larger problems. Children with mental problems do have issues with violent games, although on average that violent behavior disappears again after about 15 minutes.
It’s nevertheless wise to limit the time they play. And the really violent games can’t be played by children younger than 18.