Video Game Controversy

Video Game Controversy

Controversies over video games center on debates around game content and the potential negative impacts on player behaviour. Video games have been studied for links to addiction and aggression but results have been conflicting. A 2001 study found that exposure to violent video games correlates with at least a temporary increase in aggression and a decrease in prosocial behavior (caring about the welfare and rights of others). Another 2001 meta-analysis using similar methods and a more recent 2009 study focusing specifically on serious aggressive behavior concluded that video game violence is not related to engaging in aggressive behavior. Potential positive ramifications of video game playing have also been proposed. Recent research has suggested that some violent video games may even promote prosocial behavior in certain contexts.

Some commentators have argued there is lack of substantive studies on the connection between games and violence, and that the video game industry has served as a fallback scapegoat for societal ills. The most recent large scale meta-analysis, examining 130 studies with over 130,000 participants worldwide, concluded that exposure to violent video games causes both short term and long term aggression in players and decreases empathy and prosocial behavior. However, this meta-analysis was criticized for a number of methodological flaws, including failure to abide by quantifiable measurements of aggression and for failing to engage dissenting studies, thus aggravating the sampling bias of incorporated studies.

Read more about Video Game Controversy:  Publicized Incidents, Regulation of Video Games, Positive Effects of Video Games

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