A new study by Oxford University has suggested that there is no evidence linking violence to video games.
The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time. Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concernProfessor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute.
The study suggests that previous researchers had bias and prejudice that led them to make the conclusion that real world violence was directly related to violent games.
Our findings suggest that researcher biases might have influenced previous studies on this topic, and have distorted our understanding of the effects of video gamesDr Netta Weinstein, Coresearcher of Cardiff University.
The study used nationally representative data from British teens and their parents alongside official EU and US ratings of game violence. Unlike previous research on the topic, which relied heavily on self-reported data from teenagers, the study used information from parents and carers to judge the level of aggressive behaviour in their children, rather than simply asking teenage boys and girls how angry they were.
Part of the problem in technology research is that there are many ways to analyse the same data, which will produce different results. A cherry-picked result can add undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games. The registered study approach is a safe-guard against thisPrzybylski