Effects of Violent Video Games
A research study on the effects of violent video games has shown an increase of aggression. This is caused by playing a violent video game, and when a player keeps thinking about the game, the potential for aggression can last for as long as 24 hours or even more.
Experiment: Effects of Violent Video Games
This research study, conducted by Brad Bushman of The Ohio State University and Bryan Gibson of The Central Michigan University, shows that – at least for boys – ruminating about the violent game can increase the potency of the game’s tendency to lead to aggression long after the game has been turned off.
College students were randomly tested by the scientists on one of six different video games for 20 minutes. Half of the games were violent (e.g. Mortal Kombat) and half were not (e.g. Guitar Hero). To test the effects of violent video games, half of the players were told over “the next 24 hours, think about your game, and try to find ways your game could improve when you will play again.”
Less Effects of Violent Video Games on Females
To test the aggressiveness, Bushman and Gibson met the participants the next day. For those who didn’t think about the game, the violent video game players aren’t more aggressive than those who had played non-violent games. However the violent video game players who thought about the game were more aggressive than the other groups. The research study also found that women who played the violent video games and thought about the games did not experience an increased aggression level 24 hours later.
This study is the first laboratory experiment to test the effects of violent video games. They can stimulate aggression for an extended period of time. Researchers noted that it is “reasonable to assume that our lab results will generalize to the ‘real world.’ Violent game players usually play longer than 20 minutes, and probably think about their game play in a habitual manner.”
The U.S. Supreme Court also agreed last week to hear a case on restrict sales of violent video games to minors. Both the California lawmakers who approved the law in 2005 and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges who overturned the law in 2009 claimed that scientific research on effects of violent video games was on their side.