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Nothing new: Video games make you agressive

08 Feb 13

Well, more evidence from a study by Ohio State University has revealed that violent video games make you more aggressive, or maybe they don’t; I’m not entirely sure.

This is the first study to test the longer-term effects of regular gaming, and co-author Brad Bushman says it could probably give you cancer, maybe, but not really.

“It’s important to know the long-term casual effects of violent video games, because so many young people regularly play these games," he says.

"Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes. A single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk.

"In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.”

The study involved 70 university students who were misinformed they would be participating in a study on the effects of brightness on visual perception.

Once they had played either a violent or non-violent game, they were tested for aggression levels and it was found that those who had played the more violent games – Condemned 2, Call of Duty 4 and The Club – had heightened aggression levels.

“People who have a steady diet of playing these violent games may come to see the world as a hostile and violent place,” Bushman says.

Now, before you walk away all convinced and stuff, it must be said that this conclusion conflicts with two other studies from the same university that suggested games promote co-operative behaviour, regardless of how violent the game is.

These results come as once again gaming violence is under the spotlight after a school shooting in the US; President Obama has even suggested more study needs to be conducted into the effects of video games.

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