The Independent 18 August 2015
Psychologists have confirmed that playing violent video games is linked to aggressive and callous behaviour.
A review of almost a decade of studies found that exposure to violent video games was a “risk factor” for increased aggression.
The findings have prompted a call for more parental control over violent scenes in video games from the American Psychological Association (APA).
A report from the APA task force on violent media concludes: “The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behaviour, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”
The report said no single influence led a person to act aggressively or violently. Rather, it was an “accumulation of risk factors” that resulted in such behaviour.
It added: “The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.”
The APA has urged game creators to increase levels of parental control over the amount of violence video games contain.
At a meeting in Toronto, Canada, earlier this month the association’s ruling council also called for a video game rating system that took more notice of violence and for games to be more appropriate to players’ age and psychological development.