Just a game?
As the latest Call of Duty video game is released today, with Battlefield 2042 and a remastered Grand Theft Auto trilogy to follow later this month, research from City, University of London finds no evidence that violence increases after a new video game is released.
Mass media and general public often link violent video games to real-life violence, although there is limited evidence to support the link.
Debate on the topic generally intensifies after mass public shootings, with some commentators linking these violent acts to the perpetrators’ interests in violent video games.
However, others have pointed out that different factors, such as mental health issues and/or easy access to guns, are more likely explanations.
In the light of these conflicting claims, President Obama called in 2013 for more government funding for research on video games and violence.
But before governments introduce any policies restricting access to violent video games, it is important to establish whether violent video games do indeed make players behave violently in the real world.
The study, published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, focused on boys aged 8-18 years – the group most likely to play violent video games.
Release date: 05 November 2021
Source: City University London