Despite the regular blame that video games receive from politicians, news commentators, and gun activists after a mass shooting, there is no evidence that playing video games causes violence. That is the official conclusion of the American Psychological Association (APA) after they researched the issue again and again.
In a new Resolution on Violent Video Games, the APA reaffirmed their 2015 findings that violent video games do not lead to violent behavior. The APA created a task force to look deeper into the subject. Basically, the APA says to stop blaming video games for people’s violent behavior because doing so ignores the underlying issues that cause people to be violent.
“Violence is a complex social problem that likely stems from many factors that warrant attention from researchers, policymakers and the public,” said APA President Sandra L. Shullman, PhD. “Attributing violence to video gaming is not scientifically sound and draws attention away from other factors, such as a history of violence, which we know from the research is a major predictor of future violence.”
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The APA has studied the potential link between violent games and violent behavior for more than a decade. Their research has found that violent video games can cause some people to become slightly more aggressive “such as yelling and pushing.” The APA points out that even that conclusion shouldn’t be used by anyone to point fingers at video games for causing violence.
I’m sure we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know about video games, but it feels good to have the biggest association of psychologists telling “the man” to stop blaming video games for everything.
If you got time to kill and like reading research papers, here’s the APA Task Force Report on Violent Video Games.