The link (or lack thereof) between video games and violent behaviour has, at this point, been discussed to death.
Following a spate of tragic real-world events and the tenuous ties perpetrators of said crimes had with playing violent video games, governments and regulatory bodies back in the late 90s and early 2000s put forward the possibility that interactive entertainment was at least partly to blame for a perceived corrupting influence they had on young minds. Despite numerous studies heavily suggesting otherwise, the Trump administration recently reignited the debate long since put to bed, with the US President even going so far as to hold counsel with various individuals in the industry to discuss their potentially harmful nature.
Such circumstances, it seems, are doomed to repeat themselves, despite experts repeatedly standing firm on the view that no causality exists between the playing of violent games and engaging in the act itself.
The American Psychological Association has recently released a statement upholding its stance on the matter with APA President Sandra L. Shullman, PhD stating the following:
Violence is a complex social problem that likely stems from many factors that warrant attention from researchers, policymakers and the public. 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.
With that said, however, the APA says it continues to recommend that the industry ensure it designs violent games with adequate parental controls available and to “refine the video game rating system” to better reflect themes and gameplay elements not suitable for minors. A sound conclusion to make, then, and one far better suited to tackling the real issue of adolescents too easily being able to access games not intended for young audiences.
Have your own thoughts to share on the topic? Sound off in the usual place below!