New Study Says No Significant Link Exists Between Video Games And Youth Violence

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Despite the general consensus among academics being that video games have no causal link with real-world violence, the industry has repeatedly had to defend itself against such baseless accusations since its infancy. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto and NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat series, in particular, have found themselves repeatedly scrutinized in the past for the violent content they depict and to absolutely no degree of success.

Today, both series remain some of the most popular in the world and with millions of fans between them. Some governments, however, have found themselves unable to let sleeping dogs lie and dredged up a debate that has long since been put to rest. That being the case, it’s hardly surprising that a spate of recent studies aimed at reaffirming previous discoveries has popped up as of late, such as that conducted by Massey University in New Zealand.

As part of a thorough review of 28 previous case studies, Massey’s report concludes that the correlation between video games and violence is so small as to be negligible. “Current research is unable to support the hypothesis that violent video games have a meaningful long-term predictive impact on youth aggression,” a summary over on The Royal Society reads.

An expected outcome, then, and one that, perhaps optimistically, the majority will hope dissuades any accusations of such in the future. Somewhat, on the contrary, it’s believed that video games can play a vital role in helping people cope with depression and anxiety, though that’s not to say the popular art form can’t facilitate addictive tendencies. Last year, the World Health Organisation officially recognized Gaming Disorder as a condition, with a prevalence rate of up to 10% in Europe and North America.

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