Science says no link between games and violence

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Earlier this week, we told you that – *sigh* – once again, videogames were being blamed for an increase in violent activity amongst young people. It’s time to talk about causation vs correlation – because the supposed link between increased aggression and untoward violence and videogames has not to date been sufficiently demonstrated.

“There is no proven scientific link between playing games and violence, or that playing games de-sensitises people to violence. In fact, research has shown that children can very clearly distinguish the difference between violence in games and the types of violence they hear about on the news,” Said the UKIE’s Jo Twist to VG247 in a statement that served as a direct response to Scipione’s unfounded statements.

“Games are enjoyed responsibly by millions of people and our survey shows that 92% of parents recognise the positive impact of games.”

The UKIE, or the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment has just instituted the PEGI ratings system in the UK, dethroning the draconian British Board of Film Classification as the source of UK game ratings. Honestly, I think s about time we tried to do the same here in South Africa; content is currently rated by the Film and Publications Board, and are regularly cited as the reason why our local digital content marketplaces just plain suck.

“Some games deal with adult themes in the same way that films, TV programmes and books do,” Twist added. “To make sure that games intended for adults are only played by adults, the PEGI age rating system, which has just become the single legally enforceable age ratings system in the UK and Europe, gives the guidance to retailers and to buyers about which games are appropriate for which audiences. We have also launched askaboutgames.com to give parents and carers all the tips and info they need to help them and their families get the most out of games.”

We at Lazygamer strongly believe that though there’s no proven link between violent video games and violent behaviour, it’s the responsibility of parents to ensure that their little darlings are kept away from material that’s just not suitable for them. In fact, we’ve written about it a number of times.

Concept art by Xavi.

Last Updated: August 8, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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