Why do video games make you lazy

First long-term study: video games don't make you violent

The subject of "violence in video games" has long been the subject of controversial discussions. It is controversial whether such representations in games encourage violent behavior. The first long-term study has now been completed. She found no connection between real and virtual violence.

The investigation was led by the psychologist Christopher Ferguson, who works at the American Stetson University. He's not only scrutinized the effects of games, but also films.

Movies and games

To do this, he compared the level of filmed violence and the murder statistics from 1920 to 2005. Independent experts discussed the severity of the violence in each of the most popular films of the year and how often it was shown.

The result: There could only be a slight connection in the middle of the 20th century, when there was a slight increase in both murders and film brutality. Between the 1920s and the 1940s and after the 1990s, however, an opposing correlation can be seen, i.e. more film violence, but less real cases, summarizes Science Alert.

1996 to 2011

Games were studied over a period of 15 years, from 1996 to 2011. Experts from the age rating agency ESRB were responsible for classifying the games. Their results were compared with official official information on acts of violence among young people.

Similar to films, there seems to be an opposing relationship between virtual and real violence. However, the results are within the scope of the expected fluctuations, so a definitive determination is not possible.

Other problems more pressing

For Ferguson, however, it is very clear that there is no usable evidence of a correlation between violence in the media and violence in society. He pointed out that focusing on the topic could detract from much more pressing problems such as poverty and educational deficits.

"This investigation could help society focus again on really important issues," said Ferguson, "and no longer unnecessarily investing resources in pursuing moral agendas with little practical relevance."

The study results were published by the researchers in the Journal of Communication. (gpi, derStandard.at, December 18, 2014)