Researchers find no evidence of aggressive behavior in teenagers who have gambled the open-world shooter “Grand Theft Auto”.
So-called “killer games” were often mentioned in the past with a negative connotation. Be it the rampage in Emstetten or Winneden – the perpetrators have often sought connections to computer games. Such associations are often met with incomprehension among the more than 3 million active gamers worldwide. A long-term study by US researchers has now shown that brutal computer games do not trigger aggression in young people.
No long-term effects
Anyone who spends their entire teenage years playing violent computer games does not have to expect harmful psychological consequences. This is the conclusion of the study published in the journal “ Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking ” , in which US researchers observed a group of children and adolescents between the ages of ten and 23 for a total of ten years.
Action shooting games preferred by boys
The psychologist Laura Stockdale from Loyola University Chicago and the media and genealogist Sarah Coyne from Brigham Young University in Idaho analyzed the behavior of teenagers who played the computer game Grand Theft Auto in their 10-year long-term study. At first it became clear that boys prefer the game. The researchers also divided the study participants into three subgroups. Four percent had a preference for games that glorified violence; 23 percent had a moderate affinity for the game mentioned at the start of their studies. Furthermore, 73 percent of the participants preferred games with low brutality.
Also interesting: the tops and flops of the video game world 2020
Different behavioral characteristics
The US organization “Common Sense Media” laid the basis for the evaluation criteria and age ratings of the study . In this country, this institution is comparable to the USK self-regulatory body for entertainment software. Accordingly, the participants were categorized according to different behavioral characteristics: aggression, depressive symptoms, anxiety states and general social behavior.
In the investigation, both researchers found no difference in prosocial – i.e. positive and helpful towards others – behavior. The moderate group showed the highest level of aggressive behavior. Overall, however, even after many years there was no connection between increased aggressiveness and brutal video games.