Age Drives Opinion on Violent Video Games and Real World Violence in UK

A study from UK-based research firm YouGov (as unearthed by Gamasutra) finds that people who think that playing violent video games can lead to real-world violence like mass shootings tend to be older and have no familiarity with playing games.

The study is based on a survey of 2,000 adult male a female participants conducted by Dr. Andrew Przybylski, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Looking at the base numbers, it would seem that a majority of those who participated in the survey believe that violent games cause real-world violence: Overall 61 percent said that playing video games can be a cause of real-world violence and aggression.

But drilling down into the numbers gives indicators how the results pan out. Of those surveyed,  53 percent said they play games, with 19 percent saying they play games "most days."  People between the ages of 18 and 39 indicated that they did not believe that playing video games causes aggression or violence, while an overwhelming number of those over the age of 60 said there was a link. Older folks also denied that video games could be used for good like lowering aggression and violence.

Gender and video game experience also shaped how respondents answered. Around 71 percent of the women surveyed said that they believe violent video games can cause real-world aggression, while 48 percent of men said there was a connection. Around 74 percent of those surveyed who said they don't play games thought games can cause aggression and violence, while 47 percent of those who play games agreed there was a connection.

Results below on two core questions, based on age:

Video/computer games can be a cause of real-world violence/aggression:

Ages 18 – 24: 42 percent agree,  58 percent disagree

Ages 25 – 39:  48 percent agree, 52 percent disagree

Ages 40 – 59:  61 percent agree,  39 percent disagree

Ages 60+: 79 percent disagree, 21 percent disagree

Video/computer games can be a useful outlet for frustrations and aggression:

Ages 18 – 24: 73 percent agree,  27 percent disagree

Ages 25 – 39:  60 percent agree, 40 percent disagree

Ages 40 – 59:  53 percent agree,  47 percent disagree

Ages 60+: 49 percent agree, 51 percent disagree

Source: Gamasutra

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  1. 0
    NyuRena says:

    If this loosely defined "aggression" is our new litmus test for a "bad influence" on behavior, then we have to ban sports, politics, religion, news, traffic, and even scientific debate. Lets hope that will see us through this silliness.(Combined with the plummet in overall crime in spite of rising realism and violence in games.)

  2. 0
    Sleaker says:

    Depends on the qualifications.  It's been shown that any form of competition (not just video games) causes short-term increase in agressiveness.  This is true of sports though, so it's not saying much.  Just look at how physical sports players get, and how they can shove each other around. Competition is what is the linking cause based on research.

  3. 0
    NyuRena says:

    Poor old folks… We can safely just ignore their opinions on matters they have no comparable experience in. I wonder if I'll be just as ignorant when I reach my 60s on whatever "the kids now-a-days" are up to? Maybe I'll be ranting about them newfangled Google "BrainStems" or Apple's "iMplant" cyber-interfaces of the day; claiming they are warping minds etc. Or will I be one of the cool old folks who "gets it"? I'll try my best. 😉

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