Research: Older Males More Likely to Believe a Link Exists Between Gaming and Real-World Violence

A new study by the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University finds that people who have a belief in whether there is a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior are often influenced by whether they have actual experience playing video games.

Men who never or almost never played video games were three and a half times more likely to believe that a link exists between violent video game playing and real world aggression, compared with men who said they played video games frequently. Men aged 18-24 were almost six times more likely than the older men (65 and over) to have gaming experience.

The data comes from a survey of 2,504 people, who were polled on how regularly they played video games. Some participants were also asked to rate how much they agreed with the statement: 'Violent video/computer games cause real-life aggression.' Women were found to be almost twice as likely as men of all ages to believe playing video games contributed to real world aggression.

"Whether electronic games are a good thing or a bad thing remains an open question, but it is a topic that stirs up strong views," study author Dr Andrew Przybylski, from the Oxford Internet Institute said. "Older men without gaming experience were the most concerned about online games being linked to aggressive behavior. The debate swings the other way when younger men with gaming experience are asked the same question. Overall, women were less likely to believe there was a gaming-aggressive link than older men."

"At present, the spotlight is on electronic games in popular, legislative and scientific debates," he added. "This study is the first step towards understanding a wider aspect of that conversation. As the average age of online gamers continues to rise, this study suggests that the public debate around electronic games may become less polarized. History tells us that there have been other examples where novel forms of entertainment have met with social concern about their negative effect on society as a whole."

Source: Medical Xpress

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