Individual personalities cause aggression not games

Posted on September 18, 2011 - 10:24am by Ryan Conway

As an entertainment medium/art form, video games have been blamed for just about every societal ill under the sun. Politicians, lawyers, parental watch groups, soccer moms and supposedly “fair and balanced” news outlets have used games in the past as a scapegoat to explain such crimes as vandalism, theft, rape, and murder, as well as douchebag aspects like sexism and racism. But a new study conducted by the American Psychological Association proves the one thing that gamers (and anyone with an ounce of common sense) have already known for decades and that’s the fact that players (and the parent's who buy these games for their kids) need  to take (or at the very least share) responsibility for their actions.  

What does this study say exactly? Well in short, it says that prolonged exposure to video games is not the only cause of aggressive behaviour in rapid players. Their own individual personalities play a much more significant role. In fact, the games don’t share as much of the blame as some would have you believe.

Patrick Markey of Villanova University (the man responsible for the study) says that parent’s shouldn ‘t worry about their son’s or daughter’s video game turning them into a serial killer.

"But is your kid moody, impulsive, or are they unfriendly? It's probably not the best idea to have that child play violent video games."

During his study of 118 participants, Markey discovered that people who are highly neurotic and low on conscientiousness were the ones who were more prone to high levels of aggression after playing violent games.

It’s a shame that study’s like this have to exist in the first place, as they are a waste of money but if this is what it takes for people for video games to get fair treatment/coverage in the media, then I guess it must be done.

Seriously, if you are the kind of person who wants to commit an act of violence just because you saw it in a video game, you need to take a long  hard look in the mirror. If you're a parent, for the love of everything, please pay attention to the ESRB ratings  or least take look at the titles of the games you are buying  for your kids. Grand Theft Auto doesn't exactly scream, "wholesome family fun" now does it?

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