Here we go…again. It would seem that there is a never ending line of those in the academic world looking to pin a bad reputation on the game industry. The latest comes from an Ohio State professor.
Brad Bushman, who specializes in psychology, concluded that “Playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, emotional arousal, and aggression…" As a result, he also states this leaves players “…numb to the pain and suffering of others.”
While I have adamantly challenged these types of conclusion in the past, one of my biggest criticisms is researchers not pulling from a large enough sample size of the population. I’m willing to give the professor his due here, as the report claims the pool consisted of over 130,000 participants (made up of a mish-mash of a few hundred studies over the years).
The professor states there is no doubt in his mind that games also directly reduce self-control, stating that, “There is little margin of error, and the findings are so statistically significant that there is no question that violent video games affect behavior.”
So in conclusion, you are a sociopath with no empathy for your fellow man (with apparent self-control problems), simply because you’ve grown up with video games. Well, I guess that’s that then right?
For more on why conducting a study does not automatically prove a hypothesis, check out my latest article on the subject.