The debate on video games and their possible connection to violent personas has been a long-drawn out one – with many blaming interactive entertainment for encouraging violence in youths. Today, however, one of the world’s largest psychology organizations stood by gamers and defended them from such accusations.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has recently re-affirmed its stance that playing violent video games did not present a causal link to the development of violent behavior. This follows after a review of its 2015 resolution on violent video games – which many news outlets co-opted as ‘evidence’ to criticize the gaming industry back then.
While the APA admitted that there was a small link between video games and “aggressive outcomes” like pushing and raised voices, nothing was ultimately conclusive enough to mark gamers as more susceptible to violent acts. Along with these remarks, APA president Sandra Shullman added that:
“Violence is a complex social problem that likely stems from many factors that warrant attention from researchers, policymakers and the public…Attributing violence to video gaming is not scientifically sound and draws attention away from other factors, such as a history of violence, which we know from the research is a major predictor of future violence.”
In short, policymakers ought to reconsider their bias toward video games as a source of violence – and look deeper into other sources of negative influence.
We’ll report back as such arguments about violent games rage on. Stay tuned.