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Video Games Can Affect Behavior: Play Nice!

By HERWriter
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In a recent study by the University of Michigan, researchers found that children, teenagers and college students acted similar to how they played in video games in real life, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported.

Those who played violent games were linked behaviorally to harming others and those who played games with little or no violence were linked behaviorally to being kind to others, according to the study.

Here is part of what the abstract of the study said:

"In the correlational study, Singaporean middle-school students who played more prosocial games behaved more prosocially. In the two longitudinal samples of Japanese children and adolescents, prosocial game play predicted later increases in prosocial behavior. In the experimental study, U.S. undergraduates randomly assigned to play prosocial games behaved more prosocially toward another student."

The abstract added this:

"Although dozens of studies have documented a relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviors, very little attention has been paid to potential effects of prosocial games. Theoretically, games in which game characters help and support each other in nonviolent ways should increase both short-term and long-term prosocial behaviors."

It seems to me that video games in this age have at least some form of violence, so I'm curious as to which video games were played in the study. Although this is great to hear for people who play non-violent video games, I think that those who play violent video games are a much higher percentage of the population.

It would be best for parents to encourage children to play the pro-social video games. When they're older, you can show them this study as proof of the importance of playing non-violent video games over violent ones.



Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I have a hard time totally agreeing with these types of studies. I for one have been playing MANY different types of video games throughout my entire life and never once have I had the urge to go out and commit the same acts in real life as I have in video games. I understand that no study is absolutely perfect and I'm sure it takes into account those "gamers" who have no problem separating the game world from the real world, but I just wonder who all these people are who continually try and pull some of these things off. I mean things in video games nowadays are so outlandish who would even think of trying to act out after playing them. Even the most realistic of games allow you to do things that I would hope any sane person can realize as unacceptable in the real world. Who are these people who keep giving video games a bad rap?? I personally think they are troubled individuals who go and do some stupid things and then get caught and look for anything to blame instead of themselves for their actions. So they simply come up with the excuse, "The video game made me do it." Please.

On a somewhat related note...I would be interested to here if this problem was more prevalent in males or females. I would venture to guess that this is almost overwhelmingly a male issue based solely on the fact that more young men play games (especially the more violent games in question) than young women.

August 4, 2009 - 5:17pm
EmpowHER Guest

I wonder if the study checked to see if people who are more pro-social tend to pick games with little to no violence and if anti-social/violent people picked games which had large amounts of violence. I feel that we tend to view video games as picking people to play them rather than the person who picks the game. I wouldn't be surprised if a person's personallity and values reflects which games they play rather than the games having a direct influence on their behavior.

July 22, 2009 - 2:19pm
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