Since video games have become extremely popular, there are people opposing them are saying that violent games encourage aggressiveness and violent behavior in the kids playing them.
After years and years of debate, a ten-year study released by Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking reveals that there’s actually no link between kids playing violent video games to increased aggression in their later years.
That’s despite playing one of the most violent and controversial games of all time, the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series. In the test, 13-year-old players who spent a lot of hours on the game didn’t show a significant increase in aggression than those who spent little to no hours of playing the game, after analyzing both types of subjects for 10 years.
This latest data supports existing findings that violent tendencies really didn’t come from playing violent video games as a kid.
What’s interesting is, it actually provides an insight as to how kids and teens use video games as a coping mechanism for mental health issues.
The research’s authors reveal that adolescents who played GTA when they were younger did rely on games to distract themselves from the issues they were facing. Albeit, a more complex research is needed to be done to understand this fully.
As for children who played violent video games during their early adolescence, the research says that they displayed higher symptoms of depression but has decreased anxiety. The authors note that it’s possible that these people used violent video games to manage or cope with the said symptoms.
Previous research has shown that playing video games is indeed a great tool as a distraction or coping mechanism to address mental health issues. Although, these studies failed to consider the type of games being played.