Do video games cause violence? A new study from American Psychological Association task force

Stephen Pagano III, Reporter

Ever since the beginning of video games there has been that one question that almost every parent has wondered. Do video games make you violent? The controversy on whether they make people violent or not dates all the way back to 1976 when a game called “Death Race” came out. The 8-bit game featured cars in which cars run over people and turn them into tombstones.

Years and years later people are still wondering if video games make people violent. A new study from the American Psychological Association Task Force says that it does. “The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior and decreases in aggression and empathy,” said the study. However even after over 20 years of research and studies there has been no solid evidence on whether or not video games can help cause someone to be violent according to the APA. They can’t reach a valid conclusion; for example, if someone is playing a game and shooting up the whole town and running over people, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the’ll do that IRL or in real life; there still need to be more studies conducted.

The task force of seven people that conducted this experiment reviewed a whopping 170 previous studies on video game violence and consulted with experts. Not a lot of people agree with APA’s claims; when the task force was first formed, 230 researchers sent letters to them about their concerns. “I think we need to be honest that the evidence is all over the place,” said Chris Ferguson who is the department chair of technology and Florida’s Stetson University. Chris does research on video game violence and was one of ten original writers to write those letters. He sees a number of flaws in their research “the APA doesn’t adequately define what “aggression” actually is, and wasn’t transparent about which studies it used” says Ferguson. Right now, however, there is no clear defining evidence on whether or not video games make people violent.