Study: Playing Violent Video Games Might Actually Make Us LESS Violent

Violent video games have long been the target of politicians like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton, who have sought to claim there is a link between playing them and committing acts of violence.

A new study by Villanova University psychology professor Patrick M. Markey and his wife, Rutgers University psychology professor Charlotte N. Markey, finds that the correlation may actually be the other way around.

The study looked at the release of various violent video games, such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and Halo, and compared release dates with thirty years of FBI crime statistics. It found that homicides actually decreased after the release of new editions of these titles. “It's counterintuitive to what we thought would happen,” Patrick Markey told one reporter.

Commenting on the idea that violent video games lead to violence, the study concludes, “Given the number of youths who regularly engage in violent video game play and the general concern regarding this media, it would be a regular occurrence. And yet, daily reports of mass violence are not reported. It appears that the vast majority of individuals exposed to violent video games do not become violent in the ‘real world.’”

The new paper seems to corroborate the results of earlier research, like a 2007 study also performed by Patrick Markey with Gary Giumetti that showed that the few people whose behavior would be adversely impacted by playing violent video games tended to be those who already had aggressive and angry personalities.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.