University Study Shows No Link Between Violent Games And Behavior

The results of a recently conducted study by the University of Queensland in Australia on the relationship between violent video games and social behavior found no link between the two. Participants showed no decrease in pro-social tendencies and behavior.

The study involved 150 undergraduate students between the ages of 17 and 43, and contained 3 phases.

In the first, the students could randomly pick one of four games which were comprised of Grand Theft Auto 4 (anti-social), Portal 2 (non-violent), CoD: Black Ops (violent) and World of Zoo (pro-social). In the second the choice of games was reduced to just two, GTA IV and Portal 2. The final phase reduced the sample size, shortened the play time to 8 minutes, and used less contemporary games, Lemmings and Lamers.

The report concluded that, "Three experiments failed to find a detrimental effect of violent video games on pro-social behaviour, despite using contemporary and classic games, delayed and immediate test-phases, and short and long exposures." The report did note, however, that, "While this study is not definitive evidence that violent video games have no detrimental effect on pro-social behaviour, it might be that previously raised concerns regarding the impact of violent games on pro-social behaviour may be mismatched or disproportionate."