Study: Violent video games boost aggression
BY DAVE LARSEN, McClatchy-Tribune
DAYTON, Ohio -- A new Ohio State University study shows that playing violent video games can make people more aggressive over time, but the report's co-author said it is impossible to link such games to violent criminal behavior like the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
The new study provides the first experimental evidence that the negative effects of playing violent video games can accumulate over time, said Brad Bushman, an Ohio State professor of communication and psychology who researches factors that can influence aggressive behavior.
People who played a violent video game for three consecutive days showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations each day they played, he said.
Video game publishers are facing growing pressure from Washington and advocacy groups concerned about possible links between violent games and tragedies like the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.
The makers of "Grand Theft Auto" announced Friday that the latest chapter in the best-selling crime simulator video game series will be delayed until September.
President Barack Obama last month called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to renew scientific research into the relationship between "video games, media images and violence." He also urged Congress to support a bill that would grant the CDC $10 million to conduct this new research.
In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, Daniel Greenberg of the International Game Developers Association said the nonprofit group would "welcome more evidence-based research into the effects of our work to add to the large body of existing scientific literature that clearly shows no causal link between video game violence and real violence."
Game companies say their products are protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. Association officials declined comment for this article.
The video game industry adopted a voluntary rating system in 1994 that limits the sale and rental of games with violent or adult content to customers over ages 17 and 18, respectively.
In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a ban on the sale and rental of "violent" video games to minors is an unconstitutional infringement of speech rights. The ruling said the games are entitled to the same constitutional protection as books, movies, music and other forms of artistic expression.