In recent years, there has been a steady increase in video games, which has led many experts to wonder whether excessive gaming has harmful effects on humans. A particularly thorny issue here is whether excessive video game play can lead to an increase in aggression.
What do studies say about this issue?
There is an ongoing debate about whether excessive video game play can lead to increased aggression. A 2012 study by Anderson and Warburton suggests that there is indeed a link. The study looked at subjects who played video games for at least three hours a day and found that this group had significantly higher scores on aggression tests than those who played for less than an hour a day. The authors argue that excessive playing of violent games can promote aggression.
However, there are other studies that reach different conclusions. For example, a 2018 study by Markey and Ferguson concluded that there was no significant association between excessive gaming and increased aggression. The authors argue that other factors, such as personality and environment, may play a larger role.
Another 2014 study by Greitemeyer and Mügge came to a similar conclusion to Anderson and Warburton. The study examined the relationship between aggressive behavior and playing first-person shooter video games. The results showed that playing first-person shooter video games can lead to a short-term increase in aggressive behavior.
However, there are also studies that show that video games do not only have negative effects. A 2014 study by Granic et al. concluded that video games can have positive effects on children's cognitive, emotional and social development. The authors emphasized that it depends on the type of game and how long it is played.
Overall, the debate about the link between excessive video game play and aggression remains controversial. While some studies suggest a link, others come to different conclusions or even find positive effects. It is important that further research is conducted to better understand the link between video games and aggressiveness and to minimize potential risks.
The role of the media
Another important factor to consider when discussing the relationship between excessive gaming and aggression is the role of the media. The way video games are portrayed in the media has a major impact on the public perception of video games in general.
Most reports in the media focus on the negative aspects of video games, especially those that depict violence. This often creates the impression that all video game players are potential perpetrators of violence. However, this type of reporting contributes to the risk of stigmatizing video game players and overestimating the link between video games and aggression.
What can we learn from this?
Whether or not there is a link between excessive gaming and aggressiveness, it is important to be aware of how we portray video games in the media and how we talk about them. In addition, it can be helpful to monitor the time we spend playing video games and make sure it doesn't become too excessive. Because even if science is not yet agreed on whether there is a connection, it is always advisable to have a balance between all aspects.
(Anderson & Warburton, 2012); (Markey & Ferguson, 2018); (Pinker, 2011)
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