Impact of Video Games in This Generation

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A new study suggests a dose-response relationship among playing violent video games and aggressive and hostile behavior, with negative effects accumulating over time. Investigators discovered people who played a violent video game for three consecutive days showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations each day they played. They also found that those who played nonviolent games showed no meaningful changes in aggression or hostile expectations over that period. Although other experimental studies have shown that a single session of playing a violent video game increased short-term aggression, this is the first study to show long-term effects from playing violent video games, said psychologist Dr. Brad Bushman, co-author of the study. “It’s important to know the long-term causal effects of violent video games, because so many young people regularly play these games,” Bushman said. “Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes. A single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.” Study results are published online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and will appear in a future print edition. In the study, researchers told 70 French university students that they would be participating in a three-day study of the effects of brightness of video games on visual perception. They were then assigned to play a violent or nonviolent video game for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days. Investigators assigned the violent games “Condemned 2,” “Call of Duty 4″ and then “The Club” on consecutive days (in a random order). Those assigned the nonviolent games played “S3K Superbike,” “Dirt2″ and “Pure” (in a random order). After playing the game each day, participants took part in an exercise that measured their hostile expectations. They were given the beginning of a...
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