Millions of video games are sold across the globe with approximately 2.2 billion people playing games each year. As the industry thrives, so do the growing allegations against video gaming, encouraging the certainty that video games stimulate violent behaviour.
It cannot be denied that in the wake of tragic events, gaming attracted high profile media coverage through its apparent effect on regular gamers, with particular focus on gun violence.
However, there is currently no evidence to support this presumption.
To date, no credible study has managed to decisively prove a link between regular gamers and real-world violence. In fact, research has shown us that 80% of mass shooters did not show an interest in violent video games.
In addition, that same study by psychologist Patrick Markey notes that engaging in violent video games may have the exact opposite effect, resulting in a decline in aggressive behaviour.
When violent video game sales are at their highest, criminal activity tends to reduce. Whilst this is yet to be explained, it is certainly a point worth highlighting.
Ultimately, this is a complex issue which continues to attract scrutiny as it evolves and sadly, debates over the influence of violent video games intensify year after year.
There is no indication that playing video games will lead to real-world violence. Undoubtedly, media can influence and impact our mindset, but game play should not be dismissed as a gratifying and engaging pastime for both game makers and players.
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