Ohio State University’s Department of Psychology has recently conducted a study for the search for a possible connection between playing video games with violent content and aggressive behavior in real life. The researchers of the study put 220 children from the age of eight to twelve into pairs and gave them a task of playing a version of Minecraft for 20 minutes.

There were three different versions of the game used in this study, including a version with no violent content, one with sword violence and one with gun violence. After 20 minutes of playing Minecraft, the kids were taken to a room filled with toys, in which a cabinet had disabled guns.

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Minecraft is the testing game in this study because of its variety

According to statistics, out of 76 kids assigned the Minecraft version with gun violence, there was 62 percent of them who chose to play with a gun. In 74 kids played the version with sword violence, 57 percent of them picked a handgun to play. For the last 70 kids who played the version with no violence, 44 percent of them played with a gun.

Besides, the researchers figured out that those playing the nonviolent version of the game were less likely to have risky behaviors like pointing the handgun at themselves or pulling the trigger than those playing the two other violent version. Also, there was a higher risk that children who admitted to consuming violent contents online at home would do dangerous things such as pointing the gun to oneself or others and firing it.

Kids tend to do more dangerous things if they take in violent content

The conductors of this research, on the other hand, were aware of the limitations of the study. Firstly, the environment where this study took place was a laboratory, which was far different from the real world. Next, the chosen game for the study, Minecraft, was not that violent even with gun and sword added.

The researchers claimed that it was unethical for them to expose children of that age to inappropriate games that contain more violence. Also, they recommended that gun owners should keep their weapon properly in a safe place, and parents should try to limit a bit of a child’s exposure to that type of video games.

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Please dont let kids expose with violent content

There have been many studies conducted to investigate whether a possible link between video games with violence and violent behaviors in real life and the results were controversial. While some pointed out the existence of a possible connection, others resulted in nothing at all.  

It is without a doubt that more research and studies are required in this matter. With game addiction officially being classified as a disorder by World Health Organization in 2022, more research on video games and its effects on game players (especially the young ones) will be very likely to be conducted in the next years.