5 Startling, Important Facts About Video Games & Violence

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Photo by Seth Rubenstein via Flickr

If you’re worried about video games and violence, you’re not alone. The two have been linked since gaming’s earliest days, and that link has only grown stronger in the public perception after Columbine and the release of ultra-realistic, violent games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. Whether or not to allow your kids to play such violent fare is a nearly unavoidable question for modern parents, particularly parents of boys.

That’s why the book Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong is must-read for parents, in my opinion. The book’s authors, Patrick Markey and Christopher Ferguson, lay out some startling truths, including these 5 gems:

  1. “On average, research suggests that only 0.4 percent to 3.2 percent of the variation in minor forms of aggression can be explained by violent video games.” (p. 55)
  2. “Any links between violent video games and aggression seem to have been the result of frustration experienced by players, and not the violent content. (p. 66)
  3. “The release of popular violent video games actually coincides with a reduction in murders.” (p. 90)
  4. Abstinence from playing violent video games is a better predictor of future school violence than interest in this medium.” (p. 108)
  5. “Violent video games can affect our morality — but for the better.” (p. 153)

Want to know more? Check out our Q & A with Patrick Markey, How the War of Violent Video Games is Hurting Your Son.

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