Dr. Bill tells us about three new studies on violent video games—and why they have him very concerned. Show Notes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Do you let your kids play violent video games? And if you’re a dad, do YOU play them? If so, you may want to kick the habit.

New research shows a link between violent video games and aggressive thoughts and actions.

According to a story on PluggedIn.com, Iowa State University's Media Research Lab has found that violent video games change how children view violence.

Their three-year study of more than 3,000 kids in Singapore found that those who played more violent games had more thoughts and fantasies about violence, and they were more likely to believe that hitting other people was acceptable.

The researchers say their results challenge the belief that violent games only influence those who already have aggressive tendencies.

Meanwhile a new review of existing video game research reinforces the Iowa State findings.  Brad Bushman, a professor at Ohio State University, told USA Today,

"We just finished a major review of studies, looking at 381 effects of violent video games in over 130,000 people. We found that violent video games unmistakably raised levels of aggression and heart rate, and decreased feelings of compassion toward others."

And finally a study in the journal Psychological Science found a correlation between the type of character people chose to play and their behavior immediately following the session. Players who assumed the role of a virtual villain tended to treat people in negative ways after they finished playing the game. 

Meanwhile, those who played the virtual hero acted more generously toward others after they finished the game.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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