One of the first arguments that pop up regarding video games is often that there is a link when it comes to people who play video games and violent behavior. According to a recent study at the University of York, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.
Researchers at the University have released the results of a study in which a series of experiments with more than 3,000 participants took place. According to the results of the experiments, video game concepts do not “prime” players to behave in certain ways, and increasing the realism in violent video games does not necessarily increase aggression in players.
In one of the studies, players were tasked with playing a game in which they either had to be a car avoiding collisions with trucks, or a mouse avoiding being caught by a cat. Following the activity, they were then shown various images, such as a bus or dog, and asked to label them as either a vehicle or an animal. According to Dr. David Zendle – one of the members of the University’s Department of Computer Science – if players were primed through immersing themselves in the game, they should have been able to easily categorize the objects in the game more quickly.
“Across the two games we didn’t find this to be the case, “ he said. “Participants who played a car-themed game were no quicker at categorizing vehicle images, and indeed in some cases, their reaction time was significantly slower.”
According to Zendle, the total findings of the experiment reveal that there is “no link” between any kinds of realism in games and the kind of effects those games are commonly thought to have on players. If you want to read the full findings, including what the rest of studies in the test were, then make sure to head over to the University of York page.