Recent Studies Say Violent Video Games Are Actually Beneficial

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Video games, especially violent shooters are often disparaged by everyone from politicians to parents. But in recent years the pendulum of public opinion has begun to swing the other way thanks to numerous scientific studies. Not only do violent games not create burgeoning serial killers, they can be healthy tools that improve motor and social skills. Read More

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8 Ways To Justify Letting Your Kids Play Video Games

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When you become a parent, you have to get used to being judged. You’ll be judged by friends and family, by other parents, and by total strangers. And one of the things you’ll be judged for is letting your kids play video games. If you play games yourself, you may already know how great video games can be—for learning, for socializing, and for having fun. But people who don’t play video games don’t understand any of this. When you run into misinformation, it may be up to you as a well-informed parent to tell them where they went wrong. Here here are eight ideas to get you started.  Read More

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Scholars Disagree with APA Review of Video Game Violence

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On August 14, the American Psychological Association published a review confirming a connection between video game violence and increased aggressive feelings and behaviors. After the review was released the media reacted in mixed ways. Our own Keezy Young wrote her thoughts about the review. She noted that the review was rife with problems. These problems include contradictory findings and the exclusion of any research conducted after 2013.

Violence in video games has been studied for a long time. Before this most recent report, the APA had stopped short of saying there was conclusive evidence of a link between violent games and aggressive behavior. Not surprisingly, the report has gotten much mainstream media coverage. Some of this coverage failed to report the flipside of the story.

Some within the psychological research community think the review is problematic in a number of ways. Chris Ferguson sent a letter to the Gamesnetwork discussion list of the Digital Games Research Association. Ferguson is associate professor and chair of psychology at Stetson University. He had a lot to say about the study in his letter.

Ferguson, as well as many other researchers, believe the review was “stacked with scholars with clear prior anti-game attitudes.” He went on to say that there were “significant methodological shortcomings of [the APA] review.” The shortcomings, he said, involve the fact that the “analysis included only 18 studies.” It also “seemed to kick out most null studies.” In addition, the review included some studies that had nothing to do with violent video games.

More than 230 scholars in the community are so upset that they have sent an open letter opposing the APA’s findings. This letter said the APA’s findings were “misleading and alarmist.”

Ferguson concluded his letter by saying, “I appreciate the efforts of everyone who is working to keep the APA and other organizations like it honest.”