Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
December 6, 2019
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


No correlation between game violence and real-world violence, says new study

No correlation between game violence and real-world violence, says new study

November 5, 2014 | By Mike Rose




Christopher Ferguson, a well-known researcher in the field of examining the psychology of violent media's effects on real-life violent behavior, has urged those in positions of power to stop wrongly identifying video game violence as a catalyst for crime.

The Stetson University professor has spoken out numerous times before about the supposed link between between video game violence and real-life violence, stating that there is no evidence that a connection exists.

Now the professor has released a new study, in which he attempts to correlate violent video game consumption during 1996-2011, against federal data on youth violence rates during that same period.

As reported by Medical Daily, Ferguson notes that if violent video games are truly a cause of real-life violence, you'd expect youth violence rates to increase during this period, as graphic violence in video games became more prominent.

Yet his study shows that youth violence rates did not increase during this period -- in fact, violent video game consumption was strongly correlated with declines in youth violence, his data shows.

Of course, Ferguson is keen to stress that this downward correlation is most likely down to chance, rather than an indication that violent video games actually caused a decline in youth violence.

While most studies into this field have focused on short-term correlation, this is one of the first studies to look at the effect of violent video games on society over such a long period of time -- and Ferguson argues that the results show violent video games are having no visible effect on real-life violence levels.

"Society has a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to the problem of reducing crime," he states in his study. "There is a risk that identifying the wrong problem, such as media violence, may distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health."

He adds, "This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value."

Earlier this year, Gamasutra found that proposed research by the White House into a possible link between video game violence and gun violence never occured, and instead acted as a photo op to prove that the government was listening to the mainstream media.


Related Jobs

East Carolina University
East Carolina University — Greenville, North Carolina, United States
[12.06.19]

Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor
Remedy Entertainment
Remedy Entertainment — Espoo, Finland
[12.06.19]

Senior Audio Designer
Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin , California, United States
[12.05.19]

Systems Designers
Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin, California, United States
[12.05.19]

Level Designer









Loading Comments

loader image