Brad Wilcox re-tweeted a tweet that mentioned this study which I think is interesting. It’s important to me that Christians not get sucked into every fad crisis.
Story from U.S. News and World Report: (links removed)
In truth, there’s no evidence to connect violent video games to violence in society. Several studies, such as by psychologist Patrick Markey and economist Scott Cunningham, have linked the release of popular violent video games with immediate declines in societal violence. Correlation between the consumption of these games and societal reductions in youth violence were well established, but these newer studies suggest there may be some causal element to this.
Studies of youth also call into question whether a link between violent video games and aggression exists. In a 2015 meta-analysis of studies examining video game effects on youth, little evidence emerged for causal links between violent video games and behavioral problems in youth. Likewise, studies have not supported that a population of youth exists who are “vulnerable” to game effects. One recent study from the University of Missouri found that neither young adults diagnosed on the autism spectrum nor neurotypical young adults became more aggressive when exposed to violent video games. Nor, in a study I conducted with Cheryl Olson, were these games associated with bullying or delinquency among youth with pre-existing mental health symptoms. This is not to say that all studies agree: Over the years, some have found evidence for some kinds of effects (usually on minor aggressive acts, like filling in the missing letters of ki__ as “kill” rather than “kiss”); others have not. But gradually, the evidence has weakened, and it has become clear that media effects research has become part of psychological science’s larger replication crisis, where many effects once thought true are now proving difficult to replicate with better, preregistered studies.
This is also reflected in the scientific community where surveys of scholars and cliniciansfind little evidence for a consensus that effects exist. Indeed only a minority of scholars and clinicians agree that violent video games cause aggression or violence in society. And as is common for generational disagreements over new media, the split even among experts finds older experts more inclined to view video games in a negative light.
Because of all of this, some criminologists have taken to referring to links between violent video games and mass shootings specifically as a “myth.”
Although I do believe that violent video games don’t cause people to me more violent, I do think that it increases tolerance for other people committing violence, which is why I don’t play them. I am a gamer, but I never play violent first-person shooters. My favorite games are military simulators like Harpoon and Command, as well as cartoon-y retro dungeon crawlers (Etrian Odyssey series) and cooperative games like Keep Talking and No One Explodes or the board game Pandemic.
I just think that it is important that we not malign boys any more than is accurate for their different male natures. Boys are more aggressive than girls. It’s not a mental disorder, it’s being a boy. If it wasn’t for this aggressive male nature, we would have no soldiers and policemen to fight evil with force.