Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy

By Craig A. Anderson; Douglas A. Gentile et al. | Go to book overview
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8
New Findings and Their Implications

The three studies reported in this monograph yielded a host of new findings. Most concern the effects of exposure to violent video games on aggressive behavior, though a few other findings are also of special interest. Many of the main new findings can be broken down by type of research method.


Experimental

There were three main experimental findings from Study 1. First, children's video games with violent content increased aggressive behavior in the laboratory. This experimental effect occurred with males and females, with children and college students, with individuals with high and low media violence exposure, with participants who had and did not have television or video game media available in their bedrooms, and with individuals with high and low media violence preference. Second, the violent children's games produced an increase in aggression at least as large at the T-rated video games; indeed, the children's violent game increase was slightly (nonsignificantly) larger. Combined, these first two main experimental findings contradict two basic assumptions made by parents, the video game industry, and various public policy groups: (1) that children's games are safe for all ages even if they have aggressive content, and (2) that T-rated violent games have a significantly bigger immediate negative impact on players than violent children's games. Some caution is needed in interpreting these latter findings, in part because only two violent children's games and two violent T-rated games were compared, in part be

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