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Research: Study the Player, Not the Game

We've heard it all before, usually from Fox News: games are murder simulators, games will corrupt your children, games cause youngsters to become murderous fanatics.

But new research presented to the American Psychological Association (via USA Today) suggests that it's not the games that are solely to blame for some individuals suffering negative effects from prolonged exposure -- individual personalities have a significant role to play, and games aren't as direct an influence as some believe.

"If you're worried about a video game turning your son or daughter into a killer, don't worry about that," said Patrick Markey of Villanova University, author of the research. "But is your kid moody, impulsive, or are they unfriendly? It's probably not the best idea to have that child play violent video games."

Markey discovered through his study of 118 participants that individuals who were highly neurotic and low on conscientiousness were more prone to exhibit elevated aggression levels following playing violent games.

Supporting Markey's research is a study from the online journal Psychology of Violence, penned by Paul Adachi of Brock University, Ontario.

"It appears that competition in games is what may influence aggression, not the violent content," said Adachi. "We found -- irrespective of violent content -- the two highly competitive games produced more aggressive behavior than the two less competitive games."

This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Research: Study the Player, Not the Game


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