Video game violence and teens

    Violent video games may have a negative effect on some teens – but not all – according to new research from Villanova University.

    Violent video games may have a negative effect on some teens – but not all – according to new research from Villanova University.
    (Photo: Flickr/logan.fulcher

    Parents, psychologists, and policy makers have long been concerned about the gut-wrenching violence in video games such as Manhunt, and how it might affect teenagers.

    But some researchers say only a minority of players experiences adverse effects.

    In this new study, scientists assessed participants’ personality traits, and their hostility levels after playing 20 minutes of a violent game.

    Villanova Psychology Professor Patrick Markey led the study – he says teens who are neurotic, less agreeable, and less conscientious were most likely to have high levels of hostility after playing:

    Markey: “It seems as if these three qualities if you will combined
    together form a perfect storm inside of a person that makes them susceptible to violent media.”

    Markey says the study did not investigate whether the increased levels of hostility actually resulted in aggressive behavior.

    Video game devotees say this research is proof that virtual violence is mostly harmless.

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