Do your children play violent video games?
A new study has revealed a “consistent relation” between violent games and agressive, callous behaviour.
The report from the American Psychological Association (APA) was based on almost a decade of studies and more than 300 violent video game papers.
Players were tested over a range of time periods, and in different ways.
The report says: “The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behaviour, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”
However, pro-gaming groups have condemned the findings, saying that those who carried out the research are “anti-gamers” and were too selective in the studies they deemed relevant.
Some claimed violent films are no less significant in influencing aggressive behaviour than video games.
However, experts from the APA have said that there should be more parental control over violent scenes in games.
The police and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire also voiced his concerns about video games earlier this year.
Adam Simmonds called for games that depict explicit content such as torture and murder to have an “adult only” rating certificate.
This study found that one in 10 children aged 11 said they had downloaded Call of Duty, a game known for its graphic depiction of war.
Another report by the NSPCC showed that the amount of time youngsters spend glued to computer screens has grown dramatically.
In a survey of more than 2,000 UK parents, 35 per cent said they had come across online dangers, rising to 40 per cent amongst teens.
Although it is important to monitor what your children are up to in their free time, it can be difficult to be on top of everything they are doing.