Study Says Video Games Don’t Promote Violence Among ‘Normal’ Teens

Only those teenagers already predisposed to violent behaviors are adversely affected by playing violent video games, according to a new study from Villanova and Rutgers University. The researchers said that the majority of teenagers will not become “crazed school shooters” by playing video games.

Professors Patrick and Charlotte Markey studied 118 teenagers in terms of their personality factors and video game habits. If the teenager had three certain personality traits, playing violent video games was likely to make him more violent and aggressive. The three traits were high neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness.

“All of the incidences of violence, particularly school violence, linked to video games are all alarming; what should have surprised us more is that there are no more violent video game-driven violent episodes, given the number of youths regularly engaged in violent video game play,” the authors wrote in a report published in the journal Review of General Psychology.

They wrote that school shooters are usually described by others as “angry, mean, depressed, psychotic, unruly, anxious, aggressive, and hateful before the shootings.”