It’s a question that has been around ever since the first blood spatter appeared in a video game, “Is there a link between gun behaviour and violent video games?” A new study seems to have found more proof.
A new study that was conducted by the Department of Psychology at Ohio State University seems to indicate that there is indeed a link between gun behaviour and violent video games.
The study paired 220 kids that were aged between 8 and 12 and had them playing or watching one of three versions of Minecraft. One version contained sword violence, one gun violence and the last no violence at all. The kids played the game for 20 minutes before being led to another room filled with toys including real, but disabled, handguns.
Of all the kids that partook in the study, 76 played the version with gun violence. Of those kids, 61.8% decided to play with the handgun. 74 kids played the version with sword violence and, of those kids, 56.8% played with the handgun. The final 70 kids were tasked with playing the non-violent game and, of those kids, only 44.3% played with the handgun.
The study further showed that the kids who played the violent versions of the game were more likely to point the handgun at themselves or other kids than those who played the non-violent version of the game.
The researchers have admitted that the study did have a few limitations, such as being conducted in an artificial laboratory setting and not in a real-world setting. Also, Minecraft with guns and swords isn’t necessarily very violent as it does lack blood and gore, as they could not ethically expose young kids to more violent games.
It seems that although there could be a link between violent video games and gun behaviour, the jury is still out. Over the years there have been many studies conducted on this exact subject with many contradicting each other.
In the end, the researchers’ recommendations for gun owners were simple: Make sure your weapons are properly secured and try to limit young children’s exposure to violent video games.