UK Study Says That Gaming Does Not Make Children More Violent

A hot debate over the years has been whether or not video games make children more violent or not. Even in the days of the Super Nintendo there were questions of whether or not video games such as Mortal Kombat made children more violent. A UK study carried out at the University of Glasgow used surveys of mothers for over 11,000 parents in order to track children’s behavior over time. The key findings of the study were as follows.

Exposure to video games had no effect on behavior, attention or emotional issues.

Watching 3 or more hours of television at age 5 did lead to a small increase in behavioral problems in youngsters between 5 and 7.

Neither television nor video games lead to attentional or emotional problems.

There was no difference between boys and girls in the survey results.

This is one of the largest studies every conducted on the issue of video games effect on behavior and is interesting because it conflicts with other studies done in the United States. Do you believe playing video games can make a child more susceptible to violence?



  1. Of course certain Video games have an effect on a child’s mind, whether its a violent game, or a good game that can lead to nostalgia, just look at Pokémon Red and Blue, while there was no negative effect I think anyone who played it as a child would clearly remember Lavender Town and feel something


  2. Bullshit. This does not state causation or lack thereof. Looking at the results shows the buzzwords used are wrong. Case and point “Boys were more likely than girls to show abnormal
    levels of problems.”


    1. Social research cannot prove causation, EVER. It would require a perfect 1:1 correlation, which could never be proven. Also, there are too many variables. The most a study like this could ever do is say “if x happens, y is more likely to happen”. since I can’t even read the original study (I’m a social sciences major), i can’t report firsthand. I would like to read it though.


  3. What a fucking stupid question at the end!
    What has anyone’s opinion got to do with the scientific findings? Jeez!

    A fact is a fact and doesn’t need opinion. A more suitable question would be “were you one of those fucking retards that thought it did have a negative effect on children?”


    1. “social science” is not really even a science. it’s not “scientific”. I should know, this is my area of study. It’s not a fact and is highly subjective. the fact that it conflicts with other studies also shows that more research is needed. this study was carried out by using pre-existing data. it did have a huge sample population, but since I can’t even read the original document, i can’t really say. hence the question. you’re welcome.


  4. This won’t stop politicians from spending more money on research on this subject. They won’t be content until they get the answer *they* want, no matter what the truth of the matter is.


  5. “did lead to a small increase in behavioral”

    This small increase can mean something, how can you affirm that “gaming DOES NOT make the children more violent”?


    1. I doesn’t. This is one study among a million others all of which have an OPPOSED view to this one lol! One study doesn’t prove anything. It’s a start, but more studies need to take place.


  6. Yes it does make babies more violent lolololol. They are fuming when someone insults their beloved underpowered running on 7 year old hardware excuse of a baby toy console named the Wii U (they will make up lies and state them as facts lololol). Don’t someone dare point out all the mistakes of their beloved Nintendo company or the babies will throw a tantrum lololol. Their love for their beloved brand name blinds them lololol. The Nintendo of old was a more diversified company who made all sorts of different type of games, ever since Iwata got in charge Nintendo became the baby games company. Their focus now is babies, casuals, grannies, mommies and daddies (just look at all their TV commercials for their baby Wii U lololol, not to mention the lack of any decent non baby game on their beloved baby console lololol). Don’t you dare say something bad about their baby games. Don’t mess with their beloved rehashed same over and over baby Mario and whatnot games lolololol.


    1. Would you explain to us “babies”, in black-and-white, where the line is drawn, after which material may be considered rehashed? I’ve played plenty of Mario games, new and old (including some of the New Super Mario Bros series), and never once did I feel like I was playing the same game I played the last time. Each new game delivers new challenges. What more do we need? Need every new game we play be as contrasting to the last as Shadow of the Colossus vs The Last of Us vs Portal vs Mario Kart?


  7. Common sense.

    Then again, the children’s parents probably don’t want their minds to be filled with violent pictures, etc. (the same reasons why parents probably don’t want children watching too violent movies: they’re too young to cope with it).


  8. I think it is all circumstantial. Yes, video games can make someone more violent, BUT this only occurs at a certain age. If you are letting your 4 or 5 year old play Call of Duty or Resident Evil, I believe this can have a negative health effect on your child’s state of mind. 4 and 5 Year olds have not yet learned exactly right from wrong yet. They may become more sensitive to violence and bad behavior.

    On the other hands, a 15 or 16 year old playing Call of Duty and Resident Evil is not bad for their health. In fact, I think it is beneficial to burn off steam by playing video games.

    Now, my conception into believing why age comes into play is because of those who are mentally unstable. A 15 or 16 year old who has mental problems CAN be affected by video game violence, violence in films and violence in general. So why would a mentally unstable person who is unhinged from the reality of right and wrong be any different from a child who has not yet learned the difference him/herself?


  9. Well OF COURSE video games create violent children, if they’re playing Assassin’s Creed at the age of three. If your child plays T+ rated games when he’s still mimicking ducks in a pond on his favorite children’s cartoon, and he seems to be developing violent tendencies, it’s entirely your fault, O you oblivious, uncareful, ditz of a parent.

    Otherwise, my empirically corroborated stance is this: violent people like violent video games, not the other way around.


      1. I believe that’s partly true. However, wouldn’t you agree that there are some who are significantly more likely to fly off the handle than others; individuals who are uniquely demented?


  10. As it’s already been said, this definitely isn’t the final word on the issue, and people will still use games as a scapegoat. But while games don’t actually have any affect on behavior, violent games do tend to attract violent people. There is a certain link between the two, but it’s really backwards.


  11. I hate to sound like a broken clock, but that is to be expected. As long as researchers use strong methodology in their studies, the results usually come out like this. Most of the studies in America claim that there is a “link” (i.e. correlation) between violent video games and increase in aggression. However, those studies have been heavily debunked for its flawed methodology and failure to define what “aggression” is in a clinical term. The researchers don’t control for variables (such as family environment, socio-economic status, and exposure to real-life violence). have limited sampling sizes, ignore opposing research, and have a narrow focus. As a result, the aggression studies were unable to stand up to scrutiny in the courts, especially the highly prolific Brown v. EMA case. Every time some politician tries to propose any type of legislation regulating the sale of violent video games and uses the aggression studies as a justification, judges strike it down because of how unconvincing it is and declare such regulation unconstitutional.

    Unfortunately, this won’t completely shut out the debate. A good chunk of the stubborn American population will ignore the study because it doesn’t fit with their static, antiquated views. They are desperate to win the culture war, but they are losing to an increasingly open, progressive society. But, at least we now have a very reputable ammo on our stockpile because this study was done in a period of a decade with 11,000 participants.


    1. You actually seem very well versed in how social science works and the agenda here in America. I would also like to see who funded those American studies. This particular study also measured if TV exposure made children more likely to be violent, and the answer was NO.


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