The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-analytic Review of Positive and Negative Effects of Violent Video Games

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-analytic Review of Positive and Negative Effects of... Objective Video game violence has become a highly politicized issue for scientists and the general public. There is continuing concern that playing violent video games may increase the risk of aggression in players. Less often discussed is the possibility that playing violent video games may promote certain positive developments, particularly related to visuospatial cognition. The objective of the current article was to conduct a meta-analytic review of studies that examine the impact of violent video games on both aggressive behavior and visuospatial cognition in order to understand the full impact of such games. Methods A detailed literature search was used to identify peer-reviewed articles addressing violent video game effects. Effect sizes r (a common measure of effect size based on the correlational coefficient) were calculated for all included studies. Effect sizes were adjusted for observed publication bias. Results Results indicated that publication bias was a problem for studies of both aggressive behavior and visuospatial cognition. Once corrected for publication bias, studies of video game violence provided no support for the hypothesis that violent video game playing is associated with higher aggression. However playing violent video games remained related to higher visuospatial cognition (r x = 0.36). Conclusions Results from the current analysis did not support the conclusion that violent video game playing leads to aggressive behavior. However, violent video game playing was associated with higher visuospatial cognition. It may be advisable to reframe the violent video game debate in reference to potential costs and benefits of this medium. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-analytic Review of Positive and Negative Effects of Violent Video Games

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11126-007-9056-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objective Video game violence has become a highly politicized issue for scientists and the general public. There is continuing concern that playing violent video games may increase the risk of aggression in players. Less often discussed is the possibility that playing violent video games may promote certain positive developments, particularly related to visuospatial cognition. The objective of the current article was to conduct a meta-analytic review of studies that examine the impact of violent video games on both aggressive behavior and visuospatial cognition in order to understand the full impact of such games. Methods A detailed literature search was used to identify peer-reviewed articles addressing violent video game effects. Effect sizes r (a common measure of effect size based on the correlational coefficient) were calculated for all included studies. Effect sizes were adjusted for observed publication bias. Results Results indicated that publication bias was a problem for studies of both aggressive behavior and visuospatial cognition. Once corrected for publication bias, studies of video game violence provided no support for the hypothesis that violent video game playing is associated with higher aggression. However playing violent video games remained related to higher visuospatial cognition (r x = 0.36). Conclusions Results from the current analysis did not support the conclusion that violent video game playing leads to aggressive behavior. However, violent video game playing was associated with higher visuospatial cognition. It may be advisable to reframe the violent video game debate in reference to potential costs and benefits of this medium.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2007

References

  • Computer game playing in adolescence: Prevalence and demographic indicators
    Griffiths, M; Hunt, N

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