Violent Video Games Linked to Aggression And Diminished Cognitive Function

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Male players of violent video games, particularly first person shooter games (FPSG), have more feelings of aggression than nonplayers, according to a small study presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting.

The study involved 28 men who were splitted into 2 groups.  One group (14 men with mean age of 25 years) played the game Counter Strike for a median of 5 hours daily, while the control group (14 men with mean age of 23 years) did not play any type of violent video games.

All participants were then asked to complete the FAF, a German questionnaire on aggression, and the Interpersonal-Reactivity Index, and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Players who played the FPSG games (Counter Strike) showed significantly higher levels of aggression, as shown in higher FAF scores, than did those in the control group (P < .05).

Furthermore, brain image obtained fMRI showed clustering which correlated positively with the impulsiveness [ratio = 0.394] and the self aggression [ratio = 0.533] scale of the FAF.

This study suggested extended use of violent games can lead to increased aggressiveness and should be avoided in children.

Source: American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2010 Annual Meeting: Poster Abstract NR3-12. Presented May 24, 2010.

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