In the past, there have been huge media outcries against video games that had all kinds of violence at its core, such as “Call of Duty”, “Far Cry” and “Grand Theft Auto” and others. All of them put the gamers in the role of a gunner. Naturally, this caused concerns that the depiction of violence in video games might cause people who play them to become more violent in the society. After all, monkey see monkey do, right?
This concern has been proven to be invalid time and again, and the most recent research from Hannover Medical School in Germany, haven’t found any connection which proves that violent games actually cause a tendency towards violence, according to the Indipentent.ie.
The researchers were using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of regular gamers. They tried to gauge the impact of gaming long term, so they choose the group of gamers who played at least two hour per day (sometimes more hours per day), for the last four years and were compared to a control group of people who did not game regularly, as has been explained in the study.
This method was chosen because the academic say that the previous studies may have been misrepresented, because they often checked the psychological state of participants right after, or during, a play time. Before the participants’ brains were scanned in the MRI machine, they had to refrain from gaming at least three hours, so the scientists could determine the more long-term psychological effects. In order to check their capacity for empathy and aggression, both groups answered psychological questions. Then, while their brains were scanned in an MRI machine, they were shown photos to deliberately cause an emotional reaction.
The reaction has shown that there were no differences in empathy or violent tendencies between gamers and non-gamers.
“We hope that the study will encourage other research groups to focus their attention on the possible long-term effects of video games on human behavior,” said Dr. Gregor Szycik, who led the research, as cited by the Mirror.