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The Connected Parent by John Palfrey & Urs Gasser

The Connected Parent by John Palfrey & Urs Gasser

Author:John Palfrey & Urs Gasser [Palfrey, John & Gasser, Urs]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2020-10-06T00:00:00+00:00


• A literature review by the Australian attorney general’s department concluded in 2010 that significant “harmful effects from VVGs [violent video games] have not been persuasively proven or disproven. There is some consensus that VVGs may be harmful to certain populations, such as people with aggressive and psychotic personality traits. Overall, most studies have consistently shown a small statistical effect of VVG exposure on aggressive behaviour, but there are problems with these findings that reduce their policy relevance. Overall,… research into the effects of VVGs on aggression is contested and inconclusive.”6

• In 2011 the US Supreme Court reviewed the available evidence, and a majority found that the connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children was both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media, such as cartoons. Two justices questioned the majority’s conclusion and pointed out that the experience of playing violent video games might be different from reading a book, listening to radio, or watching a movie or TV show.7

• A Swedish Media Council report concluded in 2012 that there is “an extensive amount of research that demonstrates a statistical relationship between VCG [violent computer games] and aggression.” But the report also clarified that this measured aggression related only to mental processes and not to actual violent behavior. In addition, the report pointed out that there was no evidence for such games to cause aggressive behavior.8

• In one of its general comments in 2013, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concerns that the “increasing levels of participation, particularly among boys, in violent video games appears to be linked to aggressive behaviour as the games are highly engaging and interactive and reward violent behavior.” The committee also expressed concern that when the games are played repeatedly, the effects become more dramatic, and young people become insensitive to the pain and suffering of others.9

• A 2015 report by the American Psychological Association found “a consistent relationship between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cogitations, and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behavior (behavior that is for the good of others or the community at large), empathy, and sensitivity to aggression.”10 The work of the association’s task force, however, was heavily criticized by a large group of well-known researchers in the field, and the findings of the report were challenged in light of methodological problems of the underlying research.11 Critics of the report pointed out that only a modest correlation between violent video games and aggression can be determined on the basis of the soundest research, not causation, and that the APA report’s framing would lead to overblown recommendations.12

• A large representative study from our colleagues at the Oxford Internet Institute was published in 2019. It tested whether the recent playing of violent video games by British kids aged fourteen to fifteen is linearly and positively related to aggressive behavior. The robust study could not confirm the hypothesis: “We found adolescents were not more or less likely to



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