Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia gathered 64 students together and had them each play either a violent or non-violent game. Then the researchers pretended to drop their pens to see what would happen.
Researchers have so much fun.
So the 64 students were each tasked with playing 20 minutes of one of four games: Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty: Black Ops, World of Zoo and Portal 2. Once finished, they were asked to fill out a short survey about their experience with the game they played. The researchers would then leave the room in a rush, pretending to drop their pens on the way out.
The idea was to determine if playing violent video games affected a person's tendency to be helpful. They did not.
“This suggests that the effect of violent video games on behaviour might be small and that public concern ought to be minimal,” said Morgan Tear, a PhD student at the university and the lead author of a study recently published in the journal PLOS One.
Because pens, and science.
Even though this particular study comes out on the pro-gaming side of the violence question, I've gotten to the point now where I read these things for light entertainment and not much else. My sceptical side looks at these results and wonders if they represent violent video game players or people asked to fill out surveys in general. There'd have to be another survey to figure that out. I'm sure researchers are already on the case.