Are you an avid fan of video games, especially those that required an itchy trigger finger? Then you would be delighted to find out that playing graphically violent video games does not make you more aggressive of less empathic in the real world.
A team of German scientists discovered that violent video games, do not make gamers less empathic, nor make them more aggressive. Previous studies suggested that gory and violent video game might hinder a gamer’s capacity to be less empathic with those around there. Moreover, in the past, researchers suggest that game can distort our understanding of reality to the point where we no longer believe that our actions have consequences.
However, the new study proves that there’s no clear association between playing graphically violent video games and being less sensitive in the real world. To test out this assumption, the team of German scientists coordinated by Dr. Gregor Szycik, asked a group of 15 male gamers to participate in the clinical study.
According to Dr. Szycik, all participants were avid video game fans, each of them spending at least four hours per day playing various games. The team also asked several other participants to enroll in the clinical study to act as the control group. Szycik said the second group matched the first group’s number, but none of them had any gaming experience.
For the duration of the clinical trial, both groups were asked to fill in a couple of questionnaires, designed to ascertain their levels of aggression and empathy, before and after being faced graphically violent scenarios.
After completing the questionnaires, the participants were hooked up to an fMRI machine and asked to look at some video game print screens which depicted violent scenarios.
Upon reviewing the brain scans taken during the clinical trial, Szycik and his team concluded that playing violent video games does not affect one’s capacity for feeling empathic towards someone, nor does it increase the level of aggression. The study’s results remained consistent after being compared to brain scans taken from the control group.
However, Szycik admits that there are some limitations to this study. Furthermore, he declared that although the study pointed out the fact that video games do not generally alter one’s perception of reality, he doesn’t dismiss the fact that, in certain circumstances, some gamers might find it impossible to discern between what is real and what is fictional.
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