New research has found that young gamers are far less likely to believe video games lead to real-life violence and aggression.
The study, conducted by YouGov in partnership with Oxford University’s Dr Andrew Przybylski, examined what Brits felt about the effect of video games.
Out of those questioned, 61 per cent felt that video games can be a cause of real-world aggression and violence. However, almost the same amount, 57 per cent, felt that games can be a useful outlet for frustrations and aggression.
With the average age of gamers now at 30, and a third of gamers aged under 18 years old, it is perhaps not surprising to find that the majority of younger Brits actually felt games weren’t likely to cause violence and aggression in players (58 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 52 per cent of 25-39 year olds).
Men and women feel differently about games too, it seems, with 71 per cent of women stating games can lead to real-life violence while men were almost equally split (48 per cent versus 52 per cent). The majority of both genders see games as being useful as an outlet for frustration and aggression – 58 per cent of men and 56 per cent of women.
Over the age of 40, however, Brits’ feelings were suddenly reversed, with 61 per cent of 40-59 year olds and an overwhelming 79 per cent of those over 60 feeling that games could inspire violence and aggression in real life.
While it may be predictable to see that 73 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 60 per cent of 25-39 year olds feel that games can be a useful outlet, the majority of 40-59 year olds, 53 per cent, despite feeling that games can cause violence, also felt that they can be a useful outlet.
Even those over 60 saw some benefit to playing games – with almost half (49 per cent) seeing games as an outlet for frustration and aggression.
The difference in opinion was also heavily skewed depending on the individual’s experience with violent games. 74 per cent of those with no experience playing such games perceived a chance of real-life aggression, while only a third (35 per cent) of those with ‘some’ gaming experience felt likewise.
For the use of games as an outlet, those with no gaming experience were again almost evenly split (54 per cent seeing a benefit, with 70 per cent of those who had played agreeing).