As the realism of Video Games has improved, there has been a growing concern among scientists, parents, and health professionals that playing violent video games could make the players more aggressive. Researchers at the University of York tackled the question with a series of studies, and they concluded there is little evidence to support that concern.

Killer video game skills don’t make you a danger

The university conducted a series of experiments that involved over 3000 participants. Their conclusions were that people who play action video games, or games that have a significant amount of violence, are not more prone to violence or aggression.

Furthermore, the studies also revealed that making a video game more realistic doesn’t increase aggression or make violent concepts more appealing or acceptable to players. These findings are contrary to the current belief that increasing the realism in a game changes people's behavior and moral judgments.

Playing cat and mouse doesn’t make you a better cat, or mouse

One of the university’s experiments had the players play a video game where a mouse was supposed to avoid being caught by a cat. Researchers expected that at the end of the game the players would be able to categorize parts of the game faster. However, after Playing The Game the players weren’t faster. In some cases, their perception of the game parts was slower.

In another experiment, scientists tested the reactions of players after they played a combat game using “ragdoll physics.” In games that have ragdoll physics, the characters move and react to explosions and gunfire like a real human body. The same players then played a less-realistic combat game that didn’t have such a high level of realism on the screen.

The researchers then used a word-association test to test the level of aggressive thought of the players. They found there was little difference between the games. Again, this contradicts common beliefs that the more realistic a combat video game is designed, the more violent the players will react in the “real world” after playing the game.

Scope of the study is limited but it could have some big repercussions

Researchers cautioned that their studies only used adult players. They still haven’t reached any conclusions about how violent video games could affect the behaviors of children. Furthermore, it could also affect companies that produce video games for training purposes.