This particular research took place in Italy, involving 170 teenagers showing their skills in a violent video game, like Grand Theft Auto III, or a non-violent game like MiniGolf 3D, in a span of 45 minutes. A bowl of chocolate was beside the gaming console while they were playing. They knew they could eat the candies, albeit they were told that it was unhealthy to devour so much chocolates in a short period of time.
Those who played violent video games ate three times as much chocolates as those who played non-violent ones. After playing, the participants went through a 10-item logic test where they got one ticket for a prize raffle for every question they answered correctly. After learning the number of answers they got right, they were told to get the corresponding number of tickets from an envelope while not being watched.
The researchers could definitely know if a certain participant took more than appropriate. Those who played violent games helped themselves to extras about eight times more often than did those who played a nonviolent game.
The aggressive tendencies of the participants were also tested when they played a game with an unseen fictional “partner” to get rights to blast the losing party with a loud noise via headphones. It was found that violent game players decided to blast their fictitious partners with louder noises that lasted much longer as compared to the non-violent gamers.
There may be teens who remained unfazed by these video games that suggested violence, but this particular research aids us in addressing the question of who is most likely to be affected. According to the study, the effects were most noticeable in teen participants who scored pretty high in moral disengagement. (Moral disengagement is defined as one’s ability to convince himself that ethics do not apply in all situations.)
Both male and female participants were affected. Girls ate even more chocolate, and were more likely to cheat, and to act aggressively when they were playing Grand Theft Auto as opposed to the mini golf or pinball game.
I was never a gamer girl. The video games I have played in my life have been few and far between. And for the most part, it’s just my way to give in to the hype. When I download a game on my mobile phone, I play it for like 3 days, a week tops, and then I move on with my life. So I can’t really have a say.
How about you? Has playing violent video games in any way influenced you and your life decision-making skills? Or are you unaware?