The possible negative effects violent video games could have on people (especially children), has been one of the most controversial issues facing the industry. Studies of various repute have been going on for years, but a recent release from the American Psychological Association seems to be the most credible source for both sides of the debate.
The study has found a correlation between violent games and violent behavior, but only in gamers with pre-existing conditions or emotional issues. Those showing normal personality traits, according to information posted as a video-game focused Review of General Psychology, are not expected to be effected adversely by playing violent video games.
“The direct link from [violent video games] to school violence that has been highlighted in the media may obscure a large portion of the equation: personality traits…Given that 45.7 million American homes have at least one video game console, it is clear that most children who play these games do not go on to behave in violent or murderous ways,” the report points out. “In fact, although many youths who have engaged in violent school rampages were video game players, most also possessed maladaptive personality traits and characteristics.”
The study calculated its results based on a “five-factor” model of personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. This model had not been usually adopted by most studies that dealt with the subject of video gaming.