Video games can teach aggression

Nov. 14, 2007 at 5:55 PM

AMES, Iowa, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A study of 2,500 U.S. youths found that video games are indeed effective teaching tools that can teach hostile actions and aggressive behaviors.

Douglas Gentile, director of research for the National Institute on Media and the Family and co-author of the book "Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy;" and his father J. Ronald Gentile, an educational psychologist at the University at Buffalo, say they realized that video games use the same techniques that really great teachers use.

The paper presents conceptual and empirical analyses of several of the "best practices" of learning and instruction, and demonstrates how violent video games use these same practices effectively to teach aggression.

The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that among elementary students, playing multiple violent video games increased their risk of being highly aggressive -- as rated by peers and teachers -- by 73 percent when compared to those who played a mix of violent and non-violent games, and by 263 percent compared to those who played only non-violent games.

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