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Do violent video games cause violent behavior? Here's what the UK thinks

A new study from YouGov appears to suggest that the more familiar a person is with video games in general, the less they believe that there is a connection between in-game violence, and real-life violence.
The debate surrounding whether video games cause real-world violence and aggression continues to rage on as it always has -- especially with the launch of Grand Theft Auto V last week. A new study from UK-based market research firm YouGov this week suggests that the more familiar a person is with video games in general, the less they believe that there is a connection between in-game violence and real-life violence. Dr. Andrew Przybylski, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, surveyed nearly 2,000 adults in the UK, with a wide ranging mix of ages, beliefs and experience with video games. Of those surveyed, around 53 percent said they play games, with 19 percent saying they play games "most days." The survey found that 61 percent of UK residents believe that playing video games can be a cause of real-world violence and aggression. Breaking down the data reveals far more interesting statistics, however. Take the age break-down, for example -- most of the people surveyed between the ages of 18 and 39 disagreed that video games caused real-life aggression, while an overwhelming number of 60+ year olds said there was a link (79 percent, in fact).
Generation Gap 3.png
In other words, the older the person surveyed, the more likely they were to believe that there's a connection between video game violence and real-life violence. The older people surveyed also were more likely to disagree that video games can be utilized as an outlet for frustrations and aggression.

The experience and gender gaps

There were other notable gaps beside the age correlation -- both gender and video game experience were picked out as part of the report. 71 percent of the women surveyed said that they believe violent video games can cause real-world aggression. This compared to 48 percent of men who agreed there was a connection. And when looking at those people who have played games versus those who have no experience with games, the results are as you'd expect: 74 percent of those surveyed who don't play games said games can cause aggression and violence, while 47 percent of those who play games agreed there was a connection. Players who had experience with violent games, however, disagreed far more that there is a connection. 35 percent of people who play violent video games said violent games can lead to real-world violence.

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