Parents Beware! Violent Video Games with Shooting Affect Kids' Behavior with Real GunsGadgets & Mobiles

June 08, 2019 12:15
Parents Beware! Violent Video Games with Shooting Affect Kids' Behavior with Real Guns

Kids these days are fanatical about video games especially that are violent and researchers say these games are more likely to pull the trigger in real life situations, as compared to those who do not indulge in such gaming activities.

Published in the JAMA Network Open Journal, the study was conducted on children between 8-12 years who were asked to play three different versions of the game Minecraft. The researchers then examined the effects of video games with arms on children's behavior when they found a gun in real life.

The introductory version was violent and needed players to put monsters to death with guns while the second required players to kill monsters with swords. The third version was non-violent, with no monsters or weapons. After 20 minutes of game-play, the kids played with some toys in another room that included a cabinet with two disabled handguns, said the researchers.

For the findings, the team from Ohio State University included 220 children who found a gun while playing. Nearly 62 percent of the 76 children who played the video game with gun touched a handgun. About 57 percent of the 74 children who played the game with sword violence touched a gun, and around 44 percent of the 70 kids who played the non-violent version touched a gun.

The violent versions with swords and guns were significant even after accounting for other mitigating factors such as age, sex, trait aggressiveness, attitudes toward guns, presence of firearms at home, exposure to violent media, interest in firearms and whether the child had taken a firearm safety course.

Although, the research is constricted by the artificial setting of a university laboratory and Minecraft is not a very ferocious game with no gore, the researchers back up gun owners to secure their firearms and cut down children's exposure to violent video games.

By Sowmya Sangam

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