Research on Relationship Between Video Games and Violence Results in Inconsistencies

video game violence

In 2012 the results of an investigation by Prof. Brad Bushman of Ohio State University were published. The name of the publication was “Boom, Headshot !?” and showed the results obtained after looking for a relationship between shooters players and the handling of weapons in real life.

To carry out this study, 151 students were involved, which had to fill out a questionnaire that would allow them to evaluate their aggression levels, their previous ability to handle weapons and their favorite video games.

Subsequently, the participants were separated into 3 groups in which each would play a video game. The first group played Resident Evil 4 (considered for the investigation to have humans and to privilege the shots to the head); The second group played a target event on Wii Play and the third group played Super Mario Galaxy.

Afterwards, the 3 groups were dissolved and each of the participants underwent a firing test using rubber bullets. The results showed that Resident Evil 4 players had the highest number of shots and most of them went straight to the head, unlike those who played Wii Play or Super Mario Galaxy. Hence, the conclusion was, the players were forming capabilities of specialized shooters.

After publishing the results, the research was debated and refuted by researchers from other universities, Patrick Markey, from Villanova University and Malte Elson, Ruhr De Bochum University in Germany, who had the greatest counterbalance to Bushman’s research.

After a series of investigations and indications, in 2015 Markey and Elson placed notable inconsistencies in Bushman’s research, as well as inadequate variable handling. This resulted in a review headed by an Ohio State University Assessment Committee and the conclusion was that “inconsistencies could not be checked because the data and results of the original investigation had disappeared from the university archives.”

Finally, two days ago it was decided that the publication of “Boom, Headshot !?” was suspended and the scientific journal Communication Research, who were the first to publish it, have offered apologies and are waiting for the text that Brad Bushman is doing as Response to the situation.

What do you think about this? Do you think there is a real relationship between video games and real life acts?


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