Various studies seeking a relationship between “media violence” (in movies, video games, etc.) and real life aggression have shown everything from increased aggression to reduced aggression due to exposure. And the problem gets harder to solve when you consider how to measure aggression. Most people think of violent large-scale outbursts by student gunmen when they consider the relationship between violent video games and behavior. But much of what’s usually measured in experiments are smaller, nonviolent acts of aggression.
A new study in the Journal of Communication by Christopher J. Ferguson examines “the trend lines between videogame violence in society and societal youth violence,” concluding that “videogame violence consumption in society is inversely related to societal youth violence.”