New Study Says Violent Games Hinder "Moral Maturity"

A recent study claims there's a correlation between violent video games and a lack of "moral maturity."

Do you know right from wrong?

If so, it may be in spite of your exposure to violent video games, as indicated by a new study.

This study, as cited by the BBC, says violent games can blur the lines between right and wrong, and can ultimately affect "moral maturity." Researchers at Brock University in Ontario studied the behavior of around 100 teens aged 13 or 14, and found that those who played violent games for more than three hours a day could experience "weakened empathy" for others.

A violent game was defined as any title that has the player killing or causing serious harm to another human being. Non-violent games were simple, like Rock Band and Mario. Those who indulged in the violence also suffered from a noted lack of "moral maturity," which is a big problem for individuals who are still developing.

However, it's important to remember that this study is only correlational; it wasn't designed to prove cause and effect. It just implies that if you play a lot of violent games, you might struggle with the concepts of right and wrong, and your moral compass might be...altered. It's also important to note that other factors, such as social relationships, cognitive abilities, and socioeconomic status, are important.

More research that is bound to incite another firestorm of argument and controversy, right?

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Feb. 11th 2014

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