#941 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 10 Aug 2014.
The debate over whether and to what extent violent screen images and video games contribute to risky or criminal behaviour shows no sign of resolution.
But a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that teenagers who played violent video games featuring antisocial characters, such as Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, and Spiderman, had a heightened risk of criminality and other risky behaviour such as tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and risk-taking sexual behaviour.
The four-year study involved 5,000 randomly chosen U.S. teenagers, with interviews conducted by telephone. The study concluded that the risk-taking behaviour resulted from “changes in the users’ personality, attitudes and values, specifically making them more rebellious and thrill-seeking.”
I can almost hear parents of teenagers around the world shaking their heads and saying, “I told you so.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.