Could it be that violent video games actually have a positive effect on adolescents?
Possibly, according to a new study.
A TV news report highlights research done by Cheryl Olson, an Sc.D. at Massachusetts General Hospital. Olson, who surveyed more than 1,200 7th and 8th graders, said:
"We found that most boys 12- to 14-years-old are playing mature-rated video games, so this idea that M-rated games cause shootings or major violence just doesn't hold water.
We don't know whether playing to get anger out is a good thing or a bad thing for any individual child, but we suspect that it might be healthy for a lot of kids."
Olson also credited playing video games as a social activity.
"They're more likely to play with a group of friends in the same room or over the Internet, so this stereotype of a solitary violent gamer up in his room wasn't borne out, at least in our study.
[Video games are] not going to ruin them. They're not going to go out and pick up a gun. Violent video game play is typical and normal for kids nowadays. That doesn't mean that parents have to like it, but they shouldn't panic about it."
Olson's study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.