Slaying dragons, shooting the bad guys, guns and violence are common elements in video games, and according to a new study, watching video games can lead to aggression in young kids. The study used 3,000 Singapore school children, three-quarters of whom were male.
The research, conducted over three years, was published in JAMA Pediatrics in Journal of the American Medical Association. The participants were 11 years old at the start of the study, and it concluded that those who played video games were more likely to think and act in an aggressive manner.
But the study did have a flaw; the results were measured by the kids answering questions about behavior, and how they would act in certain situations. What it did not study was their behavior itself, so while we know how they think, and how they say they would act, we can't know for certain their actions by this study alone.
What we do know though is that too much time in front of the television and playing video games is not good for anyone, including children. Kids who spend too much time in front of the box are more likely to be overweight; it also stops kids from being active and social.
So, use television and video games as a reward for your kids after they have completed their homework. It is always important to limit the time they have in front of the screen, and to control what it is they are playing or watching.
While this study is revealing, there is no real information here; we know that watching and engaging in violent activities even if it is make-believe can led to kids being desensitized to violence and therefore more prone to that type of behavior.