A new task force report from the American Psychological Association finds that there's a link between violent video games and increased aggression in players although there are no signs that it then leads to criminal violence.
The official findings of the task force, which can be read in full here, also show that violent games tend to lead to aggressive cognitions and affect and a decrease in pro-social behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.
Mark Appelbaum, PhD, the task force chair, is quoted as saying that, "Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence."
The report from the American Psychological Association adds that aggressive or violent behavior is not the result of just one single factor, of which violent video games represent just one of the many that can affect a person.
The organization suggests that the video game industry should try to create more video games where parents can control the amount of violence that a player can see.
At the same time, the Entertainment Software Rating Board is urged to re-define the rating system to reflect the findings of the report.
American Psychological Association identifies limitations with the report
The organization says that further exploration of the violent video game issue should focus on the differences between girls and boys who play the same content, the effects on children who are younger than 10 and on the effect over the course of the development process of a kid.
American Psychological Association says that its new report is based on a review of studies created between 2005 and 2013.
It will be interesting to see whether the video game industry will undergo any kind of changes based on the new report.
The problem of how violent video games affect gamers has long been debated, and conflicting studies have been appearing for the last few years.
The new report might give some politicians ammunition to try and place more restrictions on sales of violent video games, an effort that has recently faded into the background.