According to Medical News Today, teens who play violent video games may be more prone to aggression, more likely to cheat, and less likely to show self-control.

Researchers from the US, Italy, and the Netherlands gave 172 participants between 13 and 19 years old a series of tests to determine how playing violent video games could affect a person’s behavior.

The first trial had the participants play either a non-violent video game or a violent video game, with a bowl of chocolate beside them. The researchers warned that although it was okay to eat the chocolate, eating too much in a short period of time was unhealthy.

The second test had the teens answer a logic test, which involved exchanging a raffle ticket, which they could exchange for a prize, was given for every correct answer. Another trial monitored the aggression levels of the players as they went against an unseen partner; the person who won the round could blast a loud sound to the one who lost as a consequence.

The results showed that those who played violent video games ate more of the chocolate, cheated eight times more when taking the tickets, and blasted their losing partners with longer and louder sounds than those who played non-violent video games.

Although the study provides somewhat alarming results, it may be good to take it with a grain of salt. There are many more factors to be considered with regard to juvenile aggression, such as environment, parenting, social status, and education.

As with everything, moderation and guidance is key. Parents should encourage their children to adhere to a schedule when playing video games, and more importantly, instill a strong sense of morality in their kids so they won’t easily be swayed by what they watch or they play.

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(Photo by Eric Holsinger via Flickr Creative Commons)

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