American Psychological Association maintains games aren't tied to violence

American Psychological Association maintains games aren't tied to violence

The American Psychological Association (APA) has once again said that there is not enough evidence to say that video games are tied with violent behaviour.

This follows a review of its August 2015 resolution starting in 2018, which said that games and violence weren't connected. The APA's Violent Video Game Task Force found that while there is a "consistent and, on average, small" connection between video games and violent behaviour, this form of entertainment cannot be touted as the single reason for violent acts like mass shootings.

"Violence is a complex social problem that likely stems from many factors that warrant attention from researchers, policymakers and the public,” APA president Sandra L. Shullman, PhD said.

“Attributing violence to video gaming is not scientifically sound and draws attention away from other factors, such as a history of violence, which we know from the research is a major predictor of future violence.”

This follows the Trump administration blaming video games for the mass shootings that plague the United States more than once. In February 2018, the US president said that video games need ratings – seemingly not being aware of the ESRB – and that they were responsible for gun violence. He met with members of the video games industry following these remarks, though nothing really came from this meeting.

He then blamed games for gun violence again in August 2019.

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.