Ukie responds to APA report
This week we have had several media requests to respond to a new report from the American Psychological Association that looked at a number of earlier studies to see if there was any link between violent games and aggression. The report concludes that playing violent video games may be one of many risk factors contributing to “aggressive tendencies”. However, it also says that there is no evidence to link playing games with real world violence, and that competitive elements in games (just as with any sporting activity!) rather than violence may be more relevant to study. It is also interesting to note how they define “aggressive behaviour or tendencies” and how this is measured.
It has since been reported that over 200 academics had expressed concern with the claims made by the APA in an open letter.
In our response, we mirrored one of the report's recommendations to encourage parents and guardians to be aware of the games that their children are playing and to take notice of age ratings and parental controls that are in place to safeguard children.
Here's our full response, from our CEO, Dr Jo Twist, which was featured in some of the news coverage:
"The games industry takes its responsibility to its players very seriously. We are a mature entertainment sector and, like any other media, we make compelling content that is suitable for all ages, including some that is created for more mature audiences. We have a robust and legally enforceable age rating system, Pegi, that clearly shows consumers what games are appropriate for what age, and Ukie runs askaboutgames.com http://askaboutgames.com which gives parents more information and guidance on ratings and parental controls across devices.
This report, like others before it, does not identify a causal link between games and aggression, and definitely no link between games and real life violence. Such studies also show that games offer many positive cognitive skills benefits, such as problem solving skills, team management, and social skills. This is a shared responsibility and parents and carers need to understand that some games are for more mature audiences, and they should use the information and tools available to them to help children find the games that are more suitable for their age."