Kids, Guns, and Violent Video Games: A Randomized Trial

Kids, Guns, and Violent Video Games: A Randomized Trial

Welcome to Impact Factor, your weekly shot of commentary on a new medical study. I’m Perry Wilson.

This week: a study testing whether violent video games can increase the chance that kids will play with guns. The study appeared in JAMA Network Open.

Here’s the background: A fair amount of research suggests that kids who play violent video games or watch violent shows are more likely to engage in aggressive or violent behavior. But causality isn’t entirely clear here. Maybe certain kids just like that stuff; behavioralists call it “trait aggression.” Some kids gravitate to Call of Duty while others are more into Candy Crush.

To determine causality, researchers randomized 242 children aged 8-12 years to one of three scenarios in the popular game Minecraft.


  1. KGK Skull on August 28, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Ok let’s see, what game genres are most often shown by news sources. Shooting games and Fighting games. Now that is probably only 2/20 genres at minimum that are ever shown. Now let’s take a game that has guns but is not a shooting game. The point and click game, “ Sam and Max save the world” a game where you play as a Dog and a rabbit that work as freelance police to solve cases to unusual for the normal law enforcement, Sam and max has you completing multiple puzzles and even listening to various jokes.
    News sources just use video games as the scapegoat so they don’t talk about the real issues. Video games don’t cause violence, they would at most make someone angry enough to just scream, hit a table, or maybe break a cup. But that’s only if they keep losing, if a game is glitchy, if the game keeps crashing, or if the story has too many plot holes.

  2. Tiho on August 28, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Great video. Save.

  3. Cloc Loney on August 28, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Not true

  4. Callan Simson on August 28, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    I think it depends on how the kid is easier.

  5. wulatuly on August 28, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Stuipd mincraft doesn’t have guns gta 5 call 9f duty and some others have guns

  6. Callan Simson on August 28, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    I am 11 and I play call of duty and other violent videogames. But I know if you find a gun DO NOT pick it up or touch it without supervision and permission.

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