The research by the University of Oxford and Cardiff University looks at how the actual experience of playing video games may affect people’s attitudes on their benefits and potential harm. The researchers found parents in general and those who played games with their children were most likely to assess the risks and benefits accurately (i.e. in line with current scientific wisdom).
The study also found adults who were not parents and who played video games a lot were likely to see benefits and downplay the possible risks of video games for children. Those who played just a few times a year and women were the groups most likely to believe that technology has a largely negative effect on young people.
The paper includes a total of three studies carried out with 5,000 people in the UK and the US. In the US, a nationally representative population sample was asked whether video games could be linked to real-life violence such as mass shootings. Older people and women tended to report less regular exposure to games and less positive attitudes, with these groups and non-gamers more likely to say video games were linked to mass shootings. These groups were also more likely to favour laws to limit the playing of video games by young people.