But aren't critics right to worry that gaming might make people violent? Hardly a week goes by in which a game is not blamed for inspiring someone to commit a violent crime. After all, say critics, acting out violent behaviour in a game is very different from passively watching it in a film. Yet surveys of studies into games and violence have produced inconclusive results, notes Dmitri Williams, who specialises in studying the social impact of media at the University of Illinois. And, in a paper on the subject published in June in Communication Monographs, he notes that such research typically has serious shortcomings.
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Update: 11 May, 2009 - Edited post and applied label.