A study published by Dartmouth College has found a correlation between violent video games and dangerous driving as well as a link between video games and drinking and driving.
Let us start things off with the actual story first. A study conducted by Dartmouth College was able to establish the link between aggressive, reckless, dangerous driving and violent video games.
5,000 subjects were interviewed over the telephone before and after they received their licenses in order to assess whether playing violent video games made them more dangerous drivers or not.
The study was able to establish a link between violent video games and reckless driving as gamers were prone to taking more risks.
So that sorted, from that one could gather the following facts on which the study was based. The facts of the study were as such:
Fact 1: 5,000 teenagers were interviewed, over the phone, before and after they received their driver’s licenses.
Fact 2: the interviews were conducted over the phone. We already mentioned that in ‘Fact 1’ but we would also like to emphasize that point again.
Fact 3: the interviews took place before and after the subjects received their driver’s license. Again, just emphasizing the point.
Fact 4: the subjects were also more prone to drinking and driving.
Now it’s time to tear right into the study, starting off with the first fact. 5,000 subjects is considered a decent sample size but compare that with the figure of total gamers and it barely makes up 1%. However, that is something that we will ignore because it is not the aspect of the study that baffles us.
Secondly, phone interviews hardly seem as if there was any real effort involved in the interview process.
Finally, fact 3 and 4 come together to put the study’s findings under question. A driver’s license can be used as a valid identification to purchase alcohol. So maybe the correlation between drinking and driving and violent video games may not be the right conclusion at all. Maybe it’s just because they can purchase alcohol and are at that stage where experimentation and partying are a priority.
It seems that the number of variables considered for the study were too narrow and although we do admit, playing Burnout: Paradise or Need for Speed does make us want to drive like race drivers, the study seems to have found a lazy way to reach that conclusion.
At the same time, the Fast and the Furious movie series could have just a profound an effect as video games.
It seems more research is needed to prove a correlation instead of a study that was pretty much conducted over the phone.
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