Violent video games OK with a friend: Study
College students were placed into groups to play the shooter game "Halo 2" (seen here) as part of a research study. (SCREENSHOT)
New research suggests when it comes to video games, it's not the violence that matters. It's how you play.
People who play violent video games together as a team rather than against each other show more co-operative and less aggressive behaviour, according to an Ohio State University study.
It's not fair to dismiss violent games as a bad influence, co-author and communications professor David Ewoldsen said.
"Clearly, research has established there are links between playing violent video games and aggression, but that's an incomplete picture," Ewoldsen said in a press release.
"Most of the studies finding links between violent games and aggression were done with people playing alone. The social aspect of today's video games can change things quite a bit."
The researchers placed 119 college students into groups to play the shooter game Halo 2. Some played co-operatively, working together to fight computer-controlled enemies. Others played competitively, trying to kill each other.
Later, the researchers observed the same students playing a real-life game, where they had an opportunity to be co-operative or competitive. Those who played Halo as a team were more likely to be nice and work together.
Co-author John Velez said playing a violent game with friends on your side makes a huge difference.
"You're still being very aggressive, you're still killing people in the game — but when you co-operate, that overrides any of the negative effects of the extreme aggression," the graduate student said.