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REPORT - Gamers May Not be Desensitized by Violent Video Games

Newswise — TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2011 – Violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto may not desensitize players to negative situations or events, suggest psychology researchers from Ryerson University.

Holly Bowen, a PhD candidate in psychology, is the lead author of a study that looked at chronic exposure to violent video games (VVG) and its impact on emotional long-term memory. Co-authored by psychology professor Julia Spaniol, the study showed that VVG exposure was not associated with differences in players’ emotional memory or their responses to negative stimuli. Their findings refute previous research that has shown the opposite: playing violent video games in lab settings cause people to exhibit more aggressive behavior, or become less emotionally responsive to violent images.

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