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HHS HealthBeat (August 19, 2014)

Bad and games

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates that playing the bad guy in a violent video game raises the risk of a teen doing bad things in life. Researcher Jay Hull of Dartmouth College saw this in four years of annual survey data on 5,000 teens.

Hull says teens who played the amoral person in a violent game were more likely to become involved in things like smoking, drinking and being delinquent. Hull says the play seemed to heighten personality traits in the teen. So he advises teens:

“I think that they should be more focused on playing games in which the values of the characters that they are playing are the kind of person that they would want to be.”

The study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: August 19, 2014