Gaming News

So much for those stereotypes…

If you hear a strange sucking sound outside of your window, it’s just the sound of journalists’ heads imploding in the wake of a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finding that girls like to play violent videogames too, and it’s normal, and they’re not all turning into psycho-murderers because of it.

While the numbers still show that boys play more videogames than girls, the gap is not as wide as people would like to believe: while 2/3 of boys reported playing a violent video game at least once a week, so did a full 1/3 of girls interviewed. This means that even the remaining 2/3 of girls who play videogames may still play violent videogames, just not as often as once a week.

The number of girls reporting playing mature-rated video games surprised the researchers, Olson said. The Grand Theft Auto series, often cited as a prime example of a violent video game, topped the list of most-played games for boys and came in second for girls, behind only “The Sims,” the study found.

So, The Sims still reign supreme with girl gamers, but the close second of GTA points to girls’ enjoyment of large-world games where there are a lot of characters interacting and sandbox-style gameplay (without a regimented storyline). Or maybe girls just happen to like those titles because they’re popular all over the place.

Another interesting statistic (and one that has a pretty narrow gap) is the “gaming to release anger” statistic, half of boys and a third of girls report playing violent videogames as a means of anger management. What really blows me away about this is that the report takes a very different tack from others of its ilk, suggesting that playing violent videogames as a means of anger release is not necessarily unhealthy:

Olson recommended that parents gauge their child’s emotions after playing a game. If playing the video game appears to wind up the child or incite anger, that could be a sign of a problem, she said.

However, for most healthy children with a good family relationships, the study suggests violent video games will not cause problems, Olson said. The concern arises when a child has other risk factors, such as an aggressive personality or having witnessed real-life violence.

I guess things are so hot out west because all heat left hell and it froze over.