Iowa State University's Craig Anderson has led a study which claims 'conclusive evidence' of a link between violent video games and increased aggression in children. The findings (and indeed the validity of the study) have been challenged by Christopher Ferguson whose research at Texas A&M International University has found the opposite.
Ferguson finds a number of flaws in the Iowa State study, which he says demonstrates only "weak correlations". We can spot a few of our own. For example there is no definitive usefully testable method for determining aggressive tendencies. By failing to factor in extraneous variables, the study results could quite easily be interpreted to indicate that aggressive tendencies cause kids to spend more time playing violent video games. Just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. The majority of dead people have eaten meat. That doesn't mean that meat kills people.
While this has made the pages of the Washington Post, we have to disagree with the study's lead author, Anderson when he says, 'We now have conclusive evidence that playing violent video games has harmful effects on children and adolescents.' All the indications seem to be that he's dead wrong there, there doesn't seem to be anything conclusive about this at all.
You can check out Ferguson's full letter to Pediatrics on the matter, and we're inclined to agree with him here. The Iowa State study adds little, if anything at all, to the available body of knowledge, or credible results on the matter.
There are millions of people in the MMO market (and yes, some of you out there are actually adolescent) and we don't think you're wandering around cold-cocking people outdoors between raiding sessions.