We did a triple-take when we saw that U.S. researchers were trying to separate aggressive behavior from violence in videogames, yet that's exactly what Dr. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A&M International University and his research team claim. Hasn't Ferguson been watching the news or listening to political speeches during election runs?
As crazy as it may seem to those who wish to blame wicked behavior on violent videogames the way the townspeople in Footloose linked dancing to bad karma and all sorts of other ills, Ferguson says that depressive symptoms are a much stronger predictor of aggression.
The study focused on 302 youths ages 10-14, mostly Hispanic, and all living in a city on the border of Mexico. According to the study, 75 percent of the youths played games within the past month on PCs, consoles, or other devices, while 40 percent played violent videogames. After a year passed, 7 percent reported one or more criminally violent acts, and 19 percent reported one or more non-violent crimes.
Ferguson ultimately concluded that exposure to videogame violence, or even violence in television, failed to predict aggressive behavior 12 months later, but depressive symptoms did.