Study: Action Video Games May Increase Capability for Suicide Attempts
Researchers at Texas Tech University claim that someone who is already thinking about committing suicide may be more capable of attempting suicide if they play "action video games."
The researchers linked an increase in the capability of someone to commit suicide to the lack of fear of pain and death. According to Texas Tech:
“Acquired capability is an increased fearlessness about death, not being as afraid to die, and also an increased pain tolerance – not being as sensitive to pain. Increased acquired capability allows individuals to overcome the fear and pain that would inhibit a suicide attempt.”
The study's lead author, Sean Mitchell, said that their research did not provide a clear picture into whether violent video games caused an increase in the capability of someone to commit suicide.
“We didn’t assess change over time,” Mitchell said. “Some studies say people play violent video games, which causes them to be more aggressive. Other studies say there’s no association. Other studies say the opposite: people who are already more violent seek out violent video games. We see findings that show all of it, so there’s not a clear picture. Without doing intensive study over a long period of time, we can’t really say what causes what.”
Time spent playing action video games also seemed to play a role in the research as Mitchell points out.:
“The more hours of video games you play, the higher your acquired capability tended to be. But if we took into consideration what kinds of video games you’re playing, we saw that if you play action games, which tend to be more violent, there is a stronger relationship between hours of video game play and acquired capability. However, if you don’t play action games, there was no relationship. So, hours of video game play is associated with increased acquired capability only when they report playing action games.”
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, included data from 228 students at Texas Tech University.
If you were wondering what type of games were classified as "action" games, they include: Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, Halo, Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, and Street Fighter.