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Will computer games affect my child’s behaviour?

There is no evidence to suggest that people’s behaviour is negatively affected by playing video games. For example, there is no conclusive evidence directly linking violence in individuals to the games they play. Academic studies in support of this statement include those published by the Harvard Medical School Centre for Mental Health, the Journal of Adolescent Health and the British Medical Journal.

Research undertaken by ULTRALAB at the Anglia Polytechnic has shown that children can very clearly distinguish the difference between violence in computer games and the types of violence they hear about on the news. Video games have been in the home for more than 20 years, and there has not been a single proven case that they are causing children to become violent.

Some games deal with adult themes in the same way that films, television programmes and books do. In each of these cases the PEGI age ratings will help families decide who is able to engage with what is happening on screen in a mature manner.

For further information, an independent assessment of this issue was undertaken as part of the government’s Byron review.