‘Bad’ video game behaviour makes gamers more moral in real world, study suggests


Virtual guilt may translate to real world selflessness and pro-social behaviour (Picture: Westend61)

Violent video games like Grand Theft Auto have long courted criticism for ‘promoting’ violent behaviour, but a new study suggests that morally bad behaviour in the virtual world may actually translate to more pro-social behaviour in the real world.

The surprising find came about through a joint study by the University of Buffalo, Michigan State University and the University of Texas, Austin, where researchers induced guilt in gamers by having them violate different moral areas.

They found that violent video-game play increased moral sensitivity in gamers, which typically translates to more selfless behaviour in real-world situations.

Picture: Rockstar Games/YouTube Games like GTA have been criticised for ‘encouraging’ violence – but the opposite may be true (Picture: Rockstar Games/YouTube)

‘We found that after a subject played a violent video game, they felt guilt and that guilt was associated with greater sensitivity toward the two particular domains…

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