I don't put much stock into studies about videogame violence regardless of their findings. There are too many studies out there, and they balance eachother out in their conclusions, and it makes it hard to trust them when there seems to be no conclusive results. But one thing I agree with is the statement that research needs to be done over a longer period of time.
I’m not saying some games don’t lead to aggression, but I am saying the data are not there yet,” Williams said. “Until we have more long-term studies, I don’t think we should make strong predictions about long-term effects, especially given this finding.
Another problem though is that studies need to be done on a larger age group, and a better variety of games need to be sampled. You can't just pick one game and base your conclusions on gaming violence based on that. Nobody would dare do a study on violence in movies based on one movie.
One thing that always concerns me is when politicians and media groups attack videogames as a blanket issue. When this happens, it is usually quite apparent that there is a lack of understanding of the medium, and that most people don't know the good aspects that gaming can provide.
Some game researchers believe that video-gaming leads to substantial gains in learning teamwork, managing groups and most important, Williams said, problem solving.
“How often can someone direct and coordinate a group of eight or 40 real people to accomplish a complex task, as they do in these role-playing games? That’s a real skill.
“Games are about solving problems, and it should tell us something that kids race home from school where they are often bored to get on games and solve problems. Clearly we need to capture that lightning in a bottle.”
I completely agree with this statement. Although I won't defend videogame violence, I will contest anyone who tells me videogames are entirely bad for gamers. Gaming, especially online enabled gaming, has complex and involved communities of people communicating, creating and organizing. As entertainment I believe that gaming can be much more complex than TV, movies and music and allows much more intimate involvement.
As a brief example, I was playing Timesplitters 3 last night and I was pleased to realize that the map creator tool enabled players to share their maps with other gamers and had complex searching tool which allowed players to find the best ones. Timesplitters is a violent game yes, but it allows players to communicate, compete, create and share. Try that at the movies.Link
(via Game Politics