The paper was co-authored by Jodi Whitaker and Brad Bushman, a prominent researcher at The Ohio State University (OSU) who often speaks to the media about the potential harms of video games, including their possible role in triggering violent behavior such as school shootings. As soon as outside experts Malte Elson and Patrick Markey read “Boom, Headshot!,” they knew something was wrong. Did the paper truly illustrate, as it claimed, “the powerful potential of video games to teach or increase skills, including potentially lethal weapon use?” Markey—a researcher who has argued against real-life impacts from violent video games—noticed some statistical irregularities. When he got the raw data, he discovered other issues that, once addressed, significantly weakened the conclusions of Bushman and his co-authors.
Yet again, video games do not make you violent.