In this interview he states that this problem is “…vastly overblown and overstated…” by people who “….don’t understand, frankly, this industry”.
Subjects were later asked to read stories in which the characters' behaviour was ambiguous.
Participants randomised to play violent video games were more likely to provide negative interpretations of the stories.
In 1998, Steven Kirsh reported in the journal Childhood that the use of video games may lead to acquisition of a hostile attribution bias.
Fifty-five subjects were randomised to play either violent or non-violent video games.
This data could indicate desensitization in children can occur after long-term exposure, but not all children were affected in the same way, so the researchers deduced that some children may be at a higher risk of these negative effects.
It is possible that fifteen minutes is not quite long enough to produce short-term cognitive effects. Funk and her colleagues at the Department of Psychology at the University of Toledo examined the relationship between exposure to violence through media and real-life, and desensitization (reflected by loss of empathy and changes in attitudes toward violence) in fourth and fifth grade pupils.
Last, the children are given drawings (vignettes) of everyday situations, some more likely to have aggressive actions following the depiction, while others an empathetic action.
Results show that there were no significant effects of video game playing in the short term, with violent video games and non-violent video games having no significant differences, indicating that children do not have decreased empathy from playing violent video games.
The children played a violent or non-violent video game for approximately fifteen minutes.
Afterwards, their pulse rates were recorded and the children were asked how frustrating the games were on a 1-10 scale.