Professor Brad Bushman and former Ohio State graduate student Justin Chang's recent publication found that children who played violent video games were more likely to play with real guns.
Bushman and Chang studied 242 children age 8-12. After random assignment, a third of the participants played Minecraft with guns, another third played Minecraft with swords and the final group played a nonviolent version.
After playing the video game for 20 minutes, the children played with toys, including two disabled guns, in a separate room.
The guns were picked up by:
- 62% of the children in the gun Minecraft condition
- 57% of the children who played Minecraft with swords
- 44% of the children who participated in the nonviolent video game
"Gun owners should secure their guns ... Parents should protect their children from violent media, including video games," said Bushman.