Usually it's the annual release of Call of Duty that prompts a nation's navel gazing and the question of whether violent video games make people more violent. But this year it's that comfy old slipper Grand Theft Auto (and then probably COD and then probably Assassin's Creed).

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She looks happy.

Respected research outfit YouGov has gone and done a poll on exactly who thinks what about the perceived effect of violent video games on you and me and everyone else.

All-in-all, 61 per cent of Britons (who answered yes or no, and not maybe) believed video games can be a cause real-world aggression. Meanwhile, 57 per cent believed video games can be a useful outlet for frustrations and aggression.

Dig down into those statistics, however, and it's a familiar sight. Older people, and people with no gaming experience, think worse of video games, whereas younger people who play games think the opposite.

But as that older demographic gradually becomes those who do have gaming experience, and as gaming spreads wider via phones and social websites, those numbers will change.

"It is possible that concerns about games could fade away in much the same way that fears about rock music, comic books, and radio dramas dissolved when these forms of entertainment gained wider acceptance," concluded Andrew Przybylski, Oxford Internet Institute research fellow helping with the report.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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