Most of us are aware of the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviour. But now for the first time, researchers have found that some video games can make children kinder and more likely to help other people.
Pro-social video games involve characters who help and support each other in non-violent ways.
Three separate studies conducted in different countries using different age groups and a variety of scientific methods all suggest that playing games with pro-social content cause players to be more helpful to others after the game is over.
Douglas Gentile, lead author and a psychologist at Iowa State University said: "Dozens of studies have documented a relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviours. But this is one of the first that has documented the positive effects of playing pro-social games."
"These studies show the same kind of impact on three different age groups from three very different cultures," said Brad Bushman, study co-author from the University of Michigan. He added that "the resulting triangulation of evidence provides the strongest possible proof that the findings are both valid and generalisable."
This study was published in the June issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.