There's something called 'Junk Science'. This refers to the kinds of data that appear to reveal a great deal via expensive experiments but in fact they reveal nothing useful. Studies of videogames present a lot of Junk Science.
A recent meta-study from The Ohio State University has produced a whopping slab of Junk Science. Still not sure about the term? Imagine a set of experiments carried out by independent teams of serious scientists that aims to prove, and does prove, that some "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder’: People who think they are drunk also think they are attractive
". Perfectly correct results that are totally and completely useless. Over to you Uni of Ohio and Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.
Brad and his gang of perfectly serious scientists have used two studies to prove that, "Whites act more aggressively after they play as black avatars."
The studies used gameplay from Saints Row
, WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2010
or Fight Night Round 4
and gave rise to the assertion that, "Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent.”
It appears to have slipped the serious scientists' minds that doing anything that puts you in the position of playing out a cliché probably reinforces that cliché; it's a problem with the wider culture.
Yes, reading a book that places gypsies in the roles of thieves, seeing a film in which the Irish are thick, or being in a play in which Jews are avaricious will probably reinforce all those clichés that already exist.
Amazingly, people get research funding to produce this sort of Junk Science - and attach it to videogames because videogames are currently the easiest targets. Read more about the study here.