CHAPEL HILL, NC—Suggesting a dangerous and potentially deadly connection, a study published Monday by the University of North Carolina found that exposure to violent children causes increased aggression in video game characters. “Our research shows that video game characters who regularly spend time with violent youths show a far greater propensity to act out destructively themselves,” said lead author Will Garland, whose team examined video game characters across an array of consoles and genres, and found consistently higher levels of antisocial conduct among those that frequently engaged with an aggressive child. “Even spending 30 minutes a day with these children can increase violent, even sadistic behaviors among video game characters, such as running over pedestrians with a car or bashing adversaries with the butt of a machine gun before riddling their already dead body with bullets.” According to Garland, the research also suggests that video game characters exposed to violent children demonstrate reckless disregard for their own safety in the form of leaping off buildings, clouds, or other high platforms.