Video Games and Aggression

Video Games and Aggression


Approximately 98% of kids in the US aged between 12-17 play video games. Which,  Contributes to $21.53 billion in the domestic video game industry. A study of the relationship between violence and video games suggest that difficulty of the game and not the content as the cause of aggressive feelings from the players (Cardwell & Flanagan,2004).

A team of researchers from, the University of Rochester in the US and Oxford University in the UK carried out a study in which volunteers played violent and non-violent games with artificially manipulated difficulty levels. The finding concluded that players exhibited greater levels of aggression if they cannot master the games controls after twenty minutes, irrespective of violent or non-violent content (Anderson & Buckley, 2007).


The question, whether video games encourage violent behavior, remains an argument by many psychologists. A study in Singapore suggests that video children playing games find hitting others acceptable. Though, the study criticizes the data collection method employed. The method included asking the children to report their feeling and actions.

From the study children who do not receive tutorials displayed higher levels of aggression, whether or not they played the violent games. However, the study does not rule out effects of violent content.


Playing violent games does not draw on to feeling aggressive rather aggression stems from a lack of control or incompetency while playing. If the structure or the design of the game hinders enjoyment, then it is is the main driver of aggression. Technology inspires moral panic in parents as they get concerned about the effects of content that children feed their minds. Many reasons determine the influence of video games on children, they include child’s personality, parental involvement, time spent on games and the surrounding environment.