Video games have been known to cause aggression. Often after people indulge in interacting with a world on screen they feel like they want to hurt or kill someone afterwards. Many have pointed to the violence in games like ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘Gears of War’ for the violent nature that people feel afterwards. However, it may not be using a chainsaw or shooting at cops that make people aggressive after playing, it comes down to losing.
It turns out that it is not the context of the game at all, but rather how you feel when you lose a certain level for the sixteenth time or your friend beats you, yet again. That anger is very real and troubling. University of Oxford researchers conducted an experiment that measured aggression vs. competence in a game. Players were given a game to play, a sort of version of Half-Life 2. They were presented with a violent version of the game and a non-violent version. One had a tutorial with instructions on how to play and the other game did not. Many people believe that the more violent game would result in the most aggression. However, the results shows that those who were presented with the game without the tutorial (regardless of violent content) showed the most aggression after playing. Dr. Przybylski was one of the researchers conducting the study and said, “we focused on the motives of people who play electronic games and found players have a psychological need to come out on top when playing…This need to master the game was far more significant than whether the game contained violent material…If the structure of a game or the design of the controls thwarts enjoyment, it is this not the violent content that seems to drive feelings of aggression.”
So, it may be a relief to know that teenagers killing zombies on screen or shooting everyone in sight is not necessarily making them aggressive. It all comes down to how well they play the game. If they are successful they feel happy, if not look out for aggressive behavior. It all comes down to the idea of gaming, not the content of the game itself.
from Douglas MacFaddin’s Video Game and Media Page http://ift.tt/1jz3Zx0