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Games Science

Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content 180

An anonymous reader writes "A new study published in the March edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that a gamer's experience of a video game and not the content of the game itself can give rise to violent behavior. In other words, 'researchers found it was not the narrative or imagery, but the lack of mastery of the game's controls and the degree of difficulty players had completing the game that led to frustration.' Based on their findings, researchers note that even games like Tetris and Candy Crush can inspire violent behavior more so than games like World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto if they are poorly designed and difficult to play."
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

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  • Re:Nintendo Hard (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RichDiesal ( 655968 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:24PM (#46701235)
    Well, the study is just about "leading to aggression" and not "leading to homicide." The NES often made me, at least, want to throw my controller through the wall. That experience is probably a lot less common these days (in this age of easier, accessible gaming).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:32PM (#46701273)

    says that teenage males display undulating aggressive behavior due to high and fluctuating levels of testosterone.

    A fact of life for young males for over 100000 years now.

    Turns out video games is just a contemporary outlet for this aggressive behavior.

  • Re:Nintendo Hard (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr. Shotgun ( 832121 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:41PM (#46701349)
    Try two player with your little brother, sibling rivalry cranked to eleven.
  • In other news ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kittenman ( 971447 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:49PM (#46701413)
    Watching sad movies makes you sad. Listening to happy music can cheer you up. Reading a sad book can make you unhappy.

    Video games are just another entertainment form.

    I appreciate that TFA is referring to a lack of mastery of the controls makes you aggressive (or frustrated)...but so does lack of mastery of anything you spend time on.
    And my bugbear is XCOM classic ironman... damn those aliens.
  • Re:Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black LED ( 1957016 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:07AM (#46701745)
    That is what difficulty settings are supposed to be for.
  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:23AM (#46701827)

    I would also say that everyone has limits. Backing individuals into impossible situations passive aggressively is something that modern society has become very good at. Since some people have more control than others for a given type of situation, those with less end up as canaries in the coal mine. Eg, the rise in school shootings probably has to do with how our society/school system increasingly treats individuality negatively. Those who feel it most, feel it first. Boom.

  • by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:26AM (#46701855)

    Nope. Lack of self control causes violence. But lack of game control causes the anger and frustration that leads to a need for self control.

    Basically this, if proven as opposed to found once and reported, explains why all studies that blamed video games found the same results consistently. Not because it was bad science, but poor design.

    Prior studies were missing basic control groups that had input requirements similar to violent games with only the content different.

    Every such study is now suspect at best, and more likely invalid. And, unless you see a flaw, this result means that anyone blaming purely the individual's self control is just as ignorant as blaming purely the game's violent content.

  • Be prepared (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @12:45AM (#46701961)

    That's why I always bring two pistols to a Monopoly game. One for the banker - you give a guy a position of power like that, sooner or later his inner nature will get the better of him and he starts skimming off the top.

    The other's for that guy that sets his sights on developing Park Place and Boardwalk. You can't abide that shit. You know that it's just a matter of time before those houses turn into hotels and it will not end well.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982