VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND AGGRESSION
VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES AND AGGRESSION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
One of the main concerns that has constantly been raised against video games is that most of the games feature aggressive elements. This has led many people to assert that this may have a detrimental effect on individuals who play such games. Despite continuing controversy for over 15 years, there has been little in the way of systematic research. This article reviews the empirical studies in this area, including research methodologies such as the observation of free play, self-report methods, and experimental studies. The article argues that all the published studies on video game violence have methodological problems and that they only include possible short-term measures of aggressive consequences. The one consistent finding is that the majority of the studies on very young children—as opposed to those in their teens upwards—tend to show that children do become more aggressive after either playing or watching a violent video game. However, all of these come from the use of one particular research methodology (i.e., observation of children’s free play).