The effect of online violent video games on levels of aggression.

Article English OPEN
Jack Hollingdale ; Tobias Greitemeyer
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  • Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 9, issue 11 (issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111790, pmc: PMC4229070
  • Subject: Social Play | Research Article | Biology and Life Sciences | Research Design | Recreation | Research and Analysis Methods | Medicine | Aggression | Laboratory Tests | Experimental Psychology | Questionnaires | Q | R | Psychology | Social Psychology | Social Sciences | Science | Games | Behavior | Behavioral Conditioning | Survey Research | Quantitative Analysis
    acm: ComputingMilieux_PERSONALCOMPUTING

BACKGROUND: In recent years the video game industry has surpassed both the music and video industries in sales. Currently violent video games are among the most popular video games played by consumers, most specifically First-Person Shooters (FPS). Technological advancements in game play experience including the ability to play online has accounted for this increase in popularity. Previous research, utilising the General Aggression Model (GAM), has identified that violent video games increase levels of aggression. Little is known, however, as to the effect of playing a violent video game online. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants (N = 101) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions; neutral video game--offline, neutral video game--online, violent video game--offline and violent video game--online. Following this they completed questionnaires to assess their attitudes towards the game and engaged in a chilli sauce paradigm to measure behavioural aggression. The results identified that participants who played a violent video game exhibited more aggression than those who played a neutral video game. Furthermore, this main effect was not particularly pronounced when the game was played online. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that both playing violent video games online and offline compared to playing neutral video games increases aggression.
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