Does watching violent media or playing video games cause aggresion?

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

Despite popular belief, violent media or video games have little to no correlation with aggressive behavior. Various sources have shown that the vast majority of young people do not show changes in anger levels when either viewing or playing violent video games. In fact, an article from Onlinelibrary.wiley.com revealed that these games carry several benefits, from increasing cognitive thinking to stimulating feelings of joy and happiness.

A study was conducted at ISU in which 275 college-aged men were tested by playing different violence levels in the same game. The men’s aggression levels were measured, and the results were overwhelming. The results were described as “15 minutes of violent and difficult gameplay on aggressive behavior may be small and indistinguishable from zero”, essentially proving there is little to no association.

While the thought of violent video games offering positive feelings and thoughts may sound absurd, it’s more than common.

According to an article from Liebertpub.com, evidence exists that these video games offer mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects. They are a pastime that allows a temporary feeling of joy and accomplishment when one completes a difficult task.

Regarding the counter argument, an article from APA.org stated that violent behavior is indeed linked with violent video games. A study also proved that the amount of time spent playing video games was correlated with lower academic grades in college.

So, while most violent media have little effect on aggressive behavior, it has been demonstrated that it has some effect on behavior and academics.

It is being proven time and time again that, contrary to many beliefs, and even some evidence pointing in the other direction, playing or consuming violent games or media does not affect aggression levels.

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