Deconstructing Video Game Research: Part II


With the rise of the video game culture, society has asked itself one question: Do violent video games make people more aggressive? The media has asked this question to the public and many in the field of Psychology have contemplated the answer. Our focus is to review the literature to initiate a dialogue with the public on where future research should focus its attention.

Expanding upon the definitions of aggression seen in part one, we see various definitions which are being classified into the same category. One article (Anderson, Shibuya, Ihori, et al. 2010) defines aggression as “using noise blasts, electric shocks, or hot sauce given to an ostensible partner (in the last case, the partner is known to hate spicy food; see Anderson, Lindsay, & Bushman, 1999; Bushman & Anderson, 1998;  Carlson, Marcus-Newhall & Miller, 1989; Giancola & Parrot, 2008).” In order to measure this form of aggression, standardized questionnaires are the norm.

What this represents is that aggression, the behavior of it, is measured by people wanting to use noise blasts (blasting someone with headphones on with a sound up to a certain decibel chosen by a participant in a research study), electric shocks (small electric shocks that are controlled, again, by a participant in a research study), or via hot sauce (giving a participant a choice of multiple hot sauces, varying from mild to extremely hot). Based upon this knowledge, we would ask the public whether or not they agree that these actions accurately measure aggressive acts or behaviors, and if not, what would you consider aggressive behavior?

Continue to Part 3 on masculinity and video games here.

Photo Credit: Claudio Gennari via Flickr

Contribution by Al G., fellow researcher and video game fanatic.

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