Video Game Related Violence Linked To Gamers Getting Pwnd Rather Than Violent Games Themselves

A new study further debunks the idea that violent video games turn people into cold blooded killers, or whatever politicians are claiming these days. In an interesting twist, the study does link aggression and hostile behavior to games, but it's not the violent content of a title that gets a gamer's blood boiling, it's the frustration level.

Whether it's trying to learn a game's complicated controls or navigating difficult levels, frustration and aggression are common side effects of all types of video games, not just violent ones. Anyone who's ever played Flappy Bird will probably find themselves shaking their heads in agreement with the study's claim. Anecdotally, I can remember playing Madden with a buddy of mine several years ago, and after using Tom Brady to throw deep to Randy Moss for yet another touchdown, my enraged friend threw his controller across the room. This is a behavior the study touched on.

Candy Crush
Games like Candy Crush can lead to frustration and aggressive behavior, a new study says.

"Any player who has thrown down a remote control after losing an electronic game can relate to the intense feelings or anger failure can cause," said Andrew Przyblski, lead author and researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. He said such behavior is commonly known as "rage-quitting."

This is supposedly the first study to look a player's psychological experience with video games rather than focus only on the in-game content. What the study found is that when players feel they have no control over a game's outcome, it can lead to aggression. The effect is further exacerbated if you press someone's competencies, and it happens in all types of games, including titles like Tetris and Candy Crush.

"It's a complicated area, and people have simplistic views," said Richard Ryan, co-author of the study and a motivational psychologist at the University of Rochester.

Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr (Bruno Cordioli)