Why violent video games is not a cause of aggression

The presence of new media such as television and video games in the lives of children and adolescent alike has become more apparent in recent times. Children now spend a great deal of time watching television and playing video games. On average, children spent 9 hours a week playing video games. (Polman, Castro & Aken, 2008).


Playing video games in itself is an important determinant of social behavior. In recent years, researchers have been particularly interested in the effects of playing video games on the players’, the great majority being children and adolescents (Tobias, 2013). Video game exposure differs from other forms of media exposure in that a person  directly controls a game character, which increases identification with the media content.

On theoretical grounds one may expect violent video games to lead to higher levels of aggression than violent television programs. This is so since it is assumed that the person playing the video game virtually becomes a character in the video game itself (Polman, Castro & Aken, 2008.)

Perhaps as a consequence, actively playing video games leads to stronger effects compared to passive media exposure (Tobias, 2013).

According to Adachi and Teena, (2011), violent video games doesn’t cause aggression per se, but rather incompetence. Children who are incompetent or who lack a grasp of the game are likely to become aggressive than those who have good mastery of the game. They further assert that it is indeed competition and not violence itself in the video games that causes aggression.

As such, video game violence is not sufficient to elevate the level of aggression in children. The more competitive a game is, the more likely it is to produce greater levels of aggression and vice versa.

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