Violent Video Game Research Papers

1. Entertainment Retailers Association (2012) The voice of entertainment retailing. Available: Accessed 2013 Jan 5.

2. Dill KE, Gentile DA, Richter WA, Dill JC (2005) Violence, sex, age and race in popular video games: A content analysis. In Cole E, Henderson-Daniel J, editors. Featuring females: Feminist analyses of media. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. pp. 115–130.

3. Anderson CA, Bushman BJ (2001) Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic Review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science12: 353–359. [PubMed]

4. Anderson CA, Dill KE (2000) Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology78: 772–790. [PubMed]

5. DeLisi M, Vaughn MG, Gentile DA, Anderson CA, Shook JJ (2013) Violent video games, delinquency, and youth violence: New evidence. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice11: 132–142.

6. Krahé B, Möller I (2004) Playing violent electronic games, hostile attribution style, and aggression related norms in German adolescents. Journal of Adolescence27: 53–69. [PubMed]

7. Anderson CA, Sakamoto A, Gentile DA, Ihori N, Shibuya A, et al. (2008) Longitudinal effects of violent video games on aggression in Japan and the United States. Pediatrics122: e1067–e1072. [PubMed]

8. Möller I, Krahé B (2009) Exposure to violent video games and aggression in German adolescents: A longitudinal analysis. Aggressive Behavior35: 75–89. [PubMed]

9. Willoughby T, Adachi PC, Good M (2012) A longitudinal study of the association between violent video game play and aggression among adolescents. Developmental Psychology48: 1044–1057. [PubMed]

10. Anderson CA, Carnagey NL (2009) Causal effects of violent sports video games on aggression: Is it competitiveness or violent content?Journal of Experimental Social Psychology45: 731–739.

11. Greitemeyer T (2014) Intense acts of violence during video game play make daily life aggression appear innocuous: A new mechanism why violent video games increase aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology50: 52–56.

12. Hollingdale J, Greitemeyer T (2013) The changing face of aggression: The effect of personalized avatars in a violent video game on levels of aggressive behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology43: 1862–1868.

13. Williams D, Skoric M (2005) Internet fantasy violence: A test of aggression in an online game. Communication Monographs72: 217–233.

14. Elson M, Ferguson CJ (2014) Twenty-five years of research on violence in digital games and aggression: Empirical evidence, perspectives, and a debate gone astray. European Psychologist19: 33–46.

15. Tear MJ, Nielsen M (2013) Failure to demonstrate that playing violent video games diminishes prosocial behavior. PloS One8: e68382. [PMC free article][PubMed]

16. Ferguson CJ, Rueda SM (2010) The Hitman study: Violent video game exposure effects on aggressive behavior, hostile feelings and depression. European Psychologist15: 99–108.

17. Anderson CA, Shibuya A, Ihori N, Swing EL, Bushman BJ, et al. (2010) Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in Eastern and Western countries. Psychological Bulletin136: 151–173. [PubMed]

18. Greitemeyer T, Mügge DO (2014) Video games do affect social outcomes: A meta-analytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin40: 578–589. [PubMed]

19. Anderson CA, Bushman BJ (2002) Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology53: 27–51. [PubMed]

20. Schubert T, Regenbrecht H, Friedmann F Real and illusory interactions enhance presence in virtual environments. Paper presented at Presence 2000—The Third International Workshop on Presence, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

21. Lim S, Reeves B (2010) Computer agents versus avatars: Responses to interactive game characters controlled by a computer or other player. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies68: 57–68.

22. Eastin MS (2006) Video game violence and the female game player: Self- and opponent gender effects on presence and aggressive thoughts, Human Communication Research 32: : 351–372.

23. Eastin MS, Griffiths RP (2006) Beyond the shooter game. Examining presence and hostile outcomes among male game players, Communication Research33: 448–466.

24. Wei R (2007) Effects of playing violent video games on Chinese adolescents' pro-violence attitudes, attitudes towards others, and aggressive behavior. Cyberpsychology & Behaviour10: 371–380. [PubMed]

25. Carnagey NL, Anderson CA (2005) The effects of reward and punishment in violent video games on aggressive affect, cognition, and behavior. American Psychological Science16: 882–889. [PubMed]

26. Sherry JL (2001) The effects of violent video games on aggression: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research27: 409–431.

27. Anderson CA, Carnagey NL, Flanagan M, Benjamin AJ, Eubanks J, et al. (2004) Violent video games: Specific effects of violent content on aggressive thoughts and behaviour. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology36: 199–249.

28. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (2011) Call of Duty enjoys record sales despite retail woes. Available: Accessed 2013 Jan 5.

29. Barlett CP, Harris RJ, Baldassaro R (2007) Longer you play, the more hostile you feel: examination of first person shooter video games and aggression during video game play. Aggressive Behavior33: 486–497. [PubMed]

30. Pan European Game Information (PEGI) (2013) What do the labels mean? Available: Accessed 2013 Jan 5.

31. McGregor HA, Lieberman JD, Greenberg J, Soloman S, Arndt J, et al. (1998) Terror management and aggression: Evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview threatening others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology74: 590–605. [PubMed]

32. Rosenthal R, Rosnow RL (1985) Contrast analysis: Focused comparisons in the analysis of variance. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

33. Steiger JH (2004) Beyond the F test: Effect size confidence intervals and tests of close fit in the analysis of variance and contrast analysis. Psychological Methods9: 164–182. [PubMed]

34. Miller GA, Chapman JP (2001) Misunderstanding analysis of covariance. Journal of Abnormal Psychology110: 40–48. [PubMed]

35. Adachi PJC, Willoughby T (2011) The effect of video game competition and violence on aggressive behavior: Which characteristic has the greatest influence?Psychology of Violence1: 259–274.

36. Adachi PJC, Willoughby T (2013) Demolishing the competition: The longitudinal link between competitive video games, competitive gambling, and aggression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence42: 1090–1104. [PubMed]

37. Greitemeyer T (2011) Effects of prosocial media on social behavior: When and why does media exposure affect helping and aggression?Current Directions in Psychological Science20: 251–255.

38. Gentile DA, Anderson CA, Yukawa S, Ihori N, Saleem M, et al. (2009) The Effects of Prosocial Video Games on Prosocial Behaviors: International Evidence from Correlational, Experimental, and Longitudinal Studies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin35: 752–763. [PMC free article][PubMed]

39. Greitemeyer T, Osswald S (2010) Effects of prosocial video games on prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology98: 211–221. [PubMed]

40. Prot S, Gentile DA, Anderson CA, Suzuki K, Swing E, et al. (2014) Long-term relations between prosocial media use, empathy, and prosocial behavior. Psychological Science25: 358–368. [PubMed]

41. Greitemeyer T, Osswald S (2009) Prosocial video games reduce aggressive cognitions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology45: 896–900.

42. Greitemeyer T, Agthe M, Turner R, Gschwendtner C (2012) Acting prosocially reduces retaliation: Effects of prosocial video games on aggressive behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology42: 235–242.

43. Eastin MS (2007) The influence of competitive and cooperative play on state hostility. Human Communication Research33: 450–466.

44. Ewoldsen DR, Eno CA, Okdie BM, Velez JA, Guadagno RE, et al. (2012) Effect of playing violent video games cooperatively or competitively on subsequent cooperative behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking15: 277–280. [PubMed]

45. Greitemeyer T (2013) Playing video games cooperatively increases empathic concern. Social Psychology44: 408–413.

46. Greitemeyer T, Cox C (2013) There's no “I” in team: Effects of cooperative video games on cooperative behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology43: 224–228.

47. Greitemeyer T, Traut-Mattausch E, Osswald S (2012) How to ameliorate negative effects of violent video games on cooperation: Play it cooperatively in a team. Computers in Human Behavior28: 1465–1470.

48. Schmierbach M (2010) “Killing Spree”: Exploring the connection between competitive game play and aggressive cognition. Communication Research37: 256–274.

49. Velez JA, Mahood C, Ewoldsen DR, Moyer-Gusé E (2014) Ingroup versus outgroup conflict in the context of violent video game play: The effect of cooperation on increased helping and decreased aggression. Communication Research41: 607–626.

50. Ritter D, Eslea M (2005) Hot sauce, toy guns, and graffiti: A critical account of current laboratory aggression paradigms. Aggressive Behavior31: 407–419.


President Trump has held a series of White House meetings on gun violence, and the focus of today's was video games. Lawmakers, parent advocates and people from video game companies were invited to talk with the president. The press was not allowed in. Trump has been focused on this subject for a while now. Here's what he said a couple weeks ago.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people's thoughts.

SHAPIRO: The central question at the heart of this White House meeting is, does playing violent video games turn people into real-life shooters? Douglas Gentile has researched this issue. He's a psychology professor at Iowa State University. Thanks for joining us.


SHAPIRO: If you could just begin with the conclusion of your research - if every violent video game disappeared tomorrow, would there be fewer mass shootings?

GENTILE: We don't know the answer to that, but that's because aggression is actually very complicated. It's multi-causal. No one single thing causes it. And when we've had a school shooting, we usually ask the wrong question. We ask, what was the cause? And then we point around at different things such as mental health or violent video games or poverty or whatever. And none of them is it. What is it is when you put them all together. And so would it reduce the risk - yes. How much - we don't know.

SHAPIRO: So if we take a step back from mass shootings and say how much does playing violent video games increase real-life violence and aggression, do we have a clear answer to that?

GENTILE: We have a clear answer when we're talking about aggression. So aggression is any behavior - that could be a verbal behavior, a physical behavior or a relational behavior - that is intended to harm someone else. So if you give someone the cold shoulder, that is aggressive. But that's different from violence, which is only physical and extreme such that if successful, it would cause severe bodily damage or death. And the research on media violence and aggression seems pretty clear - that the more children consume media violence, whether that's in video games, TV or movies, they do become more willing to behave aggressively when provoked.

SHAPIRO: You sort of conflated video games, TV, movies there. In a video game, you're pretending to be the shooter. You're interacting with a virtual world. TV or movies is much more passive. Is there an important distinction there, or is violence violence in media no matter whether it's interactive or passive?

GENTILE: We used to think that video games would have a much larger effect than passive media like TV or movies. But the research has not seemed to bear that out. It seems to be about the same size effect, which is somewhat surprising because they are active, and you are being rewarded for it. But basically what we're coming down to is learning. We can learn from all of these different ways. And it seems we don't learn particularly differently from video games than from TV or movies.

SHAPIRO: Some people have offered a theory that videogames can be catharsis, and expressing violent impulses in a virtual world helps people not express those in the real world. Has that been disproven?

GENTILE: That has been disproven. So how do you memorize a phone number? You repeat it. Does seeing it one more time take it out of your brain? That would be the catharsis idea, right?

SHAPIRO: (Laughter) Right.

GENTILE: But, no, each new time you see it burns it in a little deeper. So in fact, there's no possible way that catharsis can happen, at least not nearly the way people like to talk about it.

SHAPIRO: Do you think the premise of this White House meeting is flawed? I mean, should video games be one focus of this debate over gun violence in America?

GENTILE: I do think it's flawed. I think the problem is that we're seeking a simple solution to a complex problem. And I noticed there are no real aggression researchers at this White House meeting. So we're not even getting the real picture. What we're getting is just a very one-sided and very limited look into only one of the risk factors for aggression.

SHAPIRO: Professor Gentile, thanks very much.

GENTILE: My pleasure.

SHAPIRO: Psychology professor Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University.

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