“Any player who has thrown down a remote control after losing an electronic game can relate to the intense feelings or anger [that] failure can cause,” explains lead author Andrew Przybylski.
“When the experience involves threats to our ego, it can cause us to be hostile and mean to others,” explains co-author Richard Ryan.
600 college aged participants were asked to play games, which included non-violent and violent variations. They were tested for aggressive thoughts feelings or behaviours.
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The researchers found that aggression was not associated with the narrative or imagery of a specific game, but the inability to master the controls or how difficult players found it to complete the game.
Many critics jump to the premature conclusion that violent video games cause aggression. It’s a complicated area, and people have simplistic views,” believes Ryan.
The study, conducted by the University of Rochester, has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.