Top Pro & Con Arguments


Studies have shown violent video games may cause aggression, not violence. Further, any competitive video game or activity may cause aggression.

Lauren Farrar, Producer for KQED Learning’s YouTube series Above the Noise, stated: “Often times after tragic mass shooting, we hear politicians turn the blame to violent video games, but the reality is that the research doesn’t really support that claim… In general, violence usually refers to physical harm or physical acts that hurt someone– like hitting, kicking, punching, and pushing. Aggression is a more broad term that refers to angry or hostile thoughts, feelings or behaviors. So everything that is violent is aggressive, but not everything that is aggressive is violent. For example, getting frustrated, yelling, talking back, arguing those are all aggressive behaviors, but they aren’t violent. The research on the effects of violent video games and behavior often looks at these milder forms of aggressive behavior.” [140]

A peer-reviewed study in Psychology of Violence determined that the competitive nature of a video game was related to aggressive behavior, regardless of whether the game contained violent content. The researchers concluded: “Because past studies have failed to equate the violent and nonviolent video games on competitiveness, difficulty, and pace of action simultaneously, researchers may have attributed too much of the variability in aggression to the violent content.” [125] A follow-up study tracked high school students for four years and came to the same conclusion: the competitive nature of the games led to the increased hostile behavior. [126]

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