What college dorm doesn’t have its fair share of late night video game tournaments? While an exhaustive amount of studies have been conducted measuring the effects of video games and impressionable teens, University of Missouri researchers allege that college students are more aggressive after playing violent games. The study was conducted by having test subjects play games such as “Call of Duty,” and then they measured their responses compared to those who played non-violent titles like “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.”
Measuring brain waves, the results show that violent game titles incite violent reactions. University of Missouri Associate Professor of Psychology Bruce Bartholow believes that violent video game players are definitely more prone to bouts of violence and aggression. The test subjects weren’t exactly punching holes in the walls, but the participants that played violent games did dish out more of what is referred to as a “noise blast.” In basic terms, noise blasts are used when research participants are being studied in a competitive setting. The violent video game players were much more aggressive in that they opted to turn up the volume on their opponents’ headphones, causing a significant amount of white noise.
Although video game developers will contest the findings of this study as they do with all other negative test results, there might be a bit of truth to what the University of Missouri found. Gamers play violent titles because it gets their blood rushing and their adrenaline pumping. They may show more signs of aggression, but few actually act out.