New studies with a twist on the subject of violent behavior and video games.

This time they focused on mechanics rather than content, and their findings suggest that it isn't violence in video games that cause aggression, but feelings of incompetence and frustration. Wether from being actually bad at the game, or because the game feels unfair, or just the game having bad controls.

They did 6 separate studies, not just one, and one of them involved modifying a version of HL2 to be non-violent, where participants were divided into four groups: those playing the original HL2 with tutorial, those playing the original without tutorial, those playing the mod with tutorial and those playing the mod without tutorial. The ones playing without tutorial exhibited the most aggression, regardless of wether they were playing the violent or nonviolent version.

"If players feel thwarted by the controls or the design of the game, they can wind up feeling aggressive.

"This need to master the game was far more significant than whether the game contained violent material.


The only reason I ever got mad at a game is when I paid 60€ for it and it was a piece of shit, yes I'm looking at you Battlefield 4/Every Call of Duty I ever bought.

I can absolutely agree that I only ever feel violent when playing games if I repeatedly fail, lose or feel like the game is cheating me (with poor controls or otherwise). And even then it's only a short burst and directed at the game, not at people around me. If I turn off the game and do something else, I feel better again.

So basically like every aspect of life ever, really.

There's an old Escapist post of mine somewhere that talks about this very topic (related to one of the other billion studies done out there on video games and violence), and predicts this exact outcome. Not to toot my own horn, but...


Yeah, that makes sense. Though, the violence is more directed at the game / my keyboard than any person in particular :P

I like the title of the BBC article, btw. "Aggression from video games 'linked to incompetence'" Way to rub it in!

I do like that rather than taking tests to measure an arbitrary number within patients and say that when playing something containing violence, X increases - instead they have had multiple exactly the same scenario's with small varying differences.

So same game; 4 different scenario's:
1) No Violence - Tutorial
2) No Violence - No Tutorial
3) Violence - Tutorial
4) Violence - No Tutorial

Simple method of isolating what can cause aggression.

The results... increased aggression in scenario's 2 & 4...

As is rightly stated, more research needed but, frankly the fact that boring old methodology has been done so well with this test as it would appear will... I fucking hope, will act as a precedent in understanding games as far as approaching them for research goes. They are complicated and constructed of many things. Investigate away, but be careful of what you are investigating.

I like the title of the BBC article, btw. "Aggression from video games 'linked to incompetence'" Way to rub it in!

BBC impartiality, at its finest.

The only time I felt angry at video games was the story mode in the latest Mortal Kombat (which ended up as me holding back "Oh you got to be kidding me," espesialy when revolving around my favoirte MK Characters, Scorpion, Sub Zero, and Melina.

Before that was the Ject Shot part of the FF X on the boat. When you get it it feels awsome but before that I felt like I was going to break my controller in half.

Before that was when the Old School Nintendo was feeling buggy (and hopefully most of you know what I mean).

Well whaddya know. Piss people off and they are more likely to become aggressive.

I certainly feel incompetant if one of my favorites dies in XCOM

and I feel a certain something whenever I face a motherfucking sectopod


But that was a BBC study and as far as I'm aware gaming over here in the UK is a quite different entity than what the internet assures me it's like in America/the rest of the world, so I'm not really sure if that's a definitive study.

The most 'violence' I've done lately was hit my desk with my hands once or twice. I even had the sense to first move my keyboard out of the way. :P

When I feel incompetent though, as in it's my fault that I lost, I only get the urge to try and try again until I stop being incompetent.

Violent behaviour linked to feelings of incompetence in video games? More like violent behaviour linked to feelings of incompetence. Try the same study with sports, or assembling or building something and I reckon you'd get similar results.

I certainly feel incompetant if one of my favorites dies in XCOM

and I feel a certain something whenever I face a motherfucking sectopod


I know your pain, my friend.

I thought this was common sense. Feeling incompetent at something can cause you to become aggressive, and it's not even just videogames. Stress, work, sex, relationships,...well, just life in general.

Anyhow, I remember the last game that I got really pissed off at was the first Crash Bandicoot, when I was five. I think it was one of those hard-as-nails temple levels, Crash wasn't landing where I wanted him to, and my mum was nagging me to get off the PS1. Finally, I just threw the controller at the ground, turned the console off, and stormed off to get dinner. But I didn't do anything like beat up some kid at school the next day.

I come to the same conclusion that the comments thread said on gamespot.

'so they discovered rage quitting?'

*sigh* baby steps....


Are these people still on that street. Of course failure and struggling will lead to frustration and anger. They should be more concerned with road rage or browsing the web with a slow internet connection...


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