Researchers from Ohio State University wanted to understand what attracted individuals to play violent video games. They found the individuals who were denied the opportunity to steal or cheat were more likely to play violent video games than the individuals who were not denied the opportunity. They deduced violent video games helped to manage their inner frustration, according to a new study published in Psychological Science on March 11.
As with all studies, the findings are limited to the variables used. The variable in this study was the “missed opportunity” to steal or cheat.
However, the study's outcome could suggest any frustration may lead individuals to play violent video games. With this interpretation, it is not necessarily the violent video games that precede virtual violent behaviors, but an outlet to release the frustration through these violent video games.
In other words, the tendency to express violence due to frustration (an emotional venting) may be festering in an individual. Those frustrated individuals could have this attraction to violent video games as an innocuous way to release that frustration.
Violent video games attract frustrated people, then fuel their angry feelings.
Conversely, the researchers also noted there is evidence that violent video games can increase angry, aggressive feelings in people. Therefore, initially the games are an attraction to individuals who are frustrated, then the games fuel the anger and aggression.
Understanding the dynamics of inner feelings can help people direct their negative feelings in a 'more' positive way. Frustrated individuals can seek calming, leisure activities as an alternative to violent video games.
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