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The Effect of Violent Videogame Playtime on Anger

Authors


Grant James Devilly, Griffith Health Institute and School of Psychology, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Brisbane, QLD 4122, Australia. Fax: 07 3735 3436; email: grant@devilly.org

Abstract

Studies have found evidence that, after playing violent videogames for 20 min, people experience a mean short-term increase in aggression, hostility, and anger. The current research investigated whether or not players habituate during longer, more realistic lengths of play. Participants (N = 98) were randomly assigned to play the game Quake III Arena for either 20 or 60 min. Participants in the long condition showed a smaller change in state anger (CSA) from pre- to post-gameplay than those in the short condition, although this did not reach significance. Change in scores for gamers (not novice players) showed that short gaming led to a larger increase in anger ratings than long gaming. When the results for violent videogame players were analysed separately, there was no significant increase in anger post-gameplay—irrespective of length of time playing. Results also supported the hypotheses that females would show a significantly larger CSA than males and that participants previously unexposed to violent videogames would show a significantly larger CSA than exposed participants.

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