Research on the Effects of Violent Video Games: A Critical Analysis



The impact of violent video games on youth and adults who play these games has been a source of great controversy for years. This paper reviews the research on violent video games across three main areas: general effects on aggression, negative effects on specific high-risk populations, and effects on visuospatial cognition. Difficulties in adequately measuring constructs such as aggression are also highlighted. It is concluded that the extreme focus on general aggression effects is not supported by the current literature, and that social science's focus on general aggression effects distracts from research on specific at-risk populations, and potential positive uses of some violent video games.