In Ferguson’s article, “The School Shooting/Violent Video Game Link: Causal Link or Moral Panic?” Ferguson addresses the possible link between violent video games and gamer aggression exhibited in real life. He states, “From this body of research, the empirical link between violent gameplay and serious acts of aggression or violent behavior appears to be slim at best.” However, would individuals with higher propensities to commit acts of aggression exhibit telling symptoms while playing video games of this nature?
I have been attempting to construct an experiment to test this question; however, I am struggling to do so. Admittedly, I am not a psychology major. But, I have observed many individuals playing violent video games (such as Halo, Call of Duty, etc.) from my age group. Many of these individuals reach certain points in their respective games where they become so frustrated that they begin venting their frustration audibly. However, when I speak with these individuals later on, they act calm and optimistic. I am curious as to this Catharsis-like effect these violent video games seem to have on these individuals. I would be interested to poll people that play violent video games concerning if these individuals have such emotionally purifying moments. I believe that this might help answer the main question of this blog post. Perhaps individuals who do not obtain this Catharsis-effect are more prone to acts of aggression?