Video Games and Aggressive Behavior in Men and Women


One of the young people’s most common leisure activities today is playing video games. With more than 2.5 billion players globally in 2020, video games have become well-liked entertainment over the past several decades (Lemercier-Dugarin et al., 2020). Verheijen et al. (2018) state that teenagers are the key target market for the video game business. They could also be more susceptible to the negative impacts of violent media. Hence, as video games have become more popular, public concerns over the dangers they pose to children’s development have increased (Verheijen et al., 2018). The link between aggressiveness and video game violence has drawn much interest. The paper describes the connection between playing violent video games and becoming more aggressive.


Video games have grown in popularity among children as a form of entertainment because of the quick expansion of social media. Zhang et al. (2021) acknowledge that there has been discussion regarding whether or not playing violent video games might make a person more aggressive since the 1990s. Verheijen et al. (2018) argue that aggression and exposure to violent games are positively associated, according to many meta-analyses. Individuals’ aggressive affect, violent cognitions, and physiological arousal rise when personal and environmental factors are combined. This state then affects decision-making and assessment processes, resulting in short-term aggressive behavior (Verheijen et al., 2018). The persistent accessibility of knowledge structures connected to aggressiveness alters due to frequent exposure to violent media, which has a long-term negative impact on people’s personalities (Verheijen et al., 2018). In addition to increasing the risk of long-lasting consequences of violent gaming, continued participation in violent games can also raise the normative acceptability of aggression.

Any action taken with the immediate purpose of injuring another person is considered aggressive, and the question is whether violent games impact different genders in the same way. Zhang et al. (2021) conducted research to determine how violent video games affect both boys’ and girls’ aggressive behavior. In the violent video game scenario, boys displayed significantly greater accessibility to aggressive cognition and engaged in more aggressive conduct than girls (Zhang et al., 2021). In contrast, no discernible sex effects in aggressive cognition and behavior are detected in the nonviolent video game condition. Exposure to violent video games makes boys’ aggressive cognitive networks more easily active. The data support the findings that men exhibit more violence than women in the setting of violent video games (Zhang et al., 2021). Boys should be treated as a particular category for aggression intervention since the negative impacts of violent video games on society continue to be a problem.

Sometimes results from several meta-analyses on the same subject appear at odds with one another. For instance, well-known meta-analyses examining the impact of violent video games on aggressive behavior have produced results that appear to disagree, sparking ongoing discussion (Mathur & VanderWeele, 2019). Hence, accounting statistics that appropriately reflect effect diversity and concentrate on the distributions of effect sizes might occasionally point to an acceptable agreement between conflicting meta-analyses. Mathur and VanderWeele (2019) demonstrate that this appears to be the case in the video game literature using unique methods. Significantly, there is a considerable body of evidence from meta-analyses supporting violent video games’ consistent but negligible negative impacts on aggressive behavior.

Players’ interactions with one another might occasionally cause the emergence of unwanted and unexpected behavior. Lemercier-Dugarin et al. (2020) acknowledge that video games with toxic online communities include League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The word toxicity describes the perception of animosity between players. The two sorts of these antisocial activities are griefing and flaming (Lemercier-Dugarin et al., 2020). Flaming is the verbal and physical harassment of other players. Trash-talking, sexism, racial insults, and homophobia are illustrations of verbal toxicity. Griefing is the term video gamers use to describe the act of deliberately sabotaging games and degrading the experience of other players (Lemercier-Dugarin et al., 2020). Therefore, it seems that those negatively impacted by violent video games already have certain dispositions, such as personality features, particularly psychoticism, and aggression.

Violent video games exemplify a negative influence on players’ behaviors both in real and virtual worlds. Lemercier-Dugarin et al. (2020) assert that previous studies have shown that factors such as the desire to play, the avoidance of eye contact, and other particular emotional and psychological characteristics are linked to aggressive conduct. Consequently, they may either favorably or adversely affect how people act after playing violent video games. Numerous researchers have established a connection between impulsivity and violence (Lemercier-Dugarin et al., 2020). Thus, results in the context of violent video games revealed that players who engaged in aggressive material displayed considerably higher levels of interpersonal aggressiveness after they finished the game.


In conclusion, the research presented ideas proved by evidence on the relationship between playing violent video games and acting aggressively. Frequently playing violent video games can increase the normative acceptability of aggressiveness and raise the danger of long-term effects. The research proves that men are more violent than women in the context of violent video games. Video game violence adversely affects players with specific dispositions, such as certain personality traits, notably psychoticism, and hostility.


Lemercier-Dugarin, M., Romo, L., Tijus, C., & Zerhouni, O. (2020). “Who are the cyka blyat?” How empathy, impulsivity, and motivations to play predict aggressive behaviors in multiplayer online games. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 24(1), 1-7.

Mathur, M. B., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2019). Finding common ground in meta-analysis “wars” on violent video games. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(4), 705-708.

Verheijen, G. P., Burk, W. J., Stoltz, S. E. M. J., van den Berg, Y. H. M., & Cillessen, A. H. N. (2018). Friendly fire: Longitudinal effects of exposure to violent video games on aggressive behavior in adolescent friendship dyads. Aggressive Behavior, 44(3), 257–267.

Zhang, Q., Cao, Y., & Tian, J. (2021). Effects of violent video games on aggressive cognition and aggressive behavior. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24(1), 5-10.

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