Video games and violence/aggression


Videogames and violence/aggression


Video games emerged in the 1970s,and they gained popularity over time. Today they are the centers forentertainment especially among the teenage and young adults in thesociety making up to $1.81 trillion in the global entertainment andmedia market (Ferguson, &amp Kilburn, 2010). The gaming designersand producers are making a fortune due to the high demand for newgames every day. These games are widely played for entertainmentpurposes and also to break boredom among the growing children andyoung adults (Tear, &amp Nielsen, 2013).

Statistics indicate that up to 65percent of the United States households play video games. 25 percentof the gamers are under the age of 18, while 49 percent are betweenthe age of 18-49 years. The remaining percentage, are adults over theage of 50. The average age of most gamers is 32, and 2 of every fivegamers are female. Statistics also indicate that gamers spend up to18 hours per week playing video games (Elson, &amp Ferguson, 2014).90 percent of children in the United States play video games, and thenumber rises to around 97 percent among children between 12 to 17years (Willoughby, Adachi, &amp Good, 2012). It has been establishedthat around 85 percent of all video games contain some form ofviolence in it. Examples of the popular games played include“Manhunt,” “Thrill Kill,” “Gears of War,” among others.Even the mild games such as “Pokemon Go” require the player to goon a battle (Willoughby, Adachi, &amp Good, 2012).


There is an association betweenplaying violent video games with violent or aggressive behavior amongkids aged between 12 to 17 years.

Study aim

The study seeks to establish ifthere is an association between aggressive and violent behavior amongkids playing violent video games


To find out the association betweenaggressive/violent behavior and playing violent video games amongkids aged 12 to 17 years.


Though they are becoming prevalent,various researchers have linked child/teenage aggression with videogames they play (Anderson, 2010) though these studies have notbeen concluded yet. A study by Oxford University indicated thatplaying violent video games was not damaging to children’s behaviorthan those that were considered harmless. A study conducted by theAmerican Psychological Association could not conclude that violentvideo games were linked to aggressive/violent behavior due to lack ofsufficient evidence to do so. Rather, it concluded that aggressiveand violent behavior was a result of a combination of several riskfactors (Krahé, &amp Möller, 2010). It postulated that video gamescould have been one of the risk factors of such aggressive andviolent behaviors (Fischer, Kastenmüller, &amp Greitemeyer, 2010).These risk factors were listed as depression, academic problems,unstable homes, and delinquency. Though there is a limited form ofaggression, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that violentmedia set poor examples for the growing kids (Ferguson 2012). A cohort research study conducted by Christopher Ferguson and histeam, that utilized laboratory studies to measure aggression of thetest subjects, and applied a scale ranging from filling the missingletters to delivering painful outbursts (Elson, &amp Ferguson, 2014:Ferguson 2012). His experiment found out that there was no linkbetween violent media and aggression and he also questioned themethodologies applied by the previous studies to establish therelationships.


This section gives an outline ofhow the researcher will conduct the study to ensure that he/she meetsthe research objective and also in an attempt to prove thehypothesis.


The school to be used for the studywill be chosen purposively, depending on its proximity to ourresearch center to facilitate faster and more reliable datacollection, and presentation. The study participants will be drawnfrom a population of school going boys and girls between from the ageof 12 to 17 years. This group is suitable because a majority of themplay video games, and the researcher can easily assess theirbehavior. Also, teachers will participate in the study to givereports on various types of violent or aggressive behaviors thechildren engage in.

Study design

The study will be a cross-sectionaldescriptive study to meet the study objectives and also in provingthe hypothesis (Pickard, 2012). In this research design, arelationship between different variables is established and in ourcase, violent video games and aggressive or violent behavior. Ithelps in the quantification of outcomes, hence making it easier toestablish the associations that exist (Pickard, 2012).


The study will mainly utilizestructured close-ended questionnaires to find out theinterrelationships between variables among the school going children(Sousa, &amp Rojjanasrirat, 2011). It would feature theirdemographic characteristics, frequent of plays, whether they playindividually or as a group and their mood after the game. Theteachers participating in the study will be engaged in focus groupdiscussion (Sousa, &amp Rojjanasrirat, 2011) to find out the violentand aggressive behaviors the children involved in.


Purposive and simple randomsampling procedures will be applied during the study. Purposivesampling will be employed in choosing the study participant agedbetween 12 to 17 years in the group. Afterward, simple randomsampling procedure will be used to draw the study sample (Pickard,2012). 100 participants are an ideal sample for the study for it ismore representative in a school consisting of over three hundredstudents. Purposive sampling technique will also be used in drawingteachers who would participate in the study. Purposive sampling willdraw all the teachers teaching from middle school to high school kids


The data generated will bemanipulated scientifically to yield the desired results. Bothdescriptive and inferential statistics will be presented in thestudy. The descriptive statistic will give the mean, mode, median andthe standard deviation of the results. While inferential statisticwill present the degrees of freedom, correlations and Z-Score(Howell, 2012). Critical values will be developed depending on thestudy outcomes and the distribution of the results. The standarddegrees of freedom would be n-1. In our case, 1-100=99. The standardalpha level in the study will be 0.05 (Howell, 2012).

Discussionsection:Interpretationof results

The results will be interpretedthrough tables, graphs and pie charts. This would give an overallimpression of the results to limit a lot of explanations duringpresentations.


The rules and regulations of ethicswill be met through the presentation of consents to the studyparticipants (Howell, 2012). Since they are still kids, the parentswill sign the consent on behalf of their children. The school willalso be presented consent from the research company, which it wouldthen sign to the terms and conditions of the study. Limitations ofstudy

Limitationsof the study

The study is expected to haveseveral limitations, for instance, it might not paint the actualpicture of reality children outside the school compound since rulesguide and regulate their behavior. In such studies, experiments arehighly likely to yield more positive result than descriptivecross-sectional studies. Since kids are interviewed, it is likelythat they might lie at some point to appease the researcher.

Suggestionsfor future research

Future research should mainly focuson a more experimental and observational design to establish behaviorchanges among children playing violent video games. It should alsofocus on involving parents in the study to give outlines of behaviorpatterns among their children. This area of research is wide, andresearchers should focus on more secondary outcomes of video gamesrather than the immediate effects.


Anderson, C. A., Shibuya, A.,Ihori, N., Swing, E. L., Bushman, B. J., Sakamoto, A., … &ampSaleem, M. (2010). Violentvideo game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior ineastern and western countries:a meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 151.

Elson, M., &amp Ferguson, C. J.(2014). Twenty-five yearsof research on violence in digital games and aggression.European Psychologist.

Ferguson, C. J., San Miguel, C.,Garza, A., &amp Jerabeck, J. M. (2012). Alongitudinal test of video game violence influences on dating andaggression: A 3-year longitudinal study of adolescents.Journal of psychiatric research, 46(2), 141-146.

Ferguson, C. J., &amp Kilburn, J.(2010). Much ado aboutnothing: the misestimation and overinterpretation of violent videogame effects in eastern and Western Nations:Comment on Anderson et al.(2010).

Fischer, P., Kastenmüller, A., &ampGreitemeyer, T. (2010). Mediaviolence and the self: The impact of personalized gaming charactersin aggressive video games on aggressive behavior.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 192-195.

Howell, D. C. (2012). Statisticalmethods for psychology.Cengage Learning.

Krahé, B., &amp Möller, I.(2010). Longitudinaleffects of media violence on aggression and empathy among Germanadolescents. Journal ofApplied Developmental Psychology, 31(5), 401-409.

Pickard, A. (2012). Researchmethods in information.Facet Publishing.

Sousa, V. D., &amp Rojjanasrirat,W. (2011). Translation,adaptation and validation of instruments or scales for use incrossculturalhealth care research: aclear and user‐friendlyguideline. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 17(2),268-274.

Tear, M. J., &amp Nielsen, M.(2013). Failure todemonstrate that playing violent video games diminishes prosocialbehavior. PLoS One,8(7), e68382.

Willoughby, T., Adachi, P. J., &ampGood, M. (2012). Alongitudinal study of the association between violent video game playand aggression among adolescents.Developmental Psychology, 48(4), 1044.


Consent Form

Nameof the Organization or Institution

Informedconsent forms for children who will participate the study that aimsto investigate if there is an association between playing violentvideo games and aggressive violent behavior.

Name of Principal Investigator

Name of the Organization

I am working for (Name of the research institution), and we are doinga study on the association between playing violent video games andaggressive violent behavior among children aged 12 to 17 years. Theresearch is a cross-sectional descriptive study that will see theparticipants aged between 12 to 17 years take part in fillingquestionnaires to establish this relationship on the school days. Iwill provide the study guide for the research, and I kindly requestyou to permit your child to be part of this research. You areencouraged to seek further guidance from the school officialcommunication website. Your choice to let your child participate inthe study is voluntary.

Declaration of the participant’s parent or guardian

I (code name) therefore declare that my child’s participation inthis study is purely voluntary, and has not been forced to do so byanyone.


thumbprint…………… (for the illiterate),

nameand signature of the witness………………


Declarationby the researcher

Ideclare that the study participant’s guardian has all theinformation he/she requires and has not been forced to participate inthe study, but has done so, voluntary. A copy of this ICF has beengiven to the participant’s parent/guardian.

Name of the researcher taking consent……………………

Signature………………. date……………









Writing and presentation of research proposal and preparation of research instruments

Applying for request to carry out the study in the target school

Data collection


Data and results presentation

Preparation of study report

Presentation of report to interested parties