Why Video Games Make You Aggressive

Playing Candy Crush will make you kill a man.
Truth? Or an incredibly over-sensationalised cold open to a story about videogames and
violence? Hey guys, Joe Bereta here guest hosting for
DNews. The world of science hath graced us with yet another study concerning the correlation
betwixt violence in videogames and violence in real life, but stick with me button mashers,
because this isn’t your garden variety violent content does or doesn’t beget evil in your
impressionable young child type of story. Now, first off, lets all agree that aggression
is a very common byproduct of playing video games. It doesn’t happen all the time, but
it can rear its ugly, hostile head occasionally. Like… I swear to all the gods that if I
get blue-shelled again because I’m in first place in Mario Kart Wii, I’m gonna murder
everything. The game punishes you for being awesome and encourages mediocrity. It doesn’t
make sense. Moving on, research coming out of Oxford University
postulates that it isn’t graphic, bloody headshots, spinal-cord snaps, or gruesome koopa-troopa
curb stomps that generate aggresive/violent behavior in players. The root of the evil
actually lies in the failure and frustration that a human experiences when gaming. So, instead of focusing just on the content
and storylines of games, these guys also monitored the psychological side of, basically, trying
to complete a task… which is trying to beat the game, or finish the level, or get that
god-forsaken flappy bird past the fourth pipe. It’s basic human nature to want to succeed
and be great at things, and when you’re losing, over and over again, it makes sense that emotions
might go all Dante’s peak. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to finish a dude off by ripping
him in half in Mortal Kombat or clear a screen in Minesweeper, if you suck…it sucks. Co-author of the study, Richard Ryan, explains,
“When people feel they have no control over the outcome of a game, that leads to aggression.
We saw that in our experiments. If you press someone’s competencies, they’ll become more
aggressive, and our effects held up whether the games were violent or not.” So, these Oxfordians rounded-up 600 college-aged
humans and scienced them with video game experiments. Utilizing violent and non-violent games, the
researchers manipulated variables, like difficulty settings and in one particular exercise, participants
were asked to submerge their hands in super cold water, like painfully cold. Unbeknownst
to them, everyone did it for the same amount of time. They then played a round of Tetris,
afterwhich, they were to assign an amount of time for the next guy or gal to keep their
hands submerged. Now, get this sadistic little tid-bit: Players who experienced the more
difficult version of Russian Block Stacking assigned, on average, 10 seconds more chilly
hand-bath time to the next player. Crazy. So videogames probably won’t send you on a
murder rampage, but they might turn you into a momentary butthole. One time, I threw my
best friends Snake Eyes GI Joe at the wall, causing bits of molded plastic to explode
everywhere, spewing forth a plume of imagination and nostalgia. It’s not cause I’m a bad person,
it’s because I was playing Battletoads. Richard Ryan also said, “When the experience
involves threats to our ego, it can cause us to be hostile and mean to others.” And
really, doesn’t this apply to all facets of our lives? No one wants to look stupid or
feel inadequate. Those feelings can lead to insecurity, or embarrassment, or pure, unadulterated
wrath. That’s why we have real life, rage-quitting instances of full-grown adults throwing second
base into center-field and flying monopoly boards on family game night… and the one
time I saw my own mother try to bite through the cord of an NES controller because Super
Mario Brothers brought her to a dark dark place. Guys, what’s your most frustrating video game
moment? Describe it with vivid detail down below. Thanks for watching DNews, my name’s
Joe Bereta. You can find me over at youtube.com/sourcefed or youtube.com/baratsandbereta. Have a wonderful
rage-free day.