Adachi, P. C., & Willoughby, T. (2011). The effect of video game competition and violence on aggressive behavior: Which characteristic has the greatest influence?. Psychology Of Violence, 1(4), 259-274. doi:10.1037/a0024908

Objective: This study is the first to our knowledge to isolate the effect of video game violence and competitiveness on aggressive behavior. Method: In Pilot Study 1, a violent and nonviolent video game were matched on competitiveness, difficulty, and pace of action, and the effect of each game on aggressive behavior was then compared using an unambiguous measure of aggressive behavior (i.e., the Hot Sauce Paradigm) in Experiment 1. In Pilot Study 2, competitiveness was isolated by matching games on difficulty and pace of action, and systematically controlling for violence. The effect of video game competition on aggressive behavior was then examined in Experiment 2. Results: We found that videogame violence was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior compared with a nonviolent video game, and that more competitive games produced greater levels of aggressive behavior, irrespective of the amount of violence in the games. Conclusion: It appears that competition, not violence, may be the video game characteristic that has the greatest influence on aggressive behavior. Future research is needed to explore the mechanisms through which video game competitiveness influences aggressive behavior, as well as whether this relation holds in the long-term. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)