Bartholow, B., Sestir, M., & Davis, E. (2005, November). Correlates and Consequences of Exposure to Video Game Violence: Hostile Personality, Empathy, and Aggressive Behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(11), 1573-1586. Retrieved July 14, 2009, doi:10.1177/0146167205277205

Research has shown that exposure to violent video games causes increases in aggression, but the mechanisms of this effect have remained elusive. Also, potential differences in short-term and long-term exposure are not well understood. An initial correlational study shows that video game violence exposure (VVE) is positively correlated with self-reports of aggressive behavior and that this relation is robust to controlling for multiple aspects of personality. A lab experiment showed that individuals low in VVE behave more aggressively after playing a violent video game than after a nonviolent game but that those high in VVE display relatively high levels of aggression regardless of game content. Mediational analyses show that trait hostility, empathy, and hostile perceptions partially account for the VVE effect on aggression. These findings suggest that repeated exposure to video game violence increases aggressive behavior in part via changes in cognitive and personality factors associated with desensitization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)