Bösche, W. (2010). Violent video games prime both aggressive and positive cognitions. Journal Of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, And Applications, 22(4), 139-146. doi:10.1027/1864-1105/a000019

Previous studies have shown that violent video games prime aggressive thoughts and concepts. Interestingly, positively valenced test stimuli are rarely used in this field, though they might provide useful information on the nature of the emotional response to virtual violence and its associative structure. According to the General Aggression Model (GAM) and its extensions (Carnagey, Anderson, & Bushman, 2007), normal negative reactions to violence are expected. Alternatively, playing violent video games might be construed as engaging in positively valenced playful fighting behavior. To test the potential of violent video games to prime positive concepts, N = 29 adult males played either a violent or a nonviolent videogame for 20 minutes and were subsequently tested in a standard lexical decision task consisting of positive, aggressive, nonaggressive negative, and neutral target words. The data show that the violent video game primed aggressive concepts as expected, but also raised positive concepts, and did so independently of the participants’ history of playing violent video games. Therefore, the results challenge the idea that violent video games inherently stimulate negative concepts only. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)