Rothmund, T., Gollwitzer, M., & Klimmt, C. (2011). Of virtual victims and victimized virtues: Differential effects of experienced aggression in video games on social cooperation. Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(1), 107-119. doi:10.1177/0146167210391103

Two experimental studies were used to investigate how interacting with aggressive virtual characters in video games affects trust and cooperation of players. Study 1 demonstrates that experiencing virtual aggression from a victim’s perspective can impair players’ investments in a subsequent common goods dilemma situation. This effect is mediated by reduced expectations of trust in the cooperativeness of interaction partners. In Study 2 the same effect was replicated by using a different cooperation task and by investigating the moderating role of justice sensitivity from a victim’s perspective as a dispositional factor. Participants transferred less money to an unknown partner in a trust game after exposure to aggressive nonplayer characters in a video game. This effect was stronger for people high in victim sensitivity. Results of both studies can be interpreted in line with the sensitivity to mean intentions model and add to the body of research on violent media effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)