Sestir, M. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2010). Violent and nonviolent video games produce opposing effects on aggressive and prosocial outcomes. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(6), 934-942. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.06.005

Experimental studies routinely show that participants who play a violent game are more aggressive immediately following game play than participants who play a nonviolent game. The underlying assumption is that nonviolent games have no effect on aggression, whereas violent games increase it. The current studies demonstrate that, although violent game exposure increases aggression, nonviolent video game exposure decreases aggressive thoughts and feelings (Exp 1) and aggressive behavior (Exp 2). When participants assessed after a delay were compared to those measured immediately following game play, violent game players showed decreased aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior, whereas nonviolent game players showed increases in these outcomes. Experiment 3 extended these findings by showing that exposure to nonviolent puzzle-solving games with no expressly prosocial content increases prosocial thoughts, relative to both violent game exposure and, on some measures, a no-game control condition. Implications of these findings for models of media effects are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)