Do Video Games Make You Violent?

This episode is sponsored by betterhelp. Stay tuned for more information at the end. Politicians often blame video games for some of the violence in our world and while it is true that the top five most popular video games right now are all shooter games, do the guns on screen really translate into aggression in real life? Can video games make you violent? One of the main arguments people make against video games is that they prime kids to be violent. Priming is a non-conscious form of memory where one stimulus influences the response to a subsequent stimulus. For example, if I said the word yellow then asked you to name a fruit you would most likely say banana. This led to a study in which researchers had participants play one of two games. One game where they were in a car avoiding collisions. Another where they were just a mouse avoiding a cat. Following the game, the researchers, based on priming, hypothesized the players would be faster at categorizing objects associated with the game they played, more quickly in the real world. So the players looked at pictures of things like a bus or a dog and were asked to quickly label them either as a vehicle or an animal. Those who played the car game were no faster at categorizing vehicles. And those who played the cat game were no faster at categorizing animals. In fact, those who played each game had a slower reaction time to the related category. Meaning negative priming might actually be occurring. Oh, science, you’re always just messing with us, aren’t ya? But unlike the 8-bit games of our past, today’s game designers are capable of producing incredible graphics. Therefore another criticism is the more realistic a game the more likely it will activate aggressive behavior. To study this concept, one study had participants play one of two Kombat games. One where the characters were modeled using rag doll physics: movements modeled off of the human skeleton, which means they had very physically realistic death behaviors. The other game used deaths that were extremely unrealistic. Afterwards, aggression was assessed via a word association test and the game with the more realistic deaths showed no increase in aggression. Of the available research, most find no link between video games and violence. A meta-analysis of studies showing a positive link between games and aggression found that they often used ineffective lab tests of aggression. For example, measuring brain waves and heartbeats, which doesn’t necessarily translate to actual criminal behavior. And in the past when a correlation has been found, it’s been weak. Criminologists who study mass homicides refer to the link between violent games and crime as a myth. In fact in 2011 the US Supreme Court ruled that research did not find clear connection between violent videogames and aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, we all know how often after a crime, video games and violent media get brought into the conversation. But the truth is this might actually be distracting from the more significant causes of violence. Thank you so much to betterhelp for sponsoring this video. As someone who has had therapy benefited my life over the last three years betterhelp is an accessible, low-cost way to access a licensed therapist, something that we all can benefit from. -So you have to be 18 years or older to use the service, which gives you access to licensed therapists through chat, text, your phone, and online video. You can even start now by using the link below and connecting with a licensed therapist within under 24 hours. -It’s important to know that this is not a crisis line, but a way to schedule video and phone chats with licensed therapists for a low cost of $35 to $65 a week. Betterhelp makes therapy, which can be intimidating and expensive feel secure, convenient, and affordable. Head to to check it out. Thank you so much for watching and we will see you next week for a new science video. Peace!

100 thoughts on “Do Video Games Make You Violent?”

  1. If video games make you what you are in the game then I’m a doctor and more qualified than everyone in the room.

  2. Dammit tell this to mom. The only games I'm allowed to play now is candy crush not even slither io because u eat other snakes

  3. Mom : video game makes you violent

    Me : * shows this very video *

    Mom : lol wut ? Video games still make you violent

    Thanks for nothing then, my mom still bugs me about video game making people video to this day.

  4. If shwoing violence causes violence then better ban the entire universe….

    Now where is my infinity gauntlet?

  5. It's the parents choice to decide what their kids are playing. There are some games that aren't for them

  6. I mean….. dose a video game makes you a doctor?
    A singer?
    A city planner?
    A successful businessman?
    Then why the hell would it makes you a murderer?

  7. Video games never made me angry or violent. The News on the other hand, THAT made me angry and violent.

  8. Ok video games don’t make you voilent people just say stupid stuff it’s not the 80s anymore it’s like saying heavy metal music make’s you commit suicide

  9. My family banned me from playing PUBG mobile because they think I will become crazy or something. I really like playing PUBG and It sucks that I can’t do something I love. I am only 9 and and I play with my friends everyday and I am not being voilent in my game

  10. I’ve played call of duty since I’ve been 10 played read dead redemption 2 gta online and far cry 2 but I’m super nice to everyone I meet and I’d only hurt someone if they hurt me or were about to hurt me

  11. I played Sakura School Simulator

    Time to shoot everyone I see with rocket launchers, disturb the peace, and run over everyone

  12. I build a house in Minecraft now I can build a house in rl just using my bare hands.

    True story yo i bulid a hole village with my two hands

  13. Okay I know this video’s a bit dated but the part where mario transformed into wario because of the ‘aggression’ was clever and made me smile.

  14. Would you rather have me in the corner doing drugs and lose everything, or have me sit down 24/7 playing doom?

  15. my first game was san andreas on the 360 when i was 4, been playing everything since. i’m 17 now and i don’t even feel like punting a frog. for what?

  16. Me:turns on roblox simulator for 0.00000000000000000000000000000001second
    Aldo me:i feel like endlaving my whole town so i can lead them in modern day crusade to capture bigger town and slowely conquer the world

  17. (Plays Scribblenauts)

    I suddenly have the urge to ruin someone's day using my magic notebook.

  18. really video games can have a good impact on people like minecraft schools used it to teach kids to work together and video games helped me type faster so in a way they can teach u

  19. It is true that gaming makes people violent, but, only to mentally disabled kids, teens or young people.

    There're a lot of studies about this, but here's the simplest one:
    Two siblings were studied. One of them has mild autism, and the other one is normal. Both are(have been) playing video games every day. The one who developed a very violent(wild) behaviour is the kid with mild autism. The kid with mild autism was not violent before getting addicted to video games…

  20. feeds dog

    Harvests crops

    Cuts down some trees then replants so that more will grow in their place

    mine lots of diamonds

    Builds a monument for that zombie I had to kill (there had been no other choice)

    gets blown up by creeper

    Me: well, guess I'm gonna gop shoot up an orphanage

  21. Politicians blame video games because they don’t want to provide healthcare and mental help to people in need

  22. Me: Building a huge castle in minecraft

  23. No they dont. There has been a lot of research and proof says the fact that games do not cause violence, and if you do believe this bullshit lie. I am sorry but you must be a very stupid motherfucker with an IQ of 0

  24. Thank👏you👏. I play and enjoy violent games and am often desensitized to gore and such- but I’m a big pacifist and I hate real life violence.

  25. If I were a parent I would not blame video games on this I would blame bad parenting I mean it's pretty obvious right?

  26. While people might get mad while playing video games nobody’s gonna shoot up a school after playing animal crossing

  27. You know what gives me violent thoughts…. rude people. Selfish people. Mean people. BAD PEOPLE.
    That violent video game I played was a way to distract myself and enjoy myself away from the shit people in this world.

  28. Drives on the Nurburgring in Gran Turismo
    Breaking news: 14 year old steals Lamborghini from a dealership and runs down 21 pedestrians

  29. I’ve been playing video games almost all my life, and if I knew anything better it’s that they do not cause violence.

  30. I get more aggressive when I play WoW…..Developing brains exposed to violence tend to equate violence as being a normal way to interact with the world.

  31. I'm sorry, but can you guys not try to push an agenda? The wording reflects one side of the argument–video games do not CAUSE violence. You should know that psychologists do not make causal statements like that. Violent video games are highly correlated with aggression. Aggression and violence are different, but you cannot pick one side of the argument and ignore the clearly well studied other just to push an agenda.

  32. Nope. The gamers who are violent aren't such because of games like Assassin's Creed or Dishonored, but because they're idiots.

  33. Open your eyes. Wake up. Violent behaviour can only happen because you first concieve it as a possibility in your mind.

    What you feed grows.

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