Is playing violent video games a risk factor for aggressive behaviour? Adding narcissism, self-esteem and PEGI ratings to the debate

Date

2023-07-05

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Frontiers

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Introduction: Aggressive behaviour is a challenge for society. There continues to be considerable debate over whether the consumption of violent video games affects aggression, as violent video game content has become more accessible in recent years due to the growing use of online distribution platforms. Personality traits often linked to aggression, such as narcissism and self-esteem, have been considered in the context of violent video game play and their relationship with aggression. Methods: We surveyed an international population of 166 game players on their personality traits and their three favourite video game choices, which were classified as violent or non-violent, using Pan European Game Information (PEGI) 16 and 18 ratings. Results: We found that violent video game choice is a predictor of verbal aggression alongside narcissism, and hostility alongside self-esteem. A categorical regression highlighted the desire to impersonate society’s undesirable role models (e.g., ‘be a thief or a killer’) as one of the motivations for aggression and violent video game choice. Discussion: These findings show that video game violence should be considered a risk factor for aggression, as in other violent media, as it provides a social reinforcement of aggressive behaviour and observational learning of aggressive models, calling for the introduction of stricter online age verification procedures on online game platforms to safeguard children from violent video game content; and increased use of parental controls on content fruition. More granularity should be considered in the PEGI classifications.

Description

open access article

Keywords

games behaviour and agression

Citation

Olejarnik, S. Z., and Romano, D. (2023) Is playing violent video games a risk factor for aggressive behaviour? Adding narcissism, self-esteem and PEGI ratings to the debate. Frontiers in psychology, 14, 1155807

Rights

Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/

Research Institute

Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)