In a recent research it was found that competitiveness in video games trigger aggression in players.
In a series of experiments in which video games were matched on competitiveness, difficulty, and pace of action, researchers found video game violence alone did not elevate aggressive behavior.
More competitive games produced greater levels of aggressive behavior than less competitive games, no matter how much violence was in the games.
In one experiment, lead author Paul J.C. Adachi, M.A., a PhD candidate at Brock University in Canada, had 42 college students (25 men, 17 women) play one of two video games, "Conan" or "Fuel," for 12 minutes. "Conan" is a violent game in which the main character battles for survival using swords and axes. "Fuel" is a non-violent racing game.
In a pilot study, both games were rated evenly in terms of competitiveness, difficulty and pace of action, but differently in terms of violence. After participants finished playing the game, they were told they were going to take part in a separate food tasting study.
Participants had to make up a cup of hot sauce for a "taster" who they were told did not particularly like hot or spicy food. The participants could choose from one of four different hot sauces (from least hot to most hot) for the taster to drink.
The authors found that there was no significant difference in the intensity and amount of the hot sauces prepared by the participants who played "Conan" and those who played "Fuel." The authors concluded that, in this study, video game violence alone was not sufficient to elevate aggressive behavior.
"These findings suggest that the level of competitiveness in video games is an important factor in the relation between video games and aggressive behavior, with highly competitive games leading to greater elevations in aggression than less competitive games," wrote Adachi.
The study has been published online in Psychology of Violence.