Anyone who plays online games know that PvP communities are among the worst communities on the internet. Everyone is angry, whiny, and incredibly aggressive. They are also easy to bait, and trolls have a field day upsetting them to the point they smash their monitor.
At Brock University in Canada, they have beaten up the violence in games and violent behaivor link and tackled it from a different angle. Their findings are something that we’re already aware of. Competitive games lead to highly aggressive behavior at an extreme rate when compared to other games.
Experiments headed by Paul Adachi at Brock University classed games according to competitiveness, difficulty, and pace of the action. They found, as we all know, that the violence of the game did little to someone’s aggression levels, but the more competitive games had crystal-clear results.
One of the experiments involved 60 college students play one of four games, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Left 4 Dead 2, Marble Blast Ultra, and Fuel. If you’re wondering how they measured the aggression, they had the subject make hot sauce. Rather odd way to test it but they did get some findings. The students that played the highly competitive games, namely Mortal Kombat and Fuel, conducted significantly spicier hot sauce and also had higher heart rates.
Adachi wrote “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.”
In my own experience, raging communities are the exact reason I now speak ill of multiplayer PVP games like League of Legends and the refusal of the admins to do anything about the community’s problems. It’s also the reason people troll on XBox Live by driving someone straight into a rage headfirst and making them put their controller through their screen. People need to chill out online that’s for sure.
Parents! Make sure that if your kid starts getting aggressive on Call of Duty or Battlefield you take away his XBox until he calms down! If you want to read the text of the study, you can find the PDF here.