Washington: People who team up to play violent video games cooperatively do not foster aggression as against those who do it competitively, a new study has claimed, dispelling the notion that such games are always bad.
Researchers, during two studies, found that college students who teamed up to play violent video games later showed more cooperative behaviour, and sometimes less signs of aggression, than students who played the games competitively.
The new research shows playing a violent game with a team-mate changes how people react to the violence, said David Ewoldsen, study co-author and professor of communication at Ohio State University.
"Most of the studies finding links between violent games and aggression were done with people playing alone. The social aspect of today's video games can change things quite a bit," Ewoldsen said, in statement.
"You're still being very aggressive, you're still killing people in the game - but when you cooperate, that overrides any of the negative effects of the extreme aggression," said co-author John Velez, graduate student in communication at Ohio State.
The first study involved 119 college students who were placed into four groups to play the violent video game Halo II with a partner. The groups differed in whether they competed or cooperated in playing the game.
The results showed that participants who played the video game cooperatively were more likely than those who competed to show cooperative tendencies.
The second study extended the findings by showing that cooperating in playing a violent video game can even unite people from rival groups - in this case, fans of Ohio State and those of their bitter rival, the University of Michigan.
"These findings suggest video game research needs to consider not only the content of the game but also how video game players are playing the game," Velez said.
The first study was reported in the journal 'Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking' and the second appeared in the journal Communication Research.
First Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 18:41