AGGRESSION IN THE CONTEXT OF PLAYING VIOLENT COMPUTER GAMES
According to many scholarly and scientific studies, one of the risks of playing violent computer games is the incitement to aggressive, violent, and socially undesirable behaviour. The main objective of the present paper is to perform a theoretical analysis of the issue of violent computer games in relation to the incitement to aggression and to provide a review study. The issue is analysed by means of a meta-analysis. This approach was chosen due to the application of the analytical methods in previous research studies and the content of knowledge in the area. The aim of the paper is thus to identify and quantify the major findings of the studies involved in the analysis and to postulate whether aggression can be considered a consequence of playing violent computer games. The analysis has revealed a relationship between playing violent computer games and aggressive manifestations in children, adolescents, and adults. The research studies confirm the impact of violent computer games with violent content on a short-term increase in aggression indicators (verbal and physical aggression, anger). It has also been confirmed that playing violent computer games may discourage pro-social behaviour. This implies that the relationship between playing violent computer games and a short-term increase in aggression indicators is very likely. However, it is also important to examine how internal and external factors influence the susceptibility of individuals to the effects of violent computer games and how they increase aggression indicators. It should also be noted that so far the relationship between playing violent computer games and a long-term increase in aggression indicators has not been scientifically confirmed because most studies investigate the issue from a short-term perspective. This is primarily due to the ethical principles of scientific research that make it impossible to expose the participants of a potential long-term research to a risk of increasing aggression indicators.