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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 44, Issue 1


Genres matter: Video games as predictors of physical aggression among adolescents

Anne Dickmeis / Keith Roe
  • Keith Roe School of Mass Communication Research KU Leuven Leuven Belgium and Fordham University New York City USA Leuven Belgium
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Published Online: 2019-03-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2011


The purpose of this article is to investigate whether competition hypothesis (Anderson and Carnagey, 2009) contributes to the General Aggression Model when video game genre is entered into the relationship between video game use and self-reported physical aggression. A pre-test (n=93) taken randomly from the research sample employed categorized the game genres as violent and/or competitive. 1,170 adolescents (ages 12–18) completed the written survey. Online shooter games and fight’em up games, categorized as both violent and competitive, were positively related to self-reported physical aggression, while simulation games manifested a negative relationship. Video game genres such as strategy, sports, offline shooter, racing, adventure, puzzle, and platform games were not significantly related to physical aggression. The results support the hypothesis that the presence of both competition and violence in games increases the probability of physical aggression. This study shows that (1) video game genres can be used to predict physical aggression in a non-causal way and (2) that there is support for an interaction effect of the competition hypothesis and the violence hypothesis.

Keywords: video games; video game genres; sensation seeking; physical aggression; competition hypothesis


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Published Online: 2019-03-16

Published in Print: 2019-03-14

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 44, Issue 1, Pages 105–129, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2011.

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