Key words: aggression, computer, trait-hostility, video game. Video games are being increasingly used around the world, mainly by children, adolescents and young adults. Violent video games have raised concerns, particularly from the media, certain regulatory bodies and mental health professionals. This is underpinned by case reports and studies suggesting that there may be a relationship between the use of violent video games and subsequent aggressive or antisocial behaviour.1 A related issue is that of the excessive, ‘addictive’ use of video games and the internet.
The purpose of this paper is to overview the development of violent video games and re-examine the controversial issue of an adverse impact of these games on behaviour and on mental health in general. Understanding this impact better might contribute to efforts to decrease violence in modern society, reduce potentially harmful effects of the violent video games, and improve mental health.