« When people feel they have no control over the outcome of a game, that leads to aggression, » says Richard Ryan. « We saw that in our experiments. If you press someone’s competencies, they’ll become more aggressive, and our effects held up whether the games were violent or not. »
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A new study is the first to look at the player’s psychological experience with video games instead of focusing solely on the game’s content. Failure to master a game and its controls can lead to frustration and aggression, regardless of whether the game is violent or not, researchers say.
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“Any player who has thrown down a remote control after losing an electronic game can relate to the intense feelings or anger failure can cause,” says lead author Andrew Przybylski, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. That frustration is commonly known among gamers as “rage-quitting.”