The Uncanny Violence of Video Games, Part III: “BOOM Salad Calls For An End to the Stigmatization, Marginalization, and Misrepresentation of Violent Video Games and the Players that Love To Play Them.”

Twenty years of scientific inquiry have failed to deliver any conclusive proof that those who play violent video games, whether casually or repeatedly, are any more violent, or aggressive than those who participate in other, similarly competitive social activities. There has been no lost generation of wayward and angry young people, raised with a video game controller in their hand, which now menaces society with literal violence and chaos. And what of the supposed, “diminished cognitive function”?


If there is any substantial inhibition of functionality there is an equally significant increase in cognitive efficiency and performance as the player develops her or his Meta for the game, and becomes proficient in navigating and exploiting the tremendously complex infrastructure that defines and encompasses the gaming experience (see video below). Thus, the conclusions of some medical experts that players of games like Battlefield 4 and Minecraft become cognitively dysfunctional as a result of their play is misleading given that mastery of such games requires tremendous memorization, hand-eye coordination, deductive and inductive reasoning, and other cognitive-based skills. Clearly, therefore, the time has come for the medical community to admit that the issue is much more complicated and much broader than the simple act of pulling a virtual trigger would imply. Likewise, we believe, the time has come for an end to the perpetuation of any stereotype that reinforces the myth that those who play violent video games are more violent, or more aggressive than those that don’t.–zNMw

The BOOM would like to thank all of those that contributed to the production of this series, especially the numerous medical professionals who gave of their time and expertise. As always, we conclude with an expression of sincere gratitude to all of those who stopped by our site to be informed. It was our pleasure. – BOOM

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[1] See the following link for more information:

[2] For more about these servers and how they function in the multiplayer-gaming world of Battlefield 4, see, “The Panopticon in My Bedroom…” in both English and Spanish, exclusively on

Panopticon (English):

Panopticon (Spanish):

[3] For several years in the early-1980’s Pacman was a cultural sensation which reached a level of global popularity that would ensure its iconic status worldwide. The song, “Pac man Fever,” from 1982, (a song about the Pac man phenomenon), likewise, became an international hit, and provides an interesting example of the zenith of the game’s cultural reach and saturation. See the following:

[4] PC-based Minecraft servers are capable of hosting, theoretically, billions of players simultaneously. See: for more information.

[5] 8-12 years old.

[6] Interview with Dr. Brad Bushman, 07/06/15, 03:49

[7] See the Bibliography at the end of this article for more information about individual studies that have been conducted and their findings.

[8] See Parts I and II of “The Uncanny Violence of Video Games,” for more on our position on the subject of violence, aggression, and the so-called “link” to video games.


UVV 2:

UVV 2b:

[9] See Parts I and II of “The Panopticon in My Bedroom.”

[10] See title video for examples.

[11] See Part IIb of “The Uncanny Violence of Video Games” for more information on the “Meta” of gaming.

[12] A “Combat Medic” is a modification of the Assault class in Battlefield 4. See here for more information on the Assault class:

[13] “Revive and survive,” is a common expression in the Battlefield community. It refers to the importance of the Medic as a healer in relation to a team’s overall success.

[14] See the King’s Battlelog page for more information:

[15] Interview with Dr. Bushman, 07/06/15, 06:40.

[16]  Interview with Dr. Atilla Ceranoglu, 09/18/15, 03:33.

The following is a list of works used in the research for this series, The Uncanny Violence of Video Games, Parts I-III:

Dewall, C. Nathan, Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman, “The General Aggression Model: Theoretical Extension to Violence,” Psychology of Violence, no. 3, vol. 1, American Psychological Association, 2011, 245-258.

Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman, “Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Psychological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature,” Psychological Science, no. 5, vol. 12, American Psychological Society, 2001, 353-359.

Anderson, Craig A., “An update on the effects of playing violent video games,” Journal of Adolescence, (2003): 113-122.

Bushman, Brad J., and Craig A. Anderson, “Violent Video Games and Hostile Expectations: A Test of the General Aggression Model,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, no. 12, vol. 28, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2002, 1679-1686.

DeWall, C. Nathan, and Craig A. Anderson, “The General Aggression Model,” in Understanding and Reducing Aggression, Violence, and Their Consequences, eds. M. Mikulincer and P. Shaver, Washington, D.C.: APA, 2010, 1-13.

Integrated Systems Biology Laboratory, Department of Systems Science, Graduate School of Infomatics, Kyoto University,

Mark H. Moore and others, ed., “Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence,” Washigton D.C.,: National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2003, 1-386.

Rogier B. Mars and others, eds. Neural Basis of Motivational and Cognitive Control, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015.

Vincent P. Mathews and others, “Media Violence Exposure in Aggressive and Control Adolescents: Differences in Self- and Parent-Reported Exposure to Violence on Television and in Video Games,” Aggressive Behavior, vol. 31, Wiley InterScience, 2005, 201-216.

Vincent P. Mathews and others, “Media Violence Exposure and Frontal Lobe Activation Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Aggressive and Nonaggressive Adolescents,” J Comput Assist Tomogr, no. 3, vol. 29, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2005, 287-292.

Yang Wang and others, “Media Violence Exposure and Executive Functioning in Aggressive and Control Adolescents,” Journal of Clinical Psychology, Wiley Periodicals (2004), 1-13.

Yang Wang and others, “Short Term Exposure to a Violent Video Game Induces Changes in Frontolimbic Circuitry in Adolescents,” Brain Imaging and Behavior, no. 3 (2009), 38-50.

Yang Wang and others, “The interacting role of media violence exposure and aggressive-disruptive behavior in adolescent brain activation during an emotional Stroop task,” Psychiatry Research: Neuroimgaing, no. 192, Elsevier Ireland, 2010, 12-19.

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