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Two avid players of weapon-based combat video games committed mass murder at Columbine High on April 20, 1999. The subsequent FBI investigation listed “playing violent video games” as a behavior associated with school shootings (O’Toole, 1999). Media interest sparked a focus on the relationship between violent video games and violent behavior, specifically school shootings. Following the massacre at Columbine, 176 newspaper articles focusing on the allegation that violent video games contributed to the tragedy were distributed across the country (Sternheimer, 2007).
In 2005 the American Psychological Association (APA) released a resolution on violence in video games suggesting a link between violent video games and aggression. (Ferguson et al., 2010) As recently as December 14, 2012, the teenager responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre, Adam Lanza, was reportedly motivated by violent video games and a “strong desire to kill more than any other mass murderer (Williams, 2013)”.
The genetic disposition to certain behaviors, triggered by violence in video games, may increase the risk for violent behavior in adolescent males.

Statement of Problem
Despite numerous incidence of young male violence, definite findings regarding the affect of playing violent video games on young males have yet to be determined. This creates difficultly regulating violent content. While there are numerous studies linking violent content in games to violent behavior, there are also studies that support the premise that violent video games are not harmful to adolescents. Some social scientists even speculate that the games provide an avenue for stress and frustration relief. Recent studies show the amount of juvenile violent beh...

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...t pool that contains a variety of socioeconomic, psychological and cultural backgrounds.

Questions and Hypotheses Restated
Q1: Do violent video games cause an increase in aggressive behavior in adolescents?
Q2: Does the degree of violence found in video games correleate to the degree of aggression found in adolescent behavior?
Q3: Do violent video games create an avenue of stress relief for adolescents, thereby reducing aggressive behavior?

H1: The violent content in video games cause an increase in aggressive behavior.
H2: The virtual setting of the violent video game can allow for the release of stress, or trigger aggressive behavior.
H3: Influenced by other factors such as biological predisposition, psychological state, and socioeconomic status, there is a personal meaning behind the response to violence in video games.

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