Effect of playing violent video games cooperatively or competitively on subsequent cooperative behavior

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2012 May;15(5):277-80. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0308. Epub 2012 Apr 10.


Research on video games has yielded consistent findings that violent video games increase aggression and decrease prosocial behavior. However, these studies typically examined single-player games. Of interest is the effect of cooperative play in a violent video game on subsequent cooperative or competitive behavior. Participants played Halo II (a first-person shooter game) cooperatively or competitively and then completed a modified prisoner's dilemma task to assess competitive and cooperative behavior. Compared with the competitive play conditions, players in the cooperative condition engaged in more tit-for-tat behaviors-a pattern of behavior that typically precedes cooperative behavior. The social context of game play influenced subsequent behavior more than the content of the game that was played.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Behavior
  • Video Games / psychology*
  • Violence / psychology*