Video games have a significant influence around the world. The video game industry continuously dominates as the biggest industry worldwide, generating more revenue than the film and music industry combined. The most popular genres of video games are shooting and action oriented, which has caused a lot of controversy in the news. Video games have become the centre of attention and a scapegoat utilized by the news media as the source of violence amongst youths, especially students. There have been studies conducted which corroborate the idea that video games increase aggression. However, there have also been studies published which conclude that video games do not link with violence in youth, but actually sublimate aggression and increase prosocial behaviour.A key factor which affects the level of aggression players experience is violent video games versus neutral video games. Violent video games are often the subject of controversy because the subject matter of concerns murder or gore, but the resulting firestorm affects both violent and nonviolent video games. Jack Hollingdale and Tobias Greitemeyer observed this when they looked at the specific effects of violent versus neutral video games, both online and offline (2014). Though they discovered no difference between online and offline levels of aggression, they found that aggression was increased when participants played violent video games when compared to nonviolent video games. Violent video games which possess content that incentivises violence has great adverse effects because it conveys that harming people, like pedestrians in Carmageddon 2, will be rewarded. However, in their study, the neutral game utilized was Little Big Planet 2, which enabled players to play either competitively or cooperatively online. This could have decreased the level of aggression for neutral video games, when compared to its violent counterpart in the study, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Hollingdale & Greitemeyer, 2014). In David Bond’s paper, he identified how nonviolent games improve “perceptual-motor, learning, memory, problem-solving, and executive functioning abilities and skills” (2014). Ewoldsen et al. also pointed out the importance in the distinction between violent and nonviolent games, though they did not discuss the distinction in their research. Instead, the study used an example from another paper, between a prosocial Smurfs game versus an aggressive boxing game. When the children played the Smurfs game, they exhibited donating behaviour, but while playing the boxing game, their donating behaviour decreased (Ewoldsen et al., 2012, p. 1). Without proper distinction between prosocial and aggressive video games, the wrong type of video games are generalized to cause and promote aggressive behaviour.Another way in which video games affect aggressive behaviour is how they are played. Whether video games are played cooperatively or competitively changes how the player feels, and affects their levels of aggression and violence. In Ewoldsen et al.’s study, they looked at tit-for-tat strategies, as they are “among the best strategies for increasing cooperative behavior” (2012, p. 3). In their study, it was concluded that playing Halo 3, a first person shooter, cooperatively, with human team members, decreased the impact of the violent acts. In killing “virtual entities” rather than humans players, the study found an increase in prosocial behaviour and the use of tit-for-tat behaviors (Ewoldsen et al., 2012, p. 3). Contrastingly, in the study conducted by Hollingdale and Greitemeyer, where participants played against human players online, there was no increase in aggression when compared to those playing offline against virtual enemies. In Bond’s study, he observed how “the social aspects of video games have changed significantly since the Columbine school shooting” (2014, p. 12). Bond reflected on the fluctuation of the American gaming market before and after the massacre put the spotlight on violent video games. He observed how violent video games were incredibly desirable in the years preceding Columbine, including Doom and Resident Evil, “two games well-known for their use of guns, brutality and gore” (Bond, 2014, p. 3). Bond noted how after a massacre, where the culprits, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, were revealed to be fans of Doom (2014, p. 3), the market changed “from single players games to multiplayer and co-op game styles… with at least 60% of gamers playing with friends and at least 25% playing with their spouse or family members” (2014, p. 12). Bond connects the shift in the market from video games being an activity played in isolation to video games promoting “friendship and family bonding,” as a direct response to the Columbine massacre. Through these studies, it can be said that violence in multiplayer or cooperative games causes noticeably less aggression than single player or competitive games, because large video game companies made a purposeful shift after the Columbine media storm targeted video games. Bond, independent of the other studies, acknowledges how other factors may influence aggression to result in violence, other than just video games. Considering the sheer number of kids who play video games, with over 90% of kids in the United States having been “exposed to video games of some kind,” Bond believes that “other factors are probably have sic causative effects… since most individuals… do not display assaultive or lethal violence in the real world” (2014, p. 12). Bond lists several other possibilities, including stress, abuse, or bullying, which are just as likely candidates (2014). Moreover, Hollingdale and Greitemeyer consider the long term versus short term effects of the aggression attributed to violent video games (2014). When considering the long term effects, their study mentions how “long term aggressive scripts can develop and become more readily available… so a video game can affect a player’s thoughts, feelings, physiological arousal and subsequent behaviour.” In essence, they point out how violent behaviour from video games can be arousing, but not enough to cause violence (2014) However, as Bond pointed out, other social factors can contribute, or even trigger, violent behaviour from dormant aggression (2014). Overall, based on the opinions of Jack Hollingdale and Tobias Greitemeyer, David Bond, and David R. Ewoldsen et al., the answer to the question whether or not violent video games cause or promote students to become aggressive remains unclear. Video games influence students differently, so single player and competitive video games cause more aggression than cooperative or multiplayer video games. Although it is almost unanimously agreed that violent video games increase aggression in comparison to neutral video games, aggression is likely not the sole cause of violence in real life. In turn, the aggression caused by violent video games warrants discussion, but not all video games cause or promote aggressive behaviour.