quote: People want to believe that if millions of people play violent video games and they don’t all become killers, then those games must be harmless. Unfortunately, that’s not true. We haven’t “proven” video games directly cause violence because it can’t be proven. There is no way to ethically run experiments that see if some threshold of playing a violent game like Call of Duty may push a person into violence.But that doesn’t mean we are left without evidence. We know that video game violence is certainly correlated with violence – just like smoking is correlated with lung cancer. However, this does not mean that the research does not show causal effects; in fact it does, over and over again. We recently conducted a comprehensive review of 136 articles reporting 381 effects involving over 130,000 participants from around the world.These studies show that violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure), and aggressive behavior. Violent games also decrease helping behavior and feelings of empathy for others. The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of what country they lived in. So the question then becomes why people and journalists repeatedly shrug off this compelling body of work. Psychological theories offer six reasons why.Fallacious ReasoningCognitive Dissonance ReductionPsychological Reactance TheoryCatharsis TheoryThird Person EffectDenial From the Entertainment IndustryPeople Don't Understand Psychological Processes as Much as Biological ProcessesThese processes combine to create an atmosphere in which people come to conclude that violent media are not harmful, even though hundreds of studies conducted over several decades have shown that violent media are in fact harmful, and the overwhelming majority of social scientists working in the area now accept that media violence poses a danger to society. Most of us don’t like to admit that the things we enjoy doing might also be bad for us.