After the release of “Manhunt II” for the Wii–in which players use a motion-detecting wand to punch, stab, and dismember other characters–many experts expressed concern over the potential effects of reinforcing such violent movements in video game play.
A study soon to be published in Computers and Human Behavior, however, did not find that using motion capture controls (like the Wii wand) adds to the increase in aggression that is linked to violent video games. This finding comes as a surprise to many experts, who believed that such wands were likely to exacerbate the games’ negative effects.
The study did show that playing violent video games increased aggression regardless of the type of control used. It also addressed the question of whether people who are already more prone to aggression are more susceptible to such effects, and it seems that the answer is yes. For more information on the effects of violent video games and ways to alleviate them, see CMCH’s page on video game violence.