The video game industry has grown from its humble starts with Pong and Pac man earning its pay one quarter at a time to a 25 billion dollar industry in a quarter century. Throughout its entire history the question of violence in video games has been brought up. This is highlighted by controversial games such as Doom, the Grand Theft Auto Series, and even Call of Duty. The question is does the amount of violence in video games cause people to act in more violent ways.
The research being done in this area seems to vary between inclusive and a slight correlation between playing violent video games and increased aggression. In laboratory settings after playing a violent video game most participants will have heightened levels of aggression or increased heart rate and blood pressure. This seems to make sense as video games are designed to absorb the gamer into the virtual environment and upon leaving that environment the aggressive tendencies will remain. Were the studies seem most inconclusive is on the long term effects of video games on people. Will gamers that consistently play violent video games in turn go out and commit crimes in the real world, or do already aggressive people gravitate to more violent games. In the end it comes to correlation vs. causation are the video games causing the violent behavior or simply reinforcing behaviors that were already in the individual.
Adults that play violent video games might be less likely to act upon the acts depicted in them, because unlike children they have a better understanding of the difference between the video game world and the real world. Small children on the other hand have a harder time making that distinction. This means that if they played boxing video game they would be more likely than an adult to try and box the next person they see because they don't know that trying to box someone is usually not socially acceptable.