Research Paper on the Link Between Violent Video Games and Aggression (2750 words)

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Question

In 2500-3000 words, write a comprehensive research paper in which you take a stance on the link--if any--between video game violence and aggression.

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Superficially, this paper rests on the case that the link between violent games and aggression has not been established. Why not a more unequivocal position, such as that there is, categorically, no link? The answer to that secondary-seeming but vital question is complex. When posed with our motivating question, “Is there a link between violent video games and aggression?”, notice that there are several premises implicit in the question. First, naturally, is the premise that there might be a categorical answer in the affirmative or the negative – but, of course, there may not be. Second, and related to the first premise, is the premise that the affirmative or negative answer has import. That is, bundled up with our motivating question is the idea—a shadow hovering and looming over the entire topic—that the question’s answer, particularly in the affirmative, has social implications of grave import. The implicit conditional is this: if there is indeed a link between violent video games and aggression, then x. But notice how this conditional is confounded terribly if whatever link does exist is of a vanishingly small magnitude – then what? Even more confounding, what if video games played a part in one episode of real-world violence—assuming that could even be established—but there is no scientific, statistical evidence for the contention that violence in video games is correlated or causally linked with real-world aggression on an average, population-level basis? What would be the significance of that result?
Notice now that as we go down this bewildering rabbit hole of assumptions and questions and potential results and consequences, there is one, chief underwriting premise to our motivating question – that the issue of the link between violent video games and...

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