Mortal Kombat: The Effect of Violent Videogame Play on Males' Hostility and Cardiovascular Responding

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Ballard Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: We examined cardiovascular (CV) reactivity and hostility among 30 male undergraduates after either nonviolent (billiards) or 1 of 2 levels of violent videogame play. Violence varied among 2 versions of the game Mortal Kombat (MKl = less violent, MK2 = more violent)-all other factors (graphics, sound) were held equal. As expected, increased game violence elicited greater CV reactivity and higher scores on hostility measures. Subjects who played MK1 or MK2 had higher heart rate reactivity than those who played billiards. Subjects who played MK2 showed greater systolic blood pressure reactivity than those who played MKl or billiards. Finally, subjects who played MK2 scored higher on the hostility measures than those who played MKl, who in turn scored higher than those who played billiards. These results indicate that the level of videogame violence, not just violence per se, should be of concern to consumers.

Additional Information

Ballard, M. E., & Wiest, J. R. (1996). Mortal Kombat: The effect of violent videogame play on males' hostility and cardiovascular responding. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(8): 717-730. (April 1996) Published by Wiley-Blackwell (ISSN: 1559-1816). DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb02740.x The definitive version is available at
Language: English
Date: 1996

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