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Additional theories, however, suggest that media violence can lead to aggression.
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Aggression is commonly defined by psychologists as any behaviour that is intended to harm another person (Anderson et al., 2003). Physical aggression includes a variety of acts ranging from shoving and pushing to more serious physical assaults, including violent acts which may cause serious injury (e.g., shooting).
Less serious forms of aggression include verbal aggression (e.g., saying hurtful things to others) and relational/indirect aggression (e.g., telling lies to get a person in trouble or to harm their interpersonal relationships).
Canada has not been immune from debate and concerns about the effects of media violence on attitudes, emotions, and behaviours, herein referred to as “media effects.” In 2004, the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime commissioned a report about the effects of media violence in order to develop a strategic plan to reduce exposure to media violence in Canada (Smith, 2004).
The report included a number of Canadian examples of alleged “copycat” crimes, and made recommendations such as implementing a national public education campaign to “inform people about the extensive research showing harmful effects of media violence, particularly on children and youth” (Smith, 2004: 204) and encouraging survivors of violent crimes caused by entertainment products, or their families, to file civil lawsuits against the entertainment companies responsible for creating the products or distributing them (Smith, 2004).