Two recent studies refute the idea that violent video games make players more aggressive and antisocial. Actually, researchers argue, playing cooperatively may result on just the opposite.
‘Clearly, research has established there are links between playing violent video games and aggression, but that’s an incomplete picture,’ said Professor David Ewoldsen, who collaborates on both studies. ‘Most of the studies finding links between violent games and aggression were done with people playing alone. The social aspect of today’s video games can change things quite a bit.’
The video games chosen for the experiments were Halo 2 and Unreal Tournament 3. In the first case, 119 participants were distributed in four groups, according to different levels of cooperation or competiveness. Then they would play a game in real life, and researchers would measure their cooperative tendencies.
In the second case, 80 participants would play the game (Unreal Tournament 3) in pairs. They would be coupled with another person, an experimenter who would pretend to be a member of a rival university. Then, researchers measured their levels of aggressiveness and cooperativeness, finding that playing the game helped participants to overcome their differences.
These studies might be too limited in scope to draw any definitive conclusions, but they accurately show the need of approaching (violent) video games in a different way.
Source: The Ohio State University
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
David R. Ewoldsen, Cassie A. Eno, Bradley M. Okdie, John A. Velez, Rosanna E. Guadagno, & Jamie DeCoster (2012). Effect of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively or Competitively on Subsequent Cooperative Behavior CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0308
John A. Velez, Chad Mahood, David R. Ewoldsen, & Emily Moyer-Gusé (2012). Ingroup Versus Outgroup Conflict in the Context of Violent Video Game Play: The Effect of Cooperation on Increased Helping and Decreased Aggression Communication Research DOI: 10.1177/0093650212456202