Violent video games what is all the fuss about


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  • In Norway this was followed by headlines that Norway stores pull violent video games including Call of Duty A number of Norway stores have pulled violent video games from sale - including several Call of Duty games and World of Warcraft - in the wake of the massacre carried out by Anders Behring Breivik's on July 22 A Colorado police officer has suggested that a troubled 22-year old man who went on a random shooting spree last October may have been influenced by violent video games, Wanted to make it punishable by fine to sell to underage minors
  • The effect of video game playing on adult and children’s lives has been the subject of much investigation over the past 25 years, as the frequency and extent of play increases. Pratchett: A British study found that those aged under 16 years and other study is US GUI: 46% of girls were recorded by their mother as not spending any time playing video games on an average weekday, compared with only 25% of boys. GENTILE: Recent research indicates that weekly video game play has again significantly increased with 8- to 11-year olds playing 12.4 hours, 12-to 14-year olds playing 14.6 hours, and 15-to 18-year olds playing 13 hours (Gentile, 2008). Research by Williams, Yee and Caplan (2008) indicates that up to 40% of adults are regular players of video games in US, in comparison to 83% of teenagers. Griffiths, Davies and Chappell (2004) found that 81% of players were male with a mean age of 28 years whilst Yee (2006) reported a similar finding with US online gamers. There is a consistent finding in video game research that boys tend to play video games more than girls. Padilla-Walker, et al (2009) found that 50% of women never played a game during the past year and 80% of women had never played a violent video game during the past year. Griffiths (2007) has discussed the reasons for this marked gender difference in relation to the content of the games and the fact that traditionally they were designed by males for males. Socialisation may also play a role in this argument with female socialisation found to impact on women’s tendencies not to act aggressively in public AND gender differences in spatial ability skills, as hand-eye co-ordination and spatial skills have consistently been found to be higher amongst males than females, and these skills have a key role in success in many video game playing techniques. However, recent research indicates that the number of women involved in video game play may be increasing. Lenhart, et al (2008) found that 99% of teenage boys and 94% of girls in US played video games, whilst in Thailand a survey adolescents found that almost 60% of girls played games, in comparison to three-quarters of boys (Somchit, Kanjarut & Gsupawanich, 2009) . This change may be related to the use of different mechanisms of playing games online.
  • in their home. explored its role in helping children and adults to learn particular skills, to address difficulties they have and to develop greater understanding. COGNITION: to affect memory decline among the elderly (Drew & Waters, 1986) help improve perceptual skills and visual attention (Green & Bavelier, 2003), visuospatial cognition (Feng et al, 2007;), & spatial skills (Greenfield, Brannon & Lohr, 1996), surgical resident’s ability to perform laparoscopic procedures (Rosser, et al, 2007). Specialised computer games have also been used by specific business and organisations to teach specific skills training and development such as in the US Military, and the US Marine Corps (Coleman, 2001;). HEALTH: physiotherapy or occupational therapy in a variety of different settings (Griffiths, 2005). They can be used to distract young patients from pain during prolonged invasive treatment such as in the case of cancer treatment (Phillips, 1991; Kok & Rickard-Figerosa, 1985; Redd, et al, 1987). Gardner (1991) used video games as a form of psychotherapy with children and they have also been used in other envioronents with children to help in the reduction of pain and to help with desensitisation (Hoffman, 2004; Wiederhold & Wiederhold, 2004). Playing a video game (e.g., Tetris ) has been shown to be of use as a means of reducing flashbacks of unwanted memories after a traumatic event (Holmes, James, Coode-Bate & Deeprose, 2009). SOCIAL: Recent research also suggests that video games may provide a source of socialisation, and a means of relaxing and coping mechanism for young men in college (Wack & Tantelff-Dunn, 2009). Relationship between prosocial game playing and prosocial behaviour. (Greitmeyer and Osswald ,2009) Females in particular have highlighted the motivation of social playing in the attraction to video games (Cole & Griffiths) Greitemeyer: Gentile, Anderson, Yukawa, et al., (2009) have reported an extensive set of studies revealing an increase in prosocial behaviour in children, adolescents and adults following prosocial video game play. The research also suggests that the short-term effects of playing these games can be explained through the use of modelling, direction, and reinforcement in the games that can lead to affective, arousal or cognitive effects.
  • Similar findings in correlational studies examining the effects of violent video games on undergraduate students
  • Video Games research: Dehumanising characters
  • (unstandardised measures of agression, small samples, undergraduate students) Relationship between exposure to violent video games and concern for victims Gender differences in attitude towards victims’ scores, with boys reporting less concern for victims. As children get older they will report less concern for victims of crime
  • from four different second level schools and one third level education institution, in Dublin. Ten schools in Dublin were contacted by email and telephone and four schools agreed to participate. All materials were self-report surveys. The following measures were used in this research to explore attitudes towards victims and video game playing habits.   The questionnaire was adapted in the present study for use with younger adolescents, following a pilot administration of the original questionnaire to a small sample of young people Likert scale to indicate level of concern felt for the victims, GENERAL: VULNERABLE PROPERTY CULPABLE
  • An independent samples t-test was conducted to compare the attitudes of the male and female participants towards the victims of crime. There was a significant difference in the scores for males (M=60.51, SD=11.17) and females (M=63.97, SD=12.17) in relation to overall concern for victims (t(205) =2.07, p =.039 (two tailed). Females higher concern in all except vulnerable
  • Key entertainment internationally, no longer enough to say it wont happen in my house..... Research on the effect of parental monitoring has provided clear evidence for a beneficial effect of monitoring and mediation of media messages (Austin, Pinkleton & Fujioka, 2000). Remember GUI: Just over one-third of all nine-year-olds were recorded as having a video games console in their bedroom GUI STUDY: Parents further reported that 45% of their nine-year-olds had a TV and 35% a video/DVD player in their Bedroom vs Just over one-third of all nine-year-olds were recorded as having a video games console in their bedroom Roberts, Foehr and Rideout (2005) argue that young people’s access to media is a major determinant in the amount of time spent accessing various media. Children who have a video game console in their bedroom spend at least 32 minutes more each day playing console video games than those without one in their bedroom. The issue of constraints put on time playing games and watching television is therefore an important issue for parents. Why? Gentile (2009) has recently explored young people’s game playing of ‘M’ (Mature: 17+ rating in US) rated video games, and questioned how they were able to get access to these games. Almost half of those aged between 8 and 18 years got the game as a gift, and only 5% of those questioned stated that their parents did not know that they had purchased or received this game Research conducted with Japanese children indicate that they are less likely to have own television sets and games consoles , and thus are more likely to play video games in a public place where monitoring of inappropriate games may be possible DOWNWARD SPIRAL: his effect was seen in the increased aggressive cognition and behaviours after longitudinal exposure to such violence. This can increase young people’s interest in, and desire to access increased amounts of violent media and this can again lead to increased aggression in these young people. It could be that these young people are then more attracted to violent video games which are interactive and engaging after prior long-term exposure to violent media.
  • (Strasberg, 2004).
  • Violent video games what is all the fuss about

    1. 1. 1
    2. 2.  “The man accused of killing at least 93 people in Norway described the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as "part of my training- simulation" in his 1500-page manifesto published online just before the massacre” (Birmingham Metro, 2011) “Stefan Martin-Urban... pulled a pistol from behind his back and methodically shot strangers, his behaviour was eerily similar to characters in the video games he played obsessively”. (Denver Post, 2009) In 2006, a bill prohibiting the sale or rental of games that portray “killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” to people younger than 18 years old was passed in California. This was overturned in 2011. But is this just Moral Panic? What is the impact of violent video games on gamers? 2
    3. 3.  Video game genres: sports stimulations, racers, adventures, puzzlers, miscellaneous, platformers,, beat ‘em ups and shoot ‘em ups (Griffiths, 1993) Effects video games larger than those associated with TV & film viewing Increasingly sophisticated graphics: less abstract Interactive nature of games Online and portable Structural characteristics Video game addiction 3
    4. 4.  Video games as most popular entertainment form (Prachett, Research with Boys Girls 2005), children Time spent playing continuing to increase (Escobar-Chaves (1985) 4 hours similar & Anderson, 2008). Harris & Williams per week Almost 30% of 9 year old boys (compared with 12% of (1996) Buchanan 7 hours 4.5 girls) were reported as & Harris hours spending one or more hours daily playing these games (2007) Anderson, 13 hours 5.5 hours (Growing Up in Ireland, 2011) Gentile & Buckley Disregard stereotype of male, teenage gamer profile (2008) 12.4 (Griffiths, Davies and Chappell Gentile et al. hours , 2003) 14.6 hours But what are the effects of it something of concern? 4
    5. 5.  Games are particularly attractive platforms to young people, they offer an attractive forum for learning (Swing & Anderson, 2008). Video game industry has started to recognise and design games aimed at improving i) Cognition and learning: support multi- sensory, active, and experiential and problem- based learning & activation of prior knowledge. ii) Health Benefits: Physiotherapy/OT/Distract iii) Social Benefits: 5
    6. 6. 89% of games in the market may contain elements of violence, and almost half of these games may include a form of serious violence taking place against another character (Children Now, 2001).Aggressive Behaviour,Aggressive CognitionAggressive Affect.School performance, peer relations, ability to take others perspective and/or sympathise , increased arousal. 6
    7. 7.  A reduction in helping/prosocial behaviour and empathy and an increase in condoning of attitudes towards violence. Adults, adolescents & children Correlation with more positive attitudes towards violence in wars, intimate partner violence and general normative aggressive beliefs Neural desensitization to violence predicts increased aggression following violent video game exposure (Engelhardt, 2011) 7
    8. 8. Which types of victims elicit higher levels of blame and lack of empathy and understanding from others ?Victims of sexual violenceGender differencesVictims who are children: Bullying researchPrevious research has explored the impact on young people’s attitudes towards criminals (Lee et al, 2010) and towards crimeViera & Krcmar (2011) the structure of violent video games limit children’s abilities to develop perspectives of victimsGreitemeyer & McLatchie (2011) : Dehumanising process 8
    9. 9.  What is the impact of violent video game play on attitudes towards victims of crime? Address criticism of the research in the field Gamers who play violent video games will exhibit less concern for different types of victims than gamers who play non-violent video games. Gender and Age differences in concern scores 9
    10. 10. Sample: 206 participants (129 males and 76 females) The participants were aged between 12 and 24 years (mean = 16.85 years; SD = 2.57 years).Materials:i) Victim Concern Scale: Clemments et al (2006); 21-item scale asking participants to rate their concern for different types of victims. General Victims Vulnerable or Violent Crime Victims Property Theft Victims Culpable Victimsii) Violent Video Game Exposure: Dill & Anderson (2000):an overall violent video game exposure score for each participant 10
    11. 11. Male and female meanvictim concern scores Concern for Victims70 Victim Concern 7060 6050 50 Overall 4040 General 30 Vulnerable30 Culpable 2020 Property 10 010 0 Male Female 11
    12. 12. Significant negative correlation betweena) exposure and overall concern (r = -.167, p<0.05),b) exposure and concern for general victims (r = -.302, p<0.05)c) exposure and victim concern for vulnerable victims , r =.154, p<0.05 )d) for culpable victims, r =-.238, p<0.05. This showed that high levels of violent game play were associated with lower levels of overall victim concern, concern for general victims, vulnerable victims and for culpable victims. 12
    13. 13. The results suggest that young people who play more violent video games have less concern for general victims and for culpable victims, and these effects cannot be explained by gender or age differences in the participant sample.Young people who play violent video games also reported less concern for victims overall and for vulnerable victims and this effect was not due to age differences.* Males: less concern for culpable and general victimsAge differences in terms of types of victims This study is the first to explore directly young people’s exposure to violent video games and their concern for victims of crimeLess concern for what could be considered the less serious crimes or those who they may believe may be less affected by these crimes. 13
    14. 14.  The long-term exposure to violent video games may lead to people developing particular views of culpability and levels of blame, with higher levels of culpability(and therefore less concern) evident as young people played more violent video games Individual experiences that people have playing violent video games Gender differences Greater exploration of attitudes Long term effects 14
    15. 15. Most young people spend more time watching screen media than in any other activity apart from sleeping (Strasberg et al, 2009).Build protective factorsParental role in monitoring the media use.” A new bill has been submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives that will require most video games to include a warning label that states: "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behaviour.“ CBS News March 20th 2012But what about attitudes?Definition of harm and impact of harm changing?Individual and Societal Implications of findings 15
    16. 16. “I could play it for hours, I dont know what it is that makes it so addictive. I think its the fact that you play the bad guy and have to complete all the missions and try not to get caught. Its not really hurting anyone though, right?” Female Gamer (Aged, 20 years) 16
    17. 17.  Anderson, C.A., & Dill, K.E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviour in the labratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 772-790. Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. (2007). Violent video game effects on children and adolescents: Theory, research, and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press. Clements, C. B., Brannen, D. N., Kirkley, S. M., Gordon, T. M. and Church, W. T. (2006), The measurement of concern about victims: Empathy, victim advocacy and the Victim Concern Scale (VCS). Legal and Criminological Psychology, 11: 283–295. Engelhardt, C.E., Bartholow, B.D., & Saults, J.S. (2011). Violent and nonviolent video games differentially affect physical aggression for individuals high versus low in dispositional anger. Aggressive Behavior, 37, 539-546. Gentile, D. A., Anderson, C. A., Yukawa, S., Ihori, N., Saleem, M., Ming, L. K., Liau, A. K., Khoo, A., Bushman, B. J., Huesmann, L. R., & Sakamoto, A. (2009). The effects of prosocial video games on prosocial behaviors: International evidence from correlational, longitudinal, and experimental studies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(6), 752-763. Greitemeyer, T. and McLatchie, N. (2011). Denying humanness to others: A newly discovered mechanism by which violent video games increase aggressive behavior. Psychological Science, 22(5):659-665. Griffiths, M. D. (1993). Are computer games bad for children? The Psychologist: Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 6, 401–407. Harris, M.B. & Williams, R. (1985). Video games and school performance. Education, 105(3), 306-309. Strasburg, V.C., Wilson, B.J. & Jordan, A.B. (2009). Children, Adolescents and the Media. (2nd Ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Viera, E.T. & Krcmar, M. (2011) The Influences of Video Gaming on US Childrens Moral 17 Reasoning About Violence Journal of Children and Media, 5(2), pp 113-131