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By Lucy Noble and Jacinta Couzins But it’s just a game! The social and psychological influence of video games.

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Presentation on theme: "By Lucy Noble and Jacinta Couzins But it’s just a game! The social and psychological influence of video games."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Lucy Noble and Jacinta Couzins But it’s just a game! The social and psychological influence of video games

2 Controversy Video game use amongst adolescents is currently a ‘hot topic’ in current affairs both internationally and in Australia. The spotlight is particularly on the increasing accessibility to explicit violent content and the harmful impact this has on personal development during adolescence. Violent acts such as the Columbine massacre has stirred a great debate suggesting the cause was playing violent video games for a prolonged period of time.

3 Current trends The video game industry is one of the fastest growing entertainment businesses in the Australia, UK and USA.

4 Societal trends The most popular and profitable game genres are those that have violent content.

5 The growing popularity has raised concerns about the harmful effects of violent content and prolonged game playing; in particular children and adolescents.

6 The media portrays a major contributing cause of increased violence in America is due to increased exposure to violent video gaming and other forms of media.

7 New games enable the player to create and customize an avatar which resembles themselves; it is suggested the gap between fantasy and real life is becoming too narrow. People who play these sort of games exhibit the highest level of aggression. Playing aggressive video games can increase real-life aggressive tendencies. Researchers argue the video game shows the learner what aggression is, how it is performed and trigger pre existing knowledge and emotional associations. Some research suggests…..

8 Some research suggests.... The nature of gaming is time consuming; gaining rewards, praise, power, fame, a sense of belonging and perceived self competence leads to addiction. Persons who play car racing games exhibit higher risk tolerance in critical road traffic situations. Negative school performance. Poor social relations.

9 Moral reasoning Violent video games hinder the development of moral reasoning; suggesting the player becomes desensitized to understanding the perspective of others. The player does not learn about negative consequence; but rather rewarded and praised for violent and criminal intentions. In real life we learn not to do this; there are negative consequences for violent actions, however in the game they are learning the opposite. Playing violent video games is thought to increase aggressive cognitions, emotions and behaviours; this is problematic during adolescence due to undeveloped moral reasoning.

10 Australian video game classifications is not up to date with current and emerging media, the legislations are currently under review which has caused debates between ministers and the gaming industry. Parents and ministers are more concerned with the lack of government regulations. The uncertainty in effects together with easy accessibility for young children places greater responsibility on parents to monitor and control game use. In this day and age in the media environment, parents knowledge and experiences of emerging media lags behind their children; this poses greater difficulties for parents to protect and control the video game use.

11 Parental Mediation -Theory- Parents are the most important socialization agent in their child’s personal development of attitudes, knowledge and social skills. There needs to be parent child discussion, reinforcement and rule making to mediate and control children’s media use. Setting rules for the content and amount of media exposure. Discussing undesirable aspects of the media and desirable amounts of use.

12 Parental Mediation -Reality- Children can easily access video gaming by alternative means to purchasing at the shop; through downloading and pirating. Parents who restrict or limit video game may not be effective; there is always the internet cafe, mobile phones and portable computer devices enabling discretion about game use. Parents are concerned with the lack of governmental regulations to protect young children from harmful effects. The uncertainty together with the children being able to access violent and explicit games places greater responsibility on parents to monitor and control game use.

13 The positive side of video gaming Video games teach problem solving, planning and analysis. Can improve the player’s dexterity. Provides the player with a realistic virtual experience. Teaches the player to manage resources. Provides the player with a sense of achievement. Can improve hand-eye coordination. Gives players a way to channel their emotions. Enables the player to feel positive and enthusiastic. Can teach children useful skills. Studies on Chinese adolescents playing violent video games discovered no association with aggression, rather a positive attitude towards violence. Singaporean studies reported improvements in English. Increases cognition, affect and arousal. Playing pro social games decreases anti social tendencies and increases pro social tendencies.

14 Studies have found playing violent video games does show a correlation to aggression, although these also prove to be unclear, the average effect size is small and multiple sources report the evidence is weak. The average age of video game players is 30 years and a significant portion of people are aged over 45 years, and 40% of players are female. The research is limited, and results show only a very small proportion of people are affected in terms of aggressive or violent acts, suggesting there are other causal factors. What does the research say?

15 What the research shows... An Australian study showed that only children who were predisposed to violence were affected by violent video games, and a recent long term study found no relation between playing violent video games and youth violence and bullying. In USA studies have shown violent crime rates have declined dramatically since the 1990’s among both youth and adults. There has been an enormous increase in sales of violent video games in the same period; concluding video game violence is not the only causal factor of societal violence, and there are many other factors at play.



18 References Appel, M., and Holtz, P. (2011) Internet gaming predict problem behaviour in early adolescence. Elsevier Journal of Adolescence 34, p 49-58. Fisher, P., Kastenmuller, A., and Greitmeyer, T. (2010) Media violence and the self: The impact of personalized gaming on characters in aggressive video games on aggressive behaviour. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46, p 192-195. Shin, W., Huh, J. (2011) Parental mediation of teenagers video game playing: Antecedents and consequences. Newmedia & society 13: 6, p 945-962. Retrieved October 14, 2011 from Sagepub data base. 1225857221342 1225857221342 1225964566577 1225964566577 Court-Over-Violent-Video-Game-Law.jpg Court-Over-Violent-Video-Game-Law.jpg

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