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Are video games truly bad? Examining positive and negative effects

Kommander, S. (2023) Are video games truly bad? Examining positive and negative effects.

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Abstract:With the rise of video games, the association between violence in video games and aggression has received much attention. As results of previous studies remain mixed, this study focuses on the link between video games and aggression when considering potentially confounding or moderating factors. It was explored if gameplay is still a relevant predictor of aggression once family background is accounted for and if neurodivergent people experience higher aggression during gameplay. Game frustration as a possible cause for aggression was considered and positive effects of gaming were explored. For data analysis, two linear regressions were conducted to examine whether game playing affects trait aggression and if people with certain backgrounds are more likely to experience benefits from play. A mixed effects model measured whether people get aggressive immediately after playing video games even if there are no changes in long-term aggression. Further insight was gained through five follow-up interviews. The results suggest that there is a potential effect of frustration increasing aggression after playing video games, but not in the long-term and not because of game violence. It was identified that game characters can socially influence people more than the social violence in the games. Results also suggest that frustration seems to be a predictor for more post-game aggression in people with ADHD. Interviews revealed that video games provide an escape from arguments and disagreement for those with increased family conflict, and the games can help neurodivergent persons to put their minds on mute. In general, gaming was used as an escape and stress reduction from daily life. It was found to increase people’s self-esteem by enhancing emotions of skill and competence and also offered positive social impacts.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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