Revisiting violent videogames research: Game Studies perspectives on aggression, violence, immersion, interaction, and textual analysis

Kyle Kontour
Media Studies
University of Colorado at Boulder

Abstract

Thus far, the bulk of effects research on violent video games demon-strates troubling correlations between playing violent video games and increases in (or primers for) aggressive behavior, which suggests that overall, violent video games may be detrimental to society.  However, there may be significant weaknesses in this body of research, concerning not only methodological issues such as study design and the ways in which ‘aggression’ or ‘violence’ are conceptualized, but also containing fundamental misunderstandings of games as text, apparatus, or cultural artifact.  Because these studies may not have a sophisticated enough un-derstanding of games as objects or gaming as an activity, we must there-fore reconsider the conclusions and implications thus far arrived at in this research and look for new ways forward for assessing violence in/and video games.

Keywords

Aggression, digital games, game studies, media effects, video games, violence

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User Comments
Author: Jabari Mahiri
2 June 2009 05:06:37 AM

I enjoyed reading your article and it balanced approach to these issues. Your references were comprehensive, and I am following up on reading some of the works you cited. I teach a class on New Literacies of Digital Youth, and the contrasting issues of violence and learning possibilities of video games comes up often.


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