Assessing the Social Impact of Video Games

 

Online video games refer to computer games that can be played online and which can be viewed by other players. Such an online game is usually a virtual computer game which is either largely or partially played over the Internet or another virtual computer network. An online video game has several similarities with the real-world versions of the same game, but it can also have some differences as well. In most cases, these online games are provided free of charge to the people who regularly use them and are often hosted on websites.

In this current study we consider how online video games can be used as a mediation strategy for combating violence. The first of our three proposals involves the idea that there is something unique about online video games that make them uniquely powerful organizing agents. Specifically, we argue that the overwhelming majority of people who play online games are not violent people, even when they may act violently in their hearts. Rather, the bulk of the violence that they exhibit in their games is the result of what we call situational activation – the instant that they are activated in a given circumstance. You can get more information about situs judi qq.

The second of our proposals is related to the difficulty of the task that people who play multiplayer online video games must confront: namely, coping with two very different but connected social skills. First, players frequently must engage with internalized and externalized social skills in order to solve problems. In this regard, we note that the violence depicted in most online games – particularly in shooting games – is motivated by the need to survive in a virtual environment which is typically fraught with threatening physical threats. Second, externalized social skills, such as negotiating and diplomacy, are generally required in order to advance in the game.

Our third proposal relates to a previously conducted field research on the moderating effect of Internet news and commentary. Specifically, we measured how news and commentary related to a given set of core dimensions of Internet activity. In this regard, we found that the extent to which a given set of core dimensions was related to an increased overall amount of Internet traffic, as well as the extent to which those dimensions were related to an increased likelihood of encountering online games that promoted these dimensions. The results of this study are consistent with our prior proposal and reinforce our point that the violence exhibited in video games has a social impact.

As a final postulation, we note that the research also indicates that interpersonal relations may be at least as important as social skills when it comes to the impact that video games have on players. In fact, we argue that people who play multiplayer online video games are especially likely to develop positive relationships within the communities in which they participate. Our research also indicates that these relationships may be more important than ever in the current environments, particularly in the workplace and school environments. As a concluding proposition, we note that a major theoretical thrust of this paper is that video games can promote aggressive engagement as much as they can promote player interpersonal relations and social skills.

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