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Competition, Sports, and Video Games

  • By: Matthew S. Eastin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Competition is an important aspect of video games, and sports is a popular genre of video games involving competition. Unlike watching television or movies, playing video games is interactive in that a player’s actions determine whether the protagonist wins or loses. This interactivity component of competition inherent in video games, especially sports-themed video games, has been a topic of study in media effects research. This entry focuses on competition in video games and its effects.

Historical Context

As a brief historical synopsis, video games first entered homes in 1972 with Pong and struggled to maintain sales—even during the late 1970s and early 1980s, when mainstream systems such as Coleco-Vision and Atari appeared on store shelves. Some claim this lull occurred because of a lack of imagination and ...

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