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User Involvement in Violent Content, Effects of

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

As video game violence becomes more complex and realistic, parents and politicians press forward to understand its impact on the players and society. Early research in the 1980s found that most games required players to virtually attack other characters to win the game. In early 2000 Stacy Smith and colleagues conducted an analysis of 60 popular games and revealed that 90% of Teen- or Mature-rated games featured violence, and 57% of games rated for all audiences contained violence. To understand the effects on players of such violent games, researchers have begun to examine how individual differences, including trait aggression, and situational variables, such as violent video game play, operate as routes to internal states and ultimately aggressive behavior.

Game researchers have used a variety of theoretical ...

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