Document Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Video games have been thrust into the national spotlight after multiple mass shootings of recent years, begging the question of whether they corrupt our youth. At least three sides to the argument exist: those who believe violent video games result in increased levels of aggression, those who do not, and those who claim that aggression is linked with losing rather than violent content. While there have been plenty of studies focusing on losing and aggression in the action genre of video games, there has yet to be a conclusive study ranking and comparing the impact that other major genres have on gamers. This thesis attempts to fill that gap, arguing that losing in various non-violent video game titles, belonging to an array of genres, directly effects the frustration a gamer experiences, largely because frustration relates to incompetence more so than the gun fighting, gory images, and heinous crimes of mature-rated games. This claim is supported by 110 survey participants, highlighting the importance of the context of the genre over the content of the video game, as well as the social-psychological motives for needing to save face by winning, while consequently avoiding the frustration of a loss. An additional 50 survey participants showed that non-violent preferential gamers are more primed to feel frustrated and angry, than violent preferential gamers. This paper essentially backs the theory that non-violent video games of various genres can induce just as much frustration and aggression on the part of a gamer, as violent video games of the action genre does.

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