Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

October 31, 2011 -

New research from the University of Queensland suggests that playing violent video games leads to players seeing themselves and their opponents as "lacking core human qualities" such as warmth, open-mindedness, and intelligence. The research, conducted by Dr. Brock Bastian from UQ's School of Psychology, was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

While the methodology and age of the participants were not detailed, the study observed a group of participants as they played Mortal Kombat against the CPU, each other, and cooperatively. Participants' behavior, emotions, and cognitions changed to show a "loss of humanity" as they played, according to Bastian. The study also explored whether fighting against the CPU (as opposed to other players), diminished participant's humanity. In both types of play the findings were compared against a similar but non-violent (and undisclosed) video game. He noted that - given his findings - people's concerns about the effects of violent video games are warranted..

"There are good reasons to be concerned: the negative effects of violent video games have been well documented and appear to be more significant than those associated with other forms of violent media," he said.

The second part of the study had participants playing cooperatively against the CPU.

"Although we made no specific predictions about how participants would view co-perpetrators, we were open to the idea that their dehumanization would be less evident given they were not the targets of violence," Bastian said. "The findings of Study 2 also showed that simply playing a violent game with another person did not affect perceptions of their humanity. Ratings of other people's humanity were only lowered when the other was the target of cyber-violence, not when the other was a co-perpetrator of that violence."

Bastian went on to say that he believes the findings point to the potential long-term effects that violent video game play have and suggests that repeated exposure to these games may result in dramatic changes in self-perception. He also thinks that the reason violence in video games is more powerful that other forms of violent media is because people identify with and feel responsible for the violence they partake in within virtual environments.

"We also expected that, in line with previous work on real-life violence, players would view their opponents as less human when they were the targets of violence compared to when they were opponents in a non-violent video game," he said. "In addition, we found that although players felt dehumanized when engaging in video game violence, even when this is directed towards computer-generated avatars, it is only when another player is the target of this violence that they are also dehumanized."

Source: uq.edu.au


Comments

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

That's funny.  I remember trying my damnedest to save all the NPCs in the opening area of Dead Rising several times and I even felt bad that I couldn't do anything to save them.  Of course they might consider Dead Rising to be too warm and cuddly.

Obviously biased study is obvious - especially with a shear lack of data.

Now where's that Scumbag Hat?  This research group needs it.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

If you were anything like me, you did it even when they pissed you off with their poor AI and incessant screams of "FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK!!!!" And felt bad when they died, too.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

Let's break it down here...

Doing something more recent, Call of Duty.  The basic premise of the games acts as a extremely overly-dramatic fiction of war, either historical or imaginary.  The reality of it is, the situations that the game puts you in?  Yeah, you would lose your humanity.  Same thing can happen to REAL soldiers but... well I believe studies exist on this already.

Let's go with a game called Battleship (A game most know) where the point is to sink the other players ship.  Are we ignoring the fact that Captain Bill of the PT Boat might have a family of 4 at home?  No, because its "Kill or be kill" and that is how it is in war.

That last one a stretch?  Sure, but so is this stupid study.  Someone's humanity can't be judged in a game (Unless it's Dark Souls but that is a different story).  People play games to unwind.  When I would play Black Ops, I'd mostly screw around in-game, and yet outside of CoD I am probably the nicest guy out there.  Have I lost my humanity?  Apparently.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

This stops being worth paying attention to when Bastian says, "We also expected..."

You don't go into a study expecting anything, because if you do, you will find it, whether it's there or not. The weasel words "we were open to the idea" mean essentially the same thing.

As for not seeing one's opponent as human... we don't even know what the game was. Maybe the opponents were not human?

Why would the developers of a game, who want the player to shoot their antagonists, go out of their way to humanize said antagonists? Few games reward players who refuse to engage their opponents in combat if that's the point of the game.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

What? The basis of the scientific method REQUIRES that you state your hypothesis prior to your study as well as establish how you'll measure it. Failure to do so means you can take whatever anomalous results from the study and try to present them as how things always are.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

Let's see...

An obvious agenda-based conclusion.. Derived from vague results with about no relation to the conclusion.. From a 'test' based on parameters that have yet to be disclosed, lending even LESS credibility to the aforementioned conclusion..

Wow, never seen THAT before. -_-

 

And besides, "the negative effects of violent video games have been well documented-".

Where and when? Oh, right, there is no such documentation.

All this diatribe has amounted to, is pointing out the obvious bias shown by the University of Queensland on the topic at hand.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

I agree with ya'll but the first thought that popped in my head was "You used Mortal Kombat for research? Wtf?" lol

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

So they won't disclose who they were testing, what they were measuring, how they were measuring it, or what they were comparing it to?  "Science", indeed.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

all of these studies are starting to just blur together. Its getting to the point of "why are we paying attention to these?"

and I don't mean just the anti-game ones, the pro-game ones are starting to do the same thing.

╔╦═╣Signature Statement╠═╦╗

If you don't like something I said in a post, don't just hit the dislike, let me know your thoughts! I'm interested in knowing everyone's opinions, even when they don't mesh with my own.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

Wait, maybe I'm missing it in the article.  What is their earmark for humanity?  How did they measure it?  I mean I hope they don't gauge humanity in accordance to actions against pixels on a screen.  If so then I would say that there needs to be a new study done, on how researchers can't tell reality from fantasy.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

"[lacking] warmth, open-mindedness, and intelligence."

So, it makes everyone seem like a member of the religious right?

Huzzah!

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

Exactly my point. Since when has "warmth, open-mindedness, and intelligence" been "core human qualities"? What happened to human nature?

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

"While the methodology and age of the participants were not detailed" Giant red flag.  How can we know how reliable the study is if we don't even have threadbare knowledge of the methodology?  Were these five year olds?  Twenty year olds?  Fifty year olds?

This whole thing just reeks of fishiness.

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

So you are trying to derive "humanity;4. A humane characteristic, attribute, or act. " in a situation where everything is trying to kill you...... how logical is this thought process?


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

Yeah but that study was by Greitenmeyer who like Anderson and Bushman has a history of making exaggerated claims of "harm", ignoring any research to the contrary and then, by happy coinkeedink, finding research results to support his a priori beliefs.

I think that's what some folks here are speaking to...the rather obvious moral agenda of some of these scholars, the kind of failure to be more honest about the research field that led to it being criticized during Brown v EMA. 

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

I am just trying to figure out how to compute humanity when its a kill or be killed situation


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

sorry Zippy, that was actually meant as a reply to Janarius, not you.  Your post managed to slip in just as I hit reply I guess.  :/

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaCrashHey Neo, that bit with "he instigated it"? That is called victim blaming. Stop it.10/25/2014 - 11:05pm
KronoAnd a rebuttal to that article: https://medium.com/@cainejw/an-actual-statistical-analysis-of-gamergate-dfd809858f6810/25/2014 - 9:42pm
Technogeekhttp://www.newsweek.com/gamergate-about-media-ethics-or-harassing-women-harassment-data-show-27973610/25/2014 - 8:54pm
TechnogeekAnd speaking of harassment and Gamergate, Newsweek had a social media analytics company analyze the hashtag in the interest of finding out what the movement was really about. The results should surprise absolutely nobody at this point.10/25/2014 - 8:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaI was called a traitor for speaking out on harassment and I was put on a list for people on twitter to mass report me. Only GamerGate site that has come out of this that has been reputable would be TechRaptor. 2/210/25/2014 - 7:09pm
Neo_DrKefka@Neeneko The reason why I ended my support of #GamerGate was the fact KingofPol (The guy who was sent the knife) ended up saying crap about those with autism. At this point I confronted the community and some big wig writers on the #GamerGate side. 1/210/25/2014 - 7:08pm
NeenekoIt would also mean they have to confront that the sites already mostly cater to them and wiping that small percentage of otherness just does not justify new sites.10/25/2014 - 6:55pm
Neeneko@ quiknkold - problem is it has never been about freedom, it is about dominance, ownership, and priviliage. women and minorities should be the ones leaving and creating their own spaces, not them!10/25/2014 - 6:54pm
Neo_DrKefka@Mecha I hear you about KingofPol this is a guy who is using GamerGate to boost his career. Most of his streams are crap about him talking about him being drunk. What happened to him was wrong but it doesn't change the fact he has instigated much of this10/25/2014 - 5:40pm
Craig R.And I'll be perfectly happy in never seeing the phrase 'false flag' ever again, as it is one of the worst notions to ever come out of the camp of the tinfoil brigade that is already completely overused.10/25/2014 - 3:50pm
Craig R.Gone for a week and come back to find GG didn't go away at all. Dammit.10/25/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonif they were serious, they would go to youtube. most youtube game reviewers tend to revew games as product, and tend leave social issues out of it.10/25/2014 - 1:42pm
quiknkoldif the gamergaters were serious, they'd realize that Kotaku and Polygon arent the only games in town, and that with the freedom of the internet, they could create their own websites and achieve the goals they are trying to achieve without arguement.10/25/2014 - 1:35pm
james_fudgehe should have called the police.10/25/2014 - 1:20pm
TechnogeekAt least my statement still holds if it does turn out to be a false flag.10/25/2014 - 1:03pm
NeenekoThough I admit, since doxxing and false flag where heavily used tactics of the GG supporters, while they are not historical tactics used by detractors, I am skeptical how much it is really 'both sides' doing it in any real volume.10/25/2014 - 1:01pm
NeenekoOne thing that makes all of this messy is 'false flag' is a serious concern here. It does not help that the original GG instigators were also known for doing elaborate false flags to discredit feminism themselves.10/25/2014 - 12:59pm
MechaCrashThe guy who got the knife is the one who advocated doxxing, by the way, and was getting court documents about Zoe Quinn so he could publicly post them. It doesn't make what happened to him right, but he deserves no sympathy.10/25/2014 - 12:42pm
TechnogeekNo, that's a pretty shitty thing to do and I fully support the responsible parties getting a visit from the relevant legal authorities.10/25/2014 - 12:17pm
Neo_DrKefkaSomeone anyone tell me how two wrongs somehow make a right? This is becoming exhausting and both sides are out of there minds!10/25/2014 - 11:40am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician