Australian researchers delve into appeal, impact of violent video games-Xinhua

Australian researchers delve into appeal, impact of violent video games

Source: Xinhua| 2022-08-02 15:20:00|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- A team of researchers from Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW) have delved into the appeal behind violent video games and the negative impact they may have.

The study, published in the Motivation Science journal and released on Tuesday, offered a new theory on the appeal of violent video games, drawing on evolutionary psychology and cognitive studies.

"The motivations we have to play violent video games stem from our desire to become better as individuals," said co-author on the study, UNSW Associate Professor Michael Kasumovic.

Kasumovic said violent video games are designed to meet psychological needs, such as autonomy, social relatedness and competency. It allows players to change and upgrade weapons, work together with other characters, and accomplish missions.

In contrast to traditional sports, video games can be played and mastered by nearly anyone, regardless of one's physical capacity.

The research finds people who perceive themselves as lower in social status or with unmet desires for dominance are more likely to get addicted to the games. Those games may provide what the real world does not --enhanced feelings of self-esteem and social ranking.

Furthermore, the researchers said that violent video games gave individuals an outlet for their emotions.

"Violent video games help explore our fears around death and can help with the expression of emotions, particularly anger," Kasumovic explained. "Before, people might have gone outside to play with others. Now, we have the means to do this through digital interactions."

However, the research suggests the endless dissatisfaction in the real world makes people want to stay longer in the digital one. This can be problematic if it overtakes people's life and decreases their capacity for self-control.

The team hopes their research will draw more attention to video game use and its impact on the brain, especially as this form of media plays a bigger, more intense role in people's lives.