Video games play a crucial portion in our modern culture. Around 155 million Americans regularly play video games. Scholars have been examining the effects of violent/prosocial video games on people over various age range and reports back on the changes in human behavior caused by the content of the video games they play. While different researchers show both stat that testifies violent video games desensitizes and prosocial games increase empathy in people and stats that demonstrate no particular significance in the relationship between game content and behavior, most of the sources establish prosocial and nonviolent gaming positively correlates with social connectedness and civic engagement, including the more recent reports.
Empathy is crucial in building strong relationships. As our world become more interconnected through a few examples we’ve raised in class including being emerged in similar types of cultures (literature, visual arts, and performance arts), utilizing congruent media platforms (Fox News, Facebook, New York Times) and personal devices (Phones, computers, fax machines), it becomes more and more of a human responsibility to develop fuller empathetic responses for the greater good; from understanding the unspoken parts of one’s communication with others to seeing the world in higher resolution including the suffering humanity from another continent. We learn from multiple examples how the global technology connections can be harmful or helpful for the thrive of humanity depending upon people’s methods and skills to empathize. Now how can we use video games to teach empathy and limit the opposite in our community? What kind of impacts will empathetic growth contribute toward global unity? What does it mean for people if they become better leaders, followers, and more importantly, better friends?
Potential Scholarly Sources:
Greitemeyer, Tobias, Silvia Osswald, and Markus Brauer. “Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases Empathy and Decreases Schadenfreude.” American Psychological Association 796-802 10.6 (2010): n. pag. Web.
Funk, Jeanne B., Heidi Bechtoldt Baldacci, Tracie Pasold, and Jennifer Baumgardner. “Violence Exposure in Real-life, Video Games, Television, Movies, and the Internet: Is There Desensitization?” Journal of Adolescence 39th ser. 27.23 (2004): n. pag. Science Direct. Web.
Anderson, Craig A. “Violent, Nonviolent, and Prosocial Gaming Effects on Teens’ Civic Engagement.” K. Dill (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, New York(2014): n. pag. Oxford University Press. Web.
Smith, Nathan J., “Does Video Game Content Matter? An Examination of Two Competing Ideas” (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. Paper 6026.
Scelsa, Valerie L., “The Effect of Aggressive and Prosocial Video Games on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior”. Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2014. Trinity College Digital Repository, http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/416