Call of (civic) duty: Action games and civic behavior in a large sample of youth

Call of (civic) duty: Action games and civic behavior in a large sample of youth The positive and negative influences of violent/action games, henceforth called “action games”, remains controversial in the scholarly literature. Although debate continues whether action games influence aggressive behavior, little research has examined the influence of action games on civic engagement. The current study addresses this gap by examining the correlation between exposure to action games on civic engagement and on-line prosocial behavior in a sample of 873 teenagers. Results indicated that girls as well as teens who had parents who were more technologically savvy tended to engage in more civic behaviors. Exposure to action games predicted more prosocial behavior on-line, but did not predict civic engagement either positively or negatively. However, exposure to action games and parental involvement interacted to promote youth civic engagement. Action-game-playing-youth whose parents were involved in game play and supervision were most civically involved, compared to youth who did not play action games, or whose parents were less involved. These results indicated little support for the belief that exposure to violence in video games decreases prosocial behavior and/or civic engagement. Conversely some support was found for the possibility that playing action games is associated with small increased prosocial behavior and civic engagement in the real world, possibly due to the team-oriented multiplayer options in many of these games. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Computers in Human Behavior Elsevier

Call of (civic) duty: Action games and civic behavior in a large sample of youth

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0747-5632
DOI
10.1016/j.chb.2010.10.026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The positive and negative influences of violent/action games, henceforth called “action games”, remains controversial in the scholarly literature. Although debate continues whether action games influence aggressive behavior, little research has examined the influence of action games on civic engagement. The current study addresses this gap by examining the correlation between exposure to action games on civic engagement and on-line prosocial behavior in a sample of 873 teenagers. Results indicated that girls as well as teens who had parents who were more technologically savvy tended to engage in more civic behaviors. Exposure to action games predicted more prosocial behavior on-line, but did not predict civic engagement either positively or negatively. However, exposure to action games and parental involvement interacted to promote youth civic engagement. Action-game-playing-youth whose parents were involved in game play and supervision were most civically involved, compared to youth who did not play action games, or whose parents were less involved. These results indicated little support for the belief that exposure to violence in video games decreases prosocial behavior and/or civic engagement. Conversely some support was found for the possibility that playing action games is associated with small increased prosocial behavior and civic engagement in the real world, possibly due to the team-oriented multiplayer options in many of these games.

Journal

Computers in Human BehaviorElsevier

Published: Mar 1, 2011

References

  • A multivariate analysis of youth violence and aggression: The influence of family, peers, depression and media violence
    Ferguson, C.J.; San Miguel, C.; Hartley, R.D.
  • Hot sauce, toy guns and graffiti: A critical account of current laboratory aggression paradigms
    Ritter, D.; Eslea, M.
  • Who plays, how much, and why? Debunking the stereotypical gamer profile
    Williams, D.; Yee, N.; Caplan, S.

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