Friday, May 15, 2015

Cooperative computer gaming makes you prosocial

Computer gaming has been discussed in the educational point of view for many years.

Some parents and authorities criticize computer games as harmful to children's mind. According to them, games with violent themes make you aggressive. In contrast, some researchers emphasize the beneficial effects of computer gaming.

My past entry: Argument continues about the influence of computer gaming on child development

There is evidence suggesting the possibility that some computer games can help you to acquire cooperative attitude to others. John Velez, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media in the College of Media & Communication, published some essays in which some experiments were conducted to examine the participants' behavior in gaming with other players. As a result, the participants experienced a cooperative play with others became unlikely to behave aggressively afterward.

Science Daily: Cooperative video game play elicits pro-social behavior, research finds

I could not judge the validity of these studies, as far as having read the abstracts. Unfortunately, I cannot read the full text in my environment now.

Sage Journals: Violent Video Games and Reciprocity The Attenuating Effects of Cooperative Game Play on Subsequent Aggression

Science Direct: Extending the theory of Bounded Generalized Reciprocity: An explanation of the social benefits of cooperative video game play

At a glance, it looks not surprising that the participants who experienced a cooperative play just before mitigated their aggression. It is noteworthy that these studies showed our sense of reciprocity is also ignited in a virtual situation. However, it is not difficult to understand that there are other real persons behind the screen if you have adequate imagination. In this sense, multi-player games are no more virtual attractions.

Furthermore, I think it is the same even in single-player games. Indeed, you have neither competitors nor cooperators in a solo play. However, you can imagine the thoughts of the creator while playing the games, as well as reading a novel. I can say that gaming is a conversation with the creator. This is why I believe you can nourish prosocial attitudes through playing computer games.


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