Contextual Essay

This semester I looked at the relationship between video games and violent behaviours. I chose to look at this concept to analyse the correlation between the two and expand on the knowledge that is already available on the internet along with my own findings. 

Throughout the duration of this research I learnt a number of factors can contribute to the violent tendencies that users/players can endure when playing video games with violence incorporated throughout the games objectives and included within the boundaries of the games limitations. This information was all put together through a Series of blog posts and was made available for parents and caregivers who mightn’t know the affects these games can have on a developing child. 

When it came to background research on the topic there are so many things that prove the correlation between violent behaviours and video games are quite strong however there were a number of things that I found interesting whilst not directly relevant to the topic of violence in video games. This includes an older experiment known as the “Bobo doll experiment” this looks into the perception of ‘monkey see monkey do’ and a different research showing the age that children are most influential by their surroundings are children aged up until 7 years old. 

The research project itself was off to a slower start, however it gained momentum towards the middle stages of the research task. Throughout the task the difficulties I faced were the middle ground of knowledge. By this I mean that my research task was aimed at parents who more likely than not do not understand the terminology used throughout an in-depth study of the topic. As the soul audience of my blog series was a uninformed/unknowledgeable group that was a difficulty I faced. 

The trajectory of this research task is for it to continue on as new/relevant information is found and analysed. The reasoning for this is due to not a broad enough scope to really analyse whether violent video games have a direct correlation to violent behaviours. Overall this project was an interesting and relevant research task however due to some limitations I faced within the research period. I personally would have loved to spend some time doing some in-field research with children in different age groups. However with the current restrictions of the current pandemic I didn’t believe it was safe to do so living in an around that was constantly affected by the virus. 

However under the circumstances the research project looked at a number of different avenues when it came to the game itself and surrounding topics. Coming from that I was able to draw the conclusion that children of younger ages were more impressionable by these games as their behavioural tendencies are still developing however teenagers and young adults I will not include in that conclusion due to a lack of direct correlation between the topics. 

All things relevant

There is a term we use when analysing the gaming media industry which is called a text or para-text, and its relevance is significant.

When looking at a game or topic, a text or para-text is like a supporting piece of information which assists in the knowledge and understanding of the original text itself. For example so far we’ve been looking at violent video games and how they affect children and young adults. A paratext of this would then be the Bobo doll experiment it is information relevant to the original piece of text (fortnite and Grand Theft Auto) that we are discussing/looking at.

There are a number of different ways you can look at this. Gerard Genette first said that “there has never existed a text without a paratext.” This simply means that there are a number of things that can be linked to your study whether you’re aware of them or not! Paratexts are “texts that prepare us for other texts” (Gray 25) 

If you have any more questions about Texts or paratexts comment below and Ill happily clear up any questions you may have.

BCM215 Beta

After researching a number of different ways to make my Digital Artefact work to the best of its ability, I stumbled on a lot of articles and big news stories about how games targeting a younger audience have made headlines. These games have been associated with words like ‘Addicting’, ‘mind controlling’, ‘Brain washing’ and so much more which got me thinking about looking into games that are typically aimed at older audiences like Grand Theft Auto (GTA) and then games who are predominately younger audiences like “Fortnite”

As it took some time to get motivated to do the research and get it all organised it has been a little while without posting. As the target audience for my DA is parents/ caregivers or just people who wish to know more about the topic. It will be a blog page with all relevant findings across the topics shared, analysed and discussed to get a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

The blog page is called “Offline behaviour” as it reflects the topic quite well and here is the link to the blog page.

Moving forward it’ll be exciting to see how much content can be made during this time and how to best get audiences to interact with the work.

Analytical Framework

When it comes to the Analytical framework of violent video games there are a number of different aspects you can talk about to discuss the similarities and differences between games.

When looking at two games in particular (Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto) there are a number of similarities and differences which allow you to make a critical analysis on each game, and their connection to this topic of violent video games.

These are two things: Graphics and recreational violence. These two things go hand in hand when it comes to analysing a game.

Graphics

As a result of the graphics with each game you’re able to analyse the situations you’re put into as a player, from there you’re able to then explore the creativity and limitations these games have over you as a player. For Fortnite, for example, The graphics include that of a cartoon character. From there you need to complete the game by staying alive. The objective includes a survival of the fittest tactic. Killing all the bad guys and staying alive. However when looking at games like Grand Theft Auto you can see the game itself have a different set of graphic rules its following. Both graphics are at a great level however they employ different ideas on how to display the game. While Fortnite looks for more of a cartoonist aesthetic, Grand Theft Auto uses more of a realistic approach. This allows the users/audience of Grand Theft Auto to have a totally different experience to the users of Fortnight. This game as well has objectives that you can complete however if you’re anything like myself you run around throwing people out of cars and having high speed chases with the police.

Bobo Doll Experiment

Before getting into this experiment I should note that im aware that this experiment isn’t referring directly to this study, however I do believe its relevant.

The Experiment

The “Bobo doll experiment” is an older experiment which was conducted in 1961 to see if children behaviours can come by observation and imitation. (Hence the relevance to the discussion as to whether behaviour can be affected by video games – in imitation and observation of aggressive video games)

Method

The experiments method includes taking a number of children and splitting them into two groups. The first group is in observation of an adult who is behaving aggressively towards the doll. Shouting, kicking, punching and so on. the second group is in observation of someone who has friendly behaviour of the doll. Both groups reconnect and one by one each child has time alone with the doll. The behaviour of the child in reaction to the presence of the doll is the experiment.

Results

The results of this experiment include:

  • Children who observed the aggressive model made far more imitative aggressive responses than those who were in the non-aggressive or control groups.
  • There was more partial and non-imitative aggression among those children who had observed aggressive behavior, although the difference for non-imitative aggression was small.
  • The girls in the aggressive model condition also showed more physical aggressive responses if the model was male, but more verbal aggressive responses if the model was female. However, the exception to this general pattern was the observation of how often they punched Bobo, and in this case the effects of gender were reversed.
  • Boys were more likely to imitate same-sex models than girls. The evidence for girls imitating same-sex models is not strong.
  • Boys imitated more physically aggressive acts than girls. There was little difference in the verbal aggression between boys and girls.

As explained in this article which further explains the experiment.

In Conclusion

As we are looking into the violent/aggressive behaviours of children I believe that this experiment does a fantastic job of depicting this topic. Although there are some contributing factors that may affect a differing results when looking at violence In video games including the adults being swapped with avatars. I still believe the imitation and observation is the main point in this experiment and variables may change the results slightly however still resulting in the same if not similar outcome.

Until next time,

Negative Impacts Pt 1

There is a number of articles and academic research surrounding the idea that violent video games cause violent behaviour. Here are some of which ive found and a brief summary of what these articles discuss.

Ten Reasons video games should be banned for children under the age of 12

This article goes into a bit of depth on 10 reasons as to why video games should be banned for children (under 12). You’ll find that number 4 on this list refers to aggressive behaviour and violence.

“Summarising the results of > 400 studies including violent media of all types, researchers found there was a significant association between exposure to media violence and aggressive behaviour, aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiologic arousal.”

Next blog we will dive into what kind of experiments prove this and where to find them.

The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach

This article goes a little more into depth on what was actually found in relation to violent imagery and behaviour.

“There is consistent evidence that violent imagery in television, film and video, and computer games has substantial short-term effects on arousal, thoughts, and emotions, increasing the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behaviour in younger children, especially in boys. The evidence becomes inconsistent when considering older children and teenagers, and long-term outcomes for all ages.”

Although this article does say that their findings were not that of a Long -term nature for those of all ages. this leads us to assume that most if not all the evidence reflects short term issues.

Young Children’s Video/Computer Game Use: Relations with School Performance and Behaviour

this article reflects on some experiments that were undertaken by parents looking into the relationship between games and behaviour. The results regarding this are both fascinating and interesting

“Results suggest violent games, and a large amount of game play, are related to troublesome behavioral and academic outcomes, but educational games may be related to positive outcomes.”

This article accepts that games with educational purposes are in direct correlation with more positive outcomes where violent video games didn’t have the same results. Violent games proved to negatively affect school competence and there was direct affects relating to violent behaviour and violent games.

Conclusion

In addition, there is no shortage of evidence proving that violent imagery is in direct correlation to violent behaviour. Next blog we will jump into a few experiments and see the results for ourselves.

Behind the Research

Growing up in a digital age theres no doubt that all of our childhood have been a little different (to say the least). This research task is to look at the relationship between violent behaviour and video games.

In this blog series you’ll find a number of different things including:

  • Analysis of academic sources (books, articles, etc)
  • Relative research
  • Experiments and an analysis of them
  • General discussion
  • A conclusion

All of which are to discuss the matter and see how video games can trigger violent behaviour in young adults, teenagers and even children.

In this topic we will be looking a number of games including; Grand Theft Auto, Fortnite and more if the investigation leads that way.

By the end of this research there will be a conclusion to ways to best avoid violent behaviourism’s in children, teenagers and young adults.

Stay Tuned