Additivity and Violence in Video Games

photo by Daniel Conway

Recently, we’ve talked about that lawsuit against Lineage developer and discussed about how players spend their time on MMOs. A big amount of them seems to use MMO as a new tool for trouble-solving engaging and socializing, which indicates that MMOs are just another cultural/social/playing activity and not a highly addictive thing such as crack. Well, even though, some people [as the Hawaiian guy behind this lawsuit] do get really hooked up in MMOs, so why this happens?

To talk about this, I think another main discussion on media about games must be raised: violence in games. Much have been said about it, many links between them were proposed, but actually nothing conclusive was found. Many of those researches have many faults, but the main one, as Yee pointed out, “[i]n spite of the fact that the average age of computer and video game players is 30 (Entertainment Software Association, 2005), the articles […] seem to perpetuate the assumption that mainly children and adolescents play video games”, focusing their studies on them.

Particularly, it seems to me that Markeys’s approach is the most accurate one. According to the authors, violent responses are aroused by video games only in people with predisposition to violence in the first place. Therefore, a violent video games can trigger a violent action, but only if the person already have some predisposition to violence. Patrick and Chalotte Markey link this predisposition to personality traits in a really interesting way.

So, if violent responses to violent video games are mainly triggered by personality traits, couldn’t addition to any kind of video games be also triggered by some sort of compulsion predisposition?