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Gamers crave control and competence, not carnage

Study turns belief commonly held by video game industry, gamers, on its head

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5:05pm, January 16, 2009

Blood, guts and gore aren’t what thrill avid gamers when they slaughter zombies in The House of the Dead III video game, a new study suggests. Instead, feelings of control and competence are what the players crave. The new research, led by psychologist Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester in New York, appears online January 16 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“A common belief held by many gamers and many in the video game industry — that violence is what makes a game fun — is strongly contradicted by these studies,” comments Craig Anderson, a psychologist who directs the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University in Ames.

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