Gamers crave control and competence, not carnage | Science News

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Gamers crave control and competence, not carnage

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

By
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.

Many studies aim to determine how video game violence impacts players. Recently, lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced a 2009 bill requiring violent video games to carry the following label: “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent vide

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