Murray State University

Poster Title

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Militaristic Video Games on Nationalistic Attitudes and Violence

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

From arcade rooms to individual gaming consoles, video gaming has gained in popularity over the past decade. As graphics have improved, the games have taken on life like characteristics, and have exposed the new age gamer into a world of virtual reality. Multiple studies have shown that priming (the exposure to a stimulus to activate attitudes/behaviors) using the media has been shown to increase feelings of National Identity, and priming in video games has been shown to increase violence in the individual. In addition to these priming studies, immersion into an avatar viewpoint tends to desensitizes individuals to real-life experiences in themselves and others. The purpose of this study was to examine how priming non-experienced gamers using an range of games with and without violence might influence aggressive attitudes, as well as nationalistic attitudes. Especially important is whether nationalistic attitudes such as patriotism (love for one’s own country) can be primed without priming nationalism (derogation towards other nations). It was hypothesized that non-experienced gamers will have higher patriotic attitudes when playing video games that can be associated to America than games not are not directly related with America. The non-experienced gamers will have higher patriotic attitudes than experienced gamers will, and non-experienced gamers will have higher levels of aggression than experienced gamers when exposed to higher levels of violence. A series of one-way ANOVAS was conducted indicating that there was a significant difference in non-experienced gamers and patriotism than experienced gamers, in that the non-experienced gamers showed more patriotism. In addition, non-experienced gamers had a significant difference in level of military approval than experienced gamers.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Militaristic Video Games on Nationalistic Attitudes and Violence

From arcade rooms to individual gaming consoles, video gaming has gained in popularity over the past decade. As graphics have improved, the games have taken on life like characteristics, and have exposed the new age gamer into a world of virtual reality. Multiple studies have shown that priming (the exposure to a stimulus to activate attitudes/behaviors) using the media has been shown to increase feelings of National Identity, and priming in video games has been shown to increase violence in the individual. In addition to these priming studies, immersion into an avatar viewpoint tends to desensitizes individuals to real-life experiences in themselves and others. The purpose of this study was to examine how priming non-experienced gamers using an range of games with and without violence might influence aggressive attitudes, as well as nationalistic attitudes. Especially important is whether nationalistic attitudes such as patriotism (love for one’s own country) can be primed without priming nationalism (derogation towards other nations). It was hypothesized that non-experienced gamers will have higher patriotic attitudes when playing video games that can be associated to America than games not are not directly related with America. The non-experienced gamers will have higher patriotic attitudes than experienced gamers will, and non-experienced gamers will have higher levels of aggression than experienced gamers when exposed to higher levels of violence. A series of one-way ANOVAS was conducted indicating that there was a significant difference in non-experienced gamers and patriotism than experienced gamers, in that the non-experienced gamers showed more patriotism. In addition, non-experienced gamers had a significant difference in level of military approval than experienced gamers.