Navigation Links
Playing video games for better, not worse

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Some video games can make children kinder and more likely to help---not hurt---other people.

That's the conclusion of new research published in the current (June 2009) issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a top-tier, peer-reviewed academic journal.

The article presents the findings of three separate studies, conducted in different countries with different age groups, and using different scientific approaches. All the studies find that playing games with prosocial content causes players to be more helpful to others after the game is over.

The report is co-authored by a consortium of researchers from the United States, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

"Dozens of studies have documented a relationship between violent video games and aggressive behaviors," said lead author Douglas Gentile, an Iowa State University psychologist. "But this is one of the first that has documented the positive effects of playing prosocial games."

Prosocial video games involve characters who help and support each other in nonviolent ways.

"These studies show the same kind of impact on three different age groups from three very different cultures," said Brad Bushman, a University of Michigan co-author of the report. "In addition, the studies use different analytic approaches---correlational, longitudinal and experimental. The resulting triangulation of evidence provides the strongest possible proof that the findings are both valid and generalizable."

"These studies document that children and adolescents learn from practicing behaviors in games," said Rowell Huesmann, a U-M co-author of the report.

One study examined the link between video game habits and prosocial behavior among 727 secondary students in Singapore, with a mean age of 13. Students listed their favorite games and rated how often game characters helped, hurt or killed other characters. They also answered questions about how likely they were to spend time and money helping people in need, to cooperate with others and share their belongings, and to react aggressively in various situations.

As in numerous other studies, the researchers found a strong correlation between playing violent video games and hurting others. But the study also found a strong correlation between playing prosocial games and helping others.

The second study analyzed the long-term connection between video game habits and prosocial behavior in nearly 2,000 Japanese children ages 10 to 16. Participants completed a survey about their exposure to prosocial video games, and rated how often they had helped other people in the last month. Three to four months later, they were surveyed again, and researchers found a significant connection between exposure to prosocial games and helpful behavior months later.

"This suggests there is an upward spiral of prosocial gaming and helpful behavior, in contrast to the downward spiral that occurs with violent video gaming and aggressive behavior," said Bushman, a professor of communications and psychology and a research professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

For the third study, the researchers carried out an experiment with 161 U.S. college students, with a mean age of 19. After playing either a prosocial, violent, or neutral game, participants were asked to assign puzzles to a randomly selected partner. They could choose from puzzles that were easy, medium or hard to complete. Their partner could win $10 if they solved all the puzzles. Those who played a prosocial game were considerably more helpful than others, assigning more easy puzzles to their partners. And those who had played violent games were significantly more likely to assign the hardest puzzles.

"Taken together, these findings make it clear that playing video games is not in itself good or bad for children," Bushman said."The type of content in the game has a bigger impact than the overall amount of time spent playing."


Contact: Diane Swanbrow
University of Michigan

Related medicine news :

1. Andre Agassi Playing to Fight Breast Cancer - Tickets on Sale NOW!
2. Playing with Fashion: New Phenominoes Pendants Feature Blind Artists Phenomenal Artwork on Real Dominoes
3. Save Abandoned Babies Foundation Commends Illinois Hospitals for Being 100% in Compliance in Displaying Safe Haven Signs
4. Game, Not Gore, Keeps Video Players Playing
5. Playing Video Games May Boost Older Brains
6. Playing It Safe With High School Sports
7. Now Playing: Spike Lee Stands with Earvin Magic Johnson, Cookie Johnson and Abbott to Launch National PSA Campaign
8. Oscar Pistorius Aims to Compete on Level Playing Field at 2008 Beijing Olympics
9. Playing Catch in Winter Could Save Kids Pitching Arms
10. Research Links TV/Video Game Playing With Child Obesity; Health Experts Back a New Approach
11. VIDEO from Medialink and Siemens: New Treatment in Breast Cancer Detection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the $20,000 ... annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... "When I underwent breast reconstruction following ... uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order to meet my own ... BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is easier to put on ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... An unlikely combination of recycled plastic shopping bags ... people to have a more dignified and comfortable night’s sleep. , Residents of ... plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. The project, according to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Bcureful—a non-profit organization devoted to advancing ... public awareness of the disorder while helping to bring expert medical care and ... bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center at Ann & Robert H. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving ... awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest designed to utilize ... driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost 1,000 entries of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic ... today announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten ... ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, ... ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed combination ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... Therapeutics, a start-up  biotechnology company focused on the ... and funded by the F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative ... an exclusive collaboration to support the discovery and ... (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD). ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... "New Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New ... IOPtima Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The ... of its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment ... approval pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: