ABC of human motivation & video games

Video Game Violence: Why Do We Like It, And What’s It Doing To Us?
February 11, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/02/11/171698919/video-game-violence-why-do-we-like-it-and-whats-it-doing-to-us

RPGs, or role-playing games. She says for the most part, they’re less violent than “first-person shooters” like Call of Duty.

If you want to create a good narrative, you need to create conflict, and violence is a really easy way to create conflict,” she says.

Iowa State University professor Douglas Gentile, who studies the effects of violent video games on children, says violent games tap into a primal instinct.
“There are two things that force us to pay attention,” Gentile says. “One is violence; the other is sex. Whenever either of those are present in our environment, they have survival value for us.”

Gentile explains that there is a very basic reason that a lot of people think violent games are more exciting than say, Tetris.

“These gamers do have an adrenaline rush, and it’s noradrenaline and it’s testosterone, and it’s cortisol — these are the so-called stress hormones,” Gentile says. “That’s exactly the same cocktail of hormones you drop into your bloodstream if I punched you.”
Getting punched in real life? Not fun.
“But when you know you’re safe, having that really heightened sense of stress can be fun,” Gentile says.

He says there’s an A, B and C of human motivations, and video games hit all three:

A is for Autonomy: “You’re holding a controller, so you are in control,” Gentile says.

B is for Belonging: “If you play with other people or have friends who play the same game or who play online, you also are meeting your belonging needs,” Gentile says.

And C is for competence: “[Games] often train you how to play as you’re playing, and so you start feeling competent,” Gentile says.

Which brings us to a decades-old question: Do violent video games make people more violent?

Gentile says that his research shows that children who play more violent games by and large behave more aggressively. But, he adds, that doesn’t necessarily mean school shootings.

VGS 54 – Dr. Douglas Gentile explains how violent video games affect the brain
May 6, 2016

~25 hostile attribution bias {because they’re friends}

~26 Games that don’t affect us: we call them boring

~27:30 immediate feedback
lots of opportunities for practice, with the goal that they master the skill -> it becomes automatic

31:30 pro-social games
Sims
animal crossing
community-building

Of course games affect us. When something doesn’t affect us, we call it “boring”

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