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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Violence in Video Games: Really Not Fun

Mortal Combat, Death from Above.

So we always thought violence in video games was gratuitous and unnecessary but game developers keep saying, "that's what makes games fun." Well, it turns out violence does not make games fun. It's gameplay...of course, haven't gamer's been saying that for year. We'll we needed some scientists to "prove" it.

An interesting article All That Gore Gets in the Way of Gameplay over at Wired, indicates that violence is not necessary to have fun. According to Wired:

In a paper in January’s Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a group of researchers found that violence might be the least compelling part of our favorite videogames. In fact, sometimes it gets in the way of the fun....The results? The amount of violence in a game did not predict how much gamers enjoyed it. When researchers asker players to pick their favorite titles, the highly violent games did not enjoy better word-of-mouth than less-violent ones, nor were they more likely to inspire players to buy a sequel. In fact, for some players rated violent content as “weakly negatively” related to enjoyment: The more gory the game, the less they liked it. (The only exception was a small minority of players who scored high on scales of aggression.)“Violent videogame content adds little or no unique predictive variance to player enjoyment,” as Andrew Przybylski, a doctoral candidate in psychology and clinical social science at the University of Rochester in New York and his colleagues concluded in their paper.

So destroy, crush and mutilate your violent video games...just because they are violent doesn't mean they are fun.

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Anonymous said...

This is, without a doubt, the worst blog I have ever read.
Was that an attempt at being witty in that last line?

Absolutely pathetic. Nothing but a single sentence worth of information stretched out to two paragraphs and a poorly pasted excerpt from some other site that seems to do more research then you.

Congratulations. Your blog has a comment. Now, please stop writing.

Anonymous said...

This entire statement, by the way, is a matter of opinion.
According to this study, games like God of War can't possibly be fun considering they have those "gratuitous and unnecessary" (there's an original thought) violent scenes in them.
If Kratos hugged minotaurs with his rainbow colored marshmallow pillows that dangle from ribbons wrapped around his wrist, do you really think the game would sell more or be more enjoyable?
This study you have stumbled across is nothing more than propaganda to, yet again, discredit the gaming industry. It doesn't even tell who took part in the study. I'm sure a twelve year old girl would much rather play Mario Galaxy than No More Heroes on her little pink Wii. That's obvious. However, to say that every individual who enjoyed the violent games suffered from "agression" is ridiculous.
Anyway, I seem to have wrote more on the subject than you have.
Also, don't think I'm anonymous because I'm scared you'll write back. I'm anonymous because I'm not creating an account on Google for this.
My name is Donavon Bray (email is Find me on myspace or youtube if you feel the need to.
Nothing personal, I just fail to see how this was worthy of anyone's attention.

Anonymous said...

One last thing.

You look like Drew Carey had a baby with Martin Mull.

Again, nothing personal.

Karl Kapp said...


First, thanks for the comment, I always appreciate thoughtful and intelligent feedback and you do seem to have written more than I did on the subject.

Conversations about topics like this is what helps society make decisions regarding issues like violence in games. So healthy debate is good!

Second, you may want to read some of my other posts as I try to provide both sides of the "violence in video game issue." In fact, I think you would like the entry indicated below a little better.
Kapp Notes: What Sports Teach Our Kids and Why Video Games are Better.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to stop and comment.

Karl "aka Drew and Martin's son"