Study: Why do people like violent video games?

Researchers from the University of New South Wales have put forward a theory that explains people’s love for violent video games. Scientists believe that such hobbies resonate with many of us because they offer an opportunity to fulfill our desires and psychological needs. The text of the study was published in Motivation Science.

The motives that drive us to play violent video games stem from our desire to improve as individuals. They allow us to measure status, evaluate our abilities in comparison to others, and overcome fears.

Michael Kasumovich

one of the co-authors of the UNSW Science School of Psychology study

The authors explain that it is not entirely correct to consider video games as a means of satisfying psychological needs, but they are really connected with human desires. Autonomy (a sense of control), social attachment (a sense of connection to others), and competence (the ability to succeed) are all motivators of behavior. Violent video games usually provide all of that, whether it’s choosing weapon upgrades, teaming up with other characters, or completing missions.

Also, according to the study, violent video games allow players to get into dangerous situations that they probably would not encounter in real life and safe environments. This has a positive effect on the control of their own emotions.

In a sense, gaming can be equated with playing a sport that helps to cope with aggression and satisfy the competitive spirit in a socially acceptable way.

Violent video games help explore our fears of death and can help with the expression of emotions, especially anger. Previously, people could go outside to play with others. Now we have the means to do so in the digital world.

Michael Kasumovich

Unlike traditional sports, almost anyone can play video games, regardless of physical ability. It is not physical strength or sports performance that contributes to success in them, but ability and skill level. However, some people are more addicted to games than others.

According to the theory of Australian scientists, people of lower social strata often choose this hobby as a way to calm their frustration. The authors attribute this tendency to a desire to dominate real life and increase self-esteem.

Of course, scientists are also concerned about the risk of repeating behavior patterns in computer games in real life. To do this, they have now focused on researching the social effects that games can have on teamwork and any other interaction with people in everyday life.

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