A new in-depth study at the University of Leicester is investigating the interrelationship between male gamers and video games.
It will seek to shed more light on theories that correlate violent game content to aggression and such behaviour in adolescents – and assess whether there are other determining factors.
Conducted by the University’s MSc Forensic Psychology student Archibald Leung, the study focuses on analysing how male subjects aged 16+ relate to games and what feelings they experience whilst playing.
Aiming to investigate violence, aggression and individual differences in performance in video games, Leung is particularly curious about sensational interests, which involves interests in the macabre violence, including use of guns, martial arts and the paranormal.
He hopes to find out if there are correlations between these sensational interests, individual performances and immersion in video games based on genre.
Leung commented: “Video games outselling DVDs and music albums reflects the increasing importance games have in our lives. In addition, their easy accessibility to people of all ages has increased the importance of the topic of video games, violence and aggression. Especially worrying is the case for adolescents, whom are most vulnerable to such influences at their age.
“As an avid gamer myself for the past 14 years, I am curious to find out how gaming experience differs according to individual personalities and preferences.”
Dr Vincent Egan from the University of Leicester School of Psychology added: “Most undergraduate and postgraduate students have been playing computer games since they were children. But we know surprisingly little about the psychology of such games in terms of how the individual relates to the game itself.”
“Archie’s research is an interesting take on some age-old questions in psychology updated to take into account the gaming experience, and we very much hope that students will participate in this study.”
Places are still available for male volunteers aged 16+. The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes and will involve completing a questionnaire and playing two games. All participants are welcome to bring their friends along and will have a chance to win a £10 Amazon gift certificate.
Once the data has been analysed a report of the findings is likely to be submitted to a psychological journal for publication. In accordance with the British Psychological Society, all personal information will be kept strictly confidential.