Interactive Software Federation of Europe

Research

Media Violence: Moral Panic or Injury?

NOVA is a research institute of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. It has published a report that summarises and discusses the findings from research on the association between violence in the media (including video games) and personal violence in practice. The report reviews academic literature between 1995 until 2010, supplemented with contributions prior to 1995 which are of particular interest.

On the basis of the studies of this report NOVA does not find any reason to exercise extreme caution in giving advice or making recommendations.
A prudent conclusion would be that media violence can be injurious for some. The uncertainty associated with this is nevertheless so large that it is difficult to defend comprehensive and costly measures which would reduce media violence to a degree [...]. On this basis, we cannot base our relation to media violence on the extent to which it can be maintained that such violence is injurious. An evaluation of media violence should preferably be controlled by those values which society wishes to promote, and which ultimately cannot be measured empirically.

The full study can be downloaded on NOVA's website.

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Excessive Online Computer Use and Learning Disabilities

Research from Professor Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University - International Gaming Research Unit - Psychology Division) in 2010, on excessive online gaming. 

"Research suggests that a small minority of adolescents may display problematic gaming behaviour and that some of these individuals may be addicted to online games, including those who have learning disabilities. This article begins by examining a case study of a 15year old adolescent with a learning disability who appeared to be addicted to various computer and internet applications." The article also describes therapeutic benefits of gaming, examines potential factors in gaming addiction and concludes with some advice for parents.

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Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development

Research in 2010 from Dr. Cheryl K. Olson (Massachusetts General Hospital) on motivations to play games. 

"Drawing on a survey of 1,254 middle school children, focus groups with boys and their parents, and findings from other quantitative and qualitative research, the author describes a variety of motivations for video game play (including games with violent content) and how these may vary based on factors such as mood, environment, personality, and developmental stage. The findings are put into the context of normal development, and suggestions are given for parents, educators, and researchers."

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Gaming In Families (Futurelab)

This report from Futurelab details the findings from the 2009-2010 Becta commissioned project ‘Gaming in Families’. The report includes key results from the literature review and Ipsos MORI survey along with findings from interviews with ten families who classified themselves as gaming families and three family workshops focused on gaming. The key audience for this report is policy-makers but the report also contains recommendations for parents and industry and may also be of interest to educators.

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The Next Level of Research on Electronic Play

Most research on electronic play has focused on its possible negative effects for children and adolescents, and contextual factors such as socioeconomic status (SES) and culture are rarely considered. This article from 2005 by Dorothy E. Salonius-Pasternak and Holly S. Gelfond (Harvard Medical School) considers the potential benefits of electronic play from a psychological perspective, as well as individual and contextual factors that may shape the influence of electronic play for children and adolescents. Demographics of players and the games themselves are presented, and recommendations for research and policy are discussed.

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