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VR reopens the Violence/Video Game Argument



vrViolenceThe age ol’ argument of violence and video game and any correlation is one we have all heard. And with VR exploding onto the gaming scenes, it is not about to stop. Ohio State University had a little experiment using VR in playing some popular violent video game (I’ll let you guess which one, Trevor) and apparently results found that those that played the GTA V in 3D were 15% more ‘angry’ than those that played the 2D equivalent. This wasn’t just restricted to FPS, as the same result was found when students were made to play a video game of bowling.

Brad Bushman, the Ohio professor conducting the experiment stated, “3D gaming increases anger because the players felt more immersed in the violence when they played violent games”. Which in a sense is something you can take at face value. But anything in the world can increase anger. Hell, I’ve thrown more angry fits when my Wi-Fi goes down. But the obvious implication is that this increased anger will somehow lead to violence in the real world. Which then leads to the broader argument of media violence and violence in the viewer. Is it cathartic, or does it breed violence, serial killings, muggings, rape and other depraved acts that existed before electricity?

Whatever side of the argument you fall on, the advanced technology of the VR is a development that will revolutionalise gaming. As to what extent its use will be monitored by rating authorities, especially it’s use by younger players, is yet be seen. But we wonder what Professor Bushman would think about this study’s findings?

Blogger, comic book and anime fan. FPS addict. All very convenient. Known to do storyboards and motion graphics when he's really busy.

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