CHAPTER A Theoretical Model of the Effects and Consequences of Playing Video Games Katherine E. Buckley and Craig A. Anderson Iowa State University Though there has been considerable discussion of video game effects in several research literatures, theoretical integrations have been somewhat rare. Our own empirical work has focused primarily on the effects of violent video games on those who play them (e.g., Anderson et al., 2004; Anderson & Dill, 2000). That work has been framed in terms of the General Aggression Model, an integrative social-cognitive model designed to handle all influences on all types of human aggression (e.g., Anderson &Bushman, 2002; Anderson & Camagey, 2004; Anderson & Huesmann, 2003). But that model itself can be further generalized to account for nonviolent effects of video games, many of which may well be quite beneficial to the individual as well as to larger society. Our primary goal in this chapter is to elucidate such a general model of video game effects. WHO IS PLAYING WHAT KIND OF GAMES? According to the Entertainment Software Association, 50 % of all U.S. Americans play video games, pushing entertainment software sales in the United States to $7 billion in 2003 (2004). This is more than double the $3.2 billion video games earned in domestic sales in 1995 (ESA, 2004). Although computers are not yet in every U.S. household, they are common and also are increasingly used in workplaces and schools. A 1997 U.S. census survey found that 36.6 % of households owned a home computer and that 47% of adults used computers daily either at home or work (Kominski & Newburger, 1999). In comparison, 75% of children 3-17 used computers daily either at home or school (Kominski & Newburger, 1999). In fact, 70% of children used computers in schools (Kominski & Newburger, 1999). More recent data suggest that computer ownership has grown substantially, so that by 2000,70 % of homes with children 2-17 had computers (Woodard & Gridina, 2000). Similarly, 68% of homes with children 2-17 have video game equipment (Woodard & Gridina, 2000). A survey conducted in 2003 found In creating this electronic reprint, we have attempted to keep the style, pagination, and format as close to the published formas possible. Nonetheless, some errors may have occurred. If you discover a substantial error, please contact Craig Anderson using the following email address: [email protected] Please note that this electronic reprint is provided as a courtesy. Please do not post or distribute this reprint in any fashionthat may violate the copyright of the original publisher or the authors. Thank you for your interest in this work.Buckley, K. E., & Anderson, C. A. (2006). A theoretical model of the effects and consequences of playing video games. Chapter in P. Vorderer & J. Bryant (Eds.), Playing Video Games - Motives, Responses, and Consequences (pp. 363-378). Mahwah, NJ: LEA.
364 BUCKLEY AND ANDERSON that 87 % of children regularly play video games, but that these games are more popular with boys (96%) than girls (78%; Walsh, Gentile, Gieske, Walsh, & Chasco, 2003). In a recent survey of over 600 8th- and 9th-grade students, children averaged 9 hours per week of video