understanding of effects. Treatment times have varied from five to 75 minutes, and have consisted of “violent” content ranging from crude box-like shapes in an early 1980s boxing game (Graybill et al., 1985) to highly realistic 3D hand-to-hand combat (Ballard & Weist, 1995). A review by Anderson and Bushman reached the conclusion that exposure to violent video games is linked with aggression, but they noted the absence of longitudinal studies from the analysis (C. A. Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Two other reviews of the literature (Dill & Dill, 1998; M. Griffiths, 1999)—from the same journal— reached opposite conclusions about the strength of the findings to date. In the first, Dill and Dill refrained from doing a meta-analysis at all due to a scarcity of research. Instead, they suggested that the literature points to aggression effects, but that the key shortcomings are a lack of longitudinal methods and an over-reliance on minors as subjects of study. Griffiths (1999) also found fault with the research’s reliance on young subjects. Additionally, he suggested that the wide range of available games have been largely ignored as having potentially different effects, a theme to be taken up shortly. In sum, researchers suspect a strong linkage between violent games and aggression, but with the exception of relatively short-term effects on young adults and children, they have yet to demonstrate this link conclusively. Choosing Appropriate Theories The work to date rests entirely on models derived from social learning theory. This theory predicts that some games may have long-term effects on aggression due to similar mechanisms found with television violence—learning, rehearsal and 151
automatization of cognitive structures such as aggressive beliefs, schemata, and scripts (C. A. Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Furthermore, unlike television, video games also allow players to practice their aggressive behavioral scripts (C. A. Anderson & Dill, 2000). This led Anderson and Dill to conclude that the approach is especially appropriate and that any effects should be stronger because the interaction is simply more engaging and therefore affecting than television. However, games may be functionally nonequivalent enough with television, movies and radio to disrupt such analysis. A social learning approach would recognize that the social aspect of game play is plainly different than the social aspect of more traditional media and must be accounted for carefully. Compared to traditional passive media, observation modeling in games may stem from at least three sources. First, players may observe and model the behavior of
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- Spring '17
- stacy braiuca