Free Essay

The Psychology of Video Games

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By mongoose416
Words 656
Pages 3
Virtual Driving 2

Do racing games increase risk taking congitions, affect, amd behavior?

In this day and age, children, as well as adults strive for leuisurely time away from the

hardships of school and work. This is often achieved through the form of entertainment such as

video games. While seemingly innocent and a way to have fun, video games have sparked much

controversy in recent years. Numerous studies and research has shown that aggressive video

video games dealing with shooting and killing virtual people does in fact elicit aggressive

cognition, affect, and behaviors. (Fischer, 2007). However, most of the aforementioned

studies and research have only dealt and focused on the effects of one particular video game

genre, which is shooter games. The empirical journal in question focuses on the psychological

effects of a completely new genre of video games in which there is little research, which is

racing/driving. Do racing games inadvertently encourage gamers to drive recklessly and in a

risky manner when driving on the road in real life? Prior to the actual study, the researchers

expected a positive association between the playing of racing games and self-reported risk

promotion in real road traffic behavior. Furthermore, they also expected racing games (compared

to neutral games) to significantly increase cognition, affect, and behaviors that are supposed to

promote risk taking in actual road traffic situations. (Fisher, 2007)

In order to convey this study and to prove their hypothesis right or wrong, a total of three

studies were conducted. For study 1, 198 and 92 women ranging in age from 16 to 45

participated. The study consisted of a questionnaire. They were asked questions about their

driving habits as well as to what extent they played racing games. Study 2 consisted of 36 women

and 47 men, ranging in age from 19 to 42. Participants played one of three racing games or one

of three neutral video games. Cognition that are positively related to risk taking and

Virtual driving 3

arousal/excitement were measured. Study 3 consisted of 29 men and 39 women, ranging in age

19 to 35. Participants played one of three racing games or one of the neutral video games, then

took on the Vienna test system, a measure of readiness to take risks in actual road traffic

conditions. As in study 2, cognition positively related to risk taking were measured.

Age was significantly related to risk-taking behavior but did not interact with

experimental conditions. The time that had elapsed since participants gained their driver's

license, the number of accidents reported, sensation seeking, and enjoyment of the games had no

significant effect on risk-taking behavior, nor did they interact with experimental conditions.

Tukey tests revealed that the aggressive video game did not significantly differ from the other

neutral games with regard to readiness for risk taking and accessibility of risk-related cognition.

Moreover, men who played a racing game took more risks than did women who played a racing


My basic experience has me believing that video games does indeed in fact cause gamers

to increase risk taking cognition, affect, and behavior. Although illegal, I myself have engaged

in street racing in the past. Racing games that also act as simulators have helped me gauge to

what limitations certain cars are able to go to, since these racing simulators try to incorporate

real life physics as accurately as possible. And they are quite accurate indeed. With knowing

what the car is capable of doing in the simulator, I am able to apply this new knowledge and

tricks into real life to reach the "limit" of the car; thus, giving myself a sense of confidence to

push the car and therefore taking risks. The sense of "if i'm able to do it in the video game,

then i must be able to do it in real life since it incorporates real life physics" takes over one's

mind, I imagine.…...

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