Fun Fact Friday: Video Games and Empathy

Did you know that violent video games that objectified women caused less empathy among young players that identified with the characters?

It is true according to a recent study. I heard this one a while back on NPR news, but it’s been a while since I’ve blogged a “fun fact friday.” Although this isn’t quite a “fun fact” I thought it would be an interesting one. I couldn’t find the NPR version, but I did find The Ohio State University article that NPR quoted. It states that the study was conducted among male players between the ages of 15-20. The study was separated among three categories, 1) violent games that objectified women like “Grand Theft Auto,” 2) violent games without the objectification of women, and 3) Non violent games nor the presence of sexism. All three groups were shown two sets of pictures, one of which exhibited a woman that showed signs of physical abuse. Sadly, the games with female objectification caused the first group to have very little empathy. Interestingly, the article says something different than what I heard on NPR. NPR stated that the first group had no empathy what so ever, the second some and the third did have empathy. There is a big realization with this study and that is that games with violence can be poisonous to growing impressionistic young adults. Also, in movies, according to the study, people can move away from feeling connected to the character, but with games there is an undeniable connection as you become this character during the duration of the game.

If you’d like to read more, I’m attaching the article to this post.

Works Cited:

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