28-35 Male Registered Libertarian
Moderately knowledgeable in modern events
Played games of every genre since my first Nintendo at age 4
I tend to watch violent movies, Horror/thrillers mostly
I prefer to read epics/adventures the feature conflicts
I prefer games against and with other people, regardless of format or genre.
I understand the worry over this over arching number crunch and the reasons it is so important. That being said I think the premise of nearly every study referenced is false. Many of the base studies represented do NOT designate a difference between competitive and non competitive. Without this designation is it impossible to gauge the source of a player’s rage and frustration. In games like Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed death and wanton murder are everywhere but it is against ‘fake’ NPCs (Non-Player Characters). This is a stark difference from competitive game like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft where you are actively playing against other living people that are trying to kill you, mocking you and are able to be taunted by the player.
Competitive gaming is a completely separate community than the rest of gaming and should not be ignored. This is 100% where the “toxic” environment of gaming is and has always been. There is little reason to scream in today’s society when no one else will hear it. When you introduce the notion of ‘being the best’ or ‘being the worst’ there will be those you seek to be either of those extremes. Conflict is a part of society and how humans interact with each other and it does not always have to be violent.
There is one study that specifically targets exactly what I am referencing, and was sited by the above meta-analysis.
Far to often gamers are sited as being these horrible monsters because of their favorite form of activity. It is less self-destructive than drinking or smoking. It brings more people together than watching a movie at home or in a dark theater where everyone is supposed to be quiet. In my personal, and extensive, experience games in general are where I have seen the longest standing relationships flourish. People band together to overcome an obstacle (cooperative play) or share stories of their own victories against an antagonist. (Single player) Games do not care what the color of your skin is, or what is between your legs. They put forth rules that everyone must obey and it is on your own merit that you succeed.
Competitive games offer similar experiences but seem to exploit them rather than enforce them. Cooperative experiences quickly become ‘annihilate them’ because we want to win, but everyone is also competing against their own team because of things like “Play of the Game” or “Most Valuable Player”. Being the best of everyone is the goal even in a game where you are meant to play a part in it. People are not encouraged to be themselves because they have to conform to what is “Meta”, or most likely to win, because that is all that matters.
I am not a psychologist, I am not a professional in any way. That said, if you think about it with an open mind, you will find many similarities in what the professionals still call “a small minority.” Monopoly and Chess have been known to ruin relationships and case violence, many even jokes about it. Games like Football and Baseball have caused riots. The only ‘real’ difference that video games have is the ‘realism’ they can present directly to the user. The issues these studies are trying to tackle are not with the games but the society that no longer possesses the values necessary to support them.