--Original published at HarrysCollegeBlog
With the Video Games becoming more and more popular, many teens across the globe rave about video games, and during play become so emotionally invested in it. Despite it being a virtual game, something about it makes my friends and I invest our time and energy better put towards other things, into this video game. This isn’t only because we play video games competitively either, many others who casually play video games also have this urge. Video games must have some sort of Emotional effect to have us be so fascinated by it.
Upon thinking of video games and their effects on the human one thing comes to mind: Social Opportunities. Social opportunities are evolved reactions with emotions to engage in adaptive behaviors. These are things such as happiness when presented with success, and sadness when faced with failure etc.
This can be shown in a recent study performed by Guitar, A, E., Glass, D. J., Geher, G., & Suvak, M. K. (2018) testing Nesse and Ellsworth’s (2009) model of emotions for situations that arise in video games. The study was performed in a video game called “Second life” and participants were to be competing with other players to complete a given task. The interactive video game was chosen because of how it can put players in situations without risking their lives, while still mimicking the life-like danger it could potentially hold. to further enhance the experience, the players were given rewards for completing it.
The study itself measured 4 things from the participants in terms of social opportunity: Physical opportunities, physical threats, Social opportunities, and social threats. the variables in the study were controlled, but no participant in the study knew about this. They were asked to give feedback on their emotions, and the results of the study found that Video Games are very very good at evoking emotions from social opportunity. when presented with opportunities they had pride for themselves, when faced with threats they became hostile, and when faced with failure, they found not only sadness, but also pride and content. This was most likely due to the lack of death, thus lowering the shame and fear it would have caused.
Video games in general, are a way to simulate the real world without any real danger to the player. The way we interact with it would suggest its able to evoke emotions almost as well as in the real world. Its competitive nature is very appealing, and overall lack of real death allows for a much safer, friendlier environment.
Geher, Glenn. “Video Games and Emotional States.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 3 Sept, 2018,https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/darwins-subterranean-world/20189/video-games-and-emotional-states
Guitar, A, E., Glass, D. J., Geher, G., & Suvak, M. K. (2018). Situation-specific emotional states: Testing Nesse and Ellsworth’s (2009) model of emotions for situations that arise in goal pursuit using virtual-world software. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-9830-x
The writing process of summarizing the paper I found to be challenging. The original text has a lot of detail going into it, and I had to summarize much of what was in the Scholarly article, such as much of the explanation done before the actual study to give context on what was going on. some of this context was information about the brain, social patterns, common practices, etc. Much of the beginning was committed to explaining Darwin’s thoughts and theories about the subject, such as his notion that emotions hold the potential of accurately describing out minds.
Evolutionary Emotions was another theory of his that was important to the article, which explained how the human mindset evolved over time due to our environment and how we adapted to it. This was cut out mostly due to the length and how much material there was to cover.
Another section was dedicated to an in depth analysis of the results, going over the layout of the graphs and information, to explaining what each variable and factor meant, and how they got the information as well. They also had some reflections, going back saying how the information was not recorded live, but was done afterwards, with participants reflecting back on them. They acknowledged the limitations their study had, and much of this was cut out due to lack of time on my own part. The experience was overall a good one, and it has given myself more pride in Video Gaming.