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Interaction Lab
#ixlab
Whatever it is,
it’s too dirty for the kids
A cross-comparison of German and US
gamers’ differentia...
ANTISOCIAL GAMING
“Thus, rather than simply
consuming the media,
individuals must dynamically
negotiate within it to remai...
ANTISOCIAL GAMING
“Concerns are legitimated in that
even if the influence of media
content on audiences might be a
compara...
ANTISOCIAL GAMING
Violence in Video Games
• 68 to 80% of games
• Varying definitions
• Effects vary by age and
experience ...
GAME RATINGS
ESRB (US)
• Violent games can be
found at lower rating
categories
• Sexual content will bump
a game rating (“...
CULTURE AND CONTENT
German
• Place more weight on
considerations of
Harm/Care
• Represented in:
– Media content lower in
v...
HYPOTHESES/RESEARCH ?S
Cultural Differences:
H1: German > US, age ratings of violent game
H2: US > German, age ratings of ...
METHOD
• N = 267
– 140 from US
– ~150 males
– Germans (M = 23.6) older than US (M = 20.3)
– Germans (M = 1.36 hrs/day) pla...
METHOD
Manipulation check showed:
• Violent game as more violent (M = 4.92,
SD = 1.45 v. M = 2.47, SD = 1.57; d = 1.64)
• ...
RESULTS (H1,H2, RQ1)
F(1,250) = 11.66, p < .001,
eta-squared = .045
F(1,250) = 13.72, p < .001,
eta-squared = .052
RESULTS (H3,H4, RQ2)
Violent GameSexual Game
No impact of MFT on
evaluations of game quality!
DISCUSSION
“Purity/Sanctity concerns seem to be
the strongest predictor of the
assignment of higher age ratings,
regardles...
IMPLICATIONS+FUTURE WORK
• Sexual game was far more sexual than the
violent game as violent (“control”?)
• Violence is mor...
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Nick Bowman, Ph.D. [CV]
Twitter (@bowmanspartan)
Skype (nicholasdbowman)
nicholas.bowman@mail.wvu.edu...
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It’s too dirty for me, so it’s too dirty for the kids: A cross-comparison of German and U.S. gamers’ differential reactions to an explicitly sexual or violent video gameta+sex

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The current study explores variance in perceptions of age-appropriateness and overall evaluations of a video game manipulated to contain sexually or violently explicit content as a function of national culture and moral foundations. Purity/Sanctity concerns were the strongest predictor of higher age-appropriateness ratings for sexually explicit (expected) and violent (unexpected) games. US players evaluated the violent game more favorably than Germans. Both evaluated the sexually explicit game similarly, although Germans preferred it to the violent game; US audiences preferred the violent game.

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It’s too dirty for me, so it’s too dirty for the kids: A cross-comparison of German and U.S. gamers’ differential reactions to an explicitly sexual or violent video gameta+sex

  1. 1. Interaction Lab #ixlab Whatever it is, it’s too dirty for the kids A cross-comparison of German and US gamers’ differential reactions to an explicitly sexual or violent video game Bowman (USA) Kowert (USA) Breuer (DE) Elson (DE) Kieslich (DE) Kneer (NL) Quandt (DE) Lange, A. (USA) Lange, R. (USA)
  2. 2. ANTISOCIAL GAMING “Thus, rather than simply consuming the media, individuals must dynamically negotiate within it to remain entertained and progress through the game. It is this key difference that is believed to magnify the impact of the content portrayed in video games and potentially influence the user in negative ways.”
  3. 3. ANTISOCIAL GAMING “Concerns are legitimated in that even if the influence of media content on audiences might be a comparatively small effect, these small effects can be easily reduced by at least assigning age-appropriateness ratings and labels on or at most legally restricting access to content.”
  4. 4. ANTISOCIAL GAMING Violence in Video Games • 68 to 80% of games • Varying definitions • Effects vary by age and experience with games • Subjective > Objective Sex in Video Games • 12% of M/AO games • Hyper-sexualized female characters • Misogynistic/sexual language in chats • Objectification effects • Findings similar to that of other media
  5. 5. GAME RATINGS ESRB (US) • Violent games can be found at lower rating categories • Sexual content will bump a game rating (“Sims); no common ground PEGI (DE) • Violence is a core consideration • War games nearly always classify as 18+ • Kissing and partial nudity found at lower ratings
  6. 6. CULTURE AND CONTENT German • Place more weight on considerations of Harm/Care • Represented in: – Media content lower in violence – Preference for news and documentary film US • Place more weight on considerations of Purity/Sanctity • Represented in: – Media content lower in sexuality – Preference for action and sports content Studies based on MIME
  7. 7. HYPOTHESES/RESEARCH ?S Cultural Differences: H1: German > US, age ratings of violent game H2: US > German, age ratings of sexual game RQ1: Will US v. German impact post-play evaluation? Moral Foundations: H3: + “Care/Harm”  + Age Rating (violent game) H4: +“Purity/Sanctity”  + Age Ratings (sexual game) RQ2: Will “Care/Harm” or “Purity/Sanctity” impact their post-play evaluation?
  8. 8. METHOD • N = 267 – 140 from US – ~150 males – Germans (M = 23.6) older than US (M = 20.3) – Germans (M = 1.36 hrs/day) played more video games than US (M = .581) Focal measures included: • Age-appropriateness (M = 16.42, SD = 1.75) • Evaluations of game (M = 5.85, SD = 2.01) • Moral foundations (MFQ) • Care/Harm (M = 3.49, SD = .67) • Purity/Sanctity (M = 2.00, SD = .97)* *Lower for Germans than for US
  9. 9. METHOD Manipulation check showed: • Violent game as more violent (M = 4.92, SD = 1.45 v. M = 2.47, SD = 1.57; d = 1.64) • Sexual game as more sexual (M = 5.94, SD = 1.14 v M = 1.38, SD = .915, d = 4.39)
  10. 10. RESULTS (H1,H2, RQ1) F(1,250) = 11.66, p < .001, eta-squared = .045 F(1,250) = 13.72, p < .001, eta-squared = .052
  11. 11. RESULTS (H3,H4, RQ2) Violent GameSexual Game No impact of MFT on evaluations of game quality!
  12. 12. DISCUSSION “Purity/Sanctity concerns seem to be the strongest predictor of the assignment of higher age ratings, regardless of either the participant’s nationality (and other demographic variables) or the violent or sexual nature of the video game mission.” One alternative explanation? “Senseless violent acts and killing” (DE) and “graphic word choice” (US) might have represented purity expectancy violations.
  13. 13. IMPLICATIONS+FUTURE WORK • Sexual game was far more sexual than the violent game as violent (“control”?) • Violence is more than graphicness • Impact of player performance not considered • Expansion to other cultures in progress
  14. 14. FOR MORE INFORMATION Nick Bowman, Ph.D. [CV] Twitter (@bowmanspartan) Skype (nicholasdbowman) nicholas.bowman@mail.wvu.edu http://comm.wvu.edu /fs/research/lab Interaction Lab (#ixlab)

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