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Culture Wars and Video Games: Ethnic Fighting, Competitiveness, and Aggresion in Head-to-Head Fighting Games
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by Darnell Coleman - Chicago State University
This study examined the effects of head-to-head, fighting video games on race relations, competitiveness, and aggression in adolescents. Twenty-five African American adolescents participated in this pretest-posttest research. Participants responded to questionnaires designed from previously tested scales before, immediately after, and 3 days after playing video games to determine if there were any effects of video game playing, and if so, whether these effects were temporary or long term. As hypothesized, most participants tended to pick video game characters whom they identified with respect to sex. However, African American men did not choose the African American male character as predicted. There was a significant widening in distance between how close participants would allow other ethnic groups to their ethnic group after playing video games as measured by the Social Distance Scale. Aggression and competitiveness did not significantly increase for all participants; however, those participants who were less aggressive and competitive before playing violent video games experienced significant increases in the suspicion subsection of the aggression scale and increases on the competitive scale. Results show that Mortal Kombat 3 causes racial divisions in adolescents and that adolescents who come to such games with low levels of aggression or competitiveness may be at risk for being adversely effected.