These so called fluctuations in behaviors do not manifest on their own however. Many addicts have actually become hooked on gaming simply because it provides them of a method to escape reality. The notion of escaping reality then becomes a habit, which leads to addiction (Lee & LaRose, 2007). Accordingly, the addict finds himself torn between two worlds: reality and the virtual world. This split is identified to cause behavioral differences such as the fluctuations previously mentioned and certain states of aggressiveness (Chin & Wen-Bin 2007). Video game addiction has in fact become a troublesome concept for many individuals.
Though, in order to fully understand this concept, one must define it first: Online games can create a separate and unique world that helps identify the user of his preferences, goals, dislikes, settings, team goals and organizations (Chin & Wen-Bin 2007). As described by Young (1996), the internet itself is not addictive, but the specific applications used to achieve certain goals that benefit the user in some ways. At a social science perspective, video game addiction can lead to troubles in communication and self representation. This could also deeply effect the gamer psychologically.
Video games are in fact applications that people can identify themselves with, and therefore can incite levels of addiction. The question remain: does the concept of video-game addiction influence the levels of aggression in an individual? Many researchers have taken numerous approaches on video game addiction. A similar approach taken by most of the researchers was to treat this case as any other kind of addiction such as a drug or sex addiction. Through theory and much of the data found, the addiction within individuals has a big influence on levels of aggressiveness.
To begin with, Grusser et al. (2007)performed a large scale study sampling 7069 gamers. These gamers were then assigned to fill out two online questionnaires regarding gaming behavior, aggressiveness and violent attitudes. Chui et al. (2004) developed a questionnaire that was that distributed to 1228 Taiwanese teenagers and children. This sample was achieved from 20 primary and junior high schools in Northern Taiwan. Chin & Wen-Bin (2006) interviewed and questioned 10 Taiwanese gamers who clearly showed signs of addiction. Amongst these teenagers, 7 were males and 3 were females. The subjects gamed for more than 48 hours a week on average.
The researcher first passed out a survey and then interviewed each subject individually. The questions raised in the interview touched four specific subjects: surface motivations, in-depth motivations, self-conception and interpersonal relationships in real life. Chin & Wen-Bin (2007) then conducted another study where 222 undergraduates participated in a questionnaire. All of these undergraduates played massive multi-player online role playing games, otherwise known as MMORPGs. This study helped in finding psychological motivations in understanding what keeps video gamers going.
Lee & LaRose designed a web-survey in which 488 gamers participated in. This survey aimed to prove that addicts primarily use video games as a way to change their behavior and escape reality. Young (1996) provides a unique case study in which a 43 year old woman addicted to the internet was being observed and studied. She was able to use the internet effectively simply because of the applications her online service provided. The subject was estimated to be online 50 to 60 hours a week. Chumbley & Griffiths (2006) conducted a study where 33 undergraduate participants were competing against each other in a video game.
The study showed that in-game skill and reinforcement made big differences in the experience of computer gaming. The player experiences much less frustration and a more relaxing kind of game play. Kamala (2004) conducted a research where 430 answered a questionnaire indicating if there were differences in levels of aggressiveness amongst women who play video and women who dont. Comparing the data received from these articles, most of the sample sizes interviewed and questioned consisted of video game addicts who played, on average, more than 48 hours a week. Furthermore, many of these studies occurred in Taiwan or sampled Taiwanese children and teenagers (Chin & Wen-Bin, 2006).
Almost all of the studies save for Kamala (2004) and Chin & Wen-Bin (2006) had no evidence that any female subjects were used during these experiments. Every single study showed samples of subjects between ages of 10 to 25. Almost all of the studies presented here specified that video game addiction was in fact related with levels of aggressiveness. All the researchers shared that video game addiction is in fact a serious condition that has become an increasing problem in our continuously evolving society.
However, even though all of these articles talk about video game addiction and aggressiveness, this doesnt mean that each author has the same point of view on the subject. Studies such as Chin & Wen-Bin (2006) and Chui et al. (2007) focused on Taiwanese adolescents since video game addiction has become an apparent problem in many countries, namely Taiwan. However, Kamala (2004) decided to tackle the possibility of gender in his unique study. His findings showed that females are socially less aggressive and less prone to play violent video games, which makes their possibility of developing aggressive behaviors lower than males.
In addition, his research found that there was no significant difference in behavior from females who play games and females who do not. Chumbley & Griffiths (2006) found that skill and reinforcement made a difference in the experience of the game. The player experiences less frustration and is found in a state of relaxation which is not correlated with aggressiveness. Though this state of relaxation is often what the player wants when playing a video game which can create a habit. If this habit continues over time it can create a dependence which is otherwise known as an addiction. Many of these studies were limited in the sample size.
The amount of subjects varied from 1 to 2000 which in my opinion is not a clear representation of the population of gamers. The studies should focus on more specific age groups which would indicate if there would be a correlation between age and addiction. In conclusion, many of the studies used contained very similar elements such as video game addiction being tied with significant behavioral changes and levels of aggression. Chumbley & Griffiths (2006) seem to be the only authors on a more positive side stating that video games can actually help achieve a state of relaxation, but excessive gaming can and will probably lead to addiction.
Kamala (2004) brings gender into the equation and proves that levels of aggression amongst females arent as fluctuated as they are amongst males. All in all, this data helps to determine what video game addiction really is, which also helps in finding behavioral differences. This gathering of information can now help in understanding the question: does the concept of video-game addiction influence the levels of aggression in an individual? Research Proposal The collection of data will be done by the interviewing method.
I have chosen this method because it involves a face to face conversation with the subject. Addiction can be a very sensitive topic which can lead to emotional experiences. Having a one on one conversation about video game addiction is the best way to approach this topic. An interview contains a pre-designed set of questions that are shared with the participant. To ensure that the data has not been manipulated in any fashion, a tape recorder or video recorder is needed. These two items make the conversation between the interviewee and the interviewer meaningful and rich of data.
If the interviewer misunderstood any part of the interview, he could always rewind the tape and replay it. This method is very useful in finding information because of the recordings. However, every research method has its set of drawbacks and the interview method is no exception. Before even starting anything, the participant must have signed and agreed to a specific consent form allowing the interviewer to have access and share confidential information. On the other hand, these questions can help in the collection of data to a whole new level, if and only if they remain on topic.
After the interview is done with, the researcher must transcribe every single piece of information from the interview which can take an enormous amount of time. The accuracy of the information can also be a deciding factor. This determines whether or not the information taken from the interviewee is exactly the same as what was said in the interview. Finally, there could also be a bias in the researchers point of view. He could have made a presumption of certain data or assume something that was not directly stated in the interview.
In my research I will be selecting 7 to 10 research candidates based on a snowballing method. There are in fact some people I know that play many hours of video games that would provide rich data for this particular study. This method relies on referrals to certain subjects who might potentially lead to other subjects. However, this technique might create bias and is not a very accurate representation of the population since the participants arent randomly chosen. Before even starting a research method, the researcher must know how to conduct a proper study which meets the norms and criteria of an ethical view board.
To ensure an ethical research on my part, the subject must have signed a consent form before even starting the interview. The interviewee also has the permission to read any data transcribed during the interview to avoid falsification of data or any sort of false statement. He also has his right to privacy, and is promised to be protected from any kind of harm. In addition, this study will be conducted honestly and the questions will be formulated in straightforward ways and not into ways that would lead the interviewee into the expected answer.
The data collected from the participants will be analyzed by comparing what the subjects experience in some given situations by playing video games. It was previously studied that video game players can either experience a relaxation state or a frustration state while playing these games. Also, in MMORPGs, it was found that many people experience a higher state of attachment than any other game. These are therefore important factors to take into consideration. Furthermore, I anticipate that the number of hours played per week will have a direct relationship to the levels of aggressiveness of the subject.
Main Findings After the collection of data, the amount of information obtained will definitely help in the study. The interview was more or less designed in a three step format: first a general overview of video games, followed by the subjects interaction with the games he/she plays, and finally how the subject personally feels while playing these games. Combining all these steps results in understanding what exactly the gamer experiences while playing video games. When reviewing the data, a very apparent conclusion was that most of the answers of the people interviewed resembled one another.
This could mean that video game experience amongst gamers can be relatively similar. First of all, the first category of questions focused more on a general perspective of the subject. There are many different gamers in the world that play different games, therefore knowing exactly what types of games and how many hours spent per week is essential information. As previously research by Sheng Wan & Wen-Bin, massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) have been proven to have the highest level of attachment among all other categories of games.
On the other hand, first-person shooter games (FPS) have been proven to be the least addictive out of the bunch. This is therefore why the subjects were asked the types of games they played. The amount of hours allotted per week to a certain video game is a strong indicator of the level of addiction of the gamer. All of the interviewees agreed that video games have become a problem amongst youths in our society. This is largely due to the factor that companies are continuously producing games with better graphics, better gameplay and mind blowing visuals that can easily get a consumer hooked.
In fact, when the subjects were asked why they play video games, many answered that the modern games and consoles these days become better and better, thus leading to addiction. Most gamers also replied that video games bring fun and entertainment which makes them feel great. The next set of questions were designed to understand the subjects interaction while playing video games. The gamers were asked if they thought that video game addiction lead them to become more aggressive. All of the subjects noticed that they did in fact have aggressive behavior usually after the game.
Depending on certain moments, levels of aggression could highly fluctuate. When the gamer gets killed in the virtual world, they sometimes experience high levels of aggression followed by an increased heart rate. Many gamers also found that video game interaction had nothing to do with social interaction. Most gamers actually said that they feel more themselves while playing online. This is simply because they remain anonymous and dont have social standards telling them how to act or behave. Other participants believed the contrary: that video game interaction can be completely made up since everyone remains anonymous and can act as they want without any consequences.
The final set of questions were on a more personal level than the others. All of the subjects were currently in school and found that video games had a negative impact on academic achievements. This is due to time management and efficiency. Since these gamers spend so much time on video games per week, they find little time to focus on academics which can result to negative impacts on marks. On another note, the subjects were asked if they pictured themselves as a different person online. All the gamers answered that they try to be themselves as much as they can online.
With the high amount of hours played, the gamers said that they found it quite important to have a sense of who you are online. These findings support Chin & Wen-Bins (2007) concept of self realness vs. self-virtualness as explained previously. Most gamers added that relatively new players in certain games seem to have multiple personalities and try to act differently. Most of these hardcore gamers keep playing the games they love because they are said do deliver a rush of excitement and entertainment. Some also indicated that video games proved to be good stress relievers.
These could therefore be factors that motivate hardcore gamers to keep on playing, In addiction, all of the subjects agreed that video games can be used as a method to escape reality. They tend to temporarily forget about their problems and stresses. Finally, the participants found that many easy-to-use applications have a big impact of their level of addiction. They said that if games werent so easy to use and have such simple ways to play them, then it would be much harder to become addicted. This supports Youngs (1996) theory stating that the internet itself is not addictive, but rather the applications used online.
As for the limitations of this study, further research should take women into consideration as well. The method used in this study was the snowballing method, which exclusively lead to male candidates. This therefore leaves out Kamalas (2004) theory that women prove to be less aggressive than men while playing video games. In addition, the results might have changed significantly if more participants were interviewed. Many of the subjects were people known on a personal basis which might have resulted in researcher bias. It is therefore recommended for future researchers to avoid involving any known participants in the study.
In conclusion, many gamers acknowledge that video game addiction has become a problem in our society. We could also conclude that the level of addiction (number of hours a week) is positively related to the level of aggression experienced during gameplay. These results definitely support the hypothesis that video game addiction does in fact influence the levels of aggression in an individual.
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