In the latest on-going Earth-shattering research into video games and their effects on society, it’s been deduced that gamers who play against human-looking enemies will have heightened aggression, as opposed to fighting against monsters and other creatures.
The research also explains that gamers fighting against human-looking AI opposition will more likely be provoked with violent thoughts and words.
These startling findings are part of the Perception of Human Appearance in Video Games study by the University of Connecticut and Wake Forest University, which aims to understand the perceptions of players towards game features.
The study took 148 Quake 3 Arena players and pitted them against human and creature AI opponents. The players taking on the human-looking enemies “were more likely to have aggressive thoughts and words than those who had shot down monstrous non-human characters,” according to researchers.
“The more human players perceived the aggressive targets to be, the more verbally aggressive they were and the more violent words they generated,” the research notes. “Although we predicted that less human targets would result in more aggression, players seemed to be more aggressive after perceiving more human targets.”
The study does make a note that there were no signs of increased of physical aggression from the gaming sessions.
“We can talk about violent video games and aggression all day, but we need to be careful,” cautions McGloin, a professor at the University of Connecticut. “We’re not going to find one answer and be able to say, ‘This game’s good, this game’s bad.’ It’s never going to be that simple.”