The paradox of interactive media: The potential for video games and virtual reality as tools for violence prevention

Nicholas Bowman, Sun Joo Ahn, Laura Kollar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interactive media such as video games and virtual reality (VR) provide users with lived experiences that may be dangerous or even impossible in daily life. By providing interactive experiences in highly authentic, detail-rich contexts, these technologies have demonstrated measurable success in impacting how people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. At the same time, violent interactive media content has been historically connected with a range of antisocial effects in both popular press and academic research. Extant literature has established a small-but-statistically significant effect of interactive media violence on aggressive thoughts and behaviors, which could serve as a risk factor for interpersonal violence. However, left unexplored is the seemingly paradoxical claim that under some conditions, interactive media experiences might protect against interpersonal violence. Drawing on advances in media theory and research and the evolution of interactive media content an
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Communication
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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