(Editor’s Note: we are pleased to bring you this article thanks to our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine).
Gaming for Good
Research suggests that games like Lemmings, where the goal is to help others, inspire real-life acts of altruism.
— By Kyle Smith
For years, video games have been linked to aggression and violence, with researchers and media reports suggesting that violent games have inspired or even caused violent acts.
But a new study suggests that video games can be a force for good, finding that games with positive objectives can actually inspire people to perform acts of altruism.
Over four experiments, Tobias Greitemeyer and Silia Osswald, researchers at the University of Sussex in England and Ludwig-Maximilian University in Germany, respectively, had participants play either a “prosocial” game—a game where the goal is to help others—or a “neutral” game, meaning it has no characters with whom to interact positively or negatively, like Tetris. Then the researchers placed the participants in situations where they had the opportunity to help others, ranging from low-risk situations, such as seeing a dropped cup of pencils, to high-risk ones, like witnessing an angry ex-boyfriend harass an experimenter.
Greitemeyer and Osswald wanted to see if the participants wee more likely to intervene [Read more…] about Can video games inspire altruism?