Every year, the Berglund Center for Internet Studies awards a senior for the best use of analyzing the impact of the internet in their senior presentations as a part of their requirement at Pacific University. This year, two seniors were recipients of the Excellence in Internet Research Award.
Both were awarded at the BCIS Awards Reception on May 16, 2014 and presented a small snippet of their presentations.
Conner Cousins is a sociology major with his senior presentation of "Examining Masculinity & the Internalization of Video Game Violence"
Previous research examining video game violence (Barlett, Branch, Rodeheffer, and Harris 2009) has focused on the question: are video games a predictor of violent behavior? None of the research reviewed has uncovered any relationship to long-term aggressive behavior, and most of the studies (Williams and Skoric 2005; Boyle and Hibberd 2005; Funk, Baldacci, Pasold, and Baumgardner 2004) finding a relationship between video game violence and aggressive behavior have demonstrated that the effect is not a long term effect (Boyle and Hibberd 2005). Studies continue to be published, pulling the discussion back and forth, but none of them take a step back and look at what factors come in to play before the player picks up a controller. This study examines how adherence to traditional conceptualizations of masculinity influences the way males interpret violence portrayed in video games. Preliminary analyses indicate that masculinity does indeed play a role in how males discuss their appreciation and interpretation of video games violence. Participants scoring lower on the masculinity inventory discussed violence as a means to an end, a device that is used to achieve an established objective, not the objective itself. This study assessed potentially problematic constructions of masculinity and attempted to understand how these traits altered the consumption of violent interactive entertainment.
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