aggression in games and focused attention

Not sure why but I guess a few folks have been reading this so let me put this out and ask for feedback from gamers preferably or those interested in gaming. I’m not really interested in getting into the does gaming cause aggression and if so we need to stop it entirely discussion. Rather I’m more interested in when fighting in a game (engaging in aggression of some sort) does it take more focused attention than in other gaming activities? I’d think yes and that it is rather obvious, but there may be various subtlties that i’m missing and would appreciate feedback on same. Reason I ask is that it’s come up in a study we have just written up for presentation/publication.

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3 Responses to aggression in games and focused attention

  1. Gordon says:

    Yes absolutely on my part. On the aggression I find some aspects of the game I play most, Halo 3, incredibly frustrating. When I’m playing sub-par to my normal skill level I often find myself shouting at the game and when others are getting lucky kills against me I genuinely feel anger towards them, even to the extent I will confront them over it, if for example they have a poor connection or I have a teammate particularly lacking skill. I think though that this stems more from my competitiveness because when I’m winning and doing well I am not bothered about these things. As for concentration I think so to an extent, in a fast paced game,like Halo, concentration is pretty much vital and often a few seconds of dreaming or concentrating on something else can cost your team a point. However, in a slower paced violent game, Call of Duty for example, I feel less concentration is needed. Especially if you’re “camping” which for those that are unfamiliar with gamer terms is slang for sitting in the one area and waiting for people to unknowingly walk by and then kill them instead of taking the fight to them or just facing them front on. So in this area of violent games I think concentration can sway a bit but you must be at least semi-aware of your surroundings to notice someone walk by and pick up the kill. Yet it is not only violent games that extreme concentration is required and I would most certainly argue that racing simulations require just as much, if not more, concentration on particularly hard tracks. Coming from me concentration is only really given when needed as I am a massive dreamer and even in my exams which I am currently sitting, got my physics exam tomorrow lol, I often dream. Extended concentration is hard for me lol. In fact when I play Forza Motorsport 3, the racing simulation of my choice, I often find myself forgetting to blink, as strange as that may seem lol. Overall, I do think violent games require a lot of concentration but it is not the only type of game that does and as for aggression I would most certainly say violent games create more. And for the record, I would consider myself a “hardcore” gamer as today I spent between 6-8 hours playing Halo and this is not out of the norm at all.

  2. Nicholas Foley says:

    My own anecdotal evidence is that while I need a higher baseline energy level to be willing to play a FPS style game, it doesn’t really seem to be more fatiguing than a non-FPS game.

    Are you aware of this study, which uses violent video games as the stressor?
    Skosnik et al. Modulation of attentional inhibition by norepinephrine and cortisol after psychological stress. International Journal of Psychophysiology (2000) vol. 36 (1) pp. 59-68

  3. Gene says:

    I feel the need for more focus in grouped fights as compared to non-grouped, due to feeling responsible for others while grouped. For example, I play Battlefield 2 and WoW. All BF2 is grouped play in a sense, but I mean specifically in squad-play. If I’m part of a 6-man squad that is working well together I feel more focused than when I’m not in a squad. Sometimes I don’t squad up and having a more relaxing time sniping:)

    In WoW, raids (my experience is in ranged DPS and Druid heals) require much more focused attention than in other parts of the game.

    So I think that grouped/non-grouped play might be a factor to look at. And in Wow at least, you might consider guild-grouped play vs random-group play.

    My main interest in WoW is not really the fights though, it’s the economy. I find the economy fascinating.

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