In a new study questioning the link between violent computer games and aggressiveness, Swedish researchers have found games may actually promote cooperation with other players – not violence.
What’s more, aggressive players don’t do as well. “More than anything,” the researchers reported, “a good ability to cooperate is a prerequisite for success in the violent gaming environment.”
The provocative study, published in the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, was conducted by University of Gothenburg researchers who spent hundreds of hours playing online games and observing other gamers.
They focused on complex games with portrayals of violence and aggressive action where the participants have to fight with and against each other.
“The situations gamers encounter in these games call for sophisticated and well-coordinated collaboration. We analyzed what characteristics and knowledge the gamers need to have in order to be successful,” said lead researcher Jonas Ivarsson, of the university’s Department of Education, Communication and Learning.
“It turns out that a successful gamer is strategic and technically knowledgeable, and has good timing,” the researchers concluded. “Inconsiderate gamers, as well as those who act aggressively or emotionally, generally do not do well.”