Research Question

Given the research literature on the long term effects of exposure to violence and recent developments in computer game experiences, the focus of this study is the relationship between level of aggression and exposure to violence depicted in computer games. The research question we sought to address was

Is there a difference in the levels of aggression among different types of computer game

The data obtained from the administered questionnaire returned a sample of 45 responses from different types of computer players. From the 45 respondents, the researcher obtained 15 responses for each type of players (non-gamers, FPS-ers and strategists) which accounts to 33.33 percent of the data set for each type of players. The variables of interest from the data are the type of players (dependent variable) and the aggression levels of each player (independent variable). From the 45 responses, the researcher obtained no missing values from the questionnaires. In addition, the boxplot of the data showed that there is no extreme value that may affect the results of the analysis (figure 1).

A questionnaire was administered to capture information about the likely exposure to computer game violence and levels of aggression. The Aggression Scale, a well accepted measure of aggression (Orpinas and Frankowski, 2001 Sherer, 2009), was used to capture aggression levels. Two questions ( How many times a week on average do you play computer games  and  Describe the style of game you predominantly play ) were used to classify respondents into one of three mutually exclusive groups Non-gamers, those who have never played computer games or play very infrequently First Person Shooters (FPS-ers), those who predominantly play games where the player sees through a characters point of view (e.g. Halo or Call of Duty) or Strategists, who play games that are turn based (e.g. Worms or Full Spectrum Warrior).

In order to determine whether there were differences in aggression levels between the three groups, One way ANOVA was used. The main assumptions of ANOVA are normality and homogeneity of variance. The descriptive statistics show that levels of aggression were approximately normally distributed and a Levenes test was performed indicating no evidence against the null hypothesis of equal variances. Both results justify the use of ANOVA for the analysis. All analyses were performed in the SPSS computer application.

The mean aggression was highest in the FPS group (M  11.88, SD  2.60), followed by the strategy group (M  11.73, SD  3.08). The no gaming group had the lowest average level of aggression (M 9.80, SD  3.28). The results of the ANOVA test showed the observed differences were not statistically significant (F(2,42)  2.15, p  .13), providing no evidence against the null hypothesis of equal mean aggression levels.

The results of the ANOVA test suggest that observed differences between the groups are not large enough to be meaningful. Consequently, we found no evidence that computer game playing is associated with levels of aggression.


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